|Name||The New York Dolls|
|Release||1981, reissued 1995|
|Publisher||Babylon Books, Manchester|
His obsession peaked with the 1981 book, The New York Dolls . ‘It wasn’t really a book,’ he’d demurely explain. ‘It was an extensive essay that was fortunately published by this small company in Manchester. But that was just motivated by the basic zest I felt personally for the Dolls.’
At a little over 6,000 words, Morrissey’s essay was an impassioned résumé of the group’s career. ‘The Dolls became a derelict monument to devastated teenage America,’ wrote Morrissey. ‘They were directly representative of their generation’s frustrations. They dressed ambisexually not as a political statement but simply to show that they at least had the ability to laugh at themselves.’
The book also included quotations culled from the vast archive of interviews he’d assembled over the years, among the most interesting being Johansen’s discussion of blurring sexual stereotypes which Morrissey would dutifully honour in his own work. ‘Kids are finding out that there isn’t much difference between them sexually,’ said Johansen. ‘They’re finding out that the sexual terms homosexual, bisexual, heterosexual, all those are just words in front of “sexual”. People are just “sexual”.’ Morrissey dedicated the book to his friend ‘Jimmy’ (James Maker) who, in homage to Johansen, would later wear women’s court shoes on stage during his brief appearances dancing with The Smiths. Morrissey would also mention his book in his pre-Smiths correspondence to Glasgow pen pal Robert Mackie. ‘I’d love to send you a copy,’ he apologised, ‘but I only have two myself.’
More information / scans: New York Dolls - ideanow.online.
IT'S 1981, THE YEAR BEFORE HE MET MARR, AND STEVEN MORRISSEY (WRITER) HAS HIS FIRST BOOK PUBLISHED. THIS IS THAT BOOK. THE FIRST EDITION OF NEW YORK DOLLS PUBLISHED BY BABYLON BOOKS IN MANCHESTER. IF IT LOOKS A BIT BEAT UP AND WORSE FOR WEAR, IT IS... JUST LIKE THE DOLLS THEMSELVES!