Last of the Famous International Playboy's video

Famous when dead

Vulgarian
Moderator
Now this I hadn't heard. Out of curiosity where's this info from?
The main source appears to come from 'A Light That Never Goes Out - The Enduring Saga Of The Smiths' by Tony Fletcher (not a bad read).
Namely:

"“A lot of people turned their back on Johnny at that point,” noted John Featherstone, who stayed with Marr in Bowdon after the split, in large part to support his friend while holding out hope for a poetic ending to the Smiths. “Morrissey could have, with perfect movie-script irony, knocked on Johnny’s door rather than the other way ’round like it was at the beginning, and said, just, ‘Hey, thanks for everything.’ Or, ‘Can we just talk about this?’ Or, ‘What can we do to make this move forward?’ I remember sitting there going, ‘He’s going to show up. He’s going to knock on the door.’ ” He didn’t.
But in the midst of this period of bitterly frozen relations, it was nonetheless Morrissey who sought to break the ice. He called Johnny Marr on the phone and suggested the Smiths play a farewell gig, at the Royal Albert Hall. Marr declined.
Morrissey continued to hold out the olive branch—or the prospect of one—as he conducted interviews for his first album on EMI, provocatively entitled Viva Hate, released in the spring of 1988 and yielding the top 10 singles he had always suspected would have been the Smiths’ by right had they too been signed to a major label. “I would be totally in favour of a reunion,” he told NME’s Len Brown in February. “As soon as anybody wants to come back to the fold and make records I will be there!” The rhythm section, otherwise engaged at the time with Sinéad O’Connor, would heed his call later in the year, and so would Craig Gannon, the three of them joining Morrissey and Stephen Street to record several songs, two of which would make the UK top 10. When, on December 22, 1988, Morrissey finally stepped onto a stage again, playing a concert in Wolverhampton that granted free entry to those wearing Smiths or Morrissey T-shirts, the musicians appearing alongside him were Mike Joyce, Andy Rourke, and Craig Gannon. Morrissey wore a Smiths T-shirt himself, and came onstage to the sound of Prokofiev. Apart from Morrissey solo material, the group played three latter-day Smiths songs, carefully choosing ones that their former band had never performed in concert.6 With stage invasions taking place throughout, it appeared like a happy reunion of the Smiths in all but Marr and name. But it was not to be. Mike Joyce, Andy Rourke, and Craig Gannon were by then already in the process of taking both Morrissey and Johnny Marr to court for disputed and/or unpaid royalties."


There is zero reference to this assertion in either of the decent books on Marr.
Regards,
FWD.
 

Ketamine Sun

SCROLL & DESTROY
The main source appears to come from 'A Light That Never Goes Out - The Enduring Saga Of The Smiths' by Tony Fletcher (not a bad read).
Namely:

"“A lot of people turned their back on Johnny at that point,” noted John Featherstone, who stayed with Marr in Bowdon after the split, in large part to support his friend while holding out hope for a poetic ending to the Smiths. “Morrissey could have, with perfect movie-script irony, knocked on Johnny’s door rather than the other way ’round like it was at the beginning, and said, just, ‘Hey, thanks for everything.’ Or, ‘Can we just talk about this?’ Or, ‘What can we do to make this move forward?’ I remember sitting there going, ‘He’s going to show up. He’s going to knock on the door.’ ” He didn’t.
But in the midst of this period of bitterly frozen relations, it was nonetheless Morrissey who sought to break the ice. He called Johnny Marr on the phone and suggested the Smiths play a farewell gig, at the Royal Albert Hall. Marr declined.
Morrissey continued to hold out the olive branch—or the prospect of one—as he conducted interviews for his first album on EMI, provocatively entitled Viva Hate, released in the spring of 1988 and yielding the top 10 singles he had always suspected would have been the Smiths’ by right had they too been signed to a major label. “I would be totally in favour of a reunion,” he told NME’s Len Brown in February. “As soon as anybody wants to come back to the fold and make records I will be there!” The rhythm section, otherwise engaged at the time with Sinéad O’Connor, would heed his call later in the year, and so would Craig Gannon, the three of them joining Morrissey and Stephen Street to record several songs, two of which would make the UK top 10. When, on December 22, 1988, Morrissey finally stepped onto a stage again, playing a concert in Wolverhampton that granted free entry to those wearing Smiths or Morrissey T-shirts, the musicians appearing alongside him were Mike Joyce, Andy Rourke, and Craig Gannon. Morrissey wore a Smiths T-shirt himself, and came onstage to the sound of Prokofiev. Apart from Morrissey solo material, the group played three latter-day Smiths songs, carefully choosing ones that their former band had never performed in concert.6 With stage invasions taking place throughout, it appeared like a happy reunion of the Smiths in all but Marr and name. But it was not to be. Mike Joyce, Andy Rourke, and Craig Gannon were by then already in the process of taking both Morrissey and Johnny Marr to court for disputed and/or unpaid royalties."


