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. […]

The Persueders: Mark Simpson rubs Suede the wrong way

(Attitude, 1994 and collected in It’s a Queer World now available on Kindle) I have something to confess. When I listened to Suede’s eponymous debut album last year I was disappointed. Disappointed that it turned out to be as good as the hype had trumpeted it to be. This was an album that went gold on its first day and sold 100,000 copies in its first week, by a group whose canny PR people secured them no less than nineteen magazine covers. Suede were everywhere, and […]

Welcome to AbbaWorld – Prepare to be Abbassimiliated

“NO MORE F****** ABBA!!” So bellowed an ageing transsexual Terence Stamp in Priscilla Queen of the Desert, driven to distraction by his fey fellow bus passengers’ obsession with the silly Swedish 1970s super group. Some hope. We’re all trapped on a Day-Glo bus full of drag queens squawking along to a loop tape of Abba Gold playing on the stereo. And that’s just watching the Sydney Olympics. The Abba revival in the 1990s turned out to be not so much a rediscovery of a critically […]

Why Doesn’t America Love Robbie Williams? When He Love-Hates Himself So?

by Mark Simpson (Originally appeared on Salon.com, April 2003) It’s tough growing up British. Not just for all the obvious Austin Powers-esque reasons, such as our medieval dentistry, endemic mold problems and epidemic dandruff, but for something much more existential. The British are great and enthusiastic believers in Original Sin. In Britain, would you Adam and Eve it, we devoutly accept that we are all Fallen, all doomed before we are born, that no child however lovely and chuckly and pink-skinned is born innocent. Of […]