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

Nerak

Reverse Ferret
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.

.
They talk about it more in sports - that creeping doubt that makes them bottle a point.

But then they really want to win. Art loves doom. As long as there's an audience.
 

Nerak

Reverse Ferret
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.
Twitter needs cannon fodder.
 

TonyMaroneythePony

Well-Known Member
Spot on analysis from a genuine fan and great actor...agree that "self-sabotage" is an affliction Stephen suffers from...and his boy Russell has insight into this as well...
 
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V

Vegan. Cro. Spirit. 888

Guest
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who the F is Michael Empanadatori?:lbf:
another unknown superstar. maybe there is
an opening for him in the Lawnmower SuperTwat group.:blushing:
he would need to do better work with the hair paint tho.:(
 

marred

Member
This thread is a classic example of how utterly brainwashed a lot of people on this site are. You just know if Imperioli had slagged Moz off for his politics the very same people would be saying he's a useless actor and the Sopranos was a shit show.

And then throwing in the classic "And who care what he thinks anyway?" Utterly brainwashed.
Yes but he didn't slag Morrissey off, did he? Your comment is utterly pointless as usual. What if black was white? What if cows were fish? I could go on, but that would be utterly pointless too.
 
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gashonthenail

Well-Known Member
Spot on analysis from a genuine fan and great actor...agree that "self-sabotage" is an affliction Stephen suffers from...and his boy Russell has insight into this as well...
I don't think Moz is on a self-sabotage trip at all. I think he feels free and liberated. He has clearly decided to take a stand against the 'woke' fascism that now dominates the English-speaking world. Like JK Rowling he thinks freedom of thought is important. History will judge him kindly, even if current mainstream media do not. And the songs - as Mr Imperioli very well points out - will last for ever.
 

Verso

Well-Known Member
I don't think Moz is on a self-sabotage trip at all. I think he feels free and liberated. He has clearly decided to take a stand against the 'woke' fascism that now dominates the English-speaking world. Like JK Rowling he thinks freedom of thought is important. History will judge him kindly, even if current mainstream media do not. And the songs - as Mr Imperioli very well points out - will last for ever.
No one is restricting Morrissey or JK Rowling's "freedom of thought." They say stupid shit, people respond, the world turns. I wouldn't exactly call that "fascism."
 

gashonthenail

Well-Known Member
No one is restricting Morrissey or JK Rowling's "freedom of thought." They say stupid shit, people respond, the world turns. I wouldn't exactly call that "fascism."
Trying to destroy their career? The message is clear to everyone else - keep your mouth shut, or else.
 

Nerak

Reverse Ferret
I don't think Moz is on a self-sabotage trip at all. I think he feels free and liberated. He has clearly decided to take a stand against the 'woke' fascism that now dominates the English-speaking world. Like JK Rowling he thinks freedom of thought is important. History will judge him kindly, even if current mainstream media do not. And the songs - as Mr Imperioli very well points out - will last for ever.
I think he'll be judged kindly - but I don't think it's as clear-cut as him going against 'woke' or as thought out as JK's stance.

He very rarely doesn't hate the media version of reality - no matter what it is - & no matter how much hating it is bad for his career - he couldn't even bear the olympics.

moz.JPG
 

Nerak

Reverse Ferret
No one is restricting Morrissey or JK Rowling's "freedom of thought." They say stupid shit, people respond, the world turns. I wouldn't exactly call that "fascism."
It can get really nasty if you're being targeted by a real life, online or media campaign though - they really bombard workplaces with complaints & people have been sacked, some have commited suicide... it might not seem real from behind a screen, but it's pretty scary for the person. And there's a whole influencer economy that's dependant on finding these things to amplify denounce.
 

gashonthenail

Well-Known Member
I think he'll be judged kindly - but I don't think it's as clear-cut as him going against 'woke' or as thought out as JK's stance.

He very rarely doesn't hate the media version of reality - no matter what it is - & no matter how much hating it is bad for his career - he couldn't even bear the olympics.

View attachment 58229
It's hyperbolic - it's Morrissey after all - and bloody entertaining.
 

Watson

Active Member
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?
Fair enough, but, if the many (well, 7) voices on here are to believed, Morrissey does not sell any records, does not sell out any concerts and pays/treats his employees very poorly. Would a talented career musician really stick around with a singer he considered to be racist given this narrative?
 

marred

Member
I don't think Moz is on a self-sabotage trip at all. I think he feels free and liberated. He has clearly decided to take a stand against the 'woke' fascism that now dominates the English-speaking world. Like JK Rowling he thinks freedom of thought is important. History will judge him kindly, even if current mainstream media do not. And the songs - as Mr Imperioli very well points out - will last for ever.
The best thing about Morrissey is he doesn't give a flying f*** how he'll be judged by history. Just do your shit and f*** the woke and you'll be okay.
 

sweetness522

My one true love
Your lovely wife gave me a copy! I'm just starting to read it now.
And it takes place in Queens (makes it even more appealing!). :D

That’s a really good and nuanced answer. (Michael thanks “Steven P. Morrissey” in the acknowledgments page of his 2018 novel, The Perfume Burned His Eyes.)
 
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V

Vegan. Cro. Spirit. 888

Guest
No one is restricting Morrissey or JK Rowling's "freedom of thought." They say stupid shit, people respond, the world turns. I wouldn't exactly call that "fascism."
🤒
they are trying to destroy their careers while chomping on the dole you and your 'fam' collect.:blushing:
please keep your mouth shut if you are going to want to continue to post stupidity.:blushing:
 

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