Stephen Street on Morrissey (Mojo 327, February 2021)

Stephen Street Feb 2021.jpg



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Anonymous

Guest
I also agree that Morrissey ruined Viva Hate with the reissue. Ordinary Boys may be my favorite song on the album and he got rid of it. I just couldn't believe it. And Maudlin is supposed to be an epic, it's a long drive home after a crazy night.

I wish I understood why Morrissey seems to destroy so many of his personal and professional relationships. I just read the book by Chris Frantz about drumming in Talking Heads and he seems to say David Byrne is very similar, "incapable of returning friendship."
David Byrne is a different animal. He’s always been clear about what he wants and expects. His vision is whole. “American Untopia” was a fantastic album and the vision and execution of the tour was 100% AMAZING. You’d do well to compare Morrissey to someone within his own level of artistry. Melvis and his minions don’t hold a candle to anything Byrne has done in the past 25 years.

Get a f***ing clue.
 

Amy

from the Ice Age to the dole age
It does all come to money, of course it does , if your in receipt of any monies , owed,or incoming would you not keep a careful eye on it all, coz no c*** in rough trade did... did they ..... ? As I’ve posted earlier moz now in “some” kind of control over his financial affairs....
Or shall moz just accept the likes of Craig gammon .... with his £44k payout ... and for what.....
tweeking a couple of strings on 4king ASK.....
and been a 4king arsehole on a American tour where, Keith from Middlesbrough lives .....
Wierside jack is dead ..
Long live Keith..... you make Carlisle look like a very glamorous place that it is .... iiiiiinnnnnnniiiitttttt
People deserve payment for their work, it's really that simple. Trying to screw someone like Stephen Street out of fair payment for his work (and expecting him to be cool with that) is ridiculous.
 

Ketamine Sun

HANG THEM HIGH VERONICA
Would only be fair to hear both sides of the story.
 
Yes, I am interested in both sides too. To bring it to the Talking Heads book, Chris Frantz seems to imply Byrne just seemed to hate working with him and Tina for no reason. But it can't be no reason, right? There must have been something we're not being told. And Byrne never talks about that sort of thing and is a lot more private about his time in Talking Heads than they are.

It seems so many people who worked with Morrissey had a bad falling out and both an inspirational but ultimately combative experience. I often try to give Morrissey the benefit of the doubt, as I am a big fan, but I also have to live in reality and imagine he has some sort of problem with how he deals with people. I've been in bands too and it can be very hard to not hurt people's feelings or avoid arguments, but generally the song and the music comes before any ego.
 

Amy

from the Ice Age to the dole age
Would only be fair to hear both sides of the story.
Why? It's the same old story and we all know how it goes. The first mention of money and Moz runs away, gets other people to handle the conflict (whether that's Mum, Johnny, Boz, lawyers etc) and maybe sends out some passive-aggressive letters/postcards/faxes after the fact, basically letting the complainant know that they were a worm anyway and lucky to be in his presence. There have been several people in the exact same position as Street and the story never, ever changes.
 
David Byrne is a different animal. He’s always been clear about what he wants and expects. His vision is whole. “American Untopia” was a fantastic album and the vision and execution of the tour was 100% AMAZING. You’d do well to compare Morrissey to someone within his own level of artistry. Melvis and his minions don’t hold a candle to anything Byrne has done in the past 25 years.

Get a f***ing clue.

Kind of a strange response to my very neutral post.

First of all, I'm a huge fan of David Byrne so it is weird to lecture me about how great he is. I'm not getting the hostility here. All I said was I saw similarities in how past band members talk about their collaborations. This offends you why?

Second of all, I was not a big fan of Byrne's American Utopia album. I only liked maybe three songs on it.

Third of all, according to Frantz's book Byrne took a long time to develop and didn't know what he wanted. The book in a large part is about how collaborative most of the Talking Heads albums (apart from Little Creatures and True Stories) was. How they would jam, all come up with lyrics and melodies, but Frantz and Weymouth continuously thought Byrne took too much of the credit. Plus arguments over royalties, credit, and etc make his story fairly similar to Morrissey's in my view. I am not talking about who is a better songwriter. I am talking about their apparent problems working with others. Frantz also insists that later people Byrne worked with over the years in his solo projects have told him the same thing. Of course I have no idea who is telling the whole story, because Byrne never speaks of these things.
 

