Dear Morrissey (and Penguin)
Look, I was a Smiths fan alright. I bought every album. I danced around waving daffodils, wearing my Dad’s old cardigan. I lusted after boys of a dubious sexual nature. Glasses were cool, joss sticks made to be carried like cigarettes, hair not made for a brush. But that was a long, long time ago. I remember going to a party when I was in my final year at university and meeting some gate-crashing seventeen year olds who told us that they hadn’t really listened to The Smiths. That was 1989. You see The Smiths were important for my narrow generation but by the time they split up no-body else cared.
A while back I wrote my most popular blog post about old punks (Paul Morley) wittering on about The Sex Pistols and how John Lydon couldn’t do anything wrong (not even butter ads) because of what he did in the 70s. What a load of rot. It’s the same with Morrissey, he can do no wrong because of what he did in the 80s? Every generation thinks it’s idols are the best, Crosby fans didn’t get Sinatra, Sinatra fans thought Elvis sounded like a bag of cats, each one was the only one who had any impact on popular culture. It’s all rubbish. Why am I ranting on about this now? Because apparently we should suffer another terrible book from Morrissey because of what he did in the 80s. Seriously Penguin – have you no shame? Would you have published this drivel if it wasn’t written by Moz? If the answer is no then all integrity is lost. What would you rather be remembered for, finding the next Man Booker winner or publishing the novel that walks this year’s Bad Sex Award?
What you are doing is tainting glorious memories. How can you besmirch ‘punctured bicycle on a hillside desolate’ with “I suffer greatly in painful silence and I speak to you, now, with servitude whilst also pleading for your understanding. I am alone and I agonize in an exasperated state.”? It is frankly lazy publishing, the cult of celebrity stepping in regardless of the quality. Why am I surprised, you’ve got form haven’t you? The name Kate Middleton ring any bells? Coming to a bargain bin soon. Stop me, stop me if you think you’ve heard this one before. Just, please stop. The problem is Morrissey fans still buy this shit just because he wrote it.
Still, nice cover and I spent the last hour listening to The Smiths on Youtube which I wouldn’t otherwise have done. But please, please stop, I’ve read this one before.