Interview with the Fifth Smith, Craig Gannon - C-86 Show

The ever good C-86 show hosted by David Eastaugh interviews Craig Gannon. Interesting bit about how Morrissey and Marr had been thinking of adding a second guitarist after watching Easterhouse. Interview with Craig Gannon C-86 Show


Description:

Craig Gannon in conversation with David Eastaugh

Gannon had played in bands with friends since he was 12 years old, and in 1983 joined Aztec Camera after replying to an ad in Melody Maker. In 1984 he briefly joined The Colourfield, and went on to join The Bluebells.

After another brief stint in The Colourfield, when bass player Andy Rourke was fired from The Smiths in early 1986, Gannon was hired to replace him. Within a fortnight, however, Rourke was reinstated and Gannon moved to rhythm guitar becoming the official fifth member, playing on the "Panic" and "Ask" singles and touring the UK, Canada and the US with the band. Gannon also played on the scrapped single "You Just Haven't Earned It Yet, Baby", which was included on The World Won't Listen compilation album. After the tour ended in October 1986, Gannon was no longer part of the line-up. Gannon has been affectionately known thereafter as "the Fifth Smith".
 
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Verso

Well-Known Member
Why do you think that? As much as I love Strangeways, it has great songs and no indie guitar band that’s come after can even come close to it’s power and brilliance.
And yet, I would still go with The Queen Is Dead as my favorite.
There’s something about the vibe on Strangeways that I can’t put my finger on, there’s just something missing that’s not missing on the Smiths recordings that came before it.

Maybe it sounds too polished for a Smiths record ? I don’t know.
In my opinion, a unique shortcoming of the Smiths is that they really aren't an album band. Morrissey and Marr's obsession with singles and pop music actually get the better of them in that regard.

Despite the fact that they're one of my favorite bands for all eternity, I don't think any of their albums are particularly good. Meat is Murder sounds the most cohesive to me, followed by their debut. Both TQID and Strangeways feel off-kilter and bloated to me for different reasons. No real flow on either of them.

I probably listen to Louder Than Bombs the most.
 

Cornflakes

"A bit iffy" ★★☆☆☆ - AV Club
Problem with Strangeways is tracks 7, 8 and 9. The lyrics are among the weakest in the Smiths catalogue. Not sure whether it was just the pressure to get an album out, or Moz getting too big for his boots. In Autobiography, Morrissey talks about Geoff Travis telling him that Strangeways had a fantastic A side but the B side didn't live up to it. I think we are supposed to laugh mockingly at Travis's knownothingness, but he had it bang on.
 

GirlAfraidWillNeverLearn

Well-Known Member
Problem with Strangeways is tracks 7, 8 and 9. The lyrics are among the weakest in the Smiths catalogue. Not sure whether it was just the pressure to get an album out, or Moz getting too big for his boots. In Autobiography, Morrissey talks about Geoff Travis telling him that Strangeways had a fantastic A side but the B side didn't live up to it. I think we are supposed to laugh mockingly at Travis's knownothingness, but he had it bang on.

Paint A Vulgar Picture weak? I think it's one of the strongest tracks on the album. An essential Morrissey lyric.
Unhappy Birthday is musically beautiful and I have a soft spot for Death At One's Elbow. I know it's probably one of the most hated Smiths songs amongst fans but I love it for its weirdness and macabre ghoulish lyrics.
 
M

MollyMaeMorrissey

Guest
Why was Rourke fired

Why ? Because Morrissey left a note on Andy's windshield that said, "Andy, you are no longer a member of The Smiths.", or words quite the same, eh Morrissey ? Blame Mr. Rogan, we've all read em.
 

Mozmar

Well-Known Member
Paint A Vulgar Picture weak? I think it's one of the strongest tracks on the album. An essential Morrissey lyric.
Unhappy Birthday is musically beautiful and I have a soft spot for Death At One's Elbow. I know it's probably one of the most hated Smiths songs amongst fans but I love it for its weirdness and macabre ghoulish lyrics.
Agree.
It's one of my favourite albums...although tinged with the sadness that it was their last.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
I wish Morrissey had talked more about how he comes up with melodies in his autobio. He is masterful at it and still innovating after all these years. He is one of the best pop melody writers of all time I feel, comparable even to the Beatles.
You can't say that if you've ever heard first the Smiths album. He's developed his writing skill over the years but his melody is too monotonous even though his voice and uniqueness cover that. You can see a lot of cases his melody kills the song especially in the Smiths songs.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
He was feeling the pressure of being expected to come up with another 'William, It Was Really Nothing' or 'How Soon Is Now' and knew he couldn't do it without John Porter. As always with Marr, as a master of spin, he anticipated the press angle and spun it his own way. Rather than just being a 'jingle-jangle' indie guitarist, he claimed that he felt restricted by that style and needed to expand and experiment, and the next step from that, when he saw that electronic dance music was about to make indie guitar music yesterday's news, was to claim he was bored with the guitar and wanted to experiment with keyboards. But the thing is, Marr was and basically is, a 'jingle-jangle' indie guitarist - that's his specialty, those arpeggio chord melodies. He's the best in his field, by a country mile, but it's what he is nevertheless, and it was only when working with Porter that he was able to really go beyond his own limitations. Porter built up layers of harmonies and stitched together separate riffs and takes until he had virtually composed a new piece of music himself - especially in the case of 'How Soon Is Now'. Critics were distracted from how relatively simple the music and production on the 'Meat is Murder' and 'The Queen is Dead' albums were because the songs were so good, but by 'Strangeways' Marr was, I think, conscious of his limitations, wary of repeating himself and wary of being of repeating himself, of being 'sussed', and so 'experimental' became the watchword. And again, ever the masters of spin, both Morrissey and Marr still insist that 'Strangeways' was a triumph because they don't want to give fuel to the idea that The Smiths ended on a damp squib. But in truth it's not a triumph. It highlighted Marr's musical limitations - like a serious dramatic actor trying and failing to do comedy in order to avoid typecasting. As for Electronic, rather than being at the forefront of early nineties dance music, they were huffing and puffing to keep up and, by the belated second album, were already hedging their bets, and putting more traditional guitar tunes on the album alongside the dance stuff. But listen to 'For You' on that album - a clear attempt to come up with another iconic 'This Charming Man'-ish hook, and then compare those two recordings. 'For You' is crude and simplistic (I'm talking just about the musical backing track, never mind the vocal and lyric) compared to the Porter-produced 'This Charming Man'. Marr was adopting a 'quit before you overstay your welcome' mentality towards guitar in the early 90s, and when he eventually resumed making guitar heavy records, he spent years 'avoiding' his style, because he didn't want to be found wanting. He has always claimed too much credit for the music of The Smiths. He was a co-creator of the music and backing melodies, alongside Porter (where Porter was involved) and almost always Rourke.
What you think Portal did are actually Johnny's signiture approach, creating layers of harmonies and filling the space with different riffs. He calls it guitarchestra.
 