There is zero reference to this assertion in either of the decent books on Marr.
Regards,
FWD.
'zero reference to this assertion in either of the decent books on Marr.'

interesting. I'm sure Marr would have mentioned and explained this if it did happen, strange he left it out.
 

Ketamine Sun

SCROLL & DESTROY
So this was after Viva Hate?
That's really strange. I suppose Joyce and Rourke were grateful for the work.
Does anyone know who is on guitar?
go back to High School and do your homework ! no matter how low you feel.


;)
 

Flibberty

Well-Known Member
The main source appears to come from 'A Light That Never Goes Out - The Enduring Saga Of The Smiths' by Tony Fletcher (not a bad read).
Namely:

"“A lot of people turned their back on Johnny at that point,” noted John Featherstone, who stayed with Marr in Bowdon after the split, in large part to support his friend while holding out hope for a poetic ending to the Smiths. “Morrissey could have, with perfect movie-script irony, knocked on Johnny’s door rather than the other way ’round like it was at the beginning, and said, just, ‘Hey, thanks for everything.’ Or, ‘Can we just talk about this?’ Or, ‘What can we do to make this move forward?’ I remember sitting there going, ‘He’s going to show up. He’s going to knock on the door.’ ” He didn’t.
But in the midst of this period of bitterly frozen relations, it was nonetheless Morrissey who sought to break the ice. He called Johnny Marr on the phone and suggested the Smiths play a farewell gig, at the Royal Albert Hall. Marr declined.
Morrissey continued to hold out the olive branch—or the prospect of one—as he conducted interviews for his first album on EMI, provocatively entitled Viva Hate, released in the spring of 1988 and yielding the top 10 singles he had always suspected would have been the Smiths’ by right had they too been signed to a major label. “I would be totally in favour of a reunion,” he told NME’s Len Brown in February. “As soon as anybody wants to come back to the fold and make records I will be there!” The rhythm section, otherwise engaged at the time with Sinéad O’Connor, would heed his call later in the year, and so would Craig Gannon, the three of them joining Morrissey and Stephen Street to record several songs, two of which would make the UK top 10. When, on December 22, 1988, Morrissey finally stepped onto a stage again, playing a concert in Wolverhampton that granted free entry to those wearing Smiths or Morrissey T-shirts, the musicians appearing alongside him were Mike Joyce, Andy Rourke, and Craig Gannon. Morrissey wore a Smiths T-shirt himself, and came onstage to the sound of Prokofiev. Apart from Morrissey solo material, the group played three latter-day Smiths songs, carefully choosing ones that their former band had never performed in concert.6 With stage invasions taking place throughout, it appeared like a happy reunion of the Smiths in all but Marr and name. But it was not to be. Mike Joyce, Andy Rourke, and Craig Gannon were by then already in the process of taking both Morrissey and Johnny Marr to court for disputed and/or unpaid royalties."


There is zero reference to this assertion in either of the decent books on Marr.
Regards,
FWD.
'zero reference to this assertion in either of the decent books on Marr.'

interesting. I'm sure Marr would have mentioned and explained this if it did happen, strange he left it out.
Nope. I don't own that book and yet I have specifically read Johnny himself state the same thing.

Edit: I have just found it in the Mozipedia. In the Wolverhampton bit.
 

