I got Morrissey’s ‘Autobiography’ for Christmas. I started reading it right away on Christmas afternoon but here’s the thing….it was too intense for me, so I stopped. It was so very Morrissey. Intensely his voice and his essence. I couldn’t quite cope. The phrase ‘don’t meet your heroes’ circled my head – did I want to steep this deeply in Morrissey’s brain innards, when my ‘relationship’ with him in recent years is not without difficulties?
I have adored Morrissey since I was 14. I even went through a phase of trying to look like Morrissey. Here is evidence. I am fifteen here and I had a goth boyfriend who use to like to pretend to be a vampire by leaping out at me from behind corners, wrestling me to the ground and biting my neck. Ah, teenagers:
& I went to see him perform when he came to NZ recently and it was sublime. He did not disappoint. However, it isn’t without challenges maintaining the life-long love of Moz. He is difficult, curmudgeonly, veers a bit towards racism at times (actually, he is just plain old racist towards Asian people), has some interesting ideas about violence and romanticizes gangs, he is bitter and bitchy and prickly and solipsistic.
Yet, I do still love the old hag. He informed my teenage years. He taught me so much! Through The Smiths I learned about the Moors Murders, Candy Darling, Keats, Yeats, Oscar Wilde, Machester geography, Skinhead culture, James Dean….so much more I can’t recall right now. He gave me strength and courage as a vulnerable freaky teen to embrace weirdness and he made literary-geekiness COOL.
Anway, I have returned to reading the book. & I am making notes of the most excellent bits, which I will share with you on here. He is a great writer. His book is unruly and hairy and meandering and needed tougher editing, but who would want to argue with Morrissey? so I can see why no editor was ballsy enough to tell him….but the good bits are GREAT. His wit, his way with words, his dark patina.
He’s like family to me, which is why even when he is inciting race-hate, being naive about the ‘glamour’ of violence and remaining static of outlook in a world which is romping on….I can’t reject him.
He describes one of his harridan teachers saying ‘she will die smelling of attics.’
SHE WILL DIE SMELLING OF ATTICS. This, on page 10. Oh, so many pages to go….
Have you read Moz’s book? What did you think? The consensus seems to be that there isn’t enough about his romantic life and far, far, far too much about The Smiths courtcase….