people, things and events that shaped Moz

Discussion in 'General Discussion archive 2007 (read-only)' started by Christine, Nov 19, 2006.

  1. Christine

    Christine New Member

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    so we're obviously shaped by millions of things, people we meet, events, books, films. Moz was very affected by the Moores murders, I think alot of his ideas came from Linder and his views on sexulity mirror Smart's 'one should love beings whatevr their sex'. oh ofcourse marr, anymore :) ...
     
  2. English Heart

    English Heart Initiate Me

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    School obviously, being Irish Catholic, northern working class culture, old films, fifties singers, james dean...
     
  3. Kewpie

    Kewpie Member Moderator Subscriber

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    Oscar Wilde.;)
     
  4. nightandday

    nightandday New Member

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    I don't think Marr had much of an influence on Morrissey's views, which had been pretty much shaped much before the formation of The Smiths. But he did shape him musically, as Morrissey's solo work hasn't strayed from The Smiths' mold.

    I agree about Linder, and of course the influence of all his favourite authors, musicians, movies etc., but in terms of people who shaped his personality, well, first and foremost, <obvious> his mother </obvious>. The crucial aspects that shaped his character and personality seem to be - his particular (some would say, extreme) attachment to his mother, his closeness to his elder sister and females in general, right from the start (from his aunts to all the girls he made friends with as a teenager), which wasn't typical for a boy of his age and background; and, adversely, the problems and lack of intmacy (according to his account) in his parents' marriage, and their subsequent divorce; his lack of closeness with his father; his secondary school (St Mary's), which was all-male, very violent and very unsuitable for a boy with artistic inclinations; his male teachers and coaches who considered him "effeminate"; the rare (one or two) female teachers who appreciated his poetic streak; and generally, the environment he grew up in, with its strict traditional gender roles, which he didn't fit in. All this contributed to his sense of outsiderdom, his gender/sexuality issues and his rebellion against the traditional notions of masculinity and femininity. It's not hard to see why he would be drawn to 'trans-gender' artists like New York Dolls or Bowie, or to anyone who challenged the status quo.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2006
  5. tender hooligan

    tender hooligan Member

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    I am shaped by Oscar Wilde also. :) :) :)
     
  6. tender hooligan

    tender hooligan Member

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    Well i diidnt know about his attachment to his mother. How do you know about it? Is he still connected with mum that much or are you talking about some early period?
     
  7. Danny

    Danny Senior Member

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    I think Morrissey shaped Marr's music rather than the other way round. I think Marr wrote the type of music Morrissey wanted, just as Boz, Alain and Jesse do now. Otherwise he wouldn't have sung on it.

    Marr doesn't really have much of a musical identity. He tends to adapt himself to whoever he's working with.
     
  8. Danny

    Danny Senior Member

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    I think you are taking quite a lot of what Rogan and other journalists who seem never to have met Morrissey's family on trust. I get the impression that their speculations are mostly about fitting Morrissey into a stereotype rather than having any basis in fact. For example, there's never been any direct quote from anyone who would know about it that Morrissey is not any less close to his father than any other working class lad.
     
  9. nightandday

    nightandday New Member

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    No, I'm not taking what journalists say at face value, they probably exaggerated the whole thing, as I don't think Morrissey ever had an actual conflict or was on bad terms with his dad. But Rogan did meet Morrissey's family - at least his father, Peter Morrissey, who was one of the people interviewed for the book, along with 3 of Morrissey's aunts (Morrissey's mother wasn't). Quite a lot of information about Morrissey's childhood, as well as his family background, seems to come from them, and there are a few quotes by Peter Morrissey as well, such as (about his son): "He never seems to get upset or angry". The general impression I had was that, while they never had any kind of actual conflict, there was always a certain lack of communication, and that the father found it hard to understand his son and his interests. I wouldn't expect a direct quote such as "Well, you see, me and my son were never that close". Whether it was the same as 'any working class lad and his father', I really wouldn't know, as I'm not an expert on the father-son relationships. In any case, Morrissey himself said that he was closer to his mother, which would be, in any case, hard to deny.

    I've also noticed that nobody has ever mentioned that there had been anything wrong about his parents' marriage in the years before they split, or that it was lacking in intimacy - except Morrissey himself, that is. He claimed it in at least two interviews I can think of.
     
  10. prisoner77

    prisoner77 Member

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    He was influenced musically by his Mums records
     
  11. nightandday

    nightandday New Member

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    It's something that has been observed by numerous people who knew him as a teenager or in The Smiths days. I don't know how connected with his mom he is now - I'm guessing less than he used to be, since he isn't even living in the same country. "Severed Alliance", which provides most information about his adolescence, doesn't have a great deal of information about his relationship with his mother, but there's a quote by Morrissey's school friend, Mike Ellis, about meeting Morrissey's mother for the first time:

    "We were 13 and sitting on the grass when she walked by", he remembers. "Steve walked right up to her and gave her a kiss on the lips. That was really unusual. It was a sign of affection that kids of that age just don't do. The last person you want to kiss is your mother, especially in front of your mates. But she was more like an elder brother's girlfriend."

