I’ve been a fan of The Smiths for a long time now, but I never considered reading a book about them. Recently, though, I read a book about them. The book was called Morrissey & Marr: The Severed Alliance, and it was penned by an insane person by the name of Johnny Rogan. I say insane because you would have to be completely bat-shit to research a subject as completely as Rogan does Steven Morrissey for this book. Pretty much everyone who ever came in contact with Morrissey is interviewed, including his mum, dad, uncles, aunts, sister, schoolteachers and childhood friends. He even talks with Moz’s dentist about the underbite. Morrissey hated the book before it was even published (more than likely because he caught wind of all the probing Rogan was doing), and even went so far as to make this public death wish: ‘Personally I hope Johnny Rogan ends his days very soon in an M3 pile-up.’ He also said he wished Mr. Rogan would be ‘consumed in a hotel fire,’ but not before ‘pissing a packet of Skittles’ and being ‘gang-raped by Hell’s Angels.’ (I made up the Skittles and Hell’s Angels).
Why did Moz get so mad? I’ll tell you why–Morrissey & Marr reveals that Morrissey’s life has always been pretty bloody good. He’s been blessed with and surrounded by a great family, wonderful friends, pets, food, water, a roof over his head, more pets, a really nice bicycle, international travel from infancy, the freedom to do and be whatever he wanted, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera, (in the midst of life we are in death et ceteraaaaaa….) In short, Morrissey has never had just cause for even a dispirited shrug, let alone suicide; so the whole doleful, life-ain’t-fair thing is a bit of an act.
But that’s fine. Morrissey and his faux-misery have made many people happy, and they’ve hauled me out of the doldrums on more than one occasion, too. If you’re not a Morrissey fan that last bit about him cheering people up might strike you as erroneous, but the fact is this–The Smiths are the white man’s blues. Blues music isn’t meant to bum you out–it’s meant to elevate, and the same can be said of songs like I Know it’s Over, Every Day Is Like Sunday, You Have Killed Me, or even Everything Sucks and I Wish You’d Shut Up (admittedly, that last song is one of my own, but it wouldn’t appear out of place in the Moz songbook).
Morrissey & Marr: The Severed Alliance, buy it, read it, unite and take over.