Just digging through the book.
Some Morrissey & Smiths mentions:
"I believe I’m The Mission’s strongest asset as well as its weakest. I can sing – in fact, I’ve become a very good singer – but I don’t have a great voice. By that I mean I don’t have a unique voice in the same way as, say, Morrissey or Björk or Robert Smith or Kate Bush or Siouxsie or John Lydon or Neil Young. You think of all the greats and they all have unique and singular voices. Marmite voices, you might even say – you either love ’em or detest ’em. Some of them aren’t particularly good singers technically, but that matters not a whit if you are unique. Any technical deficiencies you can wave away as style. Take Bob Dylan, for example. So many people abhor his voice and I can understand why. It’s not a pretty voice, it’s got a nasal quality. He sings with his head rather than his diaphragm and he does that idiosyncratic thing where he slurs the notes ‘up’ at the end of lines. But when you hear Dylan, it’s unmistakably him and no one else. Personally, I love Bob Dylan and believe he is technically as good a singer as pretty much anyone else. Except perhaps Ray Charles or Frank Sinatra."
"By the way, while I’ve made the choice to be veggie I don’t judge others who haven’t. I’ll call them ‘cannibals’ and ‘savages’, just as they will call me ‘hippy-dippy’ or Citizen Smith or other such light-hearted jibes. I’m not one of the hard-liner militants, like those who insist on no meat or fish backstage, and I have no problem sitting at a dinner table with people who eat it. I don’t believe I have the right to impose my beliefs on those who don’t share ’em, even if I am ‘Our Glorious Leader’. I’m well aware of Morrissey’s edict of no meat anywhere in the venue at his shows and it’s laudable, but I do know that some of his crew members resent his demands and pop out during the day to chomp down on a Whopper or scurry off for an after-show kebab without the boss’s knowledge. Alongside Johnny Marr, Morrissey’s Meat Is Murder campaign is to be admired and certainly he has been instrumental in many a young Smiths fan converting to vegetarianism, and for that achievement alone he should be forgiven such sins as voicing contrarian opinions that don’t tally with current popular (and trendy) thinking. And for releasing Kill Uncle. Of course there are other high-profile vegetarians/vegans, among them Chrissie Hynde, Joaquin Phoenix, Thom Yorke and Billie Eilish, who are just as vocal in their support of this particular lifestyle choice, but it’s perhaps Morrissey that is the most celebrated, certainly in the world I inhabit. I heard a tale from a South American promoter that Morrissey’s band and crew had flown into Santiago, Chile, to play a show. Morrissey was to arrive later. They’d all checked into their rooms at one of the best hotels in the city and some were resting up, sleeping off the jet lag, while others were out investigating the city. Moz arrived and was shown to his suite. He walked in and adorning the walls were various works of art. One painting depicted a scene of a lion with a dead bird clenched in its jaws. Upon viewing it Moz demanded that the entire entourage vacate this particular hotel immediately and the promoter check them into another of similar calibre post-haste. Most normal people would, without wishing to disturb the band and crew, simply ask to be moved to another room free of the offending art. But not Morrissey. I actually found the story quite amusing and pondered whether I might be able to pull a trick like that, soon realising that I’d just be told to bugger off by our crew and the rest of the band."
"And I hate wasting time. Now what I call wasting time and what you might call the same could be two very different things. For example, I consider being glued to your phone and social media all day a waste of time. Watching cute videos of dogs and cats, again, a waste of time – and I love cats and dogs. Mowing the grass – it always grows again so why bother? Watching documentaries about health or gardening, or brain-dead reality TV shows, or Britain’s-Got-Talent-Strictly-Come-Dancing-Celebrity-Get-Me-The-f*** Out-Of-Here-X-Factor and the like – all a waste of time. While Cinthya considers my watching football and listening to Bob Dylan a waste of time. I take her point sometimes with the football, particularly watching England or, on that rare occasion, when Liverpool lose, but how can she say that about Bob Dylan? But then again, I do have to put up with a lot of Morrissey. It’s a wonder we’re still together. Nah, we’re lucky really because there are many things we like to waste time doing together, but listening to Bob Dylan? I’m on my own."
