Nick Kent talks Morrissey and The Smiths in DN interview - Fredrik Strage / Morrissey 61 Facebook group

An anonymous person sends the link:


Excerpt:

Post by Fredrik Strage:

Jag intervjuade just rockjournalisten Nick Kent för DN. Han är aktuell med sin första roman "The Unstable Boys". Jag frågade också om hans relation till Morrissey och han gav mig väldigt utförliga svar. Eftersom jag bara fick med ett par korta citat i den färdiga texten tänkte jag bjussa er Moz-fans på resten. (Det här är inte korrat eller redigerat, bara utskriven intervju.)

Another big "what if" in rock history is what would have happened if you had agreed to publish the stuff that Morrissey sent you when you were a section editor at the NME? Maybe he would have become a rock journalist instead?
I never turned him down. I just didn't get back to him. He wasn't very good. But the main thing is that Morrissey was 14 years old. He was obsessed with the New York Dolls and I had spent enough time around the New York Dolls to know first hand that people who hang around the New York Dolls don't live very long. There's only one guy in the band still alive. Five are dead. Probably more than any other rock group of their era. So I just thought he'd better grow out of it. Also he was 14, what was I going to say? Leave school? Go to New York? I think he always resented me for that. Haha. We had a strange relationship. I remember interviewing him as a member of The Smiths, I couldn't remember him as Steven Morrissey, this kid that used to write to me. He wrote to a lot of people. But very quickly he wanted to know about the New York Dolls. And I knew about them. Johnny Thunders was the same age as me. We dressed the same and we had connections shall we say. So I knew the real story which he didn't. He just knew the story that he had read in the music papers. So I told him the real story of the New York Dolls and I remember him looking at me as if I was Saint Peter talking about Jesus Christ. This kind of worshipful look on his face. He wanted to touch the hem of my garment or something. I said to him "listen, man, the New York Dolls were a fine group, far be it from me to knock them but The Smiths are way better, you Morrissey are way more talented than anyone in the New York Dolls, that's just my opinion". And that impressed him. Haha.

I love The Smiths. I've been listening to them again. It's strange because their music came along at a really bad time in my life. Getting towards the end of my bad drug period. I was suffering from a really bad chemical depression. I was jaded and lacking stamina and everything was shit. Too many synthesizers. The whole music scene was all synthesizers at that point and I didn't like it. Then The Smiths came along and it was just wonderful. It was like hearing The Byrds again for the first time. I fell in love with music again. And meeting them was very nice. Johnny Marr gave me an amplifier, I was still a musician at that time, very nice of him. And a huge talent. I've played guitar with Keith Richards, I know how good a musician he is, like one-to-one, I know how good he is on stage but I also know how good he is when playing in a room and he's very good. He's much better in a room than he is on stage. And also Jimmy Page. Another guitar great. I've been in the same room and watched him play. He's great. But Johnny Marr was the best. When he was in The Smiths it was like... God, the beauty.... I'd purposedly go to soundchecks, before a gig, and Morrissey wouldn't sing it was just Joyce, Rourke and Marr getting the sound right. And they were rehearsing the songs for "The Queen Is Dead" which they were yet to record. They had just written them. And the music coming off that stage... everything that Marr played was just beautiful. It was like something out of a Greek myth. This golden music was coming out of his amplifier. Everything that he played was just... and they worked every day. The Smiths worked hard. The Smiths were the opposite of The Sex Pistols and The New York Dolls. They developed. They rehearsed. They wanted to be great. Every f***ing day, man. Morrissey and Marr would get together and say: "OK, today we're gonna write our version of '8 Miles High'. We're not gonna copy it but we're gonna do something as monumental as that." And they wrote "How Soon Is Now". Then Marr said: "OK, today we're gonna do our 'Gimme Shelter'." And they wrote "Bigmouth Strikes Again". They'd pick a song that was a classic. "OK, we're gonna do our 'You've Lost That Loving Feeling'." And they wrote "I Know It's Over". You understand? That's the level they were working on. Everyone else were thinking like: "OK, we want to sound a bit like Leonard Cohen, a bit like U2, and a bit like Depeche Mode, and the singer wants to sound a bit like Jeff Buckley. We'll put these ingredients together and we'll write our own songs." And that's pretty much what Coldplay does. And hundreds of thousands of people like that approach. That's a mainstream approach to rock music and has been for the last 30 years. But I don't like that because when I hear groups like that I just hear their influences. There's no personality. It's like the difference between Prince, who takes loads of influences but brought his own personality, versus Lenny Kravitz who takes Stevie Wonder, Jimi Hendrix, a little bit of John Lennon, and a lot of other influences but doesn't really add anything of his own to it.

