Len Brown Meetings with Morrissey

ISBN 13: 9781847729873

Meetings with Morrissey

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9781847729873: Meetings with Morrissey
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Morrissey is amongst the most provocative and controversial performers in popular music. From the formation of his Manchester band The Smiths in 1982 through to the release of his acclaimed 2009 solo album "Years of Refusal", his career has spanned 50 UK top 40 singles and 20 UK Top 10 albums. This paperback edition of the bestselling hardback biography gets behind the public image to tell Morrissey's story in the man's own words and explores in detail the extraordinary lyrical content of the songs. It also celebrates the many artists Morrissey has elevated to iconic status - via the lyrics of Smiths covers including Cilla Black, Dusty Springfield, Billy Fury, Marc Bolan and the New York Dolls.

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Brown lifts the lid on one of the most individual performers we have today - from Morrissey's sexuality to what still drives him. Often biographies don't tell us anything new - this is an exception. Fans will love this insight into Morrissey. --The Sun newspaper September 2008

Now my head is full As a man whose meeting with Morrissey, both formal and informal, stretch back to being the first to interview the solo Moz in 1988, and on into 2003 and his pre-You Are The Quarry resurgence, Brown has more credentials than most to hurl a book about Steven Patrick out into the market. A self-confessed Smiths diehard, he also avoids turning this into some fawning Mozfather love-in.

It's not quite bursting with unprinted interviews. Most of the text re-tells the story, with Brown's own personal experiences (of Morrissey and other events in his life) adding colour, turning these memoirs-cum- biography into a hugely enjoyable read. What we get is a portrait of a man who, to reference Oscar Wilde as Brown does, has turned his life into a work of art.

Brown takes Moz's declaration that "everything's linked, everybody takes from the artists they love" as a manifesto, tracing Morrissey's story through his literature, British film/TV and female pop influences. Ultimately (and sometimes wearily overbearingly so), it leads right back to Wilde, Morrissey's biggest love. The final chapter, tying up all the influences and parallels between the artists' lives, might get a bit much, mind. Without being brainsizzlingly new, Brown's turned out a very fair, even-handed account that happily gets you running back to those records to play detective yourself. --Unknown

There is much to enjoy here; the interview material is sparkling and Brown's extrapolations on the figures who populate Morrissey's imagination, from the obvious (Oscar Wilde, James Dean) to the more obscure (TV's pioneering camp hairdresser Raymond 'Teasy-Weasy' Bessone) show an impressive grasp of Mozza arcana...one of the better books on the man who has claimed onstage to be Stinky Turner, Stan Ogden and 'Bruce Springroll'. --Unknown

Book Description:

Brown has conducted more interviews with Morrissey than most, which lends the book an authenticity, not often found: `'On threadbare Manchester council estates once a year fairs would come round. It was a period of tremendous violence, hate, distress, high romance and all the truly vital things in life.''

Brown suggests such thinking, along with much of Morrissey's work, is `'realism rather than pessimism,'' and I for one, am inclined to agree. I also believe this biography is truly blessed with all the right information and reasoning. Not only does it enable the reader to both discover and embrace Morrissey through simple prose, it explores many of the artists he himself has celebrated - including Patti Smith, James Dean, Pat Phoenix, Marc Bolan, Billy Fury and the inevitable New York Dolls (of whose fan club back in the day, Morrissey was UK President!). More than anyone, the book investigates the subject's lifelong fascination with the brilliant Oscar Wilde: `'Although he was the most intelligent, he simplified everything. Therefore practically everybody could read Oscar Wilde and understand. He wasn't complicated. Yet he still left you lying on the bed... panting. It was so real and truthful.''

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