Morrissey the miniseries – misery in bitesize chunks part fourteen

morrissey-autobiography

Handkerchiefs at the ready – this is the grand finale.  Part Fourteen:

My Dream of the Dream of Steven Patrick Morrissey by Raechel Leigh Carter, An Epilogue   An attempt is made to kidnap Morrissey in Mexico but nobody back in the UK will hear about that because they don’t care and, anyway, the (sold-out arena) show must go on.  When Morrissey falls ill during his run at the Roundhouse in London, some idiots called Jonathan Ross, David Walliams and Russell Brand try to take the stage and make a show of themselves (as usual) but it doesn’t go down well.  Whilst Morrissey plays in Tel Aviv with the remaining New York Dolls, a woman and her three children are shot dead on the beach by a gang of youths.  No one seems much bothered about this.  Peter ‘Jason King’ Wyngarde writes a cryptic note to Morrissey.  He still lives in the Kensington flat he shared for many years with Alan Bates; lucky bastard.  He turns up backstage after Morrissey’s show at the Albert Hall and everyone is excited – who even knew he was still alive?  Julie Burchill asks Morrissey to visit her at her scabby mansion flat near Russell Square.  Russell Square used to be riddled with prostitutes, they’re long gone now – maybe they were scared off by Burchill’s ‘pitifully late-middle-aged legs’ and ‘whale-bearing hips’, not to mention her spiteful personality.  Surprisingly Morrissey calls on her as requested – she spills tea on his groin and doesn’t even offer him a Rich Tea biscuit, tight bitch.  Morrissey takes Burchill to task over a nasty article she wrote about Patti Smith and in return she writes in her article: ‘Morrissey lives with his boyfriend in Santa Monica.’  So what?  Well, Morrissey never discussed sexuality or Santa Monica with Burchill.  Morrissey imagines Burchill is dead – he can’t wait to attend her funeral and to jump into the grave, which surely will have to be humongous given her hefty size.  But nonetheless he finds her entertaining.  Mikey Farrell leaves Morrissey’s band and for the first time he is sad at the departure of a musician.  Mikey says mean things about Morrissey but they’re all true.  Years of Refusal is recorded in 2009 with Jerry Finn, who dies from a brain haemorrhage at the young age of 38 and before the record is even released.  When I’m Throwing My Arms Around Paris only charts at number 21, Morrissey goes to the beach at Los Cabos and sulks.  A pelican is dying on the beach so Morrissey takes it back to his hotel and asks if they can call a vet to have it put out of its misery; he will pay the bill.  Spring 2010 Morrissey is in the South of France and involved in an accident in the hotel spa steam room – the steam room door (glass) explodes in his face.  He could have died.  Morrissey goes on about Kirk Douglas and how to arrange your groin when sitting.  There is so much pollution in Mexico City that Morrissey has to have steroids injected into his arse.  An earthquake means they have to flee the Puebla venue – Morrissey runs out of the building barefoot.  He could have died, I tell you, he could have died.  Or at the very least he could have trodden on a piece of grit, which doesn’t half come keen when you are shoeless.  The US government are all bastards.  Morrissey is no more unhappy than anyone else.  The story concludes.

I need no thanks for reading this on your behalf – do you know what, truly I do love Morrissey.  He just needs to take Sparks’ advice and lighten up a bit.

Morrissey the miniseries – misery in bitesize chunks part thirteen

morrissey-autobiography

It’s nearly over now.  This is the penultimate chunk of Mozzer misery, it’s Part Thirteen:

The Outside and the Inside and the Secret of Fear of the Secret  –  Morrissey is playing the Montreux Festival in Switzerland but he can’t relax because his hair is too long; the show is the best ever.  In Oslo Morrissey annoys everyone by singing some A-ha.  Morrissey goes on about how his audience is getting younger and how he is getting older.  Morrissey catches a glimpse of himself in a camera lens and thinks he’s getting fat.  Every day is like Thursday.  Still, that means it’s nearly the weekend, eh, and a chip supper on Friday?  Even so, everybody loves Morrissey all over the world as the sold-out arenas and insane audience reactions show.  The NME (yes, even the NME love Morrissey for now!) ask Morrissey to compile a CD for them and then they go and spoil it all by doing something stupid like adding 4 additional tracks by newer bands that Morrissey doesn’t like.  Ron Mael writes to Morrissey and tells him he’s “such an inspiration” and Julian from The Strokes writes to Morrissey to tell him he never called him “a faggot” in the NME.  Not everything ends in misery in the Morrissey miniseries, Morrissey manages to look after a baby bird until it can fly back to join its parents; it doesn’t die, people, it doesn’t die.  The gigs continue, the love continues – Morrissey gets love from thousands, in the same room at the same time.  A lady backstage at Lowell may or may not have killed a baby, she is accompanied by the police and awaiting trial; so that’s how you get to meet Morrissey!  Morrissey’s humour does not go down well in Buffalo.  Every single person at Fresno has a Morrissey tattoo.  Tony Wilson (who looks just like Jerry Springer) has never had a good idea ever and as if to prove it he suggests to Morrissey that he should call his next album Steven.  Morrissey recalls Alain, who left the band in a huff, and remembers that Alain believed him when he said Rome was actually built in a day and that Alain used to put hair gel on before going to bed.  Just as well Alain left the band really, isn’t it?  Ringleader of the Tormentors is recorded in Rome.  In Rome the police men are nice – according to Morrissey.  Ennio Morricone turned down U2 and David Bowie when they asked him to collaborate, but he agrees to work with Morrissey.  Morricone blanks Tony Visconti but Tony don’t care.  Morrissey has been living at the Hotel de Russie in Rome for a year, after meeting an Italian boy (named as Gelato) at Dublin airport.  Gelato doesn’t sell ice creams – he runs a wine shop and teaches youth soccer.  Morrissey looks into buying a place in Rome.  Tony Visconti shows Morrissey a film of a singer called Kristeen Young and he falls in love with her; they become friends and a couple of years later Lady Gaga rips off her outfits.  Elton John is described as ‘shockingly down-to-earth’, but it is Morrissey describing him and not a normal person; in return Elton John describes David Bowie as ‘a vampire’, but it is Elton John describing him and not a normal person.  Ringleader of the Tormentors is number 1 in the UK but radio DJs in England will not play Morrissey – still, who needs ’em, eh?  Morrissey turns down a special NME award and as a result they write a nasty story about him – it’s all starting again!  Morrissey fights the NME for over four years and they finally apologise.  Bastards.  Despite the sold-out shows, Morrissey still questions the love – why do they love him?  Yes, why?  In Birmingham, Alabama Morrissey learns not to fear dentists. 

Just one more part to go and then the misery ends…

Morrissey the miniseries – misery in bitesize chunks part twelve

morrissey-autobiography

We’re nearly there now – it’s nearly over.  But it’s not quite over yet.  This is Part Twelve of fourteen:

The Serpent in the Soul of the Serpent  -Morrissey meets Elaine Stritch and they strike up an unlikely but short-lived friendship.  Elaine takes Morrissey along when she records an episode of Third Rock from the Sun – Morrissey enjoys himself but they somehow lose contact after the show.  Morrissey is invited to a recording of the TV show Friends and they ask him to appear and sing a song with Phoebe in “a really depressing voice” – Morrissey flees the set as quickly as possible.  Morrissey is now friends with Nancy Sinatra and she records his song Let Me Kiss You, but unfortunately it only gets to number 46 in the charts.  Robbie Williams keeps asking Morrissey to do “something” with him (oo-er, missus, etc etc) but Morrissey’s not interested and refuses to do a duet at the Brit Awards.  The papers try to make out that Morrissey is snubbing Robbie (oo-er, missus, etc etc).  Morrissey keeps seeing Sarah Ferguson about town and it annoys him a bit – he never entertains the notion that she might be annoyed about seeing him about town: “That bloody Morrissey again!”  On the other hand Morrissey loves something called Lypsinka but I don’t know what it is so I can’t comment on that.  Morrissey records You Are the Quarry and is well-pleased until Keane pip it to the post and get the number one album spot – but it’s only because they had 7 days of sales to get them there and You Are the Quarry only had 6.  Morrissey would have been number one if… woulda, coulda, shoulda…  Keane are apologetic and the album hits platinum sales, so it’s all (kind of) alright in the end.  The You Are the Quarry tour starts and Alain leaves.  He indicates that someone is plotting Morrissey’s downfall – not that hoary old chestnut again!  It all ends in tears and recriminations, obviously.  Under the Influence ask Morrissey to come up with a list of treasured recordings for a compilation.  He wants to include Saturday Night Special by the Sundown Playboys so the label write to the Apple label to seek permission to use it.  A chap named Neil Aspinall writes directly to Morrissey to say NO and don’t ask again.  But it seems he doesn’t have the rights to it himself and permission is granted from elsewhere.  Neil Aspinall dies in 2008 and Morrissey comes to the conclusion that he deserved to die for being so nasty.  In 2004 Morrissey is asked to curate the Meltdown Festival.  Sacha Distel agrees to be MC but then he dies.  Morrissey braves a difficult telephone conversation when he asks David Johansen to do a Dolls reunion for Meltdown.  The (remaining) New York Dolls were reunited for Meltdown, for Morrissey, but a month later Arthur Kane died.  Morrissey suspects that David Johansen doesn’t really like him.  Hmm.  Morrissey does Glastonbury and opens his set saying “Don’t OD without me,” whilst somewhere in the audience a boy ODs.  Another one bites the dust.  Morrissey falls over in the mud after the show.  Morrissey gets angry with Attack for censoring him and for all the typos on the record sleeves.  Morrissey then takes more than one page of the book to describe the comedy of Victoria Wood.  No one else dies.  Yet.  But it’s only a matter of time as Morrissey’s comment (at a gig in Blackburn) about murderers only getting 6 years in prison for killing a child when the animal protectionists in the Huntington Farm case got prison sentences of 12 years does not go down too well in certain quarters.  It’s a fair point but not necessarily well made, as Morrissey’s “beef” doesn’t seem to be with the short sentences for the child killers but with the fact that the animal protectionists got longer.  You know he means well, but, but… Morrissey has clearly forgotten about his “commitment” to the Tina lady and all that because he now proclaims that he doesn’t see the point in marriage and that “…I know that life’s biggest prize is to have the day before you as yours alone to do with as you wish.”  What a lonely life is the life of Morrissey!

Morrissey the miniseries – misery in bitesize chunks part eleven

morrissey-autobiography

It’s getting all miserable again now – sorry about that.  Here’s Part Eleven:

Knowledge is Power and the Early Bird Catches the Worm – Morrissey gives a page-by-page blow-by-blow account of what was wrong with John Weeks’ judgement – let’s fast forward that bit as it’s going over the same old ground, again and again… But, woe is me!, Morrissey decides to appeal against the verdict and looks for new evidence.  He rushes a parcel over to his barrister:  a VHS tape of Mike Joyce admitting there was not an agreement to get a 25% split, a clip taken from a documentary about The Smiths.   Morrissey does not hear from his barrister or solicitor before the case and demands acknowledgement of receipt of the VHS tape – as a result the solicitor resigns.  Other evidence is provided of the 10% agreement but Lord Waller, the appeal judge, falls asleep during the hearing.  The appeal is thrown out.  Morrissey thinks his barrister did not want to “rock the boat” in order to protect a possible promotion and so he wouldn’t show the VHS tape, which obviously would have won him the case.  The Smiths are dead.  Morrissey gets a good deal with Mercury Records and records Maladjusted.  He’s represented by Vicki Wickham but she’s rubbish so he pays her off £80,000 and they part the ways.  Let’s hope she won’t come back asking for 25%!    Joyce tries to get his 25% in cash now – and sends people over to Morrissey’s mother’s house perhaps thinking the house was bought in Morrissey’s name.  Her cat has been covered in paint and nearly dies; TRUCULENT is painted in six foot high letters on the front of the house; eggs are thrown at her windows.  Then Joyce discovers the house is not Morrissey’s and he changes tack and tries to claim Morrissey’s sister’s house instead but yet again it is not Morrissey’s… The legal bills add up as Morrissey must defend himself and his family against Joyce and his 25%.  Joyce gets his money from the Smiths recordings royalties in the end – approximately £3M.  Morrissey says it is virtually impossible to find any legal professional who will represent him against Joyce.  Aside from the financial blow, Morrissey seems to be most concerned about the personality assessment made by John Weeks.  Let it go, Morrissey, it’s not worth the energy and, anyway, as Michael Stipe said (and he should know, obviously), John Weeks is “a f***head”.  Mike Joyce writes to Morrissey many years later saying, “I know you must hate me”.  That’s the understatement of the century!  It doesn’t look like a Smiths reunion is on the cards.  Morrissey leaves England and moves to 1498 North Sweetzer Avenue, Los Angeles.  Johnny Depp lives next door but he looks away whenever Morrissey appears (maybe he heard what John Weeks had to say about him?), until Morrissey moves out and then he buys the house as an annex to his house.  Life in 1498 North Sweetzer Avenue, Los Angeles is not much better than the court case story – Morrissey’s car is stolen, the replacement car is dented by heavy kicks, desert rats run across the roof of the house at night.  But life must go on and Morrissey receives offers from both Eastenders and Emmerdale to appear as characters in the shows (Morrissey as Dot Cotton’s long-lost son!) – he refuses, of course.  In July 1998 the Guardian runs a two-page article about Morrissey’s decline and they illustrate it with a photograph of Edwyn Collins, ha!  Uncut and Mojo also have reports of Morrissey’s decline but hopefully they didn’t use photos of Edwyn Collins like what the Guardian did.  Morrissey meets Tina Dehghani and he feels a (vague) “commitment” to her – they even discuss having a child together, but clearly decide against it.  It’s all looking rosy though and then September 11th ruins everything and Morrissey starts rattling on about Bush and Blair and “the war against terror”.  Morrissey goes to see Al Martino in concert and is very impressed – he asks for an autograph and gets one but Al Martino doesn’t speak to Morrissey as he’s more interested in a woman standing a few yards away, what a knobber, eh?  Channel 4 want to make a documentary and say Morrissey has total control but then they try to shaft him so he goes into yet another legal battle and gets his own way.  Kirsty MacColl, one of Morrissey’s good friends, calls and asks Morrissey if she should go to Cancun for her holiday; Morrissey urges her to do so – she goes there and dies, her body smashed to pieces in the sea by an out-of-control speedboat.  Remind me not to ask Morrissey for holiday recommendations…  Merck Mercuriadis wants Morrissey to sign to his label Sanctuary but Morrissey doesn’t like the name Sanctuary, so Merck offers him the Attack label and Morrissey signs on the dotted line immediately.  More deaths before the end of this part, I’m afraid:  Morrissey’s 29 year old cousin Matthew dies, then aunt Rita dies of cancer aged 48.  We’re never allowed to be happy for very long. are we?

Only three more parts to go now…

Morrissey the miniseries – misery in bitesize chunks part ten

morrissey-autobiography

O God! O God! It’s the court case!!!  I’ll try to make it as painless as I can, okay?  Part Ten.

Loneliness Tears Cracks of Madness Even in Walls:   Morrissey calls Charles Hawtrey to ask him to be in a Morrissey music video but Hawtrey is so bored of Morrissey he puts the ’phone down.  Then, yes, you’ve guessed it, Charles Hawtrey dies.  Morrissey’s dad tells him that he’s obsessed with the dead – and he was not wrong, because at that Morrissey heads off to Charles Hawtrey’s house on Middle Street in Deal to inspect it.  He finds pubic hair in one of the sinks.  Dead man pubic hair, but it’s Charles Hawtrey dead man pubic hair nonetheless!  Joan Sims was in the video for Ouija Board and she told Tim Broad that Nicholas Parsons was a c**t.  Tracey Thorn criticises Morrissey for singing about wheelchair people but Morrissey doesn’t wait around on her advice.  Mike Joyce has spent all his money so he’s back on the case again for his 25%, despite the fact that he is just “wrong” to do this, he persists anyway.  Sigh!  Morrissey has bad representation, so that does not bode well.  Mike Joyce changes his statements every five minutes – it’s all so very tiresome.  The judge John Weeks is very well-to-do, don’t you know?  Morrissey’s solicitor does a disappearing act and then his barrister steps down.  It’s turning into a farce.  Joyce, Rourke and Marr are all sat together and Morrissey is sat all alone – black despair!  Mike Joyce “just assumed” a lot and Morrissey was sold down the river, but obviously Joyce got 25% out of that as well.  Mike Joyce’s barrister has enormous teeth and purple boils on his neck.  John Weeks dismisses any evidence against Joyce, because he can.  Whatever Morrissey does or says aggravates the judge and the barristers.  Morrissey is described as ‘devious, truculent and unreliable’ and the chubby drummer gets his 25%.   