The Smiths were like The Velvet Underground. They had their own sound. And those are the rare groups. Those are the important groups that are going to last.

Is it true that Morrissey wrote the song "Reader Meet Author" about you?
I haven't heard the song so I don't really want to comment. There was a time when things were nasty between us. Now we just ignore eachother. I prefer it that way. I don't like his politics. I don't know too much about him. I haven't even listened to his last album. But I listened to "California Son" and I really enjoyed that. I thought he made some really good choices. Joni Mitchell. Laura Nyro. But as for the stuff that he writes now... no. I don't want to say anything negative about the guy but I'm not gonna say anything positive either. Loved him in The Smiths.



The original DN article:


full
 

Ketamine Sun

HANG THEM HIGH VERONICA
Dear, Nick Spent.


Oh, he was being so nice in the beginning, then again, aren’t they
usually nice in the beginning.

Anyway, I don’t think anyone is fit to criticize Morrissey unless they actually know his work well enough inside and out and passionately. Otherwise they don’t have anywhere close to the whole picture of the man that they are trying and failing to understand, not that anyone truly can. And in this case, the art ... is the man.

And dude, shave that thing off.


:cool:
 

Gregor Samsa

I straighten up, and my position is one of hope.
He is spot on about Marr and the Smiths. And chances are he would like some of IANADOAC.
 

GirlAfraidWillNeverLearn

Well-Known Member
"So I just thought he'd better grow out of it."

Well, that worked out well, didn't it? :lbf:
 

BookishBoy

Well-Known Member
It makes me happy that Nick Kent even listened to California Son, bless him. I'll always admire him for his review of The Queen Is Dead.
 

Amy

from the Ice Age to the dole age
It's so interesting to see how fame and fortune completely change the power dynamics in music.

Morrissey grew up half-idolising NME journos and wanting to be the next Nick Kent, Julie Burchill, Paul Morley, while all they saw was sad-sack Steven. Then, bang - he's Morrissey and they're falling all over themselves with praise, but that strange tension/history never goes away. Same thing with Tony Wilson and that sly little "Hello Steven" routine, it's like they wanted him to be 15 and jobless forever and just resented his success.

Of course, now that the tables have turned again and the NME hates him - it's all the same people, it's the same ones that were dismissive in the 70s and drooling in the 80s. Now they can say, "Oh, I loved the Smiths, BUT..."
 

Gregor Samsa

I straighten up, and my position is one of hope.
Or maybe too much synthesizer for Nick’s Keef Richard licks tastes.
I’d like to think someone like him knows good music when he hears it. But you could be right. You never know about the old guard.
 
A

Anti-Moz God of Carlisle

Guest
Dear, Nick Spent.


Oh, he was being so nice in the beginning, then again, aren’t they
usually nice in the beginning.

Anyway, I don’t think anyone is fit to criticize Morrissey unless they actually know his work well enough inside and out and passionately. Otherwise they don’t have anywhere close to the whole picture of the man that they are trying and failing to understand, not that anyone truly can. And in this case, the art ... is the man.

And dude, shave that thing off.


:cool:
🤣🤣🤣
 

Amy

from the Ice Age to the dole age
Morrissey got his revenge on old Nick in Autobiography.
Do you think there's any truth in the story about Nick wanting to 'audition' for Johnny's place in the Smiths? It sounds insane.
 