Ketamine Sun

HANG THEM HIGH VERONICA
Why? It's the same old story and we all know how it goes. The first mention of money and Moz runs away, gets other people to handle the conflict (whether that's Mum, Johnny, Boz, lawyers etc) and maybe sends out some passive-aggressive letters/postcards/faxes after the fact, basically letting the complainant know that they were a worm anyway and lucky to be in his presence. There have been several people in the exact same position as Street and the story never, ever changes.

Still, it would be only fair to hear both sides of the story.

we could only make assumptions but it isn’t the truth until we hear from him why he did or didn’t do and his reasons for doing or not doing so.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Why? It's the same old story and we all know how it goes. The first mention of money and Moz runs away, gets other people to handle the conflict (whether that's Mum, Johnny, Boz, lawyers etc) and maybe sends out some passive-aggressive letters/postcards/faxes after the fact, basically letting the complainant know that they were a worm anyway and lucky to be in his presence. There have been several people in the exact same position as Street and the story never, ever changes.

That's right, the same story over and over. Vini Reilly only got £750 for Viva Hate and wanted 1500 for the next album and Morrissey said no. Seriously, he couldn't pay that for sublime guitar work? Disappointing.
 

ACTON

Don't Leave Us In The Dark
David Byrne is a different animal. He’s always been clear about what he wants and expects. His vision is whole. “American Untopia” was a fantastic album and the vision and execution of the tour was 100% AMAZING. You’d do well to compare Morrissey to someone within his own level of artistry. Melvis and his minions don’t hold a candle to anything Byrne has done in the past 25 years.

Get a f***ing clue.
So says an anonymous someone on a Moz fansite. Haha.
 

ACTON

Don't Leave Us In The Dark
That's right, the same story over and over. Vini Reilly only got £750 for Viva Hate and wanted 1500 for the next album and Morrissey said no. Seriously, he couldn't pay that for sublime guitar work? Disappointing.
£750 for Viva Hate? Are you serious? WTF!!
 

Ketamine Sun

HANG THEM HIGH VERONICA
£750 for Viva Hate? Are you serious? WTF!!

I wonder if Vini said this around the same time he said that he not Street wrote the songs on Viva Hate.


We need to hear both sides of the story.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
I wonder if Vini said this around the same time he said that he not Street wrote the songs on Viva Hate.


We need to hear both sides of the story.

This info was from an interview with Tony Wilson who was managing Vini at the time.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
I also agree that Morrissey ruined Viva Hate with the reissue. Ordinary Boys may be my favorite song on the album and he got rid of it. I just couldn't believe it. And Maudlin is supposed to be an epic, it's a long drive home after a crazy night.
I pity and new fan coming to Morrissey for the first time, and picking up the bastardised versions of Viva Hate, Kill Uncle etc - even stuff like Southpaw and trying to get a handle on the historical weight of those albums, and what they meant at the time. Sure, I'm grateful for the new previously unreleased material that has emerged on the reissues, but these should just have appeared as bonus extra tracks, rather than trying to do a George Lucas revision on the main album tracklistings themselves. He's left his solo back catalogue in a right old mess.

My one comfort is that the Smiths reissues were handled by Marr, rather than Morrissey. I can't imagine how much of a shambles he'd have made of them.
 

Oh my

Enough! or Too much
Morrissey sounds awful to work with, I'm sure Stephen Street was being polite here. It's a shame Moz could not hold onto his most talented collaborators.

Ha... I thought the opposite. It must have been awful for Morrissey to work with Stephen Street, even if Street did a great job.

Stephen Street in this article and in other articles always sounds as someone who wants to have the final word on how each person should play, how the music should sound, how the album should be mixed... and his idea is that Morrissey is an amazing singer and lyricist... for something that he seems to believe that it's his album with Morrissey on vocals.

It's not really a bad way of working, a lot of bands work like that (I really don't like Depeche Mode at all, but the frontman is not really the one in charge there, it's martin gore).

I can't imagine Morrissey being able to record hundreds of albums working like that... He seems to be the kind of person who wants to have the final word when it comes to his albums, and it's fair, the name of the artist on the album is "Morrissey", not "Stephen Street featuring Morrissey"... and probably Street is marvelous, but I don't think Morrissey can work for too long with someone who has that way of thinking or that way of working.