V

Vegan Cro Spirit 444

Guest
He was feeling the pressure of being expected to come up with another 'William, It Was Really Nothing' or 'How Soon Is Now' and knew he couldn't do it without John Porter. As always with Marr, as a master of spin, he anticipated the press angle and spun it his own way. Rather than just being a 'jingle-jangle' indie guitarist, he claimed that he felt restricted by that style and needed to expand and experiment, and the next step from that, when he saw that electronic dance music was about to make indie guitar music yesterday's news, was to claim he was bored with the guitar and wanted to experiment with keyboards. But the thing is, Marr was and basically is, a 'jingle-jangle' indie guitarist - that's his specialty, those arpeggio chord melodies. He's the best in his field, by a country mile, but it's what he is nevertheless, and it was only when working with Porter that he was able to really go beyond his own limitations. Porter built up layers of harmonies and stitched together separate riffs and takes until he had virtually composed a new piece of music himself - especially in the case of 'How Soon Is Now'. Critics were distracted from how relatively simple the music and production on the 'Meat is Murder' and 'The Queen is Dead' albums were because the songs were so good, but by 'Strangeways' Marr was, I think, conscious of his limitations, wary of repeating himself and wary of being accused of repeating himself, of being 'sussed', and so 'experimental' became the watchword. And again, ever the masters of spin, both Morrissey and Marr still insist that 'Strangeways' was a triumph because they don't want to give fuel to the idea that The Smiths ended on a damp squib. But in truth it's not a triumph. It highlighted Marr's musical limitations - like a serious dramatic actor trying and failing to do comedy in order to avoid typecasting. As for Electronic, rather than being at the forefront of early nineties dance music, they were huffing and puffing to keep up and, by the belated second album, were already hedging their bets, and putting more traditional guitar tunes on the album alongside the dance stuff. But listen to 'For You' on that album - a clear attempt to come up with another iconic 'This Charming Man'-ish hook, and then compare those two recordings. 'For You' is crude and simplistic (I'm talking just about the musical backing track, never mind the vocal and lyric) compared to the Porter-produced 'This Charming Man'. Marr was adopting a 'quit before you overstay your welcome' mentality towards guitar in the early 90s, and when he eventually resumed making guitar heavy records, he spent years 'avoiding' his style, because he didn't want to be found wanting. He has always claimed too much credit for the music of The Smiths. He was a co-creator of the music and backing melodies, alongside Porter (where Porter was involved) and almost always Rourke.
🧐

of course, to put it succinctly and cut this post to a sentence:
":handpointright::guardsman::handpointleft: has but one sucky clicky clacky:guitar: riff". ;)

DH Andy is also a limited lawnmower playing the same boom boom thing:blushing:
and then, Le:frogface: tries to bring in a lawnmower crony so he can spend most of the show loafing around.:blushing:

Eventually Moz had to get good musicians and dispenxe with the
lzwnmower factory.:thumb:
 

Amy

from the Ice Age to the dole age
You can't say that if you've ever heard first the Smiths album. He's developed his writing skill over the years but his melody is too monotonous even though his voice and uniqueness cover that. You can see a lot of cases his melody kills the song especially in the Smiths songs.
Couldn't disagree more. Even leaving aside the evolution of his singing ability, Morrissey's solo career is filled with songs that have a mediocre, pedestrian backing and are rescued from oblivion by his vocal melodies.

After the Smiths, he 'carried' a subpar band who often gave him piles of samey drivel to work with. For the most part, he did a great job of salvaging the stuff he was given and making decent pop songs. He is a master of making a silk purse from a sow's ear, it's just that once he didn't have to.
 
V

Vegan Cro Spirit 444

Guest
🧐

note that the Lawnmower factory has had no interest from any other bands since Moz gave them the boot.👢 DH Andys band Vega something or the order lasted all of one week due to its inherent suckiness. to say nothing of the FH mega twat.
The very dramatic Le🐸 has been 🥾 ed out of so many bands its impossible to keep track.⛑️
they had ruined Moz material by not being able to do good backings like the members Moz has now, led by Boz🦁
 
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