Verso

Well-Known Member
Dear, Nick Spent.


Oh, he was being so nice in the beginning, then again, aren’t they
usually nice in the beginning.

Anyway, I don’t think anyone is fit to criticize Morrissey unless they actually know his work well enough inside and out and passionately. Otherwise they don’t have anywhere close to the whole picture of the man that they are trying and failing to understand, not that anyone truly can. And in this case, the art ... is the man.

And dude, shave that thing off.


:cool:
Anyone and everyone is fit to criticize Morrissey. He’s a public figure and his work and his statements are out there to be enjoyed, dissected, analyzed and criticized.
 

Mike Rourke

Well-Known Member
It's so interesting to see how fame and fortune completely change the power dynamics in music.

Morrissey grew up half-idolising NME journos and wanting to be the next Nick Kent, Julie Burchill, Paul Morley, while all they saw was sad-sack Steven. Then, bang - he's Morrissey and they're falling all over themselves with praise, but that strange tension/history never goes away. Same thing with Tony Wilson and that sly little "Hello Steven" routine, it's like they wanted him to be 15 and jobless forever and just resented his success.

Of course, now that the tables have turned again and the NME hates him - it's all the same people, it's the same ones that were dismissive in the 70s and drooling in the 80s. Now they can say, "Oh, I loved the Smiths, BUT..."

It's so interesting to see how fame and fortune completely change the power dynamics in music.

Morrissey grew up half-idolising NME journos and wanting to be the next Nick Kent, Julie Burchill, Paul Morley, while all they saw was sad-sack Steven. Then, bang - he's Morrissey and they're falling all over themselves with praise, but that strange tension/history never goes away. Same thing with Tony Wilson and that sly little "Hello Steven" routine, it's like they wanted him to be 15 and jobless forever and just resented his success.

Of course, now that the tables have turned again and the NME hates him - it's all the same people, it's the same ones that were dismissive in the 70s and drooling in the 80s. Now they can say, "Oh, I loved the Smiths, BUT..."
The NME haven't actually been that harsh on him recently. They were pretty positive about Dog on a Chain and gave a date on the 2020 tour a 4 star review. www.nme.com/reviews/morrissey-london-wembley-sse-arena-live-review-2625977
It's the indie world more generally (and the centre/left mainstream media) that hates him.
It's no surprise really - when he started campaigning for a far-right party they understandably assumed it was a true representation of his political views. It isn't of course but who can blame anyone for jumping to that conclusion?
 

Nerak

Reverse Ferret
The NME haven't actually been that harsh on him recently. They were pretty positive about Dog on a Chain and gave a date on the 2020 tour a 4 star review. www.nme.com/reviews/morrissey-london-wembley-sse-arena-live-review-2625977
It's the indie world more generally (and the centre/left mainstream media) that hates him.
It's no surprise really - when he started campaigning for a far-right party they understandably assumed it was a true representation of his political views. It isn't of course but who can blame anyone for jumping to that conclusion?

I knew it was you!

I can absolutely blame them for being lazy witch burners. They're partly the reason that daft feminist went off the rails in the first place (the other part is her daftness).

NME is being quite nice.

There's a few journalists on all the broadsheets who would run a positive story if he'd talk to them.
 

Ketamine Sun

HANG THEM HIGH VERONICA
Anyone and everyone is fit to criticize Morrissey. He’s a public figure and his work and his statements are out there to be enjoyed, dissected, analyzed and criticized.

I mean, if you’re fit enough to type your reply and post your opinion, that can be called ‘being fit’ I guess. But that’s not what I’m talking about.

I like Kent’s writing, but when it comes to such a complex and rare individual as Morrissey, I’m afraid if you’re not being touched by his art to the extreme that most of his fans are, then you won’t have access to valuable information that’s needed in order for you to come a little closer to an understanding of why Morrissey may do or say what he does. So, in the case of many journalists, hack ‘writers’ bloggers, Twitter users and general listeners of alternative music, their judgments and criticisms can never truly be balanced or fair.
Of course it’s more complex than that, and the one that’s criticizing Morrissey may have their own agenda or reasons for coming to the conclusions that they do, but it’s something that I believe should definitely be taken into consideration.

