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Morrissey's autobiog

PostPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2013 10:47 pm
by Chris P
Maybe we're all too grown-up (haha) or seen-it-all (hoho)to get exercised about this cultural froth. Or more likely too tight to shell out on a new copy, when it'll be so easy to get 2nd hand for peanuts in several months time. Incidentally the 2 most prolific 2nd hand books in my local charity bookshop are Dylan's Chronicles, and Peel's biog/autobiog (forget which). In the eighties the Niven autobiog's were omnipresent nationwide.

Many funny web offspins from Morrissey's 'modern classic', and Peter Serafinowicz's rendition of the first page was very good, but I think he's topped it with the 2nd page:

On second appraisal though the first one scores higher because of the lovely word audibility:

Re: Morrissey's autobiog

PostPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2013 11:53 pm
by Hugh Weldon
The 'cultural froth' is in the publishing event rather than the writing. The 'Penguin Classic' is a typically silly Moz idea, along the lines of his insisting on Parlophone, His Masters Voice or a revival of the orange RCA label (depending who he was with at the time.)

The first 150 pages or so on his early life are superb, after which it declines into an inordinately lengthy moan about his court case and tales from the road, interspersed with the occasional gem such as his encounter with Julie Burchill ("gives genius a bad name") in which Ms B gets the most entertaining dose of her own medicine you're ever likely to read.

I could (and probably will) say a lot more, but it was fun going out to get it on the day of release as with all those Smiths singles years ago, and overall it's a lot better than I expected.

Re: Morrissey's autobiog

PostPosted: Sat Oct 19, 2013 1:34 pm
by Chris P
Hugh Weldon wrote:I could (and probably will) say a lot more

Great, hope so

Re: Morrissey's autobiog

PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2013 10:01 pm
by MartinOwen ... 8Q7PAC0VIP

For those of you who have not had your attention drawn to this review......

Re: Morrissey's autobiog

PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2014 3:30 pm
by Garth Cartwright
Got it out of the library, more to see what all the fuss was about rather than any real interest in Mozz. I'm the right age to have been a huge Smiths fan but never was - always admired several of their singles but found the albums dull and Morrissey's voice very much an acquired taste. I've never been much of an indie fan but The Smiths certainly stand as that genre's pinnacle and reading this I've not only played my one Smiths CD (hits collection) but gone on Spotify to listen to Strangeways album and other tunes he mentions. None of which has changed my opinion on the man or their music.

So to the Autobiography. Hugh writes that "the first 150 pages are superb" which, by my account, is being extremely generous. While the early pages do conjure up a bleak Irish Manchester of the early 1960s well, Morrissey is already settling scores from school and moaning away - all in a kind of Dickensian prose where it seems suffering is always at hand - and it gets tiresome fast. It also becomes very clear early on that Mozz is about the most self-obsessed man alive - he shows no interest or affection for anyone else on the planet, the descriptions of his sister, parents, J Marr etc being cursory at best. Oh he drones on about the NY Dolls and a few other teenage obsessions that still preoccupy him. But most of the time it's either how wonderful he is - 40,000 tickets sold instantly! - and how harddone he is - but Sire could still not get me a hit single in the US! For someone who claims to love words so much he has no eye for detail, never bothers to describe any kind of emotion (nerves before a gig, euphoria after, revulsion/excitement at rabid fanboys falling at his feet - nothing) and his aversion to sex is simply not discussed. It's as if he has spent a lifetime staring in the mirror whispering sweet nothings to himself. He is never grateful - so Rough Trade's founder Geoff Travis is constantly libelled - and keeps going on about how he has no idea why Marr left the band but after a 200 pages of this dross you wonder how Johnny ever managed to stay in a band with the vile egomaniac!

Reading the books of celebrities rarely gives up much unknown knowledge but it does shine a light on the emotional maturity of those who found fame in early adulthood. Keith Richards is better than Mozz at describing a lower middle-class childhood and his love of music before fame stops his development around the age of 18 and he then turns into a complete and utter moron who believes his own press about being some great outlaw rebel musical legend. Morrissey is even worse - a lonely child who has long fantasised about achieving greatness and lashing those who did not recognise his brilliance (or took advantage of it - as Travis and seemingly everyone else has done) remains that spiteful, lonely child. Pompous and truculent and wildly dishonest, Autobiography is a reminder that idiots can win fame and wealth and worship while remaining hollow, boring individuals.