Famous when dead

Vulgarian
Moderator
'zero reference to this assertion in either of the decent books on Marr.'

interesting. I'm sure Marr would have mentioned and explained this if it did happen, strange he left it out.
Well, I searched: reunion, Wolverhampton, Royal Albert Hall, Bowden, Featherstone...
In both Set The Boy Free & The Smiths And The Art of Gun-slinging and got nothing relatable to this topic.

Yes, Goddard alludes to similar, but it's Fletcher's book asserting the phonecall scenario and he hasn't referenced or cited any source - which will have come from somewhere... Anyone?

Regards,
FWD.
 

Flibberty

Well-Known Member
Well, I searched: reunion, Wolverhampton, Royal Albert Hall, Bowden, Featherstone...
In both Set The Boy Free & The Smiths And The Art of Gun-slinging and got nothing relatable to this topic.

Yes, Goddard alludes to similar, but it's Fletcher's book asserting the phonecall scenario and he hasn't referenced or cited any source - which will have come from somewhere... Anyone?

Regards,
FWD.
Goddard directly quotes Marr on the subject though.
 

Famous when dead

Vulgarian
Moderator
Goddard directly quotes Marr on the subject though.
I must be having a brain fart as here is the full Wolverhampton section and I can't see a direct Marr quote (added as a spoiler due to length):
Wolverhampton (Morrissey’s debut solo concert at Wolverhampton Civic Hall, 22 December 1988), The sudden and secretive nature of The Smiths’ break-up during the summer of 1987 denied them the opportunity of staging an official farewell concert. Morrissey, in particular, was aggrieved by this circumstance and tried, in vain, to coerce Marr into returning for a final Smiths show at London’s Royal Albert Hall that autumn to coincide with the release of STRANGEWAYS, HERE WE COME. Marr, still stinging from the split and Morrissey’s futile attempts to continue The Smiths without him, was vehement in his refusal. ‘It was obviously a no-no.’
One year later, and following the solo success of VIVA HATE, Morrissey reunited with Andy Rourke, Mike Joyce and Smiths second guitarist Craig GANNON, his new backing band for the recording of the singles ‘THE LAST OF THE FAMOUS INTERNATIONAL PLAYBOYS’ and ‘INTERESTING DRUG’. Other than the gaping void of Marr’s absence, this gathering of four-fifths was a Smiths reunion in all but name, rekindling Morrissey’s hope of a ‘farewell’ gig.
It was while recording those singles at The Wool Hall near Bath in December 1988 that Morrissey made his decision. According to producer and co-writer Stephen STREET, after a promising start the session was beginning to fall apart. Unhappy with some of the works-in-progress, on Friday 9 December Morrissey ‘snapped and walked out of the studio’, says Street. After spending the weekend in Manchester, the singer returned on the Monday in noticeably higher spirits, breaking the news to Street that he intended to announce a surprise gig a few days before Christmas. The chosen location was the West Midlands town of Wolverhampton (later to be granted city status). As Morrissey later explained, ‘It wasn’t London and it wasn’t Manchester which I thought was an important gesture … it was dear old, sweet dumpy Wolverhampton.’
As Morrissey’s co-writer, Street automatically assumed that he’d be joining the group on stage in some capacity, only to be told ‘in no uncertain terms’ that he wouldn’t. ‘Morrissey took me aside and told me he wanted it to be a Smiths gig,’ he recalls. ‘He felt it was time to move on and exorcise The Smiths so he saw it as a farewell. He even said he wasn’t sure if he’d work with Mike and Andy again after this. But I was really pissed off.’
