Morrissey Biography

biography of Morrissey

Morrissey, Steven Patrick
Moz Mozza, Mozzer The Pope of Mope Morrissey The Sage of Salford
22 May 1959, Davyhulme, Manchester, England, UK
Steven Patrick Morrissey was born in Davyhulme, Manchester, England, UK. At a very early age, he took an interest in writing. His top priority was poetry, though he would have his biography on 'James Dean (I)' (qv), "James Dean Is Not Dead", published by his early 20s. His literary influences ranged from 'Oscar Wilde' (qv) to 'Johann Wolfgang Goethe' (qv), though he was also an avid fan of pop music and film. Some of his primary musical idols were 'David Bowie' (qv), 'Ray Davies (I)' (qv) and 'Marc Bolan' (qv). In 1982, Morrissey was approached by local Mancunian guitarist and songwriter 'Johnny Marr (I)' (qv). Marr asked him to collaborate, and so began possibly the greatest songwriting duo of the 1980s. Morrissey's witty and morbidly sentimental lyrics were a perfect match with Marr's odd chord progressions and unusual tunings. They soon added Marr's schoolmates 'Andy Rourke' (qv) (bass) and 'Mike Joyce (II)' (qv) (drums). The duo became a quartet and dubbed themselves 'The Smiths' (qv). The Smiths released six studio albums and several catchy three-minute singles from 1983 to 1987. The band found critical acclaim in both their native England and the U.S. They never broke into the mainstream in the U.S., though they became college radio legends, mainly due to Morrissey's intelligent but often controversial themes. The band broke up in 1987 over a conflict of musical interest between Morrissey and Marr. Morrissey found solo success after 'The Smiths' (qv), achieving a far greater status in the U.S. than 'The Smiths' (qv) ever had. His greatest triumph was 1992's "Your Arsenal", which was nominated for a Grammy for best alternative album. The album was produced by former 'David Bowie' (qv) guitarist 'Mick Ronson' (qv). In 1997, former 'The Smiths' (qv) drummer 'Mike Joyce (II)' (qv) successfully sued Morrissey and Marr over songwriting royalties. The chance of a "Smiths" reunion seems bleak, but their music will continue to be played by devoted, intelligent fans everywhere. To put it simply, the music of Steven Morrissey and 'The Smiths' (qv) was "as smart as pop music gets".
John Wilhelm

-   Known for his strangling croon, depressing but witty lyrics, and high hair

-   Pompadour

-   Often attacks political figures in his songs

-   Owns a home formerly owned by 'Greta Garbo' (qv).

-   Doesn't watch any movies made after 1970.

-   Is a vegetarian.

-   (1991) Sang a duet of 'Marc Bolan' (qv)'s "Cosmic Dancer" with 'David Bowie' (qv).

-   Owns a home formerly owned by 'Greta Garbo' (qv) as well as 'F. Scott Fitzgerald' (qv). It was also given to 'Carole Lombard (I)' (qv) by 'Clark Gable' (qv), but she died before she ever got the chance to move in.

-   Lives next door to 'Nancy Sinatra (I)' (qv). He wrote a song for her new album called "Let Me Kiss You".

-   Is a spokesperson for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) in their anti-IAMS campaign.

-   (18 July 2004) His new single, "First of the Gang to Die," entered the UK singles chart at number six, ahead of new entries by 'Marillion' (qv), 'Snow Patrol' (qv), 'Counting Crows' (qv) and 'Nelly Furtado' (qv).

-   'Bono' (qv), 'Neil Hannon' (qv), 'Jeff Buckley (I)' (qv), 'J.K. Rowling' (qv), 'David Bowie' (qv), 'Noel Gallagher (II)' (qv), 'Harry Hill (III)' (qv), 'Craig Kilborn' (qv), 'Thom Yorke' (qv), 'David Cameron (IX)' (qv), 'Jeremy Vine' (qv), 'Janice Long' (qv), 'Jonathan Ross (I)' (qv), 'Kathy Burke' (qv) and 'Terry Christian' (qv) have all publicly stated they admire his work.

