Music

10 revelations from Morrissey’s instant classic ‘Autobiography’

Morrissey’s Autobiography has finally been published by Penguin as part of its Classics series, which had previously been reserved for significant works of literature by folks like Austen, Dickens, Dostoyevsky, and Twain.

The 457-page instant classic features stories about The Smiths, his secret romantic life, his famed hatred of the media, the time he was almost kidnapped in Mexico, and the day he was questioned by police about the threat he posed to Margret Thatcher. Oh, and about that time The Pretenders’ Chrissie Hynde bit a dog in a pub: “She call[ed a] shaky terrier over to her, and then lifts it up onto her lap where she quickly sinks her teeth into its neck. The little dog clicks into a freeze-spasm like a kitten in its mother’s mouth. The dog’s owner and the dying bar staff watch stricken with horror.”

Thanks to the early reports published by The Guardian and The Daily Beast, here are 10 revelations from the book.

The Smiths’ breakup was unemotional

“At the close of the Strangeways sessions there took place a glut of meetings with accountants and lawyers at the Wool Hall Studio, and in the context of such, The Smiths breathed a last exhausted sigh and folded. It happened as quickly and as unemotionally as this sentence took to describe it.”

Morrissey’s first female crush was a man

“Jerry Nolan on the cover of the [New York] Dolls’ debut album is the first woman I ever fell in love with; the hussy-slut positioning of the legs is playmate call-girl, and the pink drum kit might be a rock’n’roll first.”

Morrissey was an unlikely teenage athlete

“By accident I am enlisted to represent the school in track events for the 100 metres and the 400 metres for which, unthinkably, I receive schoolboy medals … I am obliged to feel honoured and to dream of the 14-second dash, or the one-minute 400.”

Morrissey is well behind David Bowie in the excess stakes

“David quietly tells me, ‘You know, I’ve had so much sex and drugs that I can’t believe I’m still alive,’ and I loudly tell him, ‘You know, I’ve had SO LITTLE sex and drugs that I can’t believe I’m still alive.’”

Morrissey was censored by his Australian label

“The censorious moral guardians of EMI Australia had refused (!) to allow my first solo album to be called Viva Hate, and had decided instead upon Education In Reverse. As a result, civilization enjoyed a new birth having been spared the blackness of Hades.”

Morrissey was asked to be on Friends

“I am asked if I’d jump in on a newly jumbled plot-line with the character Phoebe in the Central Perk diner, where I am requested to sing ‘in a really depressing voice.’ Within seconds of the proposal, I wind down the fire-escape like a serpent, and it’s goodbye to Hollywood yet again.”

Morrissey made a very brief cameo in an episode of
Coronation Street

“Even if you don’t blink at all you will miss me”

Morrissey really doesn’t like former NME journalist Julie Burchill

“Julie Burchill is, of course, not loveable, and has pitifully late middle-aged legs … Her naked body probably kills off marine plankton in the North Sea…Unchained from the cellar Burchill will make sure that you remember her… I shall be honored to attend her funeral, and I might even jump into the grave.”

Morrissey also isn’t a huge fan of Sarah Ferguson, the former Duchess of York

“Wherever I go I seem to see the Duchess of Nothing … A little bundle of orange crawling out of a frothy dress, the drone of Sloane blessed with two daughters of Queen Victoria pot-dog pudginess.”

Morrissey takes album formatting very seriously

“I vomit profusely when I discover that the album has been pressed in Japan with Sandie Shaw’s version of ‘Hand in Glove’ included. I am so disgusted by this that I beg people to kill me.”