I see here people who often jokes about Morrissey choosing "yes men" as his collaborators... It is probably true. I think he doesn't want collaborators, he simply wants musicians who help him to do what he wants to do (as opposed to doing what they think it would sound better). An orchestra never has two directors.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
...probably Street is marvelous, but I don't think Morrissey can work for too long with someone who has that way of thinking or that way of working.
But they didn't fall out creatively. The only reason the relationship ended was because Morrissey was tight-fisted when it came to paying out the money. Which has been a bit of a recurring theme throughout his career.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Ha... I thought the opposite. It must have been awful for Morrissey to work with Stephen Street, even if Street did a great job.

Stephen Street in this article and in other articles always sounds as someone who wants to have the final word on how each person should play, how the music should sound, how the album should be mixed... and his idea is that Morrissey is an amazing singer and lyricist... for something that he seems to believe that it's his album with Morrissey on vocals.

It's not really a bad way of working, a lot of bands work like that (I really don't like Depeche Mode at all, but the frontman is not really the one in charge there, it's martin gore).

I can't imagine Morrissey being able to record hundreds of albums working like that... He seems to be the kind of person who wants to have the final word when it comes to his albums, and it's fair, the name of the artist on the album is "Morrissey", not "Stephen Street featuring Morrissey"... and probably Street is marvelous, but I don't think Morrissey can work for too long with someone who has that way of thinking or that way of working.

I see here people who often jokes about Morrissey choosing "yes men" as his collaborators... It is probably true. I think he doesn't want collaborators, he simply wants musicians who help him to do what he wants to do (as opposed to doing what they think it would sound better). An orchestra never has two directors.

What you are describing is literally the job of a Producer. They shape the sound, direct the musicians and supervise the technical aspects. Morrissey may have the vision, but the job of the producer is to bring those ideas to fruition in the studio. A producer has to have strong ideas and both musical and technical knowledge. This is not a role that Morrissey can do.
 

Eldritch

Well-Known Member
Would only be fair to hear both sides of the story.
This is what you always write in these debates. But we will never hear both sides, will we? Morrissey seems to always be in these kinds of situations, while Street has produced dozens of bands over the last four decades without a glitch. I find it hard to believe, that his demands would have been unreasonable. Yes, he was lucky to get to write and work with Morrissey -- but he still deserved to be paid for his efforts too.
 

Amy

from the Ice Age to the dole age
What you are describing is literally the job of a Producer. They shape the sound, direct the musicians and supervise the technical aspects. Morrissey may have the vision, but the job of the producer is to bring those ideas to fruition in the studio. A producer has to have strong ideas and both musical and technical knowledge. This is not a role that Morrissey can do.
Exactly. Moz had no complaints about Street's previous work on TQID or as a producer on Strangeways. In terms of there not being 'two directors' - well if anything, the musical and technical 'directors' in the Smiths were the producer(s) and Johnny, who worked very closely with them and learned a lot from them. Morrissey understood that dynamic and has praised producers like Jerry Finn, etc - he knows his technical limitations. This was about the ££££
 

A scanty bit of thing

I only have eyes for youuuuuu, Aztec!
Stephen and Mozzy can each have their own opinions on whatever they want, and especially on things they’ve done/created/discussed/worked through/lived through together. But the people here always commenting, who are alllllways commenting the same old negative things always make me think of Crystal Geezer’s Big Box o’Dicks.

As in like, some of you ARE the very meta. It’s fascinating!

Also, that is a super cute pic.
 
M

Moz Fan

Guest
It seems that, apart from a disagreemente about money, we'll never know for sure what more contributed to Morrissey and Stephen Street's fall out. Anyway, I'm not especially interested in the details of it.

What interests me more in this story is that a couple of years ago, when Morrissey was hospitalized in Switerzerland, he reached out to Stephen.

Well, that's is really meaningful, because it tells us more about the person that Morrissey has become with the passing of the years. There must have been something from their relationship that Morrissey kept in his mind, and that made him call Stephen during a time of real vulnerability. A reflected, humble and lovely attitude.

I love Morrissey.

And I respect Stephen Street.
 

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