On the topic of M&M vs. Joyce and Rourke. Can someone clarify this?

Danny

Senior Member
Overall, though. I think it's Moz who broke the whole thing down. Makes me wonder, though. How different would the Smiths have been if say, Johnny was the lead singer/writer and it was just him and R&J? I really doubt all of this nonsense would have occurred and all the financial bullshit, and people being fired constantly, etc. Still, I know Johnny would have been too young and inexperienced to handle the bulk of all of it, but he'd have handled it respectably and hired the right people to help with that end of it. There surely wouldn't have been all the negative, bickering, hateful things going on though.
Doubt that such a scenerio would have meant a long long lasting band, though. But the end of it would have been nonetheless amicable and fair.

Why do people insist on thinking Johnny Marr is some kind of saint? There's always this ridiculous attempt to blame Morrissey for everything and absolve Johnny. They were partners, therefore they took equal responsibility and people forget that Johnny continues to defend the split in money every time he is interviewed.

I'll tell you what would have happened if Johnny was in charge of finances. He'd have been happy to have allowed accountants and lawyers to deal with the business side while he sat around smoking dope. And these days there'd be no money left to argue over. The rest of the Smiths would be penniless. Morrissey would be OK because he's managed to make money in his solo career.
 
Why do people insist on thinking Johnny Marr is some kind of saint? There's always this ridiculous attempt to blame Morrissey for everything and absolve Johnny. They were partners, therefore they took equal responsibility and people forget that Johnny continues to defend the split in money every time he is interviewed.

I'll tell you what would have happened if Johnny was in charge of finances. He'd have been happy to have allowed accountants and lawyers to deal with the business side while he sat around smoking dope. And these days there'd be no money left to argue over. The rest of the Smiths would be penniless. Morrissey would be OK because he's managed to make money in his solo career.


WTFH??? Yeah, I am not saying Johnny is a saint or is perfect or he isn't responsible for some of the stuff that happened within the Smiths.
Honestly, I think if he had spoken up for what he thought was right and not given a shit what Morrissey thought, and without fear that Holy Morrissey then Morrissey might have just gone along with it. If Marr said to Moz, "Look! its going to be this way or not.." and then Moz says, "Well, over my dead body. I'll leave the band then.", Marr could have just easily countered that and said himself, "Well, fine, I'll leave the band then". Morrissey would have given in, probably. Since I don't think he ever really wanted to leave the band or Johnny. So, in that case, Johnny would be the wuss in not standing up for everything. Yes, in a sense thats innocence, but in a dumb way.


If Johnny ran the band as main guy and there was no Moz, as I said, he'd have had someone else handle it, but it'd still have been all fair dealings.
As for sitting around smoking dope, what the f***? You sound as if he's some lazy git who doesn't deal with any responsibility, and would let the entire musical project fall apart, and that there is complete bullshit, sir.
Are you also saying Johnny was the one really behind all the financial mis-dealings and that Moz was the level-headed honest one?


They were partners, therefore they took equal responsibility and people forget that Johnny continues to defend the split in money every time he is interviewed.

I've only seen him vaguely skirt around the topic. I've seen instances where he just mentions they should have gotten everything in writing, and it (the whole court thing) was a sad, unfortunate thing that wasn't needed and shouldn't have ever happened. Well, that could be another way of saying he's "defending" it, but, not really.

It's Holy Morrissey that I always see defending the split and name-calling R&J.
I would be very interested if you could produce some links or something to support your comment.
 
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Danny

Senior Member
If Johnny ran the band as main guy and there was no Moz, as I said, he'd have had someone else handle it, but it'd still have been all fair dealings.
As for sitting around smoking dope, what the f***? You sound as if he's some lazy git who doesn't deal with any responsibility, and would let the entire musical project fall apart, and that there is complete bullshit, sir.
Are you also saying Johnny was the one really behind all the financial mis-dealings and that Moz was the level-headed honest one?




I've only seen him vaguely skirt around the topic. I've seen instances where he just mentions they should have gotten everything in writing, and it (the whole court thing) was a sad, unfortunate thing that wasn't needed and shouldn't have ever happened. Well, that could be another way of saying he's "defending" it, but, not really.

It's Holy Morrissey that I always see defending the split and name-calling R&J.
I would be very interested if you could produce some links or something to support your comment.

I think you are very naive about how the music business works. The amount of bands who have ended up with nothing because they employ someone else to look after business is countless. There are bands who sold millions more records than the Smiths in the eighties yet have nothing now.

And several people at the time said Johnny was a very laid back character who, when he wasn't on stage, would sit around smoking dope.

And Johnny has said several times recently that the split was always clear to the whole band. He has also said that the reason it was split like that is because he and Morrissey did all the work and the others never had to bother with anything other than playing their instruments and going to the pub. If that's not defending the split I don't know what is. He's also moaned several times about Joyce getting his hands on "his" money. It's quite clear he is angry at Joyce and not Morrissey. What does that tell you?
 
I think you are very naive about how the music business works. The amount of bands who have ended up with nothing because they employ someone else to look after business is countless. There are bands who sold millions more records than the Smiths in the eighties yet have nothing now.

And several people at the time said Johnny was a very laid back character who, when he wasn't on stage, would sit around smoking dope.

And Johnny has said several times recently that the split was always clear to the whole band. He has also said that the reason it was split like that is because he and Morrissey did all the work and the others never had to bother with anything other than playing their instruments and going to the pub. If that's not defending the split I don't know what is. He's also moaned several times about Joyce getting his hands on "his" money. It's quite clear he is angry at Joyce and not Morrissey. What does that tell you?



Yeah? Then what's this all about Marr being upset with Moz over this exact royalties split back when the band was still together? Because didn't he actually try and talk Moz into giving R&J an increase at some point? But then Moz kept saying no. But then supposedly Marr got caught in them middle between Moz and the other two, causing more rifts. There's just WAY too many contradictions by all members that it's just a f***ing mess.


He's also moaned several times about Joyce getting his hands on "his" money. It's quite clear he is angry at Joyce and not Morrissey. What does that tell you?

I don't know. Everything I have seen has just been him saying how "unnecessary" it was. I would think he would be pissed off at Joyce because of the way the guy has gone about shit. Which is questionable in morality in itself, from what I have seen so far. (Joyce's behavior, that is.)

As for Marr not being angry with Moz. I have no idea. It certainly did seem he was pissed off at Moz right after the split all the way into the early 90s. Seemed to be some animosity there, then a week later he'd turn around again praising Moz and talking very kindly and adoringly of him. It makes no sense.
 
Also, I would think Marr would have been pissed off at Moz since he's the one main reason he left the damn band in the first place. Moz being a typical asshole and acting like a hell-raiser. And he said so himself. He was left to fire the people Holy Moz wanted fired for whatever petty reason. Dealing with the other complex nonsense that he should not have been left dealing with. Sounds like, either way, Moz used Marr. Not saying Marr is completely innocent, but it is obvious Moz used him. Wonder if Marr realizes that. No idea why he talks so lovingly of him when he acts like a pitiful asshole.
 

anotherordinaryboy

Cheeky Scamp
Also, I would think Marr would have been pissed off at Moz since he's the one main reason he left the damn band in the first place. Moz being a typical asshole and acting like a hell-raiser. And he said so himself. He was left to fire the people Holy Moz wanted fired for whatever petty reason. Dealing with the other complex nonsense that he should not have been left dealing with. Sounds like, either way, Moz used Marr. Not saying Marr is completely innocent, but it is obvious Moz used him. Wonder if Marr realizes that. No idea why he talks so lovingly of him when he acts like a pitiful asshole.

I'm sure you are quoted earlier arguing against the idea that you are painting Marr as a saint and Morrissey as a villain. Your last comment again condradicts yourself.
 

2-J

Member
Also, I would think Marr would have been pissed off at Moz since he's the one main reason he left the damn band in the first place. Moz being a typical asshole and acting like a hell-raiser. And he said so himself. He was left to fire the people Holy Moz wanted fired for whatever petty reason. Dealing with the other complex nonsense that he should not have been left dealing with. Sounds like, either way, Moz used Marr. Not saying Marr is completely innocent, but it is obvious Moz used him. Wonder if Marr realizes that. No idea why he talks so lovingly of him when he acts like a pitiful asshole.

