Michael Imperioli (Christopher from The Sopranos) waxes lyrical about The Smiths Rubber Ring and Morrissey

From The Quietus imperious Baker's Dozen regular column where various celebs and the like choose their 13 favourite/ important/ influential songs. (Some great choices btw)


The Smiths – 'Rubber Ring'
That's the first song I heard of theirs. It was, I guess, 1985 and I was at a friend's apartment New York and he had the big 12” 'The Boy With The Thorn In His Side', but he played the B-side first, which was 'Rubber Ring' and it ran right into 'Asleep'. I had never heard of The Smiths, and it was one of those experiences where that was exactly what I needed to hear at that moment in my life. Like, there couldn't have been another song that would have been programmed to my brain waves better. I didn't know what it was, but it just blew my mind. The sound, the guitar, and Morrissey's voice and his lyrics, then it went into 'Asleep', which really shocked me and surprised me. That just began my love for the band. Shortly after that, they released The Queen Is Dead. I started just getting all their records, their first album, and Meat Is Murder.

Then they came to New York in '86 on The Queen Is Dead tour. It was an outdoor concert. They used to have concerts on the West Side Pier around 42nd Street, 50th Street, and that was a really big deal, seeing them live. It was their last tour, and I'll never forget it. I mean, I've seen Morrissey many times and loved it every time, but there was something very special about seeing seeing The Smiths play together.

But that song is so reflective of this, today, what we're doing: "Don't forget the songs that made you cry, and the songs that saved your life/Yes, you're older now and you're a clever swine, but they were the only ones who ever stood by you..." In many ways that's very true and I think Morrissey's been very loyal to that, in reuniting the New York Dolls, and he wrote a book about them before he was even in a band. Having that kind of allegiance and loyalty and respect towards the artists that really were there for you. Especially because a lot of people really get into music in adolescence, which is always such a difficult time. People try to figure out what it means to be an adult, and all those challenges of feeling awkward and feeling inadequate, and music is often the one friend you have. The most loyal friend you have. 'Rubber Ring' really expresses that. It's got something in common with the dynamic in the Carpenters and Velvet Underground songs, and then you go to 'Paint A Vulgar Picture', which is another I should have had on this list, but I only wanted to do one for each artist.

What have you made of his political stance in recent years?

Well, I know several of the guys in his band, especially Gustavo Manzur, his keyboardist who writes some of the songs now with Morrissey. I've never met Morrissey, I don't know him, but they're some of the greatest guys and smartest guys and lovely guys, Gustavo especially, and they told me Morrissey is not a racist. First of all, he's just too smart to be a racist. Racism comes with ignorance. I think a lot of what he says gets taken out of context. A lot of what he says is about hypocrisy, and religious hypocrisy of talking about kindness everything being sacred, and then slaughtering animals, and that's always been a cause of his. The party that he was affiliating himself with in England (For Britain), I don't know a lot about it, but seems there's some dodgy stuff there, although I don't know the extent or the details. I would love to hear more just from him, because he definitely is a contrarian and has always been, but he hates Donald Trump. He's not Anti-Semitic; he wrote a song about Israel. I can't imagine him being a racist. But there's been a lot of reaction from people, that's for sure. I'd love to have a conversation with him some day, just to see, but I really trust his bandmates, because they're great human beings and I think they understand where he's coming from. I think there's more to the story than what's been headlined and put into bullet points and taken out of context. I'm withholding my judgement until there's more evidence.

But The Smiths, if you were young, as I was at the age when I heard them, felt very important. I always felt like an outsider, feeling that kind of alienation, in a place where anything like that is considered different, that's often a difficult path. I couldn't wait to get away from the place I grew up in to be in the city and to be around artists. The Smiths were a real beacon of hope during those times. I just loved the music, and I still do.
 

Comments

Bluebirds

Well-Known Member
My Bloody Valentine – 'Sometimes'

I really liked this part about leaving a show after the opening act blew him away:

"Now, Dinosaur Jr is a band I've always loved, and still value, and will go to see them every chance I can, and I get all the records. But when My Bloody Valentine was finished, I had to leave because it had taken everything out of me. I don't go to see live bands to be passive. It's a very active experience. I don't like to sit during rock shows. I like to be on the floor, shoulder-to-shoulder with people. I think it's that's how it's meant to be heard, rock. But it takes energy, especially a band like Dinosaur Jr. I was just sapped of every ounce of energy after seeing My Bloody Valentine that I had to leave - I left in an amazing state. I was very ecstatic. But I couldn't experience any more music, or anything at that point. I had to just digest, and sit with what just happened."
Assuming MBV finished with their set with You Made Me Realise I think standing up after that is nigh on impossible. I've witnessed this Holocaust aural assault twice live - it's otherworldly, and not necessarily in a good way.
 