Morrissey’s caution towards Rourke and Joyce was understandable, given that both had already started legal proceedings contesting their share of income from The Smiths, as had Craig Gannon. Consequently, the imminent Wolverhampton gig created the farcical scenario of a band whose guitarist, bassist and drummer were all involved in separate legal writs against their frontman. ‘It’s something that just wasn’t discussed,’ says Joyce, ‘or if the subject was brought up the conversation was quickly changed. Morrissey didn’t seem bothered about it, put it that way.’
The concert was announced on Radio 1 on Monday 19 December, four days prior to the show itself on Thursday 22nd. Despite Morrissey’s belief that it should be ‘a Smiths gig’, the event was officially promoted as his debut solo concert. Discounting his impromptu cameo reading Marcel PROUST with Howard DEVOTO’s Luxuria at London’s Town & Country Club earlier that year, it marked Morrissey’s first live appearance since The Smiths played London’s Brixton Academy in December 1986. Entry was free – ‘which, for someone of my status, is unheard of’, noted Morrissey – to anybody who turned up in a Smiths or Morrissey T-shirt. ‘I thought above all people would see a free concert as a very welcome gesture,’ he added, ‘regardless of who got their sandals stolen or dropped their crisps in a puddle.’
The news instigated an immediate fan pilgrimage to Wolverhampton, with the pluckiest camping outside the
venue three nights before to assure their place at the front of the queue. Come the morning of the concert, with several hundred fans now gathered, those who’d spent the past few nights shivering on the pavement suddenly found themselves trampled underfoot by eleventh-hour queue jumpers. ‘They didn’t have to come if they didn’t want to,’ argued Morrissey. ‘They must have been aware of a certain element of risk. It isn’t my fault if at the final minute someone came from the back with huge muscles and removed them. It’s symptomatic, I think, of life in general.’
Further scenes of mass hysteria greeted that afternoon’s arrival of Morrissey and the band who’d made the journey from The Wool Hall to Wolverhampton in a vintage 1940s ‘St Trinian’s’ bus. With the venue’s 7,000 capacity reduced by safety officials to 1,500, approximately 3,000 people turned up hoping to gain admittance. Chaos reigned while the Midlands police struggled to control the bitterly disappointed majority, eventually having to arrest the desperate hordes engaged in last-minute attempts to gain entry by breaking windows and smashing down fire doors. ‘It wasn’t window smashing as senseless aggro,’ mused Morrissey. ‘It was frothing admiration building to the brink and beyond … I felt in order to get in you had to make a slight effort, it wasn’t going to be that easy. So I knew that the people who made the effort were the important ones. It was like The Krypton Factor, it was a test of endurance. But nobody seemed to mind, apart, obviously, from the ones that didn’t get in. That was inevitable. The T-shirts were a simple way of getting over who could get in the venue because otherwise it would have had to be tickets.’
Choosing Smiths-influenced northern indie band Bradford as his support (see ‘SKIN STORM’), Morrissey’s performance on the night lasted barely half an hour, an eight-song set mixing known and yet-to-be-released solo material with three late Smiths tracks: ‘STOP ME IF YOU THINK YOU’VE HEARD THIS ONE BEFORE’, ‘DISAPPOINTED’, ‘Interesting Drug’, ‘SUEDEHEAD’ (preceded by Joyce teasing the crowd with the drum intro of ‘THE QUEEN IS DEAD’), ‘The Last Of The Famous International Playboys’, ‘SISTER I’M A POET’, ‘DEATH AT ONE’S ELBOW’ and a final encore of ‘SWEET AND TENDER HOOLIGAN’.
‘One of the conditions that we agreed upon,’ explains Joyce, ‘was that we weren’t going to do any Smiths songs that we’d played live with Johnny. We were kind of mulling it over because we didn’t want to pretend “this is The Smiths” because it wasn’t without Johnny. So we thought if we don’t play any song we played live before, some things off Strangeways, for instance, coupled with his solo stuff, then what’s wrong with that?’ Morrissey was even more philosophical about the choice of songs. ‘That concert at Wolverhampton was me saying goodbye,’ he’d reflect. ‘I felt that just because The Smiths had ended … those songs really were me also. I didn’t feel like walking away saying
“Oh no, no more of that. Let’s move on and be massively creative.” I still feel that all of those songs are me, I had the right to play them.’
As it turned out, the setlist took second place to the historic visual spectacle of Morrissey in the flesh, marked by the kind of fanatical stage invasions that would later come to typify Morrissey’s solo performances. ‘It was nice to be kissed repeatedly,’ he surmised. ‘In the hall that night there was a great aura of love and gentleness, and all the people who came on stage treated me in a very gentle way. I wasn’t kicked or punched or dragged, although they were very emotionally charged. I came away with no bruises.’
‘The amount of fans getting on stage was ridiculous,’ admits Joyce. ‘It had never been that bad with The Smiths. At one point all you could hear was drums and vocals because Andy had his pedals stood on and his leads had come out, Craig was mobbed so his strap had come off and Moz was cramped down with his mike feeding back next to the monitor with people diving on him. It was actually dangerous with all the electrics. OK, it was a free gig and all, but I felt bad about how it must have sounded out front.’ Gannon agrees: ‘It was chaos. As soon as we hit the first note it was just people constantly diving on stage, leads constantly being pulled out, amps wobbling, me quiff falling. I mean, it was a good laugh but musically it was frustrating.’
The occasion was even more frustrating for Stephen Street, not only barred from the stage but symbolically confined to an outside broadcast radio van. ‘So, no, I wasn’t even able to watch it,’ he mourns. Ironically, Morrissey would later tell the press that Wolverhampton ‘must have been a joy’ for Street, ‘to hear his music performed, which obviously he’s never experienced before’.
The day after the gig, while Rourke and Joyce recovered in Wolverhampton, Gannon and Morrissey attempted to
head back to Manchester in the same antiquated transport in which they’d arrived. ‘It was just me and Morrissey in this St Trinian’s bus with the driver,’ laughs Gannon. ‘It seemed a good idea but as soon as we got to the outskirts of Wolverhampton it broke down. We were stranded.’
‘The bus was the wrong choice because it broke down, twice,’ confirmed Morrissey. ‘I had a driver, he also broke down. It was very typical of Old England to let me down.’ According to Gannon, he and Morrissey had no choice but to set off on foot to telephone for help. ‘We eventually found this pub in the middle of nowhere,’ recalls Gannon. ‘It was mid-morning, so it wasn’t even open. The landlord heard us knocking so came down and opened the door. He was met with Morrissey stood there, me behind him, asking, “Have you got 10p for the phone?” We managed to get hold of the tour manager who said he’d drive over and pick us up so we just waited for ages back in this bus by ourselves. This was two days before Christmas. We were freezing!’
The drama and excitement of Wolverhampton, both inside and outside the venue, was brilliantly captured by director Tim Broad on the HULMERIST video, though its footage of ‘Sister I’m A Poet’ neatly illustrates Morrissey’s subsequent verdict that it ‘was not really a concert, it was an event at which I didn’t really sing’. The same applies to the breathless encore of ‘Sweet And Tender Hooligan’, released as a live B-side of ‘Interesting Drug’. In the months following Wolverhampton, Morrissey’s troupe of ex-Smiths would fracture due to their separate legal grievances, negating any hope of his permanent return to the concert stage in 1989. Indeed, it would be another two years before Morrissey finally did so in April 1991, with an entirely new band to promote KILL UNCLE.
Regards,
FWD.
 