But Morrissey is just Morrissey.... it's like in the Simon Goddard book, when Mike Joyce is telling the story of how Morrissey asked him to kick a guy out of the band. And Mike said to Morrissey 'no you do it' but Morrissey said 'I just *can't*'...

The guy has issues, we all do, but he has perhaps more than most and they've lead to these controlling behaviours. Even throughout his solo career, his relations with just about everyone (bandmembers, managers, even record companies) have been notably tempestuous.

It's a shame that the Smiths couldn't have had a 6 to 12 month break in 1987 and then have come back after taking stock, but Morrissey's personality ultimately meant the key relationships would always be strained...

Now to what extent is it making excuses for someone just to say they have issues like that? Well at least it's not done out of spite, I suppose. And it also basically couldn't have been any other way.
 
I'm sure you are quoted earlier arguing against the idea that you are painting Marr as a saint and Morrissey as a villain. Your last comment again condradicts yourself.



I never said Marr was a freekin' saint. I just said I felt he was the more level-headed one and was being taken advantage of by Moz and I really cant see him doing something purposely spiteful or evil to someone and I still say that a day later. I think you are misreading what the hell I am saying. I was simply saying, given the consequences, Marr was a victim in a sense but vey misguided, in how to deal with someone like Holy Morrissey. (The "holy" is meant as sarcasm, in case you didn't pick up on that.)

And I never once changed my stance on Morrissey as being the villain. Where did I insinuate saying that Morrissey was not the villain?

I also, in other words, stated that I thought that Marr tried to talk Moz into giving th other two an increase, but dickheaded Morrissey rejected it each time. Again, in that statement I made, I am again saying that Marr was the good guy, but Moz wanted to continue being a selfish/controlling asshole.

Unless I made some major typo, I by all means did not change my stance or contradict myself. I can be supporting Marr and thinking he was not the bad guy and still criticize him in being a bit naive about Moz. Which, I think he was being, a bit. He was very young at the time and was indeed a middle man in the band and was willing to do everything to make Holy Morrissey happy and keep the band going. Even if it meant doing this against his belief of what he felt in his heart was right. That's the only thing I was saying.
 
But Morrissey is just Morrissey.... it's like in the Simon Goddard book, when Mike Joyce is telling the story of how Morrissey asked him to kick a guy out of the band. And Mike said to Morrissey 'no you do it' but Morrissey said 'I just *can't*'...



It's a shame that the Smiths couldn't have had a 6 to 12 month break in 1987 and then have come back after taking stock, but Morrissey's personality ultimately meant the key relationships would always be strained...

Now to what extent is it making excuses for someone just to say they have issues like that? Well at least it's not done out of spite, I suppose. And it also basically couldn't have been any other way.


A person can both have serious mental issues and also be a straight out cold, dickhead. being a dickhead, an asshole is in itself a mental problem. I guess anyone who's an evil dickhead can be considered as having a mental/social issue then. I don't care what poor, sad things he "claims" he went through as child that led to how he is now. There is no excuse for it.
 

2-J

Member
Well that's just it... his behaviour reveals him not as a 'straight out cold dickhead' but just as extremely insecure and socially inept. That is why he kept alienating managers. That is why he wasn't comfortable with Johnny working outside of The Smiths.
 
I'm sure you are quoted earlier arguing against the idea that you are painting Marr as a saint and Morrissey as a villain. Your last comment again condradicts yourself.



Wait, I think I know what you meant now. That when I was insinuating that Moz/Marr were the good guys and R&J weren't. I never once said R&J were not entitled to their share or supporting them receiving a lesser %.

Both sides are at fault! No, I certainly do not believe for one second that R&J were not told about the split from the beginning.
I always felt though, that Marr was the more innocent one, and was just doing everything (blindly so) to please Morrissey and that he actually felt bad about some of it, but Moz was just being a twat about it.

If thats what you are talking about? I lost you somewhere then. :confused:
 
Well that's just it... his behaviour reveals him not as a 'straight out cold dickhead' but just as extremely insecure and socially inept. That is why he kept alienating managers. That is why he wasn't comfortable with Johnny working outside of The Smiths.


