The Smiths is Dead – Long Live The Smiths!

“The Smiths are sooooooo depressing!” said every naff twat you knew in the Eighties – which was millions upon millions. But, annoying as it was, every time you heard that lazy dismissal it confirmed something deeply, almost sexually satisfying: that most people simply didn’t deserve to be Smiths fans.” I wrote an essay for Rolling Stone celebrating the 30th anniversary of the demise of The Smiths, explaining why we’re really lucky that they split in 1987.

The Queen is Dead – but not buried.

So I checked the register of historical facts, and was shocked and ashamed to discover The Queen is Dead was released thirty years ago. To commemorate/commiserate three whole decades of vicars in tutus and boys with thorns in their sides – though we’re still waiting on Charles appearing in his mother’s bridal veil – the Kindle edition of my ‘psycho-bio’ Saint Morrissey is available  to download for the next couple of days from Amazon US/UK for just 99 cents/pence.

Dear Hero in Prison – Quotes From Morrissey’s Autobiography

Well, I’ve read that book. You know, the fastest-selling music biography ever. And while it would be hideously indecorous of me to review it – especially since Morrissey was kind enough not to mention my biography of him – I will say this: It certainly didn’t disappoint. In lieu of a review, here are some especially cherished lines. Because of course, everything that he says rings true-oh-oh-oh. On his hometown …we live in forgotten Victorian knife-plunging Manchester, where everything lies wherever it was left over one […]

Will Morrissey Have The Last Laugh – Again?

 ‘Has any book in recent memory not actually about wizards provoked so much interest?’ Mark Simpson on the most eagerly-anticipated music biography ever. C4 News, 14 October, 2013 MORRISSEY HAS ALWAYS enjoyed the last laugh. His entire career has been based on it. Back in the 1980s, when he was in his pomp as the pompadoured front man of The Smiths – and loudly rejecting everything the 1980s stood for – Morrissey was asked if he thought that success was a form of revenge. “Absolutely and […]

Morrissey Hasn’t Changed – We Have

Morrissey is always going to disappoint those who want him to be some kind of ‘singing Stephen Fry with a quiff’, argues Mark Simpson  Originally appeared on The Spectator Arts Blog Because the 80s is the decade that actually ended the 20th Century – the 90s was just an after-party clean-up operation – it’s also the decade that never came to an end itself. In fact, the 80s is the decade that just won’t die. Economy in (‘Big Bang’) recession. Tories in power. Cuts on the table. […]

Shelagh Delaney Finally Sails on the Alley Alley-Oh

Shelagh Delaney the Salford-born child-prodigy author of the ground-breaking, hugely influential — and touchingly funny — 1958 play ‘A Taste of Honey’ died at the weekend from cancer, aged 71. Below is a classic Monitor profile of Delaney and Salford from 1960, directed by Ken Russell, no less. Fifty years on Delaney the provincial working class girl comes across as very modern and relaxed in front of the BBC cameras — albeit in a slightly dreamy, introspective way that isn’t in fact very modern at all, alas. We […]