He’s a public figure and his work and his statements are out there to be enjoyed, dissected, analyzed and criticized.

I believe a large problem of that is the way his comments are out there, the way they are showcased, pulled out of context or with little context, repeated over and over again, and used as clickbait.

And well, Morrissey’s no help, for the way Central is run, and his refusal to really explain to people what he exactly means. I believe his answer to that would be ‘why bother?’.

People simply don’t know or care to acknowledge Morrissey’s refusal to give ordinary answers or to do what’s expected of him by the music industry, media or even his fans. He prefers to be contrary, difficult, and say something ridiculous even to the point of self-sabotage, as long as feels he is saying something new, something different.



Kicking away from the mundane’


:cool:
 
Last edited:

Surface

Vegan Cro’s parents regret the condom splitting
I mean, if you’re fit enough to type your reply and post your opinion, that can be called ‘being fit’ I guess. But that’s not what I’m talking about.

I like Kent’s writing, but when it comes to such a complex and rare individual as Morrissey, I’m afraid if you’re not being touched by his art to the extreme that most of his fans are, then you won’t have access to valuable information that’s needed in order for you to come a little closer to an understanding of why Morrissey may do or say what he does. So, in the case of many journalists, hack ‘writers’ bloggers, Twitter users and general listeners of alternative music, their judgments and criticisms can never truly be balanced or fair.
Of course it’s more complex than that, and the one that’s criticizing Morrissey may have their own agenda or reasons for coming to the conclusions that they do, but it’s something that I believe should definitely be taken into consideration.



I believe a large problem of that is the way his comments are out there, the way they are showcased, pulled out of context or with little context, repeated over and over again, and used as clickbait.

And well, Morrissey’s no help, for the way Central is run, and his refusal to really explain to people what he exactly means. I believe his answer to that would be ‘why bother?’.

People simply don’t know or care to acknowledge Morrissey’s refusal to give ordinary answers or to do what’s expected of him by the music industry, media or even his fans. He prefers to be contrary, difficult, and say something ridiculous even to the point of self-sabotage, as long as feels he is saying something new, something different.



Kicking away from the mundane’


:cool:

Thats a lot of rambling Ketamine but you have your view of Morrissey based on his musical output and what he says in the odd interview he gives, people like Nick Kent have their view based on actually interacting with Morrissey as did Tony Wilson.

 
A

Anonymous

Guest
An anonymous person sends the link:


Excerpt:

Post by Fredrik Strage:

Jag intervjuade just rockjournalisten Nick Kent för DN. Han är aktuell med sin första roman "The Unstable Boys". Jag frågade också om hans relation till Morrissey och han gav mig väldigt utförliga svar. Eftersom jag bara fick med ett par korta citat i den färdiga texten tänkte jag bjussa er Moz-fans på resten. (Det här är inte korrat eller redigerat, bara utskriven intervju.)

Another big "what if" in rock history is what would have happened if you had agreed to publish the stuff that Morrissey sent you when you were a section editor at the NME? Maybe he would have become a rock journalist instead?
I never turned him down. I just didn't get back to him. He wasn't very good. But the main thing is that Morrissey was 14 years old. He was obsessed with the New York Dolls and I had spent enough time around the New York Dolls to know first hand that people who hang around the New York Dolls don't live very long. There's only one guy in the band still alive. Five are dead. Probably more than any other rock group of their era. So I just thought he'd better grow out of it. Also he was 14, what was I going to say? Leave school? Go to New York? I think he always resented me for that. Haha. We had a strange relationship. I remember interviewing him as a member of The Smiths, I couldn't remember him as Steven Morrissey, this kid that used to write to me. He wrote to a lot of people. But very quickly he wanted to know about the New York Dolls. And I knew about them. Johnny Thunders was the same age as me. We dressed the same and we had connections shall we say. So I knew the real story which he didn't. He just knew the story that he had read in the music papers. So I told him the real story of the New York Dolls and I remember him looking at me as if I was Saint Peter talking about Jesus Christ. This kind of worshipful look on his face. He wanted to touch the hem of my garment or something. I said to him "listen, man, the New York Dolls were a fine group, far be it from me to knock them but The Smiths are way better, you Morrissey are way more talented than anyone in the New York Dolls, that's just my opinion". And that impressed him. Haha.