bhops

Last of the famous international screw ups.
Johnny Marr made reference to the farewell gig in an interview I believe. He said he turned it down and then asked the interviewer if they’d ever seen the film ‘The Collector.’ Can’t remember which rag it was in. Maybe the NME.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Johnny Marr made reference to the farewell gig in an interview I believe. He said he turned it down and then asked the interviewer if they’d ever seen the film ‘The Collector.’ Can’t remember which rag it was in. Maybe the NME.
I can certainly remember a quote from Johnny, where he (possibly slightly tongue-in-cheek) said something along the lines that he was asked but there was no way he would agree to attend, as he was worried he'd be kidnapped and forcibly dragged back into the Smiths. I can't find the exact interview at the moment, but there are so many of the damn things.
 

bhops

Last of the famous international screw ups.
I can certainly remember a quote from Johnny, where he (possibly slightly tongue-in-cheek) said something along the lines that he was asked but there was no way he would agree to attend, as he was worried he'd be kidnapped and forcibly dragged back into the Smiths. I can't find the exact interview at the moment, but there are so many of the damn things.
Sounds like we remember the same interview. I found it interesting at the time as I had never heard the farewell concert discussed before and also because I found the Collector reference quite funny.
 

Old Mathew

Well-Known Member
About two winters ago, on a cold winter night like this, I read through all of Morrissey's interviews from 1988-1990 or so (via Passions Just Like Mine). The overarching theme that came across (for me) was that Moz was quite depressed during this period (even for him) and lost, and despite some public protestations ("Smiths is Dead") he really seemed to feel that Viva Hate and the subsequent singles were just an interlude and that the Smiths would reunite. The Wolverhampton gig and bringing the other Smiths back into the fold for a bit fits within that. In one of those interviews, he said something to the effect of, "I really don't know any musicians." I don't think he looked at Andrew Paresi and Vinni Reilly as potential band members, and it wasn't till 1990 or so when he supposedly hung out around the London rockabilly scene and met Boz and Alain that the idea of a band to replace the Smiths fully entered his mind. It wasn't until then that he seemed ready to truly move on.

Take it for what it is; I had read all those interviews when they came out, or at least the majority of them; it was only in retrospect, reading them again, as a whole, that it became clear to me how long he held out for the idea of a Smiths reunion. It was quite touchingly sad, really.
 

Dingoatemybabby

Active Member
About two winters ago, on a cold winter night like this, I read through all of Morrissey's interviews from 1988-1990 or so (via Passions Just Like Mine). The overarching theme that came across (for me) was that Moz was quite depressed during this period (even for him) and lost, and despite some public protestations ("Smiths is Dead") he really seemed to feel that Viva Hate and the subsequent singles were just an interlude and that the Smiths would reunite. The Wolverhampton gig and bringing the other Smiths back into the fold for a bit fits within that. In one of those interviews, he said something to the effect of, "I really don't know any musicians." I don't think he looked at Andrew Paresi and Vinni Reilly as potential band members, and it wasn't till 1990 or so when he supposedly hung out around the London rockabilly scene and met Boz and Alain that the idea of a band to replace the Smiths fully entered his mind. It wasn't until then that he seemed ready to truly move on.

Take it for what it is; I had read all those interviews when they came out, or at least the majority of them; it was only in retrospect, reading them again, as a whole, that it became clear to me how long he held out for the idea of a Smiths reunion. It was quite touchingly sad, really.
And by "Smiths reunion" it just meant Johnny coming back.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
So as people have been saying all along...

Moz fucked it all up.

The Smiths with Stephen Street producing would have been the greatest thing ever.
 

AztecCamera

Well-Known Member
WTF is a "cold winter night"? I reckon this song and vid would of been so top mental if he would got some fat Mexican mariachi singer from East Moz Angeles to sing the chorus during concerts. I reckon you know Steve would of loved it m8's!!
 
U

URBANUS

Guest
WTF is a "cold winter night"? I reckon this song and vid would of been so top mental if he would got some fat Mexican mariachi singer from East Moz Angeles to sing the chorus during concerts. I reckon you know Steve would of loved it m8's!!
Cold winter nights is when europeans wear clothes suited for that time of year when you knobs wear them in heat pretending you're not warm as you want to look european. The people of Los Angeles look to Europe for the clothes that they wear.

Only in countries with 4 seasons do you find people with perfect skin cause in heat people turn into raisins. I can see it before me how you are starting to resemble a greek widow.

My mexican friend in LA is complaining about the cold there but the same temperature here is t shirt-weather.

When will you rebel against the spanish rule where you live, cause you are a americn nationalist aren't you so why so weak?
 

Nikita

Senior Member
From Autobiography:

"Although Rourke and Joyce had gamefully participated in the 1989 singles The last of the famous international playboys and Interesting drug, the unhappy past descends upon me each time I hear their voices and I decide not to invite them to any further recording sessions. Lawyers for Joyce then write to me, clearly stating that Joyce might take legal action in search of Smiths royalties, but will not do so if I agree to make him a permanent member of the Morrissey Band (a band which, in any case, doesn’t even exist). I ignore the threat, unaware of any legal gripe that Joyce could possibly have against me, but the heavy-handed approach of his lawyers helped me to resolve to leave Joyce to his cleverness. Another page must resolutely be turned once more."
I believe the truth is pretty much the opposite: the court case was already launched and by « inviting » them, Morrissey expected Joyce and Rourke to drop it.
 

Dingoatemybabby

Active Member
I believe the truth is pretty much the opposite: the court case was already launched and by « inviting » them, Morrissey expected Joyce and Rourke to drop it.
Don't forget Craig Gannon also sued and won! What a terrible end to a wonderful band.
 
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