But what about his cold comments towards people and his heartlessness at times? He has surely said and done some downright cruel things. He comes across as a man who wanted Johnny all to himself and that he almost in a sense 'owned' him. I think in the end Johnny just got smothered and just left. Not this silly thing about the breakup being mainly about musical differences and them becoming a Cilla Black cover band. I think that Johnny just doesn't want to get into the real, deeper reasons.

I feel bad for Johnny having to deal with that nonsense back then. But he could have really gone about things much differently, but I can also understand his predicament and why he may have done things the way he did, though. Not justifying it, but I can understand how it could have happened.
 

maybe

Member
You don't need to see your partner's bank records. Get a lawyer and get an audit. If you're taking the position that they didn't know, I'm taking the position that they should have tried to find out. What I'd always thought is that they didn't know because they were partying and enjoying being rock stars while the business matters were being handled for them. If that was the case they couldn't really complain.

But on the other hand, it seems they did know, found it unfair, but agreed to it. If that was the case they really can't complain. This is actually a better case for Morrissey/Marr, makes them look like honest businessmen, whereas the first scenario makes them look like everyone else in the music business.

Exactly. I just can't believe any judge would support that, and I'm talking from a legal point of view here, before anyone accuses me of kissing Morrissey's arse. The law does protect people from their own stupidity, but only to a certain degree. Not knowing what you earn, whether you really don't know or just pretend you don't, doesn't make a difference here, is sheer ignorance that shouldn't be under protection of the law.

Also, regarding other posts, it's very easy to make Morrissey look bad, but that's his own fault. He's often very blunt and seems immune to advice, and the others know it and take advantage of it. Just act like a good lad, don't say anything upsetting, say good things about your former bandmates, and everybody will think that the eccentric singer is a bitter old man who screwed people over. That's exactly what I'd advise Joyce to do if I was his manager/lawyer/whatever.
 
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Danny

Senior Member
Johnny and Morrissey made a joint decision about how they wanted to run the band. They are both responsible for any perceived unfairness.

The idea that Johnny pleaded with Morrissey to give the other two more money just isn't born out by the facts. Not even Johnny has claimed that, and no one else has claimed it on his behalf. Joyce has said Johnny threatened to leave the band unless the other two accepted the deal. Johnny has repeatedly defended the split and moaned about Joyce taking money from him.

The only reason that people are trying to suggest different is because they are hooked on the idea of Morrissey as the villain and Johnny as the nice guy.
 

Worm

Taste the diffidence
Why do people insist on thinking Johnny Marr is some kind of saint? There's always this ridiculous attempt to blame Morrissey for everything and absolve Johnny. They were partners, therefore they took equal responsibility and people forget that Johnny continues to defend the split in money every time he is interviewed.

I'll tell you what would have happened if Johnny was in charge of finances. He'd have been happy to have allowed accountants and lawyers to deal with the business side while he sat around smoking dope. And these days there'd be no money left to argue over. The rest of the Smiths would be penniless. Morrissey would be OK because he's managed to make money in his solo career.

I don't think anyone is canonizing Marr just yet. You're absolutely right that he defended the split and essentially saw eye to eye with Morrissey on most business matters.

If The Smiths had proper management, including honest accountants, many of these problems would have gone away. It's kind of misleading to say that The Smiths chose the lesser of two evils in keeping business matters in their own hands so as to avoid being ripped off. They did try and keep managers and Johnny clearly did not want the burden of doing the books-- and I'm guessing Morrissey felt the same. Which begs the question, why didn't they have proper management?

I won't even touch that one.

By the way, I'm not terribly upset by the image of Johnny spending all his time in a studio, smoking dope, making records. I don't see that this makes him a bad guy. He's a musician for crying out loud.
 
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Danny

Senior Member
I don't think anyone is canonizing Marr just yet.

If The Smiths had proper management, including honest accountants, many of these problems would have gone away. It's kind of misleading to say that The Smiths chose the lesser of two evils in keeping business matters in their own hands so as to avoid being ripped off. They did try and keep managers and Johnny clearly did not want the burden of doing the books-- and I'm guessing Morrissey felt the same. Which begs the question, why didn't they have proper management?

I won't even touch that one.

By the way, I'm not terribly upset by the image of Johnny spending all his time in a studio, smoking dope, making records. I don't see that this makes him a bad guy. He's a musician for crying out loud.