-   His favorite film is _Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (1960)_ (qv), starring 'Albert Finney' (qv).

-   Lives in Los Angeles.

-   Released from a hospital, in Swinton, England on October 25, 2009, where he was held overnight after collapsing on stage during a concert.

-   Was named after 'Steve Cochran (I)' (qv).

-   CD: "Southpaw Grammar", 1995 (Reprise)

-   Biography: "James Dean Is Not Dead"

-   Album: "Your Arsenal", 1992

-   Discography: Viva Hate (1988), Kill Uncle (1991), Your Arsenal (1992), Vauxhall And I (1994), Southpaw Grammar (1995), Maladjusted (1997), You Are The Quarry (2004), Ringleader Of The Tormentors (2006). Live Albums: Beethoven Was Deaf (1993), Live At Earls Court (2005). Compilations: Bona Drag (1990), World Of Morrissey (1995), Suedehead (1997), My Early Burglary Years (1998), ¡The Best Of! (2001).

-   Pat Reid. _Morrissey._ Absolute Press, 2003. ISBN 1899791736

-   Morrissey & John Robertson. _Morrissey: In His Own Words._ Omnibus Press, 1990. ISBN 0711915474

-   David Brett. _Morrissey: Scandal & Passion._ Robson Books, 2004. ISBN 1861057873

-   Jo Slee. _Peepholism: Into the Art of Morrissey._ MacMillan Publishing, 1994. ISBN 028306210X

-   Mark Simpson. _Saint Morrissey._ SAF Publishing, 2004. ISBN 0946719659

-   Simon Goddard. _Mozipedia: The Encyclopaedia of "Morrissey" and the "Smiths"._ London: Ebury Press, 2009. ISBN 0091927099

-   Simon Goddard. _Mozipedia: The Encyclopedia of Morrissey and the Smiths._ Plume, 2010. ISBN 0452296676

-   When I'm lying in my bed I think about life and I think about death and neither one particularly appeals to me.

-   Don't talk to me about people who are "nice" cause I have spent my whole life in ruins because of people who are "nice".

-   Artists aren't really people. And I'm actually 40 per cent papier mache.

-   All I said was "bring me the head of 'Elton John' (qv)", which would be one instance when meat would not be murder, if it was on a plate.

-   That was the problem with the 'celibate' word because they don't consider for a moment that you'd rather not be, but you just are. I was never a sexual person.

-   Age gives you a great sense of proportion. You can be very hard on yourself when you're younger but now I just think 'well everybody's absolutely mad and I'm doing quite well'.

-   My parents were worried about me, certainly when I became so deeply interested in music and people like the New York Dolls who, at the time, were very peculiar indeed.

-   The Smiths was an incredibly personal thing to me. It was like launching your own diary to music.

-   There are indeed worse groups than 'Modern Romance' (qv). But can anybody seriously think of one?

-   Having never been sufficiently drunk to enjoy a Level 42 record, I prescribe the Burmese neck ring to these chumps for being so icy.

-   Oasis are very tame to me. At a time when they have the spotlight of the world on them, they should have made the most revolutionary, creative record and instead it's practically awful. For a song which is trying so hard to create hooks, it doesn't really have any. God bless Noel; I'm sure he'll always have a spot on 'Bob's Full House', but I search for something with more bite and rage.

-   I do think it's possible to go through life and never fall in love, or find someone who loves you.

-   I've never intended to be controversial but it's very easy to be controversial in pop music because nobody ever is.

-   Not everybody is absolutely stupid. Why on earth would I be racist, what would I be trying to achieve?

-   I normally live in Los Angeles, if you can call it normal living.

-   That's why I do this music business thing, it's communication with people without having the extreme inconvenience of actually phoning anybody up.

-   You have to, at least from a distance, look as if you know what you're doing, and I can manage that.

-   "In England, pop music seems now to be exclusively for children. Lavish promotional campaigns are meant to blind audiences to the uselessness of an artist. If an artist is no good, why is it necessary to have that artist repeatedly rammed in our face?" (Speaking in 2003)

-   I think 'Band Aid' (qv) was diabolical. I think 'Bob Geldof' (qv) is a nauseating character. Many people find that very unsettling, but I'll say it as loud as anyone wants me to. In the first instance the record itself was absolutely tuneless. One can have great concern for the people of Ethiopia, but it's another thing to inflict daily torture on the people of England. It was an awful record considering the mass of talent involved. And it wasn't done shyly - it was the most self-righteous platform ever in the history of popular music.

-   'Elton John' (qv) is pushing his face in all the time and telling us about his private life. Nobody's interested, he's incredibly rich and he's just hoisting his problems on to everybody and working them out publicly. He should just go away.

-   "The public are losing interest. You can have a number one album these days with 30,000 sales, which is really pathetic when you think of the 70s or the 80s when you could sell over 100,000 and you would be coming in at number five or six." (Speaking in 2002)

-   I've always assumed there's a dark river flowing beneath my fans' desires.

-   Age shouldn't affect you. It's just like the size of your shoes - they don't determine how you live your life! You're either marvellous or you're boring, regardless of your age.

-   Long hair is an unpardonable offense which should be punishable by death.

-   On rap music: "I really do think it's a great musical stench. I find it very offensive, artless and styleless. To me it's very reminiscent of thuggery, pop thuggery. I don't want to hear it at all."

-   I don't belong to any political groups, I don't really say anything unless I'm asked directly and I don't even demonstrate in public.

-   "The Brits are ghastly and there has never been a time when they haven't got it wrong. For me to ever accept a Brit, well, I never would. It would be like 'Laurence Olivier' (qv) being happy getting a TV Times award." (On the Brit Awards)

-   With people in the world such as 'Jamie Oliver (II)' (qv) and 'Clarissa Dickson-Wright' (qv) there isn't much hope for animals.

-   Thank you to the British television person (I'm not exactly sure what it is he does) 'Richard Madeley' (qv) who, at least, made me laugh recently by referring to me as an 'insufferable puffed-up prat'. This comment may or may not be true, but I think it's a bit rich coming from a man who actually married his own mother.

-   Some people have wives and girlfriends. I had the 'New York Dolls' (qv).

-   A very beautiful woman and quite glamorous, but the outside of her body had no relation to what was inside. For me, she's steeped in mystery and interest. (On the poet Anne Sexton)

-   I think people who write about music now are not satisfied to be merely factual. They're not satisfied to merely tell the world, "This happened, this group played here, the audience cheered, everybody left smiling and we all went home." The modern writer feels they must make everything seem wrong. Yes, criticism moves everything on, but as a writer you might find yourself criticising people for something you yourself have never mastered. It would be quite acceptable if everybody who wrote about music had themselves made music for many, many years. But it's never the case.

-   I don't want to go on much longer, really. I think that would suggest a lack of imagination. A certain lack of dignity also. There has to reach a point where you've said enough, I think. (In 2009)

-   It is true that music is a universal language - the ONLY universal language, and belongs to all, one way or another. However, with fitting grimness I must report that 'David Cameron (IX)' (qv) hunts and shoots and kills stags - apparently for pleasure. It was not for such people that either "Meat is Murder" or "The Queen is Dead" were recorded; in fact, they were made as a reaction against such violence. I recall some years ago a party political broadcast on behalf of the Conservative Party where David Cameron spoke directly to camera as an LP copy of "The Queen is Dead" proudly displayed itself on the wall behind his right shoulder. It is, of course, a fantastic thrill when the music you make is acknowledged by virtually anyone at all. But David Cameron is not just anyone. Some months ago, as the long-beaked amongst you might recall, I was due to appear on the 'Andrew Marr (II)' (qv) Show alongside David Cameron, and however much I worship the words of Andrew Marr, I could not go through with the invitation. This was because I knew, then, that David wanted to repeal the Hunting Act, which would mean the brutal killing of foxes, hares, deer, badgers, otters - just about anything that moves.

-   Politicians only care about the public as electorate, and once the victory vote has been seized there is no place for debate between The Prime Minister and the people who elected him. (I cannot use the him/her term in relation to a Prime Minister because, as we all know, 'Margaret Thatcher (I)' (qv) has ensured that a female Prime Minister would never again be risked.)

-   I apologize very deeply for my support over the years for the group 'Roxy Music' (qv). I had no idea until very recently that their singer, Bryan Ferret ('Bryan Ferry' (qv)), is also an avid hunter, and is now managed by his Lord of the Hunt son, Odious Ferry (Otis Ferry).

-   [on the death of comic actor 'Charles Hawtrey (I)' (qv) in the NME in 1988] The very last comic never giving press interviews, and by all accounts being unfriendly and friendless, Hawtrey's mystique surpasses Garbo ['Greta Garbo' (qv)]. I personally loved him.

-   [on 'David Bowie' (qv) in 2004] Bowie is not the person he was. Now he gives people what he thinks will make them happy and they're yawning their heads off. And by doing that, he is not relevant. He was only relevant by accident.

-   (January 2004) Working on a new solo album for release sometime in 2004.

-   (May 2004) First album in seven years, You Are the Quarry, to be released on Sanctuary Records Label in the U.S. on May 18, 2004

-   (November 2005) Working on an new solo album for release early in 2006

-   "The Word" (UK), June 2009, Iss. 76, pg. 32 - 33, by: Cameron Bird, "On the eve of his 50th birthday, has Morrissey learned to stop worrying?"

-   "Uncut" (UK), April 2006, pg. 95, by: Mark Beaumont, "Q&A: Morrissey"

-   "Mojo" (UK), June 2004, Iss. 127, pg. 70-80, by: Keith Cameron, "Who's The Daddy?"

-   "NME" (UK), 24 April 2004, pg. 24-25, by: Alex Needham, "'They thought I was a threat to national security'"

-   "NME" (UK), 17 April 2004, pg. 20-23, by: Alex Needham, "Rock'n'roll has seen many heroes, but one man stands quiff and shoulders above them all..."

-   "Q" (UK), November 2001, pg. 27, "Morrissey Missed The Bus..."

-   "Mojo" (UK), April 2001, Iss. 89, pg. 80-82+84, by: Jaan Uhelszki, "LA Confidential: It was a hot California afternoon. Our West Coast gumshoe heard the phone ring. Once again, she'd tracked down her man. He was ready to talk..."

-   "Melody Maker" (UK), 11 October 1997, pg. 22, by: Jennifer Nine, "Shrink Rap"

-   "The New York Times" (USA), 29 October 2009, Vol. 159, Iss. 54,843, pg. C2, by: David Itzkoff, "Morrissey Restarts Tour"

-   "The New York Times" (USA), 26 October 2009, Vol. 159, Iss. 54,840, pg. C2, by: Rachel Lee Harris, "A Composer's Cancer, A Singer's Collapse"

-   "The Orlando Sentinel" (USA), 25 February 2009, by: Anonymous, "Morrissey Cancels Sunday's Hard Rock Show"

-   "The Orlando Sentinel" (USA), 17 February 2009, by: Jim Abbott, "Morrissey Adds to His Arsenal"

-   "The Independent" (UK), 5 December 2007, Iss. 6595, pg. 16 - 17, by: Ciar Byrne, "Bigmouth Strikes Again [Musical differences]"

-   "The Observer" (UK), 6 May 2007, by: Sean O'Hagan, "Morrissey - so much to answer for"

-   "The Independent" (UK), 10 January 2007, Iss. 6313, pg. 7, by: Terry Kirby, "Morrissey invited to pitch for Eurovision"

-   "The Independent" (UK), 7 December 2006, Iss. 6282, pg. 7, by: Pierre Perrone, "Symbol of Eighties boredom discovers the work ethic [First Night: Morrisey, SECC, Glasgow"

-   "Mojo" (UK), February 2006, Iss. 147, pg. 67, by: Ian Harrison, "Big Guns Fire Back: Morrissey"

-   "Uncut" (UK), January 2006, Iss. 104, pg. 46-48+50+52+54+56-58+60+62+64+66, by: Simon Goddard, "Crowning Glory: Twenty years ago this month, The Smiths were battling drink, drugs, depression and lawyers. They should have split up. Instead, they created their masterpiece, 'The Queen Is Dead.'"

-   "G2 (Guardian supplement)" (UK), 24 June 2004, pg. 12-13, "Heaven knows we're not miserable now"

-   "Mojo" (UK), June 2004, Iss. 127, pg. 82-86, by: Johnny Black, "No Time Like The First"

-   "Spin" (USA), May 2004, "Morrissey Speaks!"

-   "Q" (UK), May 2004, "The Inside Story: Smiths & Morrissey"

-   "Mojo" (UK), April 2001, Iss. 89, pg. 56-62+64+66+68+70, by: John Harris, "Trouble at mill: Even as The Smiths were crafting their greatest triumphs, internal rifts were tearing them apart."

-   "Mojo" (UK), April 2001, Iss. 89, pg. 72, by: Andrew Perry, "Fame, fame, fatal fame: After The Smiths, Morrissey was set to realise a new level of British fame. But it never came."

-   "Mojo" (UK), April 2001, Iss. 89, pg. 74-78, "Go West, Young Man: Britain, 1992: Morrissey is vilified and ignored. But in the US he can sell out a stadium faster than The Beatles."

-   "Pop & Rock" (Greece), December 1999, Iss. 247, pg. 92, by: Dimitris Pantsos, "Live"

-   "Zoo" (Greece), November 1999, Iss. 19, pg. 124-127, by: Markos Fragos, "Suedehead"

-   "Melody Maker" (UK), 21 December 1996, pg. 5, "Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now"

-   "Q" (UK), September 1992, Iss. 72, "Morrissey Interviewed"

-   "NME" (UK), 9 May 1992

-   "NME" (UK), 18 May 1991, "The Smiths"

-   "Creem" (USA), November 1986, Iss. 219, pg. 14, by: Michael Davis, "'Records': Wilde Night"

-   "Playboy" (USA), August 1988, Vol. 35, Iss. 8, pg. 159, by: London Features International, "Grapevine: A Couple of Classics"

-   "Uncut" (UK), January 2006, Iss. 104

-   "Mojo" (UK), June 2004, Iss. 127

-   "Mojo" (UK), April 2001, Iss. 89

-   "Uncut" (UK), August 1998

-   "Pop & Rock" (Greece), May 1993, Iss. 175

-   "Pop & Rock" (Greece), May 1988, Iss. 120

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Acting in movies

  1. "Late Show with David Letterman" (1993) {(#20.66)}
  2. LIII Festival Internacional de la Canción de Viña del Mar (2012) (TV)
  3. "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" (2009) {(#1.796)}
  4. "The Colbert Report" (2005) {Morrissey (#9.6)}
  5. Glastonbury 2011 (2011) (TV)
  6. "Conan" (2010) {What Happens in Vegas Is Typically Pretty Sad (#2.10)}
  7. "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" (2003) {(#10.82)}
  8. "Friday Night with Jonathan Ross" (2001) {(#16.4)}
  9. "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" (2003) {(#7.19)}
  10. "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" (2009) {(#1.16)}
  11. "Something for the Weekend" (2006) {(2009-09-13)}
  12. "The ONE Show" (2006) {(2009-02-16)}
  13. Morrissey: Live at the Hollywood Bowl (2008) (V)
  14. "Friday Night with Jonathan Ross" (2001) {(#14.4)}
  15. "Last Call with Carson Daly" (2002) {(2008-01-07)}
  16. "Last Call with Carson Daly" (2002) {(2008-01-22)}
  17. "Later with Jools Holland" (1992) {(#31.2)}
  18. "The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson" (2005) {(#4.249)}
  19. "The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson" (2005) {(#4.252)}
  20. "The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson" (2005) {(#4.253)}
  21. "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" (2003) {(#4.439)}
  22. "Last Call with Carson Daly" (2002) {(2007-10-12)}
  23. "Last Call with Carson Daly" (2002) {(2007-10-13)}
  24. "Late Show with David Letterman" (1993) {(2007-06-29)}
  25. "Seven Ages of Rock" (2007) {What the World Is Waiting For: Indie Rock (#1.7)}
  26. Coachella (2006) (V)
  27. Glastonbury (2006)
  28. "BingoLotto" (1989) {(#30.14)}
  29. "Friday Night with Jonathan Ross" (2001) {(#10.8)}
  30. "La imagen de tu vida" (2006) {(#1.10)}
  31. "Later with Jools Holland" (1992) {(#27.5)}
  32. "The Album Chart Show" (2006) {(#1.13)}
  33. "The Album Chart Show" (2006) {(#1.5)}
  34. "The Album Chart Show" (2006) {(#1.9)}
  35. "The Album Chart Show" (2006) {(#2.12)}
  36. Brit Awards 2005 (2005) (TV)
  37. Morrissey: Who Put the M in Manchester (2005) (V)
  38. New York Doll (2005)
  39. "Friday Night with Jonathan Ross" (2001) {(#6.10)}
  40. "Later with Jools Holland" (1992) {(#23.3)}
  41. "Top of the Pops" (1964) {(2004-05-21)}
  42. The Importance of Being Morrissey (2002) (TV)
  43. "I Love the '80s" (2002) {1988 (#1.9)}
  44. Morrissey: ¡Oye Esteban! (2000) (V)
  45. "Late Show with David Letterman" (1993) {(1997-08-19)}
  46. "TFI Friday" (1996) {(1997-12-19)}
  47. "The Jack Docherty Show" (1997) {(1997-07-24)}
  48. "Top of the Pops" (1964) {(1997-09-05)}
  49. 1996 MTV Movie Awards (1996) (TV)
  50. Introducing Morrissey (1996) (V)
  51. "Later with Greg Kinnear" (1994) {(1995-11-11)}
  52. "Later with Jools Holland" (1992) {(#6.2)}
  53. Freaks, Nerds & Weirdos (1994) (TV)
  54. The Malady Lingers On (1993) (V)
  55. Morrissey: Live in Dallas (1992) (V)
  56. The Smiths: The Complete Picture (1992) (V)
  57. "Later with Bob Costas" (1988) {(1992-12-10)}
  58. "Later with Jools Holland" (1992) {(#1.9)}
  59. "MTV News" (1981) {(1992-08-06)}
  60. "Saturday Night Live" (1975) {Michael Keaton/Morrissey (#18.6)}
  61. "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" (1992) {(#1.99)}
  62. Amnesty International's Big 30 (1991) (TV)
  63. Hulmerist (1991) (V)
  64. Just Say Yes: The Video, Volume 2 (1991) (V)
  65. "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson" (1962) {(1991-06-14)}
  66. "Top of the Pops" (1964) {(1989-02-09)}
  67. "The Late Show" (1986) {(1988-05-05)}
  68. "Top of the Pops" (1964) {(1988-06-09)}
  69. "The South Bank Show" (1978) {The Smiths (#11.3)}
  70. "Top of the Pops" (1964) {(1987-02-05)}
  71. "Top of the Pops" (1964) {(1987-04-23)}
  72. The Queen Is Dead: A Film by Derek Jarman (1986)
  73. "Arsenal" (1985) {The Smiths (#1.2)}
  74. "La edad de oro" (1983) {(1985-04-18)}
  75. "Pebble Mill at One" (1973) {(1985-02-21)}
  76. "Top of the Pops" (1964) {(1985-02-14)}
  77. "Top of the Pops" (1964) {(1985-10-10)}
  78. "Pop Quiz" (1981) {(#4.1)}
  79. "Top of the Pops" (1964) {(1984-01-26)}
  80. "Top of the Pops" (1964) {(1984-05-31)}
  81. "Top of the Pops" (1964) {(1984-08-30)}
  82. "Top of the Pops" (1964) {(1983-11-24)}