    And different people from the Smiths camp have noted that, while he was in The Smiths, his mother, Betty Dwyer, was quite involved with the band, appearing at rehearsals to 'check if the management was sound'; apparently, one day she announced she was going to be the accountant, which annoyed the other band members as they had not been informed. She was also said to be very protective of her son - so much that she became a 'thorn in the side' of Rough Trade employees by deflecting 'urgent' telephone calls, giving a 'tongue lashing' to Geoff Travis and accusing the Rough Trade of exploiting her son, etc. (This was mentioned both in "Severed Alliance" and in a few of the in-depth articles about The Smiths - I remember that one was Nick Kent's 1985 "The Face" article, the first one that went into details about the band's background, and there was at least one other, probably one of the "Mojo" post-breakup Smiths specials.) Plus you get comments such as this one (by Scott Piering, about Ruth Polski, who was hoping to become the band's manager, and was favoured by Morrissey for the position): "Ruth made every effort to cater to those whims and point out how shabbily they were handled - which was, more or less, true! That psychology would attract Morrissey. His mother was constantly telling him the same. Nobody could do anything right for Morrissey, as far as his mother was concerned." Morrissey ex-manager Gail Colson has also been quoted saying: "And he still has his mother running everything!" (granted, that quote comes from Dave Simpson's 1998 "Uncut" article, so they might be a slight shadow of doubt over it as well as over everything else in that article... just because it's that article.)

    But, all in all, I think it would be pretty hard to claim that all this is just people lying or stereotyping, wouldn't it?
     
  12. Christine

    Christine New Member

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    to do with Elizabeth Smart (intersting lady) there s a bio pic on her life on c4 on tues, which is bizarre cos I just finished by Grand Central Station yesterday.

    I didnt realise he had a close relationship with his sister, just from those postcards to his penpal but I guess teens re like that :)
     
  13. nightandday

    nightandday New Member

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    LOL Morrissey's sense of humour can be weird at times... Or maybe they had just had a row when he wrote it. :rolleyes:

    He said in a 90s interview that he and his sister were "very close". I also remember he mentioned in an interview that, when he used to isolate himself in his room as a teenager, his sister was the only one who would come into his room.

    There isn't really that much info about her, "Severed Alliance" seems to be the only source. It says Jackie was always very popular, and that she was beautiful and lots of local boys had hots for her (a couple of Morrissey's schoolmates remember they fancied her and that boys used to make explicit comments about how hot she was). It's mentioned, as an example of how comfortable he was in the presence of females, that Steven (it's odd to call him that, but it makes sense in this context), when he was 11 years old, managed to make friends with several of the girls from her class. (Jackie is 2 years older.) Apparently, as a teenager, she was very outgoing at the same time as Steven was becoming more and more withdrawn. Moz said: "She enver experienced the kind of isolation that I went through. She always had quite a spirited life... never without the odd clump of friends. She felt alive at least." A guy who dated Jackie around 1975 is quoted in the book: "I'd never been out with a girl who had as much time for her brother as she had. That's the truth. They were really close and I don't really know why." (I really don't get that last comment, why would a girl need any special reason to be close to her brother? :confused: )

    The only quote by Jackie about her brother that I know of is this one, supposedly from a 1985 article in People titled "Pop's Latest Messiah". It's quoted in SA, again: "...his sister Jackie suggested that the messiah's life would benefit from the love of an 'independent, intelligent, mature and probably older woman.' "
     
  14. Godlovesugly

    Godlovesugly Vintage Member

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    I think the more important influence is his mother...she got him into oscar wilde and as you said her records..she seems to be a big influence on him.
     
