Mike Joyce interview in Designer Magazine

M

Mimi

Guest
This may be old news to some of you, but I found this by accident and thought it was very amusing..... it has some nice Smiths anecdotes in it (like Moz attempting to smoke a fag!) and gives in interesting insight into the court case from a different point of view. Enjoy!




Mike Joyce speaks
 
T

thaxter tewksbury

Guest
> This may be old news to some of you, but I found this by accident and
> thought it was very amusing..... it has some nice Smiths anecdotes in it
> (like Moz attempting to smoke a fag!) and gives in interesting insight
> into the court case from a different point of view. Enjoy!
Good article thanks very much for that.
 
W

Worm

Guest
Thank you for posting this.

Mike has taken a lot of abuse from fans over the years, but just read what the man has to say. He sounds level-headed and decent. And he's absolutely right about the court case. He didn't mug Morrissey in the street for a wad of cash, he took him to a court of law and won a week-long trial in which Morrissey was granted a full defense-- and Joyce won the appeals for good measure.

Nothing will tarnish what The Smiths did, or what they stood for. Not the success or failure of the individual members in the years following the break-up, or any court cases, or any supposedly "undignified" actions on the part of those who seek to profit from The Smiths. Johnny Marr is to be thanked for this. I would have cut off my own hands for typing this back in '87, but these days I'm of the opinion that he did exactly the right thing in breaking up the band at its peak. Prematurely dead, perfectly preserved-- that's The Smiths in a nutshell. As facts continue to come out about the members and how the band was managed, you realize they just weren't built to last.
 
D

Designer Magazine

Guest
Hi guys,

I actually came on the board to let you know about something now Mozzer related...but saw this post.

I've met Mike several times over the past 5 years, both interviewing him for Designer Magazine and also at various gigs or simply in the pub in Altrincham where were based. As someone who interviews musicians on a weekly basis I have to say Mike's one of the nicest, most genuine guys i've met over the years doing this job.

So whatever your take on the EBAY sales just remember Mozzer is far from a saint

Alex




Designer Magazine
 
J

Jones

Guest
I really think it's completely irrelevant how Mike comes over in the pub. Apparently Morrissey is quite nice to spend time with in the pub too.

Whatever the truth of who is right or wrong re the court case (and none of us really know, not being party to the conversations when the band were put together) the defence that someone is a good bloke to have a drink with is really pretty weak.
 
D

Designer Magazine

Guest
> I really think it's completely irrelevant how Mike comes over in the pub.
> Apparently Morrissey is quite nice to spend time with in the pub too.

> Whatever the truth of who is right or wrong re the court case (and none of
> us really know, not being party to the conversations when the band were
> put together) the defence that someone is a good bloke to have a drink
> with is really pretty weak.

Im also referring to the 3 interviews we've done with him...trust me there's enough wankers in bands that i've met to know the difference between a decent guy like Mike and the unmentionable wankers
 
J

Jones

Guest
It's still totally irrelevant. Actions are far more important than charm.
 
S

suzanne

Guest
> Hi guys,

> I actually came on the board to let you know about something now Mozzer
> related...but saw this post.

what were you going to tell us that's mozzer related?

> I've met Mike several times over the past 5 years, both interviewing him
> for Designer Magazine and also at various gigs or simply in the pub in
> Altrincham where were based. As someone who interviews musicians on a
> weekly basis I have to say Mike's one of the nicest, most genuine guys
> i've met over the years doing this job.

> So whatever your take on the EBAY sales just remember Mozzer is far from a
> saint

> Alex
 
W

why didn't i take the whole 500

Guest
> It's still totally irrelevant. Actions are far more important than charm.

Yes and coming around as "down to earth" is more decent than both "self satisfying actions" that suit the plot or "fake charm".

"Actions" are "Acted" obviously.

Anyway, never judge a book by its cover.

Read at least the first two chapters.

More importantly, the ending, see where that leads you...

You can generally extract the phonies from the down to earthuns.

In my book, anyway.
 
W

Worm

Guest
> It's still totally irrelevant. Actions are far more important than charm.