Morrissey the miniseries – misery in bitesize chunks part nine

morrissey-autobiography

I’m spoiling you today – here’s another part of the Morrissey miniseries for you to devour.  Part Nine:

About the Eternities Between the Many and the Few – Morrissey writes to Johnny Marr and Johnny writes back to Mozzer “with love”.  He comes to visit in his Mercedes and they drive to the moors together for a nice friendly chit chat and then Morrissey RAISES HIS VOICE!  After their nice little day together Morrissey sees Johnny slagging him off in interviews – why could this be?  Ah! Yes, Johnny is trying to save his skin.  Others were not so lucky – manager Nigel Thomas died and video director Tim Broad died.  Nigel Thomas had done a $1M merchandising deal before he died and now Morrissey would have to pay all the money back – even the money Nigel had been paid.  That sucked a big fat one.  The man who wanted the money back was called Handsoff.  Ha! He couldn’t wait to get his hands on Morrissey’s money, could he?  Morrissey wants to sing with Siouxsie for some unknown reason – she says yes but sighs every time she speaks with Morrissey as if he’s annoying or something, the funny thing is: she lives somewhere called Condom; she doesn’t know that The Prettiest Star was on Aladdin Sane; she is like a cross between Kate O’Mara, Myra Hindley and Fenella Fielding.  Siouxsie then announces she wants 100% ownership of the recording – what a witch!  Siouxsie turns up at 18 Regent’s Park Terrace to discuss a video in which she gets to throw stones at Morrissey – what a witch!  To get her back Morrissey sends her off in the wrong direction to get a taxi, ha!  Then Siouxsie gets her own back by giving her own version of the story in her biography, a version which Morrissey is averse to – what a witch!  Morrissey likes Echobelly, uh?!  Mike Joyce (Mister 25 Percent) is still after some money.  Morrissey meets Jake Owen Walters in a restaurant and walks out when Jake’s meal of dead animal arrives.  Jake arrives at 18 Regent’s Park Terrace and stays there for 2 years, answering Morrissey’s telephone.  Jake has the word Battersea tattooed inside his lip – weird or what?  Morrissey poses for a photograph with his head resting on Jake’s exposed belly and apparently that’s not the done thing – you lives, you learns.  Morrissey gets advice from Sinead O’Connor (yes, Sinead O’Connor!!!) on seeing a psychiatrist – Morrissey talks to the psychiatrist about human suffering and the doctor is not right impressed.  Jake is even less impressed and tells Morrissey to SHUT UP!  But they get on like a house on fire for two years, especially for the bit where Morrissey moves into a fried-alive sun-filled house in Delresto Drive and they are literally on fire.  Then Morrissey falls out with Arnold Stiefel over a bowl of frogs’ legs.  Vauxhall & I is number one in the UK.  Morrissey wants to use some clips from the film The Blue Lamp for one of his music videos – the film features Dirk Bogarde and Patric Doonan.  Morrissey likes Patric Doonan but he’s unavailable for approval – he gassed himself at the age of 33 – so Morrissey asks Dirk Bogarde for approval, who initially says yes, then says no, and then he dies.  James Todd wants to manage Morrissey, but tells him that he looks cross-eyed on the cover to Hold On To Your Friends – the man clearly has no idea how to hold on to his friends, or to his life either, yes, he dies too.  Morrissey busts out crying.  He goes for a pint of Tennent’s Extra with Jake and Chrissie Hynde at the British Flag, where Chrissie Hynde bites a dog.  I wonder if the dog had to have a tetanus injection afterwards?  Alan Bennett calls over to Regent’s Park Terrace for tea on a regular basis and one day notices that something is amiss – Morrissey and Jake no longer talk.  So Morrissey moves to Fitzwilliam Place in Dublin but can’t even entice a stray cat to move in with him there (he just ‘eats and goes’) – instead the cat dies.  Morrissey starts recording Southpaw Grammar in March 1995 and Ronnie Kray dies.  Morrissey rattles on about violence and why imprisonment was unfair for the Krays.  Morrissey reveals that Anthony Newley was his pen-friend.  Apparently Reprise tries to ruin Southpaw Grammar’s chances of chart success just because Morrissey won’t renew his contract with them.  Instead Morrissey signs a contract with BMG/RCA and doesn’t get it checked out by the legals, o dear… Morrissey and Marr have sold off the Smiths catalogue.  Morrissey reminisces about making the Suedehead video with Tim Broad in James Dean land and stealing two chairs from the school Dean attended.  James Dean’s cousin Markie lets Morrissey look around the old house until he realises that Morrissey wrote the James Dean is Not Dead [sic] book and then he’s seen off the premises.  Sigh, it’s a hard life being Morrissey!