  15. The Goat

    The Goat Banned

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    I think a lot of his school days reporting may be a bit too deep and 'looking for something' that happened to Morrissey rather than looking at the bigger picture.
    I am four years younger than Morrissey and also went to an all boys comprehensive, (prodestant) yet the books I read during English Literature was A Taste of honey, saturday night sunday morning, billy liar, of mice and men, lord of the flies, Kes even the hobbit!
    This was the same for all school kids in 70's England as these books were all part of our O' levels / CSE exams. And we had corporal punishemnt at our school too. Mr Thompson the head was a former Borstal chief and whacked whoever he wanted when he wanted. I was caned once by Mr Powell. i dont recall many teachers names (though had a MASSIVE crush on both the French teacher Miss Alexander and English teacher Mrs Ball) but always remember his as he whacked me when I was 14 and innocent and i had no trial or chance to discuss it further - just bend over and be caned.
    Our games teacher would whack the last person each week to be ready after showering after games. didnt matter if you were last but before the bell went, you were whacked. Yet someone HAD to be last but they would still get it, as mentioned, even if the bell had not rang.
    Yes i was bullied, many of us were - me for being a gobby, small skinny git mouthing off about Manchester City all the time in front of a bunch of twats who supported the SHITE Coventry City. So I ended up hiding behind blocks during breaks, it was easier than running the gauntlet.
    I was massively influenced in my teens by the books mentioned above, having been born of Mancunian parents and born myself just outside Manchester but moved away to a SHITE city called Coventry when younger, to me it was reading about my roots and my real life. I watched the films when they came on TV (and they purposely always put them on each year just before the exams!) and simply related and adored them. Six years later The Smiths come out and are churning out classic song after song dripping influences from all of these books throughout them.
    I've had a few beers tonight having just come back from a Primal Scream gig so this post is a bit jumbled up - the point I think I'm trying to make is Morrissey was not the only one going through the things he faced at school, nor was he the only one reading all the stuff he was reading. Many of us faced and read the same. Thankfully Morrissey was the one who recorded the whole thing for the rest of us to relate to and take comfort from. And for that i shall always love the bloke.

    The Goat
     
  16. nightandday

    nightandday New Member

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    Nobody said that Morrissey was the only one who read "A Taste Of Honey" or watched "Billy Liar" or the only one who went to that kind of school. But the ways that different people are influenced by particular books, films and music (and the reasons why they're more influenced by some books, films and music than by some other they are exposed to as well), as well the way they react to their environment, is different for every individual. Otherwise you'd have whole generations of people with pretty much the same personalities.

    I don't see how 'reporting on Morrissey's school days' can be 'too deep' - did you ever hear anyone complain "this biography isn't shallow enough"?! Human beings don't live in a vacuum and then just churn out songs, novels, etc. which have absolutely no connection to their personality and experiences. You might always choose to fully concentrate on the work itself with absolutely no regard for the artist' biography, and in that case we wouldn't have to know how old Morrissey is, where he was born or what his thoughts on Tony Blair or the current state of pop music are, let alone what his favourite books and bands are. But if you decide to take the biographical approach, as this thread asks, then you have to consider Morrissey's background - such as his family, his school days, his literary and musical influences, etc.

    What's the deal with this anti-psychology attitude that many people display? It seems that you can't attempt to make a few fairly obvious connections without someone complaining that it's too much or too deep. Every single person I know has been 'shaped' by their family situation, their upbringing and their experiences as a child and teenager - and you really don't need to be a genius or to have a PhD in psychology to notice in what ways. Of course, quite a lot is down to genetics, but, as we all know, when it comes to character, it's 'nurture' that is crucial, not 'nature'. Adolescence is the crucial time when a person's character gets 'shaped', and, as Morrissey said in an interview - the way that you are as a teenager partly always stays with you. (I'm aware that I'm pointing a lot of obvious things - sorry about that.)

    When it comes to Morrissey and his school days, he and all the people who knew him witness that he was never physically punished by teachers or bullied by his peers, and that he wasn't physically aggressive either. Instead, he was someone who was thought of as 'odd' and distant from others, because he reacted to his environment by withdrawing into his own world. That's what happened.
     
  17. The Goat

    The Goat Banned

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    I think the clue to my post was in the last paragraph - I was pissed!
    I wasnt implying that Morrissey was the only one to have read books etc and what I meant about 'being too deep' was more of 'we dont have to look that deep / far to understand where Morrissey came from.
    Lots of us went through the same thing and lots more are most likely to be going through it now. You made some good points though.

    The Goat
     
  18. Jones

    Jones Senior Member

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    I agree with Goat. I think far too much is made of Morrissey's childhood experiences in an attempt to try and make him seem unique.

    The whole "didn't get on with his Dad" thing is a case in point. Father/son relationships are usually the most problematic in families. Most fathers and sons experience a certain amount of tension. It's only natural when the father is concerned for his son and wants to see him making a life for himself. There isn't so much pressure on daughters.

    Also, .when parent's divorce it's usually natural that the children stay with the mother (because she has been the main carer) and have a closer relationship with her. That doesn't mean it's an unnaturally close relationship.
     
  19. northern lights

    northern lights New Member

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    Kings Road(Trafford),Salford and as another genius who was enchanted by Manchester said "i feel close to the rebelliousness and vigour of the youth here.Perhaps time will seperate us,but nobody can deny that here,behind the windows of Manchester there is an insane love of football,of celebration and of music.-Eric Cantona.........
     
  20. Worm

    Worm Taste the diffidence

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    Very interesting post, Goat. I'm fascinated by the selection of contemporary books you read in school, although I'm not at all surprised to hear that Morrissey's reading list wasn't atypical. I suspected something like that. However, I'm not familiar with the schools in England. Was your school fairly typical, and do you think it was probably about the same as Morrissey's, based on what you know?
     
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