You might want to reconsider that statement. If we look at actions, then Morrissey has a nasty string of them to his credit, all of which he has used "charm" to explain away: the tensions that split up The Smiths, falling out with friends and managers, and cancelling concerts, to name a few.

And whereas Mike Joyce has sued Morrissey and Marr for money he thought he earned-- and got a judge to agree with him-- and tried to earn some dough off of his former gig with the band by doing guest appearances and selling records on eBay, Morrissey has released one redundant compilation of songs after another, live albums, posthumous re-releases of Smiths' material, multiple formats of "You Are The Quarry" and its singles, and on and on. Put another way, Mike Joyce legally took money from Morrissey for his hard work. Morrissey squeezed our loyalty to pay for his Hollywood lifestyle. Yet Mike is the villain?

Morrissey is also the only party involved in the court case who has refused to let the matter die, filing appeals, ranting about it endlessly, and even writing paranoid songs that directly and indirectly alluded to some form of "revenge" on Mike and Andy. Morrissey writes and speaks of a world full of idiots out to get him-- and why do people believe him? Yes, that's right. His charm. His artistry. His words. And yet there are innumerable stories about his actions that give the lie to the glow of martyrdom in which he has placed himself.

I'm not trying to pile on Morrissey, whose work I love, just offering some perspective. I find all this criticism of Mike Joyce to be ridiculous. He still compliments Morrissey and has done nothing to smear his name or Johnny's, despite withering attacks from the singer that horribly and unfairly diminished his contribution to one of the greatest bands ever. Not only that, but to some extent every one of the four ex-Smiths has tried to profit from the group's legacy in ways that were less than dignified. Rock and rollers don't age gracefully. Name one band-- just one, please (okay, *besides* the Nation of Ulysses)-- that hasn't limped along pathetically in some fashion, hurting their good names, whether the band mates were alive or dead, together or solo. The music business is exploitative by nature and no one's hands are clean. No one's.

Sure, I'd rather Mike either vanished into a very private life, or jumped headlong into a new direction musically and left all this behind, but in the event what he's doing is utterly harmless. All he's done is prove that 90 seconds of a Smiths outtake are better than just about anything else we'll hear this year. Hell, the only gripe I have about Mike Joyce is not that he got paid money he didn't earn, but that he didn't get paid nearly enough. Give the guy a break and go spin "Rank" again and ask yourself if he was just a "replaceable lawnmower part". I don't think so.
 
J

Jones

Guest
You make a very good argument but I think you missed the point I was trying to make. I wasn't making a judgement on Joyce selling his records on ebay, I see nothing wrong with it in fact.

I just find it strange that when people are debating someone's actions the argument that "I met him in the pub and he is a nice bloke" seems to be used so often. It would be the same if someone used that argument to explain away something Morrissey had done that pissed the fans off, it's completely irrelevant whether someone comes across as "a nice bloke". Nice blokes can still lie sometimes, they still make mistakes and still let down their friends. As an extreme example Fred West was well liked in his local pub, a very sociable nice bloke to drink with (no, I am not comparing Joyce to Fred West).

Although I'd question whether Morrissey gets away with stuff because he is charming. I'd say the opposite is true a lot of the time. He causes himself a lot of trouble because he fails to read social situations very well. Read the appeal judgement for an example.
 
W

Worm

Guest
You make a fair point.

I've just read Morrissey's riposte on TTY and I must say, he has a strong case for Joyce-as-bloodsucker.

What's missing is the larger picture. I'd like to know exactly how much money the 1.5 million pounds is in relation to how much The Smiths catalog pulls in a year, and how much Joyce feels he was owed back in the 80s. If Joyce was due, let's say, five million pounds, then his, uh, persistent methods to get the 1.5 million from Morrissey are somewhat understandable.

Anyway, my opinion has somewhat changed. Knowing all this about Joyce-- even taking it with a grain of salt, coming from Morrissey's lips-- makes me think that Joyce was right in suing Morrissey and Marr, but wrong in the extent to which he has pursued Morrissey's money. Based on Morrissey's outline it seems unfair and excessive to say the least. But how much can we really know unless we see all the monetary figures?