Nerak

Reverse Ferret
This feeling inside me could never deny me
The right to be wrong if I choose
And this pleasure I get
From say winning a bet
Is to lose ‘


:cool:
Actually it makes it easier - instead of having to run around putting out all the fires he's lit - a person could just tell any hack that his self-hatred makes him do & say mad shit.

A one line explanation & a story idea with infinite scope for new theories. Also he can't ruin it by saying or doing more mad shit. So it's future proof. 🍸
 
I've never met Morrissey, I don't know him, but they're some of the greatest guys and smartest guys and lovely guys, Gustavo especially, and they told me Morrissey is not a racist. First of all, he's just too smart to be a racist. Racism comes with ignorance. I think a lot of what he says gets taken out of context. A lot of what he says is about hypocrisy, and religious hypocrisy of talking about kindness everything being sacred, and then slaughtering animals, and that's always been a cause of his.”

“....but I really trust his bandmates, because they're great human beings and I think they understand where he's coming from. I think there's more to the story than what's been headlined and put into bullet points and taken out of context.”



Michael sounds like a very intelligent person.

:cool:



for all the clever swines .....

It took years for me to find out that Rubber Ring slid into Asleep on the single.
Even though it made all the sense in the world, I had only heard these songs
on the Louder Than Bombs tape, so I just didn't know.
It was just as well anyways, cause learnin' about it years later was like findin'
a extra gem.
 

joe frady

Vile Refusenik
This feeling inside me could never deny me
The right to be wrong if I choose
And this pleasure I get
From say winning a bet
Is to lose ‘


:cool:
God yes; í remember the night when he sang that ~ well, 2 successive nights in an old '50s cinema at the top of O'Connell Street in a Wintering Dublin. It was glorious. Don't think most people knew the song, but everyone there could sense the concentration & intent with which he sang every word. It was completely mesmerising. But he lied about doing it the next night in schoolboy shorts...

Nearly as captivating as when he debuted "Come Back to Camden" in Dublin 9 years later. He often saved these specials for the Dark Pool ;)

.
 

gordyboy9

GAME OF DEATH.
Fabulous.

He's definitely been taken out of context & editorialised to hell. Plus managing to like the single most ridiculous politician in British history.

What I really don't understand is why Moz has let his image slide to this extent? He does absolutely nothing to rescue himself & Central makes it worse.

Anyone else would have hired an army of prs by now.
because hes at an age where caring goes out the window.
better to die a broken piece of jade than live a life of clay.
 

Watson

Active Member
I've never met Morrissey, I don't know him, but they're some of the greatest guys and smartest guys and lovely guys, Gustavo especially, and they told me Morrissey is not a racist. First of all, he's just too smart to be a racist. Racism comes with ignorance. I think a lot of what he says gets taken out of context. A lot of what he says is about hypocrisy, and religious hypocrisy of talking about kindness everything being sacred, and then slaughtering animals, and that's always been a cause of his.”

“....but I really trust his bandmates, because they're great human beings and I think they understand where he's coming from. I think there's more to the story than what's been headlined and put into bullet points and taken out of context.”



Michael sounds like a very intelligent person.

:cool:



for all the clever swines .....

I'm so confused...Gustavo, who works with Morrissey and spends quite a lot of time in his company, says that Moz IS NOT racist...but UnclePeter, who does not know Moz in any way at all and has not spent a single second of time in his company, never spoken to him and is totally irrelevant to anything connected to Moz, says that Morrissey IS a racist. Who to believe? It's a tricky one...
 

gordyboy9

GAME OF DEATH.
I'm so confused...Gustavo, who works with Morrissey and spends quite a lot of time in his company, says that Moz IS NOT racist...but UnclePeter, who does not know Moz in any way at all and has not spent a single second of time in his company, never spoken to him and is totally irrelevant to anything connected to Moz, says that Morrissey IS a racist. Who to believe? It's a tricky one...
skinflint knows EVERYTHING,guy can hardly tie his shoelaces.
 