Morrissey the miniseries – misery in bitesize chunks part eight

morrissey-autobiography

I’ve been taking a break from summarising and taking the piss out of Morrissey’s Autobiography but I simply must get this book read now, so I’m back on it.  I’ve got to tell you, it gets much easier to read after the first 100 or so pages.  Anyway, here it is, part eight:

The Sun Warms the Skin, but Burns it Sometimes Too:  Morrissey is still rattling on about the moors and how he saw a naked ghost on the Wessenden Road.  But, spookily, going back to the scene the next day Morrissey and his mates find a discarded and dirty pair of y-pants where the ghost had been – gives you the willies, doesn’t it?  Morrissey doesn’t much care for Piccadilly Palare but it gets to number 18 in the charts anyway.  Morrissey doesn’t much care for Kill Uncle either and that’s at number 8 in the charts.  Seems like there’s a pattern there somewhere, mebbe?  Morrissey gets together a gang of North London rockabillies and forms a Morrissey backing band.  They tour America and are mobbed by Mozophiles – it’s sheer madness; nobody knows who Tom Hanks is and Morrissey manages to offend Ricki Lee Jones.  That’s all in a day’s work, of course, but Morrissey can’t understand why America loves Morrissey, especially when he “conveys all the worst elements of homosexuality and bestiality.”    Morrissey tells David Bowie off for eating meat, so Bowie brags about how much sex he’s had and all the drugs and everything.  Morrissey does not win a Grammy for Your Arsenal, because no one whispered or something.  Morrissey wants David Johansen to open for him at Madison Square Garden, but no one knows where he is; so Morrissey wants Jobriath instead, but he’s unavailable as he’s been dead for 10 years.  How inconvenient!  Morrissey is going up in the world – he now gets to shit on a toilet as previously soiled by Elvis Presley, but nobody in the UK gets to hear about the level of his success because they would not want to believe it.  Sigh!  People keep ripping Morrissey’s shirt off – the shows are becoming frenzied and violent to the extent that Morrissey feels like Fabian in 1960.  Some nasty journalist has been made the editor of the NME and he has it in for Morrissey – he is officially the enemy (NME, geddit?).  People throw pound coins at Morrissey at the Finsbury Park gig and the NME accuse him of being racist.  Morrissey is called to a meeting at Warner Records and makes a couple of jokes so the bosses there plump for Alanis Morrissette as their “new star act with a surname beginning with Morriss” instead.  Mick Ronson swats a lot of bluebottles; April 1993 Mick Ronson is dead.  The deaths are recommencing – three other close friends have died in 1993 too.  A girl at one of the Texas shows claims her face was ripped open by a tambourine thrown into the audience by Morrissey – she makes a big song and dance about it but unfortunately she does not die.  Morrissey’s pseudonym is Vince Eager.  David Bowie does a Mozzer cover version and it would appear that Morrissey is fairly happy about that. 

That’s all for now folks, just six more parts to go!

Sparks live at the O2 Academy Bristol November 2013

I am such a bad fan.  There was a notice at the O2 Academy in Bristol saying that Sparks did not want the audience to take any photographs during the Revenge of Two Hands One Mouth concert on 27 November 2013, and yet I felt compelled to sneak some photographs anyway.  Nothing is sacred…  Apologies to the Mael brothers, but I just had to!

Bear in mind that I had an Olympus Trip camera, no flash (didn’t want to draw attention to myself, did I?), and I was shooting on daylight slide film, these photos are not amazing but I have to say I am pretty pleased with them nonetheless.

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I was not very prepared so did not write down the set-list but from memory Sparks did the following songs and probably more besides, but don’t quote me on it as my memory is terrible these days!

  • This Town Ain’t Big Enough for Both of Us
  • Falling In Love With Myself Again
  • B.C.
  • How Are You Getting Home?
  • Big Boy
  • The Number One Song in Heaven
  • Nicotina
  • How Do I Get To Carnegie Hall?
  • Your Call’s Very Important To Us. Please Hold.
  • Suburban Homeboy
  • Good Morning
  • Excerpts from The Seduction of Ingmar Bergman
  • Two Hands One Mouth
  • When Do I Get to Sing My Way?

