BOOKS: The Importance Of Being Morrissey


THE TELEGRAPH: Morrissey, former lead singer of The Smiths, has made a career from warbling about how woeful his life is. His autobiography, published today, bizarrely as a Penguin Classic, continues in this vein. Here are 13 of the most Morrisseyesque bits in Morrissey’s life story.

On being born: “Naturally my birth almost kills my mother.”

On being taught to swim: “I was lifted up and thrown into the water in an act that, these days, would count as extreme physical and psychological assault.”

On school dinners: “Putrid smells reduce me to a pitiful pile, and none are more vomitarian than school dinners.”

On school playtime: “On days of whipping rain we are nonetheless forced outside into a wet yard, as – blatantly beyond logic – we are herded out into the rain with all of its obvious detriments.”

On becoming a teenager: “My face had by now taken on the demeanour of continual deep regret, which only music could soothe.”

On his first job, at a hospital in Whalley Range: “I am surely a secretive part of some scientific experiment of endurance, or a prank played by God.” MORE

THE GUARDIAN: 10 Things We Learned From [Morrisey’s] Autobiography:

After the release of Margaret on the Guillotine, Morrissey was questioned by the police

Special Branch summoned Morrissey in the wake of his 1988 album Viva Hate, featuring Margaret on the Guillotine, “so that they might gauge whether or not I pose a security threat to Margaret Thatcher”. The meeting is civil, the singer’s autograph is given, and after an hour he is sent away and the matter is ended.

The Krays were persecuted

Morrissey believes the East End gangster bosses were targeted by the authorities for being “working class and far too formidable”. Their sin was not running a gangland empire, but that “their empire promised no financial gain for the government”. They were, he states, “unfairly locked away for the rest of their lives”.

He was the victim of a kidnap attempt

Morrissey believes Mexican kidnappers targeted him after a show in Tijuana in September 2007, when his driver veers from the highway down a dark road – 20 minutes after having promised they were four minutes from the US border. He and his security guard, fortunately, are able to leave the car, which leaves them in the middle of nowhere. MORE