Radis Noir

This radish kills fascists.
I'm so confused...Gustavo, who works with Morrissey and spends quite a lot of time in his company, says that Moz IS NOT racist...but UnclePeter, who does not know Moz in any way at all and has not spent a single second of time in his company, never spoken to him and is totally irrelevant to anything connected to Moz, says that Morrissey IS a racist. Who to believe? It's a tricky one...
Or, Gustavo, who wants to ingratiate himself with his employer and keep his job says that Morrissey is not racist, but Peter, who is not trammelled by worries about losing his livelihood, says something different. One of those parties has a vested financial and career interest in promoting a particular viewpoint and the other does not. Who to believe?
 

joe frady

Vile Refusenik
Yes - that could be it. Self-sabotage.
Last week í was listening to another pop star who had something of a propensity for self-sabotage, talking to Young, Kirsty, on DiD in 2007. He discussed guilt and a recent realisation about his career...



...not sure it applies directly, as GM was clearly far more commercially successful than Moz, and not too sure that M. has as rampant a self-belief in his own talent. And obviously Morrissey's career could be said to be a sinking duck in comparison with George's. But at least he's alive.

But í think it's as powerful a case of self-sabotage, and a person's psyche impacting on their art, as any other in the Pop Game.

.
 

Nerak

Reverse Ferret
Or, Gustavo, who wants to ingratiate himself with his employer and keep his job says that Morrissey is not racist, but Peter, who is not trammelled by worries about losing his livelihood, says something different. One of those parties has a vested financial and career interest in promoting a particular viewpoint and the other does not. Who to believe?
There's no financial incentive in staying with a cult artist whose reputation has taken a huge hit & in telling someone privately that you don't believe the public allegations. And there's no reason for an actor to risk being denounced by repeating the private conversation.

If they didn't genuinely believe he was ok, they'd walk out & his manager & record company would publicly dump him.

Even then, it does suggest there's a certain amount of love, because showbiz is ruthless & mud sticks.
 

Stephen Hofmann

Well-Known Member
Last week í was listening to another pop star who had something of a propensity for self-sabotage, talking to Young, Kirsty, on DiD in 2007. He discussed guilt and a recent realisation about his career...



...not sure it applies directly, as GM was clearly far more commercially successful than Moz, and not too sure that M. has as rampant a self-belief in his own talent. And obviously Morrissey's career could be said to be a sinking duck in comparison with George's. But at least he's alive.

But í think it's as powerful a case of self-sabotage, and a person's psyche impacting on their art, as any other in the Pop Game.

.
"So the choice I have made
May seem strange to you
But who asked you, anyway?
It's my life to wreck
My own way"
 

gordyboy9

GAME OF DEATH.
Last week í was listening to another pop star who had something of a propensity for self-sabotage, talking to Young, Kirsty, on DiD in 2007. He discussed guilt and a recent realisation about his career...



...not sure it applies directly, as GM was clearly far more commercially successful than Moz, and not too sure that M. has as rampant a self-belief in his own talent. And obviously Morrissey's career could be said to be a sinking duck in comparison with George's. But at least he's alive.

But í think it's as powerful a case of self-sabotage, and a person's psyche impacting on their art, as any other in the Pop Game.

.
george michael had zero self belief,he wouldnt have the nerve to walk into a record company and badger them to take his demo,thats where andrew ridgeley came in,a lot of singers are very shy,thats why getting up on stage is a release for them.
 

Radis Noir

This radish kills fascists.
If they didn't genuinely believe he was ok, they'd walk out & his manager & record company would publicly dump him.
They wouldn't be the first people to tolerate a less-than-ideal situation because it suited them financially. But that wasn't really my point, rather I was pointing out the weakness in @Watson's argument.
 

joe frady

Vile Refusenik
george michael had zero self belief,he wouldnt have the nerve to walk into a record company and badger them to take his demo,thats where andrew ridgeley came in,a lot of singers are very shy,thats why getting up on stage is a release for them.
At the start, he had no personal confidence, í think, but he always had immense self-belief in his own talent for songwriting. Add the afore-mentioned guilt into the mix and you have a recipe for self-sabotage.
í don't believe it's the same ingredients with Morrissey, but the cocktail appears to have the same effect.

.
 

ACTON

Don't Leave Us In The Dark
Bein' a fan, Mike I. did some extra perusin' and found out from Gustavo
that Moz ain't a racist.
Gustavo's sentiment holds some real water, cause he's around Moz more
than most folks.
You can't turn around these days without being called a racist. George R R Martin was attacked by twits for referencing H.P.Lovecraft in his Hugo Award keynote speech, and for not pronouncing people's names correctly. He had to issue an apology. FFS. The one good thing about lockdown was I didn't have to meet stupid people for a while.
 

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