It arrived from nowhere but the object is now here and refusing to read it would be a disgrace. That was my humble tentative to write in Morrissey’s style but I promised I will not give another try such his writing is talented and rich (and mine is not…)
No need to present Morrissey I guess as you know this blog has been cherishing The Smiths for years now. Although less legendary, Morrissey’s solo career has been very interesting and I do not have in mind a real weak Morrissey LP although a few of them are bigger than others.
Morrissey has been quite low-profile concerning this book and it was a real surprise for all to have it available. The fact of being published by Penguin Classics (home of prestigious dead writers such as Dickens and Chekhov) is quite a good summary of what the book is : literate, open, dealing with death, friendship, treason…with lots if humour ! Indeed, the reason this book is such a pleasure is that it works on two levels : one can find of course all the typical facts expected from a musician’s autobiography (the first years as a fan of the New York Dolls, Bowie, Roxy, Patti… ; the first meeting with Johnny Marr, the Smiths years, the solo years, the infamous Court suing from former Smiths drummer Mike Joyce, success in the USA within the Mexican-American community, etc…) but this would not make it different from any other such book (although I must admit it would have been fine with me).
What makes this book amazing is the way Morrissey writes English, his use of the full range of the English vocabulary, the formulas he uses and the constant humour and the self-deprecating attitude. Not only self-deprecating by the way as he makes amazingly funny (but tough) comments on people such as The Judge John Weeks, former Rough Trade manager Geoff Travis, Manchester legend Tony Wilson, Mike Joyce, many journalists,… (the list is endless). Oh…and have in mind too as any unsuccessful records done either by the Smiths or Morrissey were only coming from bad Records’ Company decisions or dishonest reviews in magazines!
What is somewhat quite disturbing throughout Morrissey’s life is the way he is surrounded by people full of life who die from one day to another ; from many members of his Irish-English family to fellow music industry partners, the way these facts keep on happening throughout the book is fascinating. The way he writes about the late great singer Kirsty MacColl is particularly moving.
Well, enough said… as the great man would say. Just have in mind that there is no excuse not to read this book for all the reasons I tried to share above. It will allow you to kill time the right way before the last post coming soon about our very Best of 2014 ; stay tuned !