One thing that hasn't changed is my view on how Morrissey bungled this case. This was truly Wilde v. Edward Carson in his eyes, it seems, and that was just foolish. What Morrissey's timeline really shows is that, unlike Johnny, who seems to have grudgingly accepted the lawful verdict and paid up, he fought the ruling tooth and nail and has paid a steep price as a result, a much, much higher price than Johnny. Does anyone believe that Joyce would have resorted to such sleazy actions to get his dough if Morrissey had simply written a check and ended the matter? Morrissey has convinced me that Joyce has not acted all that well in this matter, but he doesn't come off looking much better.

And the notion that Joyce is wealthy-- what's all this about selling white-label test pressings on eBay and so on? Isn't there lots of anecdotal evidence that Joyce is not, in fact, well off? Also, while it's shocking to read that Joyce wanted royalties for "Artwork", it's also true that when one party is evasive in paying fees, the other party has to resort to every legal action possible to get his money. Joyce's claims to "Artwork" and t-shirt royalties are absurd-- but I'm sure his lawyer advised him every step of the way to take these measures against someone who-- we ALL know-- was going to be as happy to fork over his cash as-- oh, I dunno-- Saddam Hussein was to leave his palaces. Joyce tried to get money off Morrissey's family homes in England, but why did he do that-- who forced him to? Did Joyce take similar actions against Marr? Why not?

Here's a short anecdote that illustrates what I mean. An older guy I work with went through a messy divorce. The woman was certifiably insane, and the judge not only sided with her, he stuck it to my colleage big time in the form of exorbitant alimony payments. By all accounts it was a travesty of justice. So what did he do? He refused to pay. Years went by without paying. The woman tried various ways to get money from him, but he owned his own business during that time and found ways to avoid paying. Finally he'd had enough and went to settle. The burden of fleeing the woman's demands was taking a heavy toll. But so many liens and other writs against him had piled up that he was forced to pay through the nose-- court fees, interest, extra damages, as well as the principal amount. You cannot fight these verdicts and hope to escape without paying. One reason Morrissey's account looks so damning of Joyce is that he made it a thousand times harder on himself by seeking to evade the judgment.

What irks me above and beyond all this is how people have slagged off Joyce's contribution to The Smiths. Criticize him to the skies for what he's done in court-rooms, but far too many fans have taken Morrissey's position that his role in The Smiths was tiny and easily replaceable. I just don't see it that way.

Last point. I hear what you're saying about "he's a top bloke" as a groundless reason to believe someone is actually a good guy. Of course it is. However, in this instance, the reason I cite it as valid is that a neutral third-party arbitrator-- i.e., a court-- has heard both sides and found in favor of Joyce. We have an accounting based on hard facts, and it's in Joyce's favor. I'd stick with that, personally.

But that isn't enough for many fans. They want to look deeper, and claim that Morrissey is a victim of Joyce's malevolence. And at that point, all of us have only one thing to fall back on, which is our gut sense of these two men as people. On that basis, one has a solid reputation as a decent fellow, and the other has a long, explosive history of turmoil in his relationships. Yet everyone's letting loose howls of indignation and scorn over Joyce's wickedness, and taking Morrissey's innocence as granted-- why is that, exactly?

Anyway, after reading Morrissey's account, I'm convinced we'll never know the truth.

> You make a very good argument but I think you missed the point I was
> trying to make. I wasn't making a judgement on Joyce selling his records
> on ebay, I see nothing wrong with it in fact.

> I just find it strange that when people are debating someone's actions the
> argument that "I met him in the pub and he is a nice bloke"
> seems to be used so often. It would be the same if someone used that
> argument to explain away something Morrissey had done that pissed the fans
> off, it's completely irrelevant whether someone comes across as "a
> nice bloke". Nice blokes can still lie sometimes, they still make
> mistakes and still let down their friends. As an extreme example Fred West
> was well liked in his local pub, a very sociable nice bloke to drink with
> (no, I am not comparing Joyce to Fred West).

> Although I'd question whether Morrissey gets away with stuff because he is
> charming. I'd say the opposite is true a lot of the time. He causes
> himself a lot of trouble because he fails to read social situations very
> well. Read the appeal judgement for an example.
 
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