Friday, May 22, 2009
You've made a happy man, very old...
“Age shouldn’t affect you. You’re either marvellous or you’re boring, regardless of your age.” -Morrissey
Well of course he's not old. He's only 50 but, yes, a minor lifetime ago when you consider him in his twenties - his initiation into our 1980's psyches.
I would never let this day pass without wishing Morrissey the very best of birthday wishes...it's a private thrill to have had my Morrissey article published also on this day, his 50th birthday. Nevertheless, it's April Richardson who's published a far superior article to my own. I love her last two paragraphs which read:
Best lyricist since Bob Dylan? Probably. Most charming and handsome? Certainly. His swagger is on a whole ‘nother level. And while he is definitely a polarizing figure — the phrase “love him or hate him” was invented for this guy — there is something to be said for staying true to yourself in a world of youth-obsessed trends and constant image makeovers. The (now-graying) quiff, the granite jaw, the provocative answers to interview questions and absolute refusal to change in any way to please “the industry” — that’s Morrissey. And Morrissey has never stopped Being Morrissey and will never stop Being Morrissey, like it or lump it.
So happy 50th to my hero, the guy who told me and millions of others that it was OK to be weird, OK to be bookish and awkward — that there was a certain kind of unique glamour in being alone, a kind of hope in despair. “You’ve got your books, you’ve got your records — you’ll be OK. Hell, you might even be better off alone, because most people probably won’t understand you anyway; you’re weird and it’s OK to be weird. I am too.” As a teenager, that’s what Morrissey said to me and countless others — nerds of the world, unite and take over!
And birthday or no birthday, I cannot resist posting a few of his famous quotes,
On regret: “Life would be so colourful if only I had a drink problem.” (Vox November, 1990).
On dance music: “It's the refuge for the mentally deficient. It's made by dull people for dull people.” (Details, 1992)
On being pale and interesting: “Yes I have had a tan, actually. I went to Los Angeles and got one there, but it didn't make it back to Britain. You're not allowed to come through customs with a tan.” (i-D, 1987)
On rap music: “I really do think it's a great musical stench. I find it very offensive, artless and styleless. To me it's very reminiscent of thuggery, pop thuggery. I don't want to hear it at all."
On the music industry: “In England, pop music seems now to be exclusively for children. If an artist is no good, why is it necessary to have that artist repeatedly rammed in our face?” (Speaking in 2003)
On a life in music: “I lost myself to music at a very early age, and I remained there.” (Select, July 1991)
On addiction: “Music is like a drug, but there are no rehabilitation centres.” (Select, July 1991)
On life goals: "Sometimes I wish I was just a simple drunkard." (Select, 1991)
On dying: "I have an unswayable obsession with death. If there was a magical pill that one could take that would retire you from the world, I would take it." (NME, 1988).