Stephen Street on Morrissey (Mojo 327, February 2021)

Stephen Street Feb 2021.jpg



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Oh my

Enough! or Too much
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.

The job of a producer can be a lot of things.
A good counter-example can be Joe Chiccarelli... He explained in a very detailed way his ways of working with Morrissey and how he often had ideas, but Morrissey mostly said: "No, I do it in a different way".

It is actually quite close to the relationships of curators and artists in contemporary art... Some curators want to become the star of the exhibition and you can easily tell when you are watching a "curator exhibition"... Other artists also work with curators, but they are limited to very technical sides and they know that the true star is the artist.

In both cases the result can be good for the audience, but not every artist wants to have a bossy curator or a bossy producer.

Morrissey has some 40 years of experience recording albums... the myth that he has no musical knowledge is simply a myth (yes, he doesn't compose or play the music, but take it for granted that he knows what he wants).
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
The job of a producer can be a lot of things.
A good counter-example can be Joe Chiccarelli... He explained in a very detailed way his ways of working with Morrissey and how he often had ideas, but Morrissey mostly said: "No, I do it in a different way".

It is actually quite close to the relationships of curators and artists in contemporary art... Some curators want to become the star of the exhibition and you can easily tell when you are watching a "curator exhibition"... Other artists also work with curators, but they are limited to very technical sides and they know that the true star is the artist.

In both cases the result can be good for the audience, but not every artist wants to have a bossy curator or a bossy producer.

Morrissey has some 40 years of experience recording albums... the myth that he has no musical knowledge is simply a myth (yes, he doesn't compose or play the music, but take it for granted that he knows what he wants).

Viva Hate/Bona Drag are better than any of his recent albums. The proof is in the pudding.
 

gashonthenail

Well-Known Member
Street is obviously right about Viva - it was butchered. Such a shame - it will always be the Moz album I have most fondness for. And the album that contains the quintessential and best Moz single - Suedehead. For the rest, Moz clearly has interpersonal issues. Shock. I've always thought that Moz struggles to have intimate relationships with others so he creates the impression in his lyrics and in his voice and persona of having an intimate relationship with the listener. It's why we're all still here. Even for the likes of Skinny - he behaves like someone who has been personally let down and betrayed by a close friend.
 

marred

Member
Rubbish. Being difficult isn't a sign of 'artistry' now any more than it was when he was 16 and cocooned in his room with his records, communicating with the outside world via Mum. It's a sign of a man with fragile self-esteem and poor social skills who has pushed away some of the most important people in his life.
Never said being difficult is a sign of artistry. I'm not sure why you would read that into my post. I'm also confused at a lot of the users on this forum who wish Morrissey to be somehow 'corrected' so that he may become easier to get along with. It's like wishing for ice to be hot. You do realise who Morrissey is right?

Since when are poor social skills and fragile self esteem anything to worry about in the art and entertainment industry? The whole point of being an artist is to express yourself though your art because this whole "Hello how are you? I'm fine. Yes I am fine also." bullshit is always awkward for the reclusive artist.
 

marred

Member
Yes but life is short. Might as well try to get along with people. That said, I'm personally a right moody bastard half the time. But if I had someone like S.Street writing hit songs for me I'd be my good half with him.
I just find it easier to not worry about how other people interact socially with others, especially famous people whom I have no control over whatsoever. Plus we don't get Morrissey's side of the story either so we're judging these situations on a small percentage of the story. I just have no wish for Morrissey to behave himself. I don't want nice. Nice is dull.

edit: You're right. Life is short. Far too short worrying about famous peoples' social inadequacies.
 
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gordyboy9

its not me its you.
Never said being difficult is a sign of artistry. I'm not sure why you would read that into my post. I'm also confused at a lot of the users on this forum who wish Morrissey to be somehow 'corrected' so that he may become easier to get along with. It's like wishing for ice to be hot. You do realise who Morrissey is right?

Since when are poor social skills and fragile self esteem anything to worry about in the art and entertainment industry? The whole point of being an artist is to express yourself though your art because this whole "Hello how are you? I'm fine. Yes I am fine also." bullshit is always awkward for the reclusive artist.
too true,i like my heroes to be not like other people.lets face it if M was normal we probably wouldnt be here,i certainly wouldnt.
 

Phranc & Open

Well-Known Member
I think the Street context is the right one, to say again, that my once favourite artist had nothing essential to say during these pandemic times, except a latent growl in the background, about the lost income due to cancelled concerts. It's sad when you think about the significance his lyrics once had. All the most sympathetic fan gets, is Morrissey's nephew and his fool's licence to do as he pleases. A disgrace!

And no, I will share this as often as I feel like it. Live with it, you lemmings!
 

GirlAfraidWillNeverLearn

The Courage to Get on People's Tits
I think the Street context is the right one, to say again, that my once favourite artist had nothing essential to say during these pandemic times, except a latent growl in the background, about the lost income due to cancelled concerts. It's sad when you think about the significance his lyrics once had. All the most sympathetic fan gets, is Morrissey's nephew and his fool's licence to do as he pleases. A disgrace!

And no, I will share this as often as I feel like it. Live with it, you lemmings!
I kinda like you and respect your personal opinion on this, but I hope you don't mind me asking what exactly you expected him/hoped for him to do?

Did he ever strike you as the type of artist who was exceptionally well connected to the pulse of the world and had the right, comforting thing to say about tragedies of a global scale? Or wasn't it his own disconnectedness from virtually everything but his own woe that made him so appealing in the first place?
 

Nerak

Reverse Ferret
I kinda like you and respect your personal opinion on this, but I hope you don't mind me asking what exactly you expected him/hoped for him to do?

Did he ever strike you as the type of artist who was exceptionally well connected to the pulse of the world and had the right, comforting thing to say about tragedies of a global scale? Or wasn't it his own disconnectedness from virtually everything but his own woe that made him so appealing in the first place?

I was wondering that.

I just want to listen to him sing & not have him die in a burning windmill.

Personally, I think singers should stop having opinions (about big stories), unless they want to be social media 'influencers' it's not worth getting involved in polarised debates. No one will listen. At best they'll use it as a jