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the Monochromatic Information Service presents "Spreading the Good News" Quotes From: The Smiths Morrissey speaks ..... == Adolescence == "It forms your opinions for the rest of your life. The very obvious things about adolescence really shape your future. If you have a wonderful adolescence you go on to be a very assured person. But fyu don't, you really don't have a chance." "I had quite a happy childhood until I was six or seven, after that it became horrendous. At the age eight I became very isolated -- we had a lot of family problems at that time, and that tends to ocetrate your life. I had a foul adolescence and a foul teenage existence. Except you really couldnt al it an existence. I just sort of scraped through, escaping into films and books until _The Smihs_hapened and allowed me to live again!" "I do distinctly remember one period where I hardly ever left the room for a three month period. I u to write furiously and I was just really nailed to the typewriter and I was swimming in paper andalkind of introspective things like that. I wasn't exactly your average teenager. The alternativesweent very glamorous if I left the room -- I'd probably end up in some obscure pub or wandering abut he ark, which was always quite dangerous. I really had no option. I was unemployed for a very lng tme ad I had no money. I was living a life to a large degree that I didn't choose -- being finaciall absudly embarrassed." "I never had one. I went straight from six to forty-six. Quite depressing really. I missed out on alhose things like discos at Christmas. I suppose I've now regressed, but I wouldn't call it a secon hldhood because it's my first." "I went through these bleak periods when I was nineteen and twenty when people were saying 'You've b hiding for five years. You really _must_ come out and have a good time. And if you don't go out yuwn't be happy and meet friends.' I went through those patches where I was persistently going out o lus and, because I felt so negative, I suppose I emitted this negative ray -- and people quite wlliglyshunned me. I found I'd go out in a group and everyone would be attached by the end of the nght,but was always there, waiting for the 10:30 bus home ..... That happened for about two years.I _alays_ eemed to be the only one. And although it can sound desperately pitiful ..... um, well, t was!I thin I was basically quite boring and serious." == Age == "People are so obsessed with age which is a terrible trap to hurl yourself into. People do let theire dictate their activities which is really disappointing . I think it's because of society -- and ae that word -- which implies that to be old is to be useless and horrible and people are petrified of that. Of course, it's nonsense beca there's loads of fascinating older people around." == Ambition == "There's a lot I want to achieve, most of which is illegal." "There's a lot I want to do. It doesn't all end with my thrusting a gladioli under Richard Skinner'sse." "But to talk about these things seems incredibly pompous and ostentatious. It almost sounds entirelyreerist." "I _do_ want to write -- I still do write. And I would like to be successful in that area." "I can't _use_. I _can't_ be that type of person. I can only do things if I really want to do them. as never the type of person that could exploit a situation. Quite the reverse. No." "I just want to plunder through each day as it arrives and not really make any plans -- that's borin- we just have to live each day as it arrives." == America == "No group ever said this before ..... no group ever ignored America and no group has ever said "Wellook, we're not in any mad panic to go there' and although I'm not saying that we will never go to mrca, I feel that for the immediate future we just won't go because generally in most matters we peae urselves. Which really irks the American record company and even though our album has sold incedily ell over there we just really don't want to go at present -- so we won't." "We never really had the typical rock'n'roll obsession with 'breaking America', going on the treadmi being incredibly successful, because it is a very strange market I find and it's really quite susiius that only the most inane groups are ever really successful there." "There are lots of very intelligent Americans but the record market -- the way people are sold -- isver ever intelligent." "The complete American record industry is made up of cowards, people will not take risks and I don'tke that very much because it's very dull." "The American record company have refused the bulk of our material. They think it's too intellectualr American audiences -- which I think is possibly true." == Billy Fury == "Billy Fury is virtually the same as James Dean. He was entirely doomed too and I find that quite aftionate." "He was persistently unhappy and yet had a string of hit records." == Clothes == "The way I wear my shirts with the collars in and lots of beads is very natural to me. I abhor collaand always turn them in. For some reason people around me are doing it too. I used to have a nice ite trunk full of beads, but they have all gone, given away to people scattered around the country" "I buy my underwear from Marks & Spencers." == Contentment == "It's almost impossible to be content. It's absolutely humanly impossible. You spend your entire lifith this driving force for contentment, and you never actually arrive. You're putting everything offr a day in your life that never happens." == Dusty Springfield == "I think Dusty Springfield too soon seemed to lapse into the paternal image. Obviously, she was oldehan the people who began with her and she was always very conscious of the fact of being older becuepeople like Sandie Shaw were seventeen. And of course Lulu and Helen Shapiro were much younger. ndalo Dusty Springfield just made too many bad records, awful things like 'Son of a Preacher Man' hic copletely went against her original introductory records which are timeless." == Fame == "It's not something that's ever distasteful -- if people like you it's wonderful." "I feel that if you have something the world could benefit from then you should put it in the front dow with a red light above it." "It strikes me that many people who are stars are shallow individuals. It's rare that you get anybodup there_ who has incredible depth or value. It seems that there is a shallow veneer to so many pepe" "People send me heaps of poetry for some reason, and it's never even vaguely readable. I constantly people writing to me with their problems, all about their parents, their spots or their school unfr." "For me it's actually quite stunning to meet people who want to talk to me." "I'd rather be remembered as a big-mouthed failure than as an effete little wimp." == Fans == "I get terribly embarrassed when I meet _Smiths_ apostles -- I hate the word fan. They seem to expeco much of me. Many of them see me as some kind of religious character who can solve all their probeswith a wave of a syllable." "I meet these people -- I won't say fans because it's really derogatory and I consider them all to briends -- I meet these people and underneath those frilly little skirts or whatever, they _are_ inelctual creatures and I know it's impossible to grasp at this stage but it's absolutely true -- thy isen to the words and they do know why _The Smiths_ exist. It's not just a matter of, you know, youre uite handsome' and to hell with the records." == Being Fashionable == "We'll never be a flavor of the month. I think we're just a little bit to clever for that." "I feel that when you're weak and the times change you kind of go down also, but I really don't beli that we are. I think that we're largely very incorruptible and I feel that we're very strong. Andbcuse we feel that there is still a great deal to be done and we're not sitting back at any point ndwere not saying 'Well, yes, this is fine! This is all we have to do, we're going to lie down', bcaue w don't have that attitude and because we feel it's really time to work even harder as each dy pases. "The records have to be memorable -- it's not just an instant fad thing. If I thought we were going be in vogue February or March or whatever then the whole thing would be repellent to me. It _has_ ob memorable." == Films == "Whenever I went to the cinema I always raced for the front seat, I'm afraid. I was _that_ boring." "At the moment I'm completely handcuffed to 'Saturday Night and Sunday Morning' which I will never e tire of, and I find it disturbing that I can watch particular scenes for the hundred and twelfth ieand I'm still caught unawares by a line which I have said repeatedly throughout the day. I can'tdecrbe the poetry that film has for me, especially that of Albert Finney in the Arthur Seaton role" "Chariots of Fire ..... which was profound dross." "A Taste of Honey had a massive influence on me. I mean, it was virtually the only important Britishlm in the 1960s ..... as far as I'm concerned." "Paramount! Home of all my heroes." == Flowers == "Something the Oscar Wilde felt and I always thought was quite passionate and quite amusing -- the i of constantly carrying flowers or of being simply immersed in leaves. I quite like that -- it wasqie poetic." "Initially I used to carry flowers for reasons that I shall never go into and I got bored of that bu still wanted to produce flowers in some way -- but not carrying them -- so suddenly overnight thi da came to me and suddenly it turned into a bush in my back pocket." "There's a tremendous amount of repression -- that's the saddest factor. It was why I introduced flos on stage -- to reduce people's hostility." "_They_ understand it when I shower people in flowers. They appreciate the honesty of that act. It wsomething I felt compelled to do because the whole popular music scene had become so grey and blac,s dull! I thought something had to be injected and flowers were just a very sensible injection." == Friends == "There's virtually no one. But it depends on how you measure your friends' loyalty. I find that if Isat here and feeling particularly depressed, I can have a diary crammed with telephone numbers -- u hen the question comes of exactly who to phone, I find there's nobody I know who would come overstaiht away and see me. Sometimes I sit down and wish that things were quite different. But I foun tht Im in such a position now that people tend to keep their distance anyway. Certain things I sa -- ertan lyrical things -- make people realize that I'm not an uncomplicated person. That disturb a lo of pople and so there's always some chasm -- and it's one that most people insist upon. On te othe hand,most of the people I come into contact with are quite disposable anyway." "There are some people who, on a very frivolous level, would like to know me and be involved. But itof no practical value when you realize they're only trying to excite themselves, trying to be a pato what you're doing." "You can always rely on your old friends to trip you up in your moment of glory." == The Future == "In many respects the future is black ..... Isn't it quite curious that all modern things in life art terribly attractive? Change is never for the better ..... in the general scheme of things the onywy is down." == Girlfriends == "I had this relationship with a girl and she repeated everything that had happened between us, in vedramatic detail, to almost everybody I knew. That crushed me for something like two years, it was oaful. Not that she said anything that was so embarrassing ..... it was just like having one's diry inn on display, as it were." "I AM unrealistic when it comes to people and I DO expect a great deal. I couldn't possibly toleratey serious shortcomings." "After the terrible relationships I thought: 'Okay, I've had enough of this' -- and I decided I'd nonger consider it a part of what I did. But now I've been alone for so long. As the years began to asI realized: 'Well, I'm celibate.'" == 'Handsome Devil' == "It's an adult understanding of quite intimate matters." "We must stress that 'Handsome Devil' is aimed entirely towards adults and has nothing to do with chren, and certainly nothing to do with child molesting." (Commenting on an ill-considered 'Silly Sesn story in a popular paper which tried to interpret the song as a hymn to paedophilia!) == Happiness == 'We shouldn't think of happiness as one thing. Happiness is eating an ice cream. Happiness can't be nard Manning ..... it can be ..... an old woman falling off a donkey! I don't know, for heaven's sk,I don't know." "People believe that the minute you get into the Top 20 you couldn't possibly be unhappy. Everything there -- you have it. You go on 'Top of the Pops' which is only a few hours out of a week and it os't fulfill you. You're still the same person -- it doesn't erase the past decade." == 'Heroes' == "Michael Parks, Christopher Jones, Warren Beatty, Martin Sheen, Dean Stockwell, Tony Perkins, Jean P Belmondo, Bob Dylan, Elvis Presley, Fabian, Zbigniew Cybulski, Arthur Gelien, Dick Davalos, Heny cinies, Troy Donahue, Merle Johnson, Diana Dors, Mamie Van Doren, Brandon De Wilde, William Reynols,Gealdine Page, Richard Beymer, Billy Fury, Gene Pitney, Vic Morrow, Terence Stamp, Laurence Harvy, achl Roberts, Alan Bates, Lew Farper (Private Investigator), Jon Voight, Paul Morrissey, Shelag Delney,Neal Cassady, Emmett Grogan, Sylvia Plath, James Macarthur, Don Murray, Terry Moore, Belina Lee Elizbeth Taylor, Cliff Robertson, Ron Mael, Judy Holliday, Sean Connery, George Peppard, Jobiath, oger Sith, Efrem Zimbalist, Edd Byrnes, Bob Wagner, Dave Nelson, George Nader, Martha Hyer, ia Scal, Charls Starkweather, Adam West, Dean Jones, Linda Cristal, Dolores Michaels, Eddie Slovic Alistai and TheOrphans, Tennessee Williams, Bryan Gregory, Birrer, Henrietta and the Hairdooz, Th Kinks, Mrna Mardh Eden Kane, Pat Boone, Ruth Gordon, Rita Pavone, Clifton Webb, Patti Lee Smith, he Lazy Suans, SableStarr, Paul America, Miss Pamela Dare, Sebastian Memmoth, Sheriden Whiteside, ell Dunn, Rchard Price" == Himself == "In reality I'm all those very boring things: shy and retiring. In daily life I'm almost too retirinor comfort really." "I am a positive voice. The words I write are vital. I wish there were other songwriters I could clakinship with. But there is no one. I consider myself to be a genius." "I just live a terribly solitary life without any human beings involved whatsoever and that to me ismost a perfect situation." "I feel I'm a completely open book in every way." "When the work is finished I just bolt the door and draw the blinds and dive under the bed. It's essial to me. One must, I find, in order to work seriously, be detached. It's quite crucial to be a se way from the throng of daily bores and the throng of modern daily life." "I feel entirely alone. There are people that I like and there are people that I admire, but I thinkat ultimately we are alone." "I'm hideously delicate." "I remember for a long time feeling totally charmless and unhandsome and I know there are so many ots who still feel the same way." "For me things haven't changed. I haven't fallen into this wonderful whirlwind of activity where I'me life and soul of the party. I couldn't do that because I don't have the training." "The way I've lived is to ingrained for me to ever escape." "I'm certainly not satisfied. I don't sit back and say 'Phew, now I've done it. I'll lie down and wa the cloud formation!' Lots of things still anger me. I read the press and it angers me, I feel thtIve got to be stronger and go at things harder. There are still things to be done." "I've been in _almost_ every conceivable human situation ..... I've been in almost _no_ conceivable an situation, come to think of it." "Since I _absolutely believe_ in what I say, I want to say it as loud as possible." "I'm influenced by people who no one else in music has ever been influenced by before." "Mutilated, maimed, forgotten, etc." "In ordinary situation I _cannot_ survive. I _can't_ have a daily job. I _can't_ be out of bed by 8 lock. I _can't_ converse politely with the man next door. But situations that are normally considee uite surreal I find intensely natural -- appearing on TV, touring, they're nice things to do -- laorus." "I don't believe there is anything in my past that could possibly interest anybody. I wish there wasmething mysterious in my past but I'm afraid it was just dramatically dull." == His Image == "It's not in the least bit contrived but when things fall into the public eye it seems to me that redless of what you do or what you say it is construed as an image and you can wear no clothes at al n that will be seen as an image. So it's really quite inescapable -- the whole thing. One comes ude te scorching searchlights and everything you do is an image." "I think that most people see me as being quite delicate -- which in the world of popular music and k and roll, if you like, is anathema. It is the worst thing to be -- to be delicate and not be thi rat big macho whatever. Therefore since flowers and any kind of nature is just connected with totl imery to some degree I fall into the bracket. But I think I have other things that help me scramle ut f the pit." == James Dean == "I saw 'Rebel Without a Cause' quite by accident when I was about six. I was entirely enveloped. I dsome research about him and it was like unearthing Tutankhamun's tomb." "I never thought much about his acting abilities but the aura around him always fascinated me. When ention James Dean to people they seem disappointed because it seems such a standard thing for a yon erson to be interested in -- but I can't help it." "James Dean would not have been recognized in his final role -- that of a mangled corpse slumped ovehe wheel of his wrecked Porche Spyder. Hollywood's new apostle of beauty -- reduced to an obscene es aged 24. He had spent only sixteen months in Hollywood where he had made three films, one of whchha been released at the time of his death. Three years after his death Warner Brothers were recevin hudreds of letters per week addressed to James Dean. His films had such an intense effect uponthe eenae America that fan mail addressed to the corpse outnumbered that of any living star. Twent-fiveyearsafter his death Dean is considered the symbolic figure of the 1950s. He who was perhaps o unlie the eriod had come to represent it." == 'James Dean is not Dead' (His book on James Dean) == "We must loosely call it a book, it's nothing more than a rather thick pamphlet. It was done at a tiwhen I was incredibly desperate. I was just lucky enough to be able to write about something I lovdqite dearly -- a person, at any rate -- but it was really thrown together ..... it was a long tim ao .... most other things from the past don't seem to embarrass me, I don't know why, but that dos." == Johnny Marr == "He had really quite simplistic ideals which at the time was very rare, and that was a perfect foundon for what we wanted to do. He also worked very quickly, without anxiety, which I like. So many pol seem to enjoy talking about things and so few people seem to enjoy doing them." == Life == "The only things one should have in one's life are the absolute necessities. No frills." "Ninety percent of immediate daily anxieties are futile worries." "People should disregard any notions of in-ness or hip-ness or cool-ness and simply relax and be thelves, whatever that may be." "I find that it often takes people who are totally detached from much that is considered common-placo really make strong comments about these things and to really say things that will make people stpad think." "Probably _everybody's_ extraordinary and the _minority_ of people in this world are very ordinary."I think people really need straightforward things for a change instead of living in this rather fansic and futuristic world which really isn't quite true because people's daily lives really haven'tcaned that much -- they still have the same problems, they still have to face the same things. We'e ot n this super space age yet." "There's a lot of sadness in life. Life is sad. Most people are miserable and most people at the end the day say: 'Where am I going? Why am I doing this? Everyone hates me." "We're all vulnerable. You're vulnerable -- I could just pounce on you and saw your head off. It's at time we started admitting it, and stopped all this bravado." == London == "It's such an impersonal place which is very difficult to say when a lot of our popularity is based e and so many people have welcomed us. There' something frighteningly artificial about everything ee the whole place is geared up for tourism now. London's a kind of massive souvenir shop, a facad o hw London used to be. It just isn't English anymore, it seems very Americanized -- which is somthig t dwell upon with horror." == Love == "_The Smiths_ are the only real love I've ever had." "I'm very interested in the ways true love is put across by most people in popular music and literat and it's mostly quite derelict." "We talk about love, we talk about marriage. It's not necessarily the same thing. We talk about loved we talk about friendship and sometimes friendship is much stronger." "I don't think love is entirely superficial. I think lots of the images of love in modern life are alutely superficial. I'm sure many people will agree with that anyway." == Manchester == "I would like to have some kind of involvement with local politics here in Manchester. I feel so strly about the way the city is being completely defaced and made uninhabitable. It's so ugly now, vatyugly. And it reflects itself in the attitudes of the people." "A lot of the groups from Manchester are more intelligent that groups from other places." "There is a 'Scene' but I think that it's very important to look beyond the 'Scene' and to go outsidecause otherwise you get locked into a little clique. You have to have expansive vision." "I certainly don't miss Whalley Range, that would be impossible. I drove through it the other day ant was quite depressing, the whole aura of the place was very repressive, as it always has been, and I felt great sorrow for the people who were still nailed the place." "When you say 'A Manchester band' it implies really that the band is only known in Manchester but went as much scope as possible." "In Manchester they just crush the past without a second thought, that reflects on the people." == Marriage == "I've never known a marriage that was happy. Perhaps it's really just my experience but in all the miages that I've ever known they've crumbled or corroded at the edges as it were. I see many, many ige people and they're absolutely perfectly happy and this is a fact of life that many people don' raly seem to take into consideration when we discuss marriage, so I can't really see any need forit. "It's really quite simple, although I expect not on first glance ..... what 'William, It Was Really hing' is about is ..... it occurred to me that within popular music if ever there were any recordsta discussed marriage they were always from the female's standpoint -- female singers singing to wme: henever there were any songs saying 'Do not marry, stay single, self-preservation, etc'. I thoghtit as about time there was a male voice speaking directly to another male saying that marriage as awast of time ..... that, in fact, it was 'absolutely nothing'." "As I grew up I recall nothing but constant divorces happening all around me. I came from a very larfamily and everyone who got married got divorced very quickly. My own parents got divorced. I realzdat a very early age that happiness within such a close bond is never possible." == Meat == "Meat is murder as far as I can see it. I can't think beyond that really." "I think generally that people think that meat doesn't have anything to do with animals. It's like ptoes or something -- it hasn't got a cow's face and it doesn't moo, so people don't think it's anias" "It was simply the realization of the horrific treatment of animals -- I had never been aware of it ore, I suppose. I knew vaguely about animals but I didn't know how." "We get violently upset when animals eat human beings, so why shouldn't we feel horror when human bes eat animals?" "Many people write to me and simply say they've given up meat because they know I hate the idea of eng meat which to me is really quite wonderful." "It can almost be a very boring issue but it's eating things that were alive ..... live animals." == Food == "I have a daily intake of yoghurt and bread." == His Mother == "To this day she's completely behind everything I say." "She's very, very much involved in what I do. And her's is the only opinion that I really take remot seriously. So it really is quite treasurable." "She let me do what I wanted to do. She gave me absolutely free rein to be what I really wanted to band that was very helpful." == Music == "I am incredibly fond of popular music." "The list is really quite endless -- ultimately almost everything is an influence but it's really judeciding on what not to do in most cases." "My first record was Marrianne Faithful's 'Come and Stay with Me' which I bought when I was very you I remember it had a profound effect on me." "I think it was just a vast array of 1960's British pop. I always bought records. Strangely enough, nny and I nearly always bought the same records, it transpired ..... but it was mainly general popmsc and there was no specific influence in anything that we did or any specific group or artist." "Within current music I an only think of people who have chased their own tails and then crumbled." "I like Sandie Shaw and the Marvellettes." "I won't deny that I like some of The Beatles songs .... it's dramatically unfashionable to say thatt I do. A lot of them I can't stand ..... so where does that leave us?" "Right now there's a group called James which I'm incredibly fond of." "I am very interested in Sandie Shaw and singers who are similar to her like Timi Yuro and Rita Pavo They both suffered a hasty eclipse. It was because of them I wrote my book 'The History of the FeaeVoice in Popular Music'. Two publishers are interested in it." "I think popular music is actually the last refuge of young people in the world -- it's the only reming art form, there's nothing else that touches young people." "People like Diana Ross and Stevie Wonder bore me to death." "Nice bored me to death." == The Music Business == "Virtually everything about the pop industry I detest. I don't feel a part of it to any degree." "I often feel that the popular music scene is made up of lonely people. You look at it and say 'Wellhey're all there together, they're all famous and they go out every night and they hate money becas hey're sick of looking at it'. And it's not true. The few people I've met are on their own. Ther'snosuch thing as comradeship." "If you're dramatically shy in this business you're an overbearing bore. It's all quite confusing." "I think people can spot fakes quite easily and the big bores in the music industry people laugh at m and chuckle along but at the end of the day we really know everybody's value." "We're angry about the music industry, we're very angry about pop music and I think it's about time t somebody said something and somebody did something that is of value." "All the pantomime nonsense and drivel that's occurred within recent years -- lots of people adoptinhe poses that are so far-reaching that they don't have anything actually to do with everyday life n he words are so diverse that people really can't grasp them." "People who are idiots and idiotic and bland and pointless and stupid and poppy -- they can do what y like and nobody pins them up against a wall and say 'Why are you doing that?' But if you try andd omething with a grain of intellect you have to answer for it every single day of your life. Whic t m is the most irksome part of the music industry." "I think it's really almost governmental that the whole idea of popular music has to be trivialized. cannot be set up as something that is incredibly important. In the whole scheme of music classica uic is _very_ important and other kinds of music are terribly important but popular music never eeris I think it's almost political that it's hammered down because simply -- it IS very important.It eary always has been bordering on the revolutionary. In the late 60s it got to a stage where itwas ffecing people incredibly -- in a very positive way. I think it always has to be devalued to sve th worl." "It got to the stage where I was so angry with popular music, I felt I really had to interfere in soway. Break up all the squalor, which we're still trying to do. A big challenge to undertake? Well,ys but you know it's quite simple when you really think of it. And when you get within close proxiit yu realize it CAN be done. So many of the people involved in popular music are really such ligh iniviuals -- they only seem threatening from a distance." == The New York Dolls == "Five years ago I would have lain on the tracks for them. Now I could never _possibly_ listen to one their records." "It was just a teenage fascination and I was laughably young at the time. I always liked the Dolls buse they seemed like the kind of group the industry couldn't wait to get rid of. And that pleased me tremendously. I mean, there wasn't anybody around t with any dangerous qualities so I welcomed them completely. Sadly, their solo permutations crushe htever image I had of them as individuals. Now I think they're absolute stenchers!" == Nostalgia == "To me nostalgia is the turn of the century. I'm not nostalgic for anything." == Oscar Wilde == "Most of my inspiration comes from outside music -- especially literature and particularly Oscar Wil" "My mother, who is an assistant librarian, introduced me to his writing when I was eight. She insistI read him and I immediately became obsessed. Every single line affected me in some way." "It's a total disadvantage to care about Oscar Wilde, certainly when you come from a working-class bground." "I find it impossible to read a single line without swimming in tears." "He was a hideously fat person, so I'm sure he did indulge in meat -- quite often in fact -- but he forgiven." "He was so completely beyond wit, it's almost ordinary to just think of him as witty. He is to me thbsolute ideal figure, and obviously it's the height of ostentatiousness -- the desire to be compard nd, of course, it won't happen. But if I could make a personal choice -- which, of course, I cant - t would be fat old Oscar." == Politics in Music == "More often than not it doesn't work. I think you have to do it very slyly and in a very almost intectual way." "All the people that have been known in the past as singers of political songs haven't lasted very l and when certain political issues have died down so have the groups that sing about them. So I do' ant _The Smiths_ in any way to be attached to any kind of trend. But, yes, we do have our politialviws and I think it really is quite obvious the way we fell about most things if you just study he yris and the music anyway." "You _have_ to be interested in politics these days. If you are not, you are a completely lost indival." == The Press == "To be frank, much of the publicity that we've had has embarrassed me." "Most of it is just peripheral drivel and a misquote simply floors me. I really can't survive being quoted and that happens so much, I sit down almost daily and wonder why it happens." "The positive stuff one _always_ wants to believe and the insults one always wants not to be believehen one reads of this monster of arrogance, one doesn't want to feel that one is that person." "A lot of people don't give you the right to reply about many things and they just come to assumptio But this is just modern journalism." "Because I'm interviewed so much and in so many ways I'm almost always asked the same questions. Whehese things emerge in print it constantly seems as though I'm saying the same things all the time n can imagine that boring people to death very quickly. So it's really just a harder job for me ad hve to think about things a little more. But, again, that's just one of those wonderful dilemma." "When I wrote the words for 'The Jokes Isn't Funny Anymore' I was just so completely tired of all thame old journalistic questions and people trying this contest of wit, trying to drag me down and poethat I was completely fake." "A lot of people wrote about the first LP and they said things that were very poetic and very intereng and absolutely inaccurate." "When some harsh criticism comes in I naturally feel these people are drunk. It's quite natural to f that way." "It was always very important to me to say things that hadn't really been said before. It wouldn't bnough just to have the usual interview spiel and the usual replies and though I certainly didn't sac for very affected replies, if I thought that we didn't have anything to offer I wouldn't botherwih he whole thing. "We have no control over what actually appears in print and I try to have as much control over the aal interview as possible and it always goes very, very well but sometimes it just doesn't come tha a." "History has attached us to other Manchester groups and it's so boring. This attitude that tars all ups with the same brush is idle. But it's convenient for journalists, they have to write somethingqikly and it's guesswork mainly. When these people just go through the motions, not really caring ha tey write about, it's disheartening." == Reading == "I swam in books as a child, and at some point it becomes quite ruinous, it gets to the point where can't answer the door without being heavily analytical about it." "I'm moved by certain works rather than by people. I can mention books by certain people that have sme alight. For instance, Thomas Hardy's 'Far From the Maddening Crowd' set me alight but 'The Mayo fCasterbridge' didn't. And I feel that about so many people that I've liked apart perhaps from Shlah elaney." "I could be here for weeks talking about this ..... There's one person called Shelagh Delaney whom ndy's ever heard of. She had a massive influence on me and I've only actually got three books by he ... three pieces of work. 'A Taste of Honey' I can recite now if you like -- word for word -- it' tkea long time. Yes, it had a massive influence on me." "So many people -- obscure people like Susan Brown-Miller, Molly Haskell -- just American writers --izabeth Smart ..... does this mean anything to you?" == Rita Tushingham == "I passed her the other day. I was in a car and she was trolling down Picadilly and I stopped the cand I said 'I have to go and speak to Rita Tushingham' and I couldn't! I was just too nervous - whihi ridiculous." == Rock'N'Roll == "As a general spirit I'd accept the term 'rock and roll' -- but if we're talking about 'Good Golly M Molly' then it couldn't possibly be further from us." "To me 'rock and roll' aren't really nasty words. I can think of worse swear words ..... synthesizerI'm not embarrassed by the phrase." "When you talk about all the obvious heroes like Little Richard or somebody, that's obviously what we not. But a certain spirit that those people had is exactly what we have." "So much rock and roll is masturbatory in a way, very phallic at times." "I'm not influenced by the rock and roll elements, I'm not inspired by Mick Jagger." == Romance == "I find really strange things romantic and I find where relationships are concerned I find problems te romantic and people grappling with their throttled passions and things aren't quite working out" == Rough Trade == "We went to see various people from the majors but we felt out of place at every meeting. Our aims wn't really in line with theirs, whereas with Rough Trade we though there was an immediate empathy ewen us. Experiencing the majors at first hand was actually a pretty horrendous experience -- theycold't really see beyond what was already popular, what had already sold." == Sandie Shaw == "It's really quite strange because as I grew up all the strong female voices of the Sixties seems tofect me enormously -- certainly none more than Sandie -- and it really became quite a special parto e." "Puppet on a String became Sandie's third number one charting for over five months and selling sevenllion copies throughout Europe. The greatest tragedy of these impressive figures is that they belonged to the record that paid no compliment of any kind Sandie Shaw as a symbolist. Embroidered around the resistible 'Puppet' there lay a litter of the ms ital and inspirational singles ever produced in the history of popular music." == Recording 'Hand In Glove' with Sandie Shaw == "I met her a few months ago and it seemed perfectly natural for me to seize the opportunity and ask to work with us and she was incredibly eager and incredibly enthusiastic. She really liked the sog nd she was very eager to do it. So, it's happened and I'm very pleased." == School == "I went to a very threadbare school which ultimately got global attention for being the most brutal ool in the country with corporal punishment. You virtually didn't have to do a thing to be persistnl whipped. For some obscure reason I always avoided it. I always thought they considered me to befa to delicate to be caned. I constantly thought that they thought that if they hit me then I'd jut dsapear. But it was really quite an absurd school and working-class. The only thing you could posibl do as woodwork and obviously when you left school you would go into a factory or something --therewas n question of being artistic or reading books or thinking about anything specific. I remeber atone pont all the pupils were asked to write about their favorite book and I wrote about the ictionay and Iremember I was virtually expelled for being so obstreperous and perverse. So it was hat kindof schoo. It was the kind of school that gave no scope whatsoever for individuality." "My personal saving grace at school was that I was something of a model athlete. I'm sure if I hadn'een I would have been sacrificed in the first year." "I'm afraid it was very depressing. It was a very deprived school. Total disinterest thrust on the pls, the absolute belief that when you left you would just go down and down. It was horrible. A secnay modern school with no facilities, no books, the type of school where one book has to be sharedbyseenty-nine pupils -- that kind of arrangement. If you dropped a pencil you'd be beaten to death Itwasvery aggressive. It seemed that the only activity of the teachers was whipping the pupils -- whih thy managed expertly. There was no question of getting CSEs, for heaven's sake, never mind adegre in sience or something! It was just 'ALL you boys are hopeless cases so get used to it." "I never felt embarrassment in writing about school (in 'The Headmaster Ritual'). I know it's been d before and it's been done very badly but that didn't put me off." "I always found that I was hit and beaten for totally pointless reasons, which is what I'm sure everupil would say. But in my case I demand special consideration ....." "I did seem to attract some of the most obscure elements of the school, the kind of person that nevead any friends, the very lanky bespectacled failure somehow was attracted to me and I thought thatwsquite interesting." == Sex == "I always found it particularly unenjoyable." "A series of very blunt and thankfully brief and horrendous experiences made me decide upon abstainiand it seemed quite an easy and natural decision." "I hate it when people talk to me about sex in a very trivial way, because I can't talk about it in rivial way and I think the images that we thrust forth are really quite serious and important and hnpeople simply debase them because they can't be bothered to think about them clearly. When they av tis very juvenile street-level approach to sex, I can't see why they listen to our music." "I think I brushed quite close when I was nineteen or twenty but previous to that I didn't give it aeat deal of thought and it wasn't really something that I needed to think about because in my lifei idn't really exist. I _was_ aware that certain things should have occurred and certain things _soud_interest me and I _was_ aware of teenagers around me frolicking about and being incredibly incnseuenial and free-thinking -- which I never was." "It seems impossible for a public figure in 1984 to be celibate, so people find it quite challengingou know -- the whole idea of the Pop Star bathed in sexuality, yawning at the next round of orgies" "I've had very few experiences but they have been bad and they were a very long time ago and it's noomething that I would like repeated ..... but this gets incredibly delicate and it becomes almost ifcult to talk about. I did lost the very idea that communion between two people could possibly beenoyble, I did lose that particular thread and I did become enormously depressed to the point wher I elived that _any_ kind of relationship was almost impossible." "Because I've said publicly that I'm not interested in sex people are always asking me about it." "I was never out to create a massive movement throughout Britain of mad celibates." "You can go out and get casual sex, but that's of no human value." "I think by being completely sexless it has caused some degree of attention so people believe I'm toly obsessed with sex. It's a strange paradox -- if I wrote about breasts people would ask me aboutTeClash all the time." "I try to be very unsexual/asexual about the way I write. I haven't pinned any gender to the table abeen very forthright." == Being A Sex Symbol == "A sex symbol is the best thing you can be." "It's just like somebody standing up onstage and saying 'I'm up here, this is what I can do, you musorship me now.' I think the sex element does come into it." "I never get letters saying 'You're my favorite sex symbol'." "I don't think I am a sex symbol, actually, which is a great worry when one's picture appears in thesic press." "People generally bring me their problems as opposed to wanting to molest me, which, of course, is tibly distressing. People tend to see me as someone with a great deal of answers rather than as a sxsmbol, so I'll have to work on that one a bit longer." "Other people seem to consider me to be a sex symbol, so I suppose I must be. It's not something thae decide for ourselves -- we don't say 'Yes, I'm going to be a sex symbol and I will appeal to lot fpeople in an immensely sexual way.' It's not something that we decide -- other people decide andtosoe extend they have. I get letters saying 'Morrissey, you're incredibly sexy." == Singing == "I think it's really quite important to me to have as natural a sound as possible and therefore it'sst simply my voice and nobody else's ..... almost conversational it's really quite private and intmt ..... and I like that." == The Sixties == "We're certainly greatly influenced by the Sixties but I feel no affinity with hippiedom at all, nor we have role models." == The Smiths == "It occurred to me that nobody could put any possible connotations on the name I really like that bese it came at a time when group names were vastly important." "The face of pop music has become a little too grim, too clean and safe and tidy. I couldn't imaginew things would be if we weren't here." "I really do think that what we do is of tremendous value." "I think we're very strong-willed and we really know what we want -- That's it." "We're a terribly strong unit and I'm sure we'll last a terribly long time." "When we began nothing could have been more deflationary than _The Smiths_. I couldn't think of anytg more basic than _Smith_." "I feel that if the group were accepted by the whole universe tomorrow it wouldn't surprise me." "We have a very traditional line-up. It's nothing special but it's very special. We are four individs: we just simply open up our hearts and open our mouths. If that isn't enough we might as well gohm. We don't have any metaphysical plan -- there is nothing gimmicky that we want to rope people i wth We are four individuals, naked before the world -- people will either react of not." "If there is a central moral message in _The Smiths_, I don't know what it is ..... but I'm sure it'ositive." "I think something still separates us from the rest of the clatter." "When people see us as simply grinding sausages, as it were, we'll have the sense to take a swift ex" "Everything I do within _The Smiths_ I do because I absolutely want to and when things go wrong it'sally quite crippling because I don't look at it as a job, as a profession, as some way to get atteto. It really is intolerably serious to me." "I don't want to bore people, so if I thought _The Smiths_ were an absolute hindrance to the human r than we'd break up." "_The Smiths_ are not a vaudeville act. We show why a lot has to go." "I believe that we have a great deal to say." "I prefer to think of us as accessible rather than commercial. Obviously, we want to be very populare have this particular intelligence that means we will never get swept away with the mundane and mrnc pop groups." "I cannot imagine what I would be doing if I didn't have this group. It's so essential to me. It's s an emotionally edgy thing. It seemed before that everything I wanted to say was just locked away.Ijst couldn't communicate with people. _The Smiths_ is my mouthpiece and it's also my dream." "There's absolute perfect harmony within the group and as each day passes it becomes stronger which more important to me than anything. I have no interest in solo success or individual spotlights. T ethings are absolutely perfect." "I believe that at the end of the day the records we produce are of tremendous value." "I'm totally immersed in the whole idea of the group -- twenty-five hours a day. I'll stand by it un the death." "To me _The Smiths_ are great by definition. Once they stop being great they'll cease to exist." "I think what _The Smiths_ are is something quite beyond popular music, which could almost sound likn absurdly brash comment but it really is the truth." "All we really care about is being popular and that's why we try hard to please." "I think if I'd led an acceptably frivolous teenage life I wouldn't be singing in this group." "We're not hollow musicians." "I think that for the first time in too long a time this is real music played by real people. _The Shs_ are absolutely real faces instead of the frills and the gloss and the pantomime that popular mschas become immersed in as a matter of course. And there is no human element in anything anymore.An Ithink _The Smiths_ reintroduced that quite firmly." "I think we're very British, but that doesn't mean we're limited." "I feel that we're terribly, terribly natural and we're very straightforward and it seems quite real people." "When people come up to me and say 'Well, it's happening dramatically quickly for _The Smiths_ I havo disagree. I feel as if I've waited a very long time for this." "Everything has to be taken into account not just the fact that I stand on the table and say 'Yes, _ Smiths_ are absolutely wonderful'. So looking beyond the quotes people must surely see that thereaereasons why I say these things and I'm not just dreaming out loud." "There's no point in being terribly enlightened and terribly aware if nobody can actually hear you. _do_ have to break through and I think _The Smiths_ are the first group in musical history to do ht" "I was always enormously proud, even when we had just begun and we were just rehearsing and we were pletely anonymous, I was always very proud, and that's what it is: it's not like self-aggrandizemeto arrogance or flagellation or whatever." "We're out to prove you don't need dazzling technology to produce music. There's a horrendous myth iodern music that you need the most complex equipment and the most far-reaching ideas otherwise youdnt rate." "_The Smiths_ is a very stray kind of name, very timeless." "We have an album released on 20th February and I really do expect the highest critical praise for iIt's a very, very good album. It is a signal post in music." "If you really have something and are very sure of it, why hide? I don't understand that attitude." "_The Smiths_ are like a life support machine to me, I'm not embarrassed about it." == His Songs == "The whole intention really is to be as crystal clear as possible." "I write about the things that _didn't_ happen to me!" "Because I was silent for so long, it is now quite easy for me just to express everything." "The 'classic love song' for me was never a love song -- it was a statement. We are probably writingassic love songs. They are very open about falling in and out of love, expectations, love and hate" "Most of the songs are about my own life which has been quite tragic, so most of the songs are conced with tragedy in some way." "They are concerned with making use of what you are and what you've got." "In many ways they _are_ love songs, though in my case they would have to be concerned with self-lov "My lyrics are only obscure to the extent they are not taken directly from the dictionary of writingngs. They're not slavish to the lyrical rule book, so you'll never catch me singing 'Oh baby, baby eh.' My only only priority is to use words in a way that hasn't been heard before." "I can't write about things that I've never felt or experienced -- to me that doesn't make sense." "It's closer to literature than popular music." "When we entered the whole thing I really thought it was time for fundamental language to be used. Ple seemed to be saying things in a way that was too obscure to be grasped by people who couldn't ral think a great deal about certain situations. I always find that the most powerful words are themot undamental ones, and I thought there were things to be said that really hadn't been said befor. I wa always important to me to use lines that hadn't been used before, because it wasn't enough o emloy he usual pop terminology." "I've never sung about a jockstrap." "I think the lyrics I use are very direct and, as I often say, I feel the words haven't been heard bre. It's not the usual humdrum terminology. It's something quite different. I could never use word ht rhymed in the traditional way. It would become absolutely pointless. So everything I write is eriby important to me." "Suddenly they were just there. I just though that I could write very naturally and not be contrivedd not fall into the usual pop traps ..... I just wanted to write about exactly the way I felt. I thought that it would embarrass lots of people that it was etimes a bit to near the knuckle but I thought: 'Well, it doesn't really matter' because I could nvrreally sing a song or write something which I didn't feel one hundred percent and I think when yu rut your own instincts what you do comes our very, very well and when you don't -- when you're nrvos ad when you're unsure about what you're doing -- it doesn't come out well and it shows that yu do't rally have one hundred percent faith in yourself." "I think they'll always be autobiography and when the day arrives when I can't write in that sense o'm drained, I'll just step down. I won't go on. There's nothing worse really than the writer, the igr, who's outlived their usefulness, and who've really drained their diaries as it were. Which I til aven't done." "The lyrics I write are specifically genderless. I don't want to leave anybody out." "It's not a profession for me -- it's something I have to do. I write persistently -- it started whe was about two and leapt upon a typewriter ..... and the rest is history." "Obviously, I want my writing to be analyzed, but I shouldn't have to explain it. If it touches peop then great. I have to draw heavily on my own experiences because what I do isn't a job. I don't js it down and think: 'I'll write a song. MMM, what shall I write about?' It's like breathing -- ifI ont write I die." "Remember, I'm just an ordinary pauper of a lower order. You shouldn't expect every line to be a son." "Most people want to hear total frankness in songs. I'm convinced." "Our songs make you think -- which is something you don't have to do much." == His Favorite Song By The Smiths == "For me it has to be 'Hand in Glove', the first single. Mainly because of the circumstances in which was recorded. The remix on the album I'm not to sure about but the actual single was such a joyou casion for everybody that it still means more to me -- and the other members of _The Smiths_ -- tananthing else we've done." == Success == "It's just the really obvious things like selling records and having some power, being in the situat where people really have to listen to you whether they want to or not. That's success and that's auble." "I think you really have to appreciate what's happening and you can't take it lightly and you can't flippant and you can't be blase because it's very, very precious. And the fact now that so many pepewant to see us and are really quite desperate to see us and the fact that venues we play sell ou raly enormously quick ..... it's just an indescribable joy." "I think that ultimately you are the same person and you still have the same fears about yourself anbout life regardless of the fact whether you have money or success, it doesn't really alter that mc.Which is a great shock for me to find this now." "I think we spread ourselves around very, very quickly. We did lots of live appearances and people h about you ..... that's the way we did it." "It really didn't happen quite that quickly or it didn't feel that it did." "I'm still close to poverty than affluence." == Synthesizers == "I think synthesizers should be symbolically burnt." "They become instruments that do not involve connections with human beings. You can literally put thin a room and they'll play on their own, so it's really quite strange. I prefer music by people wh elly have to play it and who really have a burning desire to play it." == Television == "I was always interested in television and the way scripts were devised and the way people spoke on evision and quite sinfully as a young child I would actually tape certain television programs -- porms that to most people were of no consequence whatsoever -- and just study the script. It was jut neof those absurd idiosyncrasies that no child ever has -- but I did." "I think it's very natural that if you're not obese and you're not incredibly ugly that you will colt admirers if you appear on television. There's many reasons for it." == Top Of The Pops == "Nothing spurs you on like anger and we were angry about all the ugly people who control this busine and all the ugly faces on 'Top of the Pops'." "I must be brutally honest but I find doing 'Top of the Pops' great fun, which is something very haror the old lips to say. They always give us a semi-royal reception. I know I should spit on the whl dea of 'Top of the Pops' but I can't. I think the groups the criticize 'Top of the Pops' are thoe ha probably know they'll never get on there. If you can do something different on 'Top of the Pos' henyou've got some value." == Taking His Shirt Off On 'Top Of The Pops' == "It was a contrived impulse." == Touring == "Touring's interesting because it's fascinating to meet people. That sounds silly but unless we actuy tour we don't actually meet the people who buy our records. Which is strange. You can have a hitrcrd or whatever and loads of people can buy your records but you don't actually meet them. And I never meet _Smiths'_ Apostles ev-- so it's only by touring that I can actually come face to face with these people." "I always enjoy it. To me it's living Now. It's not dreaming, it's not postponing, it's not putting thing off: it's doing something right now and doing something that's absolutely wonderful and whenyuget audiences such as ours which are almost always very wonderful ..... it's just ..... wonderfu." "It _is_ a strain but it's up to me and the other members of the group to keep as much control over as possible. I know people in the record industry would prefer it if we did it persistently but thtcn't happen. We do have to have some control and some restraint otherwise we'd just be ground int te round." == Videos == "We really want to by-pass the whole video market. I think it's something that's going to die very qkly and I want to herald the death of that. I think it has nothing whatsoever to do with music andIwnt to get back to total music." "A drunken goat could produce a Duran Duran video." "By the end of the year videos will be a mortal stain on careers. Even now the producers who make thare bored stiff." "We'll never make a video as long as we live. Having said that I saw a video recently that was the ft video I ever liked. It was, I admit with massive shame, the Dead Or Alive video for 'That's the a Like It'." == Violence == "Personally I'm an incurably peaceful character but where does it get you? Nowhere. You _have_ to beolent." "As long as we live in a world where nuclear weapons are the only and answer and the only answer aftconversation has failed, I think people will be violent." "Heaven knows I'm Miserable now ..... I mean 'kick in the eye'? Yes, literally sometimes ..... let's perfectly honest: sometimes we _do_ get so angry with people that we're not averse to violence. Wih of course, is a terrible thing to say but the truth none the less." "From the time you get hit when you're a child, as covered in a song called 'Barbarism Begins at Hom violence is the only answer. Conversation is pointless." == Viv Nicholson == "I do have a mad yearning passion for Viv Nicholson, a ray of genius who won the then record amount 100,000 pounds -- on the pools. She's on our next single cover. (Heaven Know's I'm Miserable Now)" "She is a very warm human being." == War == "I think as long as human beings are so violent towards animals there will be war. Where there's thibsolute lack of sensitivity where life is concerned there will always be war." == Work == "As a direct result of not wanting to take _anything_, I didn't work for years and years." "The realities of work ..... of being in a position where you can't choose your employment, which is awful way to be when you don't have any skills and you have to take what's dished out, take what' vilable. There's nothing worse in life than having no choice, I think, and this is tolerable in al res except unemployment." "On the very brief spasms of employment that I had in the past it always seemed to me there were moms of the day when I would realize that I was here working with people that I despised and I had totl to these horrible people and ask them what they did yesterday. And I would have to report to a os tat I couldn't stand and when you're in such a position -- which is the absolute basis of 'Heavn KowsI'm Miserable Now' you realize that you're actually spending your entire life with people tht yo do ot like -- which was incredibly distressing." Johnny Marr speaks ..... == Ambition == "I'm into a Muddy Waters trip, which sounds really corny, but I want to be influential over the nextw generations." "I'd like someone to cover one of our songs and get it to number one." == Fame == "I don't want to become an established figure of the music scene. I'd hate to be thought of as just ther member of some group who're in Smash Hits." == Guitars == "I think I was attracted to guitar playing before I discovered records that seriously. Marc Bolan warobably the first I saw I thought he looks so good with a guitar." "The one I play onstage doesn't belong to Roger McGuinn (the legendary guitarist with The Byrds in tSixties) because I daren't take it out on the road but I did get one via our producer that used toblng to Roger McGuinn which is a Rickenbaker 12-string which is really old and never stays in tunesoI ust look at that. I bought one when I was in America which was a lot of money and it's an old ibsn 35, 1959, the sort of thing that BB King used to use and the blues guitarists." "Fortunately I'm not in a position where I have to see a guitar to buy one at the moment ..... This k! ..... so I'm just sort of keeping them and I've got a lot of guitars that I started playing on -srt of little acoustics and things. So, I'm an avid guitar collector -- or would-be collector. I ont hink I'd ever get rid of them now." == Guitarists == "I admire Richard Thompson a lot and Ry Cooder. They're both traditionally folky. There are a lot oflk guitarists that I really do admire and at the same time if I listen to the guitar of 'Sha La LaLe, the Small Faces song, or 'I Can't Explain', the big chord sound, I'm attracted to that immensey.Alert Lee I can listen to all the time. I can appreciate every good guitarist under the sun." == Money == "I could have no money and still be happy." == Morrissey == "He knows that you have to calculate to be uncalculating." "Morrissey and I are total extremes. He's completely opposite from me. Onstage Morrissey's completelifferent to the way he is offstage: he's extrovert and loud. Whereas offstage I'm loud and onstageImquite quiet. He's not a great believer in going out, 'cos he doesn't have fun when he goes out, heea I go out every night, so I suppose we're two completely opposite cases." "Fans keep saying to me 'Don't you get pissed-off 'cos Morrissey's always in the papers?' I don't knwhy they think that because I never do, but they expect the rest of us to be mad about the publiciyMrrissey is getting." "He's the most unlikely sort of sex symbol/pop star/personality for a long time. He's gone from bein complete recluse in his bedroom to being a national character." "If I hadn't met Morrissey I would probably have spent some time in some kind of institution ..... NI probably would still be in Manchester writing tunes for nobody." == The Music Industry == "We're avid watchers of the pop scene and we know what all the pitfalls are." "Too many people even in these days, like seven years after punk is supposed to have destroyed all t, too many people still want to be _Stars_. All the can think about is hit records and money and bigfamous. They've forgotten all the real reasons for making music in the first place. They're justwrckng the beauty of music." "The Thompson Twins, Howard Jones, Nik Kershaw, are the epitome of what is wrong with either the musindustry or the record buying public -- everybody has got so used to safe, tidy music and unimagintv lyrics. When 'This Charming Man' was unleashed on the public it did sound really fresh and exciting. There are still a few artists ard who retain some musical integrity -- Julian Cope and Echo and the Bunnymen, for instance." == Musical Influences == "My introduction to music was via records and via songs. I've got the old musical roots story, you k -- Irish family playing together all the time. I'm very aware of that. And I'm very glad my introuton to music was songs. I think we get more of a Beatles sound than a lot of groups. I used to lie heRolling Stones when I was young. I think their first six albums were valid. They moved out of lue ino the soul vein and Motown into psychedelia." "It was a shame about Gram Parsons. I love 'Grievous Angel' and 'GP'." "I can remember the way I was when I was 10 or 11 and I really wanted to make the same music as Leiband Stoller or Holland/Dozier/Holland." "I used to listen to a lot of old Tamla Motown records." == Pop Music == "Right back at the birth of this phenomenon called Pop Music, music was a way of bringing young peoptogether. That's exactly what we're trying to do." == Sex == "None of us are actually gay -- Morrissey doesn't participate in sex at the moment and hasn't done sor a while, he's had a lot of girlfriends in the past and quite a few men friends. The rest of thebn, however, are all sex maniacs." == The Smiths == "Nothing before _The Smiths_ was serious." "We're already more important than the Police will ever be." "There haven't been that many groups who've had the same kind of acclaim we've had in such a short pod of time, but to be honest, I really think we deserve it. It's not arrogance that makes me say ta ut a real belief in _The Smiths_." "If I was the main spokesman for _The Smiths_ I'm not sure we'd have got the sort of press we have d." "We are unique in that we are just four individuals and we're not afraid to say that we've vulnerablwe're just four human beings who go through the same daily chores that the people who buy our recod o through. We don't adopt a persona that say 'We are _The Smiths_". We just _are_." "You confound people by having long unintelligible names and that's exactly what we're reacting agai." "It's a very optimistic feel that people get from our records and our gigs and that is of paramount ortance to us." "We're proud of our records and sleeves because they are different to everybody." "Being in _The Smiths_ is now basically more of an ideal state than when we started because the threembers are my best friends." "I really do believe that we're better than everybody else." == The Songs == "I listen to our songs more than I listen to anybody else's. The music we make really pleases me." "The reason why Morrissey and I got together in the first place was to write songs. The reason why ias so successful is that we both felt the need to react against what we'd been hearing over the patXyears." "Morrissey's lyrics offer a great deal of hope to people who are normal by saying there's nothing wr with that." "I write the music from start to finish and he (Morrissey) writes the title, words the lot -- initia we just thought of writing songs for other people like we've done now with Sandie Shaw, we still oeto do that with other people." == Success == "I don't think groups can succeed unless they've got something to feel uncomfortable about." "We want to be universally successful but what's more important to me -- and I realize it more as wet more popular -- is that we are the people who have to live with our records." "There are times when I really do yearn to be unsuccessful just because things are a lot less complied when you're unsuccessful. Sometimes I wish I could go back to rehearsing and playing in Manchese nd sort of having a little cult following. But then I really know I want to be the biggest superta i the world!" == Suffer Little Children == "That impressed me massively when I first read the lyric." == Synthesizers == "We can all play our instruments really well. Limited musicians cover up by using synthesizers." "We could never use a Linn Drum or a drum machine. The only use a synthesizer would be to us would bor string parts -- and we'd rather use real strings ..... any other sound I try to achieve with guitar. Having said that I've just finished working on tguitar part for the new Quando Quango record which is totally electrofunk. Although their sound isttlly alien to me I enjoyed the challenge. == Teenagers == "I think it's sad that teenagers seem to be getting too sophisticated to be teenagers anymore. I thithat very soon we're going to reach the point where the very idea of being in a group is uncool." == Touring == "We like the actual playing of gigs. It's just the travelling around in the bus that gets a bit of aag ..... and sound checks aren't the most pleasant things." "There's no way we're going to stop playing gigs. We're not going to do the Marc Almond bit! We'd lito play two dates a week or something but we're not that keen on doing traditional tours because i a become a bland circus. I'd hate to get sick of playing gigs." "We didn't really want to get involved in the kind of circus that many other groups get involved in .. i.e. you get to a certain status with your singles and then you're expected to play certain typso venues and a certain number of venues per tour. Which is what we did with the first tour and no w'v experienced that we're going to kind of segregate the gigs a little more and play in a few moe dffeent places." == Top Of The Pops == "Every time we go on 'Top of the Pops' it's very much like new boys at school. We don't 'hang out ine bar' with other groups." Mike Joyce speaks ..... == The Buzzcocks == "The Buzzcocks were triumphant, they used to make me cry." == Communication == "Communication has got to be the most beautiful thing in the world." == Drumming == "John Maher (The Buzzcocks) used to be my favorite drummer and maybe I borrowed some of his style." == 'I Don't Owe You Anything' == "I remember when we were doing 'I Don't Owe You Anything' at Dingwalls I was nearly reduced to tears was so powerful." == Interviews == "I'm sure if I wanted to get into interviews it would be quite easy to do but I'm perfectly happy toke a backseat." == Recording == "One of the wonderful things about being in _The Smiths_ is when we actually get the track down and hear it for the first time, it's just incredible, so powerful and always _right_." == The Smiths == "Like Morrissey, I feel that my life was leading up to 'Hand In Glove' and from then on things began happen." Andy Rourke speaks ..... == Bass Guitar == "I've been playing guitar since I was nine but when Johnny started getting good on it I switched to s and now I've very good indeed." == Johnny Marr == "I've known Johnny since I was at school and we all get on very well." == Morrissey == "Morrissey's the only one who's got anything to say, because the rest of us are just musicians." "He's so good at getting our views across that we don't need the exposure." == The Smiths == "We are the best band in the world, there's nobody better." == Videos == "_The Smiths_ will never make a video because our music speaks for itself."

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