Birthdate: 22. May 1959
Other names: Steven Patrick Morrissey
Steven Patrick Morrissey , known mononymously as Morrissey, is an English singer, songwriter and author. He came to prominence as the frontman of the Smiths, a rock band active from 1982 to 1987. Since then, Morrissey has had a solo career, making the top ten of the UK Singles Chart on ten occasions and reaching number one on the UK Albums Chart thrice.
Born in Davyhulme, Lancashire, to a working-class Irish migrant family, Morrissey grew up in Manchester. As a child he developed a love of literature, kitchen sink realism, and pop music. Involved in Manchester's punk rock scene during the late 1970s, he fronted the Nosebleeds, with little success. Beginning a career in music journalism, he authored several books on music and film in the early 1980s. With Johnny Marr he formed the Smiths in 1982, soon attracting national recognition for their eponymous debut album. As the band's frontman, Morrissey attracted attention for his baritone voice, witty and sardonic lyrics, and idiosyncratic appearance; deliberately avoiding rock machismo, he cultivated the aesthetic of a social outsider who eschewed drugs and embraced celibacy. The Smiths released three further studio albums—Meat Is Murder, The Queen Is Dead, and Strangeways, Here We Come—and had a string of hit singles. Personal differences between Morrissey and Marr resulted in the termination of the band in 1987.
In 1988, Morrissey launched his solo career with Viva Hate. This album and its follow-ups—Kill Uncle, Your Arsenal, and Vauxhall and I—all did well on the UK Albums Chart and spawned multiple hit singles. During this time his image began to shift into that of a burlier figure, who toyed with patriotic imagery and working-class masculinity. In the mid-to-late 1990s, his albums Southpaw Grammar and Maladjusted, also charted but were less well received. Relocating to Los Angeles, he took a musical hiatus from 1998 to 2003 before releasing a successful comeback album, You Are the Quarry, in 2004. Ensuing years saw the release of albums Ringleader of the Tormentors, Years of Refusal, and World Peace Is None of Your Business. He released his autobiography in 2013, followed by his first novel in 2015. His eleventh solo studio album, Low in High School, was released in 2017.
Highly influential, Morrissey has been credited as a seminal figure in the emergence of indie rock and Britpop. Acclaimed as one of the greatest lyricists in British history, his lyrics have become the subject of academic study. He has courted controversy with his forthright opinions—endorsing vegetarianism and animal rights, criticising royalty and prominent politicians, and defending a particular vision of English national identity. In a 2006 poll for the BBC's The Culture Show, Morrissey was voted the second-greatest living British cultural icon.
„But, ultimately, I don't have very cast iron opinions on black music other than black modern music which I detest. I detest Stevie Wonder. I think Diana Ross is awful. I hate all those records in the Top 40 - Janet Jackson, Whitney Houston. I think they're vile in the extreme. In essence this music doesn't say anything whatsoever.“
From "Home thoughts from abroad", article by Frank Owen, Melody Maker (27 Sep 1986)
In interviews etc., About other artists
Ref: en.wikiquote.org - Lauretta Bender / Quotes / 1954 Senate Subcommittee Hearings into Juvenile Delinquency, "Testimony of Dr. Lauretta Bender, senior psychiatrist, Belleveu hospital Newyork N.Y." http://www.thecomicbooks.com/bender.html
„Nobody can possibly be so hungry that they need to take a life in order to feel satisfied – they don't after all, take a human life, so why take the life of an animal? Both are conscious beings with the same determination to survive. It is habit, and laziness and nothing else.“
"… midway through his performance, he was overcome with fumes from the backstage barbecue." - Tim Jonze Guardian http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2009/apr/20/morrissey-coachella-meat-fumes/. Live at Coachella festival, California (2009)
„Age shouldn't affect you. It's just like the size of your shoes - they don't determine how you live your life! You're either marvellous or you're boring, regardless of your age.“
from "The cradle snatchers", article by Frank Worrall, Melody Maker (3 September 1983)
In interviews etc., About life and death
„I've been dreaming of a time when
The English are sick to death of Labour and Tories
And spit upon the name Oliver Cromwell and denounce this royal line that still salutes him
And will salute him forever.“
from the 2004 song "Irish Blood, English Heart"
„When you're young, you're afraid of being alone. Solitude is a burden and you try to escape from it. You always wonder when it's going to come to an end. Sometimes you can't get rid of it. At the age of 38, you use it in a different way. You've learned how to live with it, and you don't try to get rid of it by all means anymore. After all you may call this resignation, but I don't think it's harmful. You're not just standing there, in pain, asking yourself 'Why am I alone? Why don't I go out?' etc. You don't ask yourself these questions anymore. You adapt yourself. Living alone does not mean living in nothingness.“
From "My gilded prison", interview by J. C. Panek, L'Indic magazine https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/L'Indic_magazine (November 1997).
In interviews etc., About love
„Oh, the alcoholic afternoons
when we sat in your room
they meant more to me
than any, than any living thing on earth“
From the song "These Things Take Time"
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„I left my fingerprints somewhere - that's good enough. I am my own person - that's good enough. I stand my ground - that's good enough.“
From the TV documentary The Importance of Being Morrissey (2003)
In interviews etc., About himself and his work
„When you’re a teenager and in your early twenties it seems desperately eternal and excruciatingly painful. Whereas as you grow older you realise that most things are excruciatingly painful and that is the human condition. Most of us continue to survive because we’re convinced that somewhere along the line, with grit and determination and perseverance, we will end up in some magical union with somebody. It’s a fallacy, of course, but it’s a form of religion. You have to believe. There is a light that never goes out and it’s called hope.“
from "I've always felt like an exile" by Andrew Billen in The Times (30th May 2006)
In interviews etc., About love
„Music that is in the charts today is quite dreadful. I find it a great honour that I have never been considered for awards, such as NME etc. It is a personal victory. All awards shows should be banned!“
Speaking on Radio 2 in 2009
In interviews etc., About pop culture
„So when you say it's gonna happen now.
Well when exactly do you mean?
See I've already waited too long.
And all my hope is gone!“
from the 1984 song "How Soon Is Now?"
from the 1986 song "I Know It's Over"
from the 1984 song "This Charming Man"
Glastonbury Festival, 2011
„Jools Holland: "Knock Knock!"
Morrissey: "I'm not in!"
Jools: "Oh, come on."
Morrissey: "I refuse to open the door."“
On Later With Jools Holland (21 May 2004)
About the Notre Dame fire, Odds & Ends
„You shut your mouth,
How can you say I go about things the wrong way?
I am human and I need to be loved
Just like everybody else does“
from the song "How Soon Is Now?"