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Sparks are still amazingly good, even as a two-piece (I don’t know how it works, it just does), so you should definitely go and see them if you get the chance.  The good news is that the Ingmar Bergman film is definitely going ahead – Ron and Russell mentioned it during the concert and confirmed that work starts next year.  If it goes ahead with Guy Maddin it will be a must-see – they are a perfect match for each other.   So we might finally get to see a great Sparks film, although I have to admit that with them playing Big Boy during the set all I could think of was Rollercoaster!

I only had a few shots left on the end of my film, so that’s all I could get on film.  And, guess what?  The film ran out when Ron decided to do his dance, dammit!  I knew I was going to get myself into trouble getting the old mobile ‘phone out for a shot or two but I got it out anyway and, ahem!, got myself into trouble, obviously.  The results are amazingly bad in a good way, I think.  The first one looks a bit Elephant Man – sorry, Ron, but you look like you have a growth on your head!

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And the shot of the Ron dance is so blurry it looks arty – at this point I was caught in the act by security and just clicked whilst being chastised.  Bad girl!

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After telling us we can’t take photographs of them, Sparks went and took photographs of us!  On their official Sparks Facebook page they posted this photograph in which I can be seen on the front row looking like an idiot with my big gob open.  Ron Mael took the photograph and, really, I was very happy to be in it even if I look like an idiot (I’m not going to tell you where I am though!):

Sparks concert

What a souvenir of a fabulous concert! And I think I do understand why the Mael brothers say “no photos” as I think that in general people have a tendency to watch concerts through their cameras and ‘phones these days rather than just enjoying the moment, but when I think back to concerts I went to and how I wish I’d taken photographs then I just can’t help it now.  So, sorry, Ron and Russell but I had to do it and I’ll probably do it again when I come to see you next time as well.  I never learn, do I?

Sparks audience photograph, taken by Ron Mael, from Sparks Official Facebook page.  All other photographs by me, thank you very much!

Morrissey the miniseries – misery in bitesize chunks part seven

The Morrissey miniseries continues rapidly today, here’s part seven:

morrissey-autobiography

7: Remember—An Oath can be Amputated   Morrissey was behind The Smiths’ record artwork, don’t you know?  So Morrissey outlines the MozArt Manifesto, which involves being secretive, ordinariness, the past, “the North” and monochrome, or something like that.  Morrissey meets loads of famous people in America and admits he was wrong about the Rolling Stones.  Morrissey realises that for most people he is “a bit much”; he needs triple the stated dose of valium just to get through the day.  The Smiths don’t do as well in America as they should do, but that’s not Morrissey’s fault.  The actor Richard Davalos gives Morrissey a ring and writes him a few letters.  Morrissey catches Johnny Marr and John Porter up to no good in a studio in Chalk Farm with Bryan Ferry; Morrissey is disappointed.  Morrissey considers putting Geoff Travis out of his misery when Panic does not get to number one.  Rough Trade ask Morrissey to explain to the press that Shoplifters of the World Unite is not about shoplifting even though it’s about shoplifting.  Paula Yates calls Morrissey “some prat”.  Nannie dies aged 71 and when she is buried they forget to put her dentures in.  EMI Records try to lure in Morrissey and Marr with the offer of a Christmas hamper and it must have done the trick because Morrissey and Marr sign to EMI for £60,000 a piece.  Geoff Travis accuses them of being greedy (must have heard about the Christmas hamper…).  Craig Gannon has joined the band but does not seem to do much other than cause chaos and sleep 15 hours a night.  He causes so much trouble  the band decide not to call Craig anymore  when they get back from America and to wait and see if he calls them; he doesn’t call, thank goodness, but then he sues for loss of earnings and somehow wins.  I get the impression Morrissey has a low opinion of the law.  Strangeways, Here We Come is recorded in Bath and all seems well with the world until suddenly the band folds – just like that.  Rumours abound of arguments, but they are just rumours.  Morrissey wants to cry when Geoff Travis suggests replacing Johnny Marr with Roddy Frame, even though he doesn’t know what a Roddy Frame is.   There’s trouble with Sire and EMI and Morrissey seems to be bearing the brunt as Johnny Marr is off gallivanting with Bryan Ferry or Talking Heads or someone.  Morrissey’s prescribed some bad mood pills by his doctor, who promptly dies.  Nick Kent asks if he can play guitar for The Smiths but when he receives no response from Morrissey, an uncomplimentary article is printed in the Face magazine.  Sour grapes.  David Bowie sends Johnny Marr flowers, but he’s not interested even though he is asked to leave the Pretenders because of his bad time-keeping.  Stephen Street leaves some of his songs with Morrissey and they record Viva Hate together.  Geoff Travis “worries” if Morrissey has enough money now The Smiths are well and truly over, the cheeky b******.  Viva Hate is number 1 and Johnny’s work with Talking Heads is number 4 – nur-nur-na-nur-nur!  Rourke and Joyce work on a couple of Morrissey tracks but it’s not working out and then there’s pressure from Joyce’s lawyers to keep him in the band if Morrissey doesn’t want to be sued for a percentage of The Smiths’ royalties.  Trouble.  And there’s more – this time for Margaret on the Guillotine (I’m confused, I thought he always called her Thatcher?) – as Morrissey is seen to be a security threat.  Morrissey moans about Thatcher – or Maggie, or Margaret, what have you.  Morrissey moves to 2 Caroline Place and has panic attacks.  Juergen Teller pretends not to be in when Morrissey calls.  Michael Stipe comes for tea and then goes on stage with REM without changing clothes or brushing his teeth – dirty!  Linder announces she is pregnant.  Morrissey rescues injured birds from naughty cats; an injured starling he takes home to nurse to health dies on him.  Morrissey rattles on about the moors.   

Morrissey the miniseries – misery in bitesize chunks part six

Following on from parts one to four and part five, here is part six of the Morrissey miniseries:

morrissey-autobiography

6: Love Has Its Price  Morrissey meets Sandie Shaw and she makes him toast; in return Morrissey lends her his band and Hand in Glove.  Morrissey is not allowed to go to Germany for the TV show they’ve been asked to be on as he’s not singing on the single and Sandie thinks number 27 in the charts is not good enough for her; all of this even though the slice of toast she gave Morrissey was cold, small and not even on a plate.  What a bitch, eh?  Morrissey’s flat in Kensington is haunted.  Sandie Shaw has to climb onto a narrow window ledge and peer through the window at Morrissey to get him to let her in since the number 27 incident. Morrissey is contacted by the families of the victims of the Moors Murderers.  Morrissey moans about the music business, betrayal and being ripped off.   Morrissey begs people to kill him when The Smiths’ album is released in Japan with Sandie Shaw’s track as a bonus.  There’s no glamour at the Algonquin hotel as Morrissey discovers – just enormous cockroaches – and then he falls off the stage at the Danceteria; no one cares and the show must go on.  Mike has caught Lebanese warts from a one night stand so the shows have to be cancelled but they can’t travel home until the warts have cleared up. Nobody wants to play with Morrissey in the meantime and it looks like The Smiths are no more.  After a few weeks it’s all back on although Morrissey realises he’s hard to get on with.  Diana Dors dies.  Meat is Murder enters the UK charts at number 1, probably because it wasn’t produced by John Porter.  To celebrate Geoff Travis gives Morrissey a bag of biscuits which cost £2.75.  Morrissey goes on and on about animal abuse.  Noddy Holder and Steve Harley hate The Smiths.  Morrissey is living at 66 Cadogan Square.  Geoff Travis doesn’t think Hatful of Hollow counts as an album and falls out with Morrissey over this; it’s becoming legal now.  Morrissey is fuming when newspapers report he has apologised to the Queen for The Queen is Dead album; he’s also fuming that he calls Thatcher Thatcher but journalists always change it to Maggie.  Journalists repeatedly do hatchet jobs.  People say Morrissey is “sick”.  Anthony H. Wilson realises The Smiths are more popular than New Order.  Tough titties, he didn’t sign The Smiths, did he?  Geoff Travis wonders if Morrissey is depressed.  Johnny and Morrissey like A-ha.  Morrissey sees the American writer James Baldwin in Barcelona and wants to speak with him but dare not.  He misses his one chance: James Baldwin is dead.

Stay tuned for parts seven to fourteen…