On This Date, March 17th in 2006: The Smiths turned down a $5 million offer to reunite as headliners of the Coachella Festival in California. Good for them.
On This Date, February 23rd, in 1985: The Smiths’ Meat Is Murder was the #1 album in the UK. Meat Is Murder is a fantastic album just crammed with amazing songs like “What She Said,” “That Joke Isn’t Funny Anymore,” “How Soon Is Now?” and “The Headmaster Ritual,” but my favorite is “Barbarism Begins at Home.” I’m going to celebrate the spirit of The Smiths by playing this album really loud as soon as I get home today! Smiths!
On This Date in 1984: The Smiths released their fourth single, “What Difference Does It Make?” with a B-side of “Back To The Old House.” This song was my first introduction to The Smiths, a band that immediately became my over-the-top favorite band at the time. I was lucky to see The Smiths in concert probably three times (memory a bit fuzzy) and I still try to see Morrissey perform whenever he passes through NYC with his band. The Smiths’ music will always be very heartfelt to me. A bit of trivia about the photo sleeve (above) for this single: the original featured a still of actor Terence Stamp from the film The Collector. Later, when The Smiths were forced to change the photo due to a permission issue, they recreated the shot with Morrissey standing in for Stamp. In the recreation, Morrissey is holding a glass of milk, as opposed to a chloroform pad that Stamp holds in the original. Eventually, Terence Stamp allowed the photo of him to be used. The covers featuring Morrissey are now a very rare collectors item!
Thanks to The P5 Blogspot For The Tip!
June 1st is the Birthday of ex-Smiths drummer Mike Joyce (1963), Alan Wilder (formerly) of Depeche Mode (1959) and Barry Adamson, composer and former bassist for Magazine (born 1958). Although we don’t hear much from Joyce or Wilder these days, Barry Adamson is still making some crazy music and composing soundtracks for mind-tweaking films such as David Lynch’s Lost Highway. The soundtrack of Lost Highway is worth owning on the strength of Adamson’s atmospheric soundscapes alone. Happy Birthday, Guys!
Thanks to The P5 Blogspot: This Day in 80s Music, for bringing the Birthday Love!
Andy, Johnny, Morrissey and Mike – The Smiths!
Morrissey (born Steven Patrick Morrissey), singer for The Smiths and worldwide Gay Icon was born on this day, May 22nd, in 1959. If you pay attention to this blog at all, or if you were lucky enough to know me back in the eighties, then you don’t need to be reminded of how important The Smiths were to me back in the day. I was so gay for them. Interviewing Smiths’ guitarist Johnny Marr was definitely one of the highlights of my life and career. Later on, I am going to play The Queen is Dead over and over until my eardrums cry out for mercy. Happy Birthday, Mozz!
The death of a disco dancer
Well, it happens a lot ’round here
And if you think Peace
Is a common goal
That goes to show
How little you know
The death of a disco dancer
Well, I’d rather not get involved
I never talk to my neighbour
I’d rather not get involved
Love, peace and harmony
Love, peace and harmony
Oh, very nice
…But maybe in the next world
*Thanks to Matt Walker for the VIP Access at last night’s Morrissey Gig
Morrissey Rocks the Hammerstein Ballroom
Back in nineteen eighty blah blah, I can remember being the most obsessed, fanatically nerdy of Smiths fan: scouring the tiny “import” record stores of south Orange County for ridiculously expensive Japanese copies of Hatful of Hollow and shrieking hysterically at Smiths concerts like a pre-teen Beatles fan at the Fab Four’s 1965 Dodger Stadium performance. Good times. Even during an era when really great bands were getting played on the radio at a pretty steady clip, as far as I was concerned – aside from never actually being able to make it all the way through “Meat Is Murder” without hitting the “Skip” button –The Smiths were the shit.
When The Smiths broke up over irreconcilable artistic differences and various assorted heroin addictions, I was devastated and inconsolable. I’ve read The Severed Alliance about fifty times trying to make sense of it all, but sometimes good things just come to an end and all that we have left are the memories and some really excellent bootlegs. Last night I was able to relive the happy, carefree days of my youth to a completely transcendent degree when I attended one of five performances by Morrissey happening this week at NYC’s Hammerstein Ballroom. Fucking A, what a great show that guy puts on! Honestly, I was blown away! To my surprise I really loved all of the Mozz’s solo material, old and new (some songs yet to be recorded) but I’d be a big fat liar if I didn’t admit that my very favorite parts of the show were his amazing renditions of Smith songs, as follows:
“Stop Me If You Think You’ve Heard This One Before” (Opening song)
“The Boy With The Thorn In His Side”
“Stretch Out And Wait” (“Stretch Out And Motherfucking Wait” – are you kidding me? Squeal!)
“Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want”
“Death of a Disco Dancer” (Which was absolutely mind blowing)
“How Soon Is Now?”
Looks Like Your Dad: Rocks Like Elvis
Jesus God, it was the best concert I’ve seen all year. Massive thanks go out to Matt Walker, Morrissey’s drummer extraordinaire, for getting me, Tracy and Geoffrey VIP seating upstairs.