He chooses How Can Anybody Possibly Know How I Feel? as part of his SA playlist.
"So, needless to say, I loved Argentina and the warmth of the welcome we received and have done every time we’ve returned since. Buenos Aires is only a relatively short hop of two hours or so from São Paulo, so Cinthya and I tend to go every couple of years for a visit. We even spent our 10th wedding anniversary in la Reina del Plata (The Queen of Silver), which was slightly marred by the fact that we had to go to a Morrissey concert during our stay. Ah, you know what, Moz always puts on a good show and he has oodles of charisma, so I didn’t really mind. Plus he was a good mate of me ol’ mucka Pete Burns, God rest his soul. And I have to confess that since being with Cinthya I have grown to quite like a tune or two of his, his 2004 album You Are The Quarry being a favourite in our home. I just wouldn’t admit any of this directly to Cinthya. I’m convinced there’s a few Bob Dylan tunes she secretly quite likes, too."
The Mission were voted best band (U2 were number two); best LP was Children; best single ‘Tower Of Strength’; we were best live act; second best video was ‘TOS’; I was second best male singer, beaten out by Morrissey, but I beat Moz to number one chap of the year (ha). I was also voted number six best instrumentalist, number five best dresser and number six best haircut, which was a strange one ’cos I never had my hair cut that year."
"Former leader of the Soviet Union and widely regarded as one of the most significant world figures of the second half of the 20th century. He received the Nobel Peace Prize for his pivotal role in ending the Cold War and introducing new political freedoms in the Soviet Union, implementing glasnost, a policy that saw increased transparency in government institutions and activities in the USSR. Personally, as flattered as I was I think the electorate got that one wrong and I hereby now cede first place to Gorbachev. As long as I’m second and still above Morrissey!"
"We’re not to everyone’s taste, I’m only too aware of that, but then who is? Admittedly there wasn’t an awful lot of competition around at the time – only U2, The Smiths (although they split up in 1987, so Morrissey then), The Cure, Depeche Mode, Siouxsie & The Banshees, Echo & The Bunnymen, New Order, The Pogues, The Waterboys, The Cult, The Cocteau Twins, R.E.M., The Jesus & Mary Chain, The Sisters Of Mercy, Fields Of The Nephilim, and let’s not forget the NME faves, the mighty Wedding Present. Also hot on our heels were The Wonder Stuff, Pop Will Eat Itself, My Bloody Valentine, The House Of Love, The Stone Roses, The Happy Mondays, and the whole Madchester and Shoegazing clans…"
"Anyway, I argued my case, pointing out that even Morrissey – one of Miles’s biggest musical heroes at that point and once regarded as the saviour of independent music – had signed to the big, bad, evil corporate EMI and was now playing the game."
"Actually, in fairness, I have a lot of time for Johnny Marr’s guitar playing, and Andy Rourke was/is a very good bass player too, although conversely and to be frank, I found a lot of The Smiths songs to be musically quite pedestrian. I know I’m brooking the trend somewhat by expressing this opinion and no doubt it will incite wrath and indignation on the part of the fanatical zealots that believe The Smiths to be the messiahs of indie music, but really, some of it was a bit twee, wasn’t it? Just like The Mission were a bit rock, right? The Smiths songs I do like I love, but most of ’em I can live without."
"Released on Friday 9 May, the single, entitled simply The Mission – I, featured ‘Serpents Kiss’ as the A-side and ‘Wake (RSV)’ on the 7-inch B, while ‘Naked And Savage’ completed the line-up on the 12-inch. It flew straight into the UK Independent Charts at number one, a feat hitherto unachieved by a debut single from a brand-new band. It stayed there for a couple of weeks before being knocked off the top perch by ‘Bigmouth Strikes Again’. The Smiths opus quickly plummeted, though, with ‘Serpents Kiss’ returning to the summit for a further couple of weeks and then staying around in the Top 10 for the remainder of the year. At the year end The Mission – I was certified as the biggest selling independent single of 1986 and Craig Jennings and Chapter 22 were awarded a statuette by trade bible Music Week to commemorate the achievement."
(Registered members: PM)