Long Live The Smiths' 'Complete Works' (MikeC)

The right part of the blog is very often "under " the main articles. But if you click on the article of the day, it suddenly comes back...So click on the last one if you want to see it and then "older post", etc.

January 25, 2012 When Steven Patrick Morrissey was 13, he was watching The Old Grey Whistle Test, a BBC rock television show, when the New York Dolls came on. Later, he called it "my first real emotional experience." It was hardly his last: Growing up awkward, tall and shy in suburban Manchester, he was the archetypal kid who didn't fit in, writing poetry and letters to members of the British rock press, disagreeing articulately with their critics.

Years before, Manchester had lost out to Liverpool as Britain's provincial rock capital, but with the arrival of punk, it snatched the crown back. Morrissey joined a punk band called the Nosebleeds briefly, but he had other ideas. In May 1982, he read that a writer for Record Mirror named Johnny Marr, a guitarist who had been in a couple of bands, was looking for a lyricist. The two met and hit it off immediately, and a year later, they'd put together a band, had a couple of gigs, signed to London's Rough Trade Records and started releasing singles. It took a couple tries, but they eventually had a hit of sorts called "What Difference Does It Make?"

This wasn't pop music as we knew it, by any means, although a superficially similar band, R.E.M., was operating in the U.S.: an odd vocalist matched with a guitarist who could seemingly do anything. Unlike Michael Stipe, though, Morrissey didn't cloak his lyrics in ambiguity.

To be continued here

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