I love The Smiths. I've been listening to them again. It's strange because their music came along at a really bad time in my life. Getting towards the end of my bad drug period. I was suffering from a really bad chemical depression. I was jaded and lacking stamina and everything was shit. Too many synthesizers. The whole music scene was all synthesizers at that point and I didn't like it. Then The Smiths came along and it was just wonderful. It was like hearing The Byrds again for the first time. I fell in love with music again. And meeting them was very nice. Johnny Marr gave me an amplifier, I was still a musician at that time, very nice of him. And a huge talent. I've played guitar with Keith Richards, I know how good a musician he is, like one-to-one, I know how good he is on stage but I also know how good he is when playing in a room and he's very good. He's much better in a room than he is on stage. And also Jimmy Page. Another guitar great. I've been in the same room and watched him play. He's great. But Johnny Marr was the best. When he was in The Smiths it was like... God, the beauty.... I'd purposedly go to soundchecks, before a gig, and Morrissey wouldn't sing it was just Joyce, Rourke and Marr getting the sound right. And they were rehearsing the songs for "The Queen Is Dead" which they were yet to record. They had just written them. And the music coming off that stage... everything that Marr played was just beautiful. It was like something out of a Greek myth. This golden music was coming out of his amplifier. Everything that he played was just... and they worked every day. The Smiths worked hard. The Smiths were the opposite of The Sex Pistols and The New York Dolls. They developed. They rehearsed. They wanted to be great. Every f***ing day, man. Morrissey and Marr would get together and say: "OK, today we're gonna write our version of '8 Miles High'. We're not gonna copy it but we're gonna do something as monumental as that." And they wrote "How Soon Is Now". Then Marr said: "OK, today we're gonna do our 'Gimme Shelter'." And they wrote "Bigmouth Strikes Again". They'd pick a song that was a classic. "OK, we're gonna do our 'You've Lost That Loving Feeling'." And they wrote "I Know It's Over". You understand? That's the level they were working on. Everyone else were thinking like: "OK, we want to sound a bit like Leonard Cohen, a bit like U2, and a bit like Depeche Mode, and the singer wants to sound a bit like Jeff Buckley. We'll put these ingredients together and we'll write our own songs." And that's pretty much what Coldplay does. And hundreds of thousands of people like that approach. That's a mainstream approach to rock music and has been for the last 30 years. But I don't like that because when I hear groups like that I just hear their influences. There's no personality. It's like the difference between Prince, who takes loads of influences but brought his own personality, versus Lenny Kravitz who takes Stevie Wonder, Jimi Hendrix, a little bit of John Lennon, and a lot of other influences but doesn't really add anything of his own to it.

The Smiths were like The Velvet Underground. They had their own sound. And those are the rare groups. Those are the important groups that are going to last.

Is it true that Morrissey wrote the song "Reader Meet Author" about you?
I haven't heard the song so I don't really want to comment. There was a time when things were nasty between us. Now we just ignore eachother. I prefer it that way. I don't like his politics. I don't know too much about him. I haven't even listened to his last album. But I listened to "California Son" and I really enjoyed that. I thought he made some really good choices. Joni Mitchell. Laura Nyro. But as for the stuff that he writes now... no. I don't want to say anything negative about the guy but I'm not gonna say anything positive either. Loved him in The Smiths.



The original DN article:


full

Wonderful description of Johnny's guitar playing!
 

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