I didn't say he was a bad guy for doing that, I was just rejecting the idea that if Johnny had been in total control of the band everything would have been run perfectly and there would have been no financial problems.

As far as finding managers is concerned, I agree that it would have been better, but if you look at the managers they had, none of them seemed to have had much experience. They weren't exactly in a position to employ a top flight manager. The only manager with any experience they had seemed to want to turn them into a stadium band, that was never going to go down well with Morrissey.
 

Worm

Taste the diffidence
I didn't say he was a bad guy for doing that, I was just rejecting the idea that if Johnny had been in total control of the band everything would have been run perfectly and there would have been no financial problems.

As far as finding managers is concerned, I agree that it would have been better, but if you look at the managers they had, none of them seemed to have had much experience. They weren't exactly in a position to employ a top flight manager. The only manager with any experience they had seemed to want to turn them into a stadium band, that was never going to go down well with Morrissey.

Agreed.

As I said above I'm gradually coming to the opinion that there's no villain at all in this (unless it's post-1997 Joyce). Every time you play the "What if?" game with The Smiths you realize their story pretty much unfolded how it had to, given the personalities. It was a union of opposites that lasted about as long as it could have.
 
D

Dave

Guest
Now that we've figured that out once and for all, I have this other angle.

I think that many times the singer of a band, especially if he doesn't play an instrument, can be sort of an outsider. I'm not talking about Morrissey. I'm just saying that my impression is that the musicians in the band often have one sort of bond, and the songwriters, traditionally the main guitar player and the singer, have another bond. The band does soundchecks without the singer because he's off doing some "lead singer" activity. Something narcissistic. Maybe it's giving an interview or posing for pictures, but it might also be shopping for the perfect combination of bike shorts and leather jacket if it's Axl Rose. I guess all those things qualify as work.

Anyway, it makes sense to me that Johnny would have more of a bond with Rourke, and possibly Joyce, at least at the time, than Morrissey would have. And he would be torn between this musician bond and the songwriter bond. And he probably did wish that Morrissey was a more reasonable person sometimes. But he did the majority of the musical work, and Morrissey did the publicity and was the majority of the reason people were interested in the first place, and I'm sure Marr realized that. But I think he settled because he is the kind of person that wants to move on, at least compared to Morrissey.

Somewhere I read that Joyce was really angry when Rourke settled. The story of him wanting to be the manager so he could earn his 25% makes me have some sympathy for him. Of course nobody is going to hire someone they've outnegotiated to be their manager. Hey, we got him down to 10%! Let's let him be the manager! No, probably not.
 

Worm

Taste the diffidence
I think that many times the singer of a band, especially if he doesn't play an instrument, can be sort of an outsider. I'm not talking about Morrissey. I'm just saying that my impression is that the musicians in the band often have one sort of bond, and the songwriters, traditionally the main guitar player and the singer, have another bond. The band does soundchecks without the singer because he's off doing some "lead singer" activity. Something narcissistic. Maybe it's giving an interview or posing for pictures, but it might also be shopping for the perfect combination of bike shorts and leather jacket if it's Axl Rose. I guess all those things qualify as work.

Clearly you have in mind...The Sex Pistols!

The dynamic you talk about probably does exist in most bands. (I'm thinking of a certain Cameron Crowe movie at this moment.) If you're the singer, it's a stupid, self-destructive sort of relationship to have with your bandmates-- I believe in that boring old idea of "band chemistry" in which all the parts are important to the whole-- but maybe the best rock bands are only meant to be together for 4-5 years. "Creative differences" probably break up a lot of bands, but "creative differences" are also the catalyst for their success in the first place.

Perhaps "built to last" should be an alien concept in rock and pop bands. Forget the Rolling Stones or U2 model. Instead, the recipe ought to be for controlled chaos. Repeatedly throw a bunch of talented assholes in a room, let them record a handful of classic albums while they barely keep from ripping each other's throats out, and then when the art is in the can, so to speak, let them implode spectacularly and reap the profits.

Of course nobody is going to hire someone they've outnegotiated to be their manager. Hey, we got him down to 10%! Let's let him be the manager! No, probably not.

Haha! Too true. Mike Joyce: he's no Zeppo Marx.
 
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