The Guardian: Morrissey/Johnny/Andy references in an interview with Rick Astley (September 16, 2023)

Morrissey/Johnny/Andy references in an interview with Rick Astley, in the Guardian.


People have been surprised that a pop star like you loved the Smiths.
My big brother Mike introduced me to them, and I went a bit nuts about them. The fact they were from my nearby city, where I’d go and buy records, blew my mind – a friend and I stalked [bassist] Andy Rourke around town once, amazed he was real. They still sound so unique, with this very English way of singing that only a few other bands, like Pulp, do well. I couldn’t sing about love in anything but a mid-Atlantic twang.

Johnny Marr tweeted criticism of your original Smiths covers shows with Blossoms in 2021. He’s since made up with them in person. Have you ever met?
No. We both played Electric Picnic recently and I watched his show – his style of playing and technique is also like nobody else. But I wouldn’t talk to him because it’s really strange and weird. Really, nobody should cover the Smiths, but all this came from a real love of the songs, and a chat I had with Blossoms, where I said: “In another universe, I’m going to be in a Smiths pub covers band”, then them later asking me if I fancied it. And it grew into this mad thing. It turns out lots of people want to go to a full concert of just Smiths songs!

What are your thoughts about Morrissey?
I haven’t delved into things he’s said – I don’t feel that I want to, as I idolised him as a kid. I still have a quiff! Maybe I should own [the controversy around him] a bit more, but I’ve separated the art from the artist.
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Oh that controversial Morrissey!! Everyone is such a baby. Jesus Christ you'd think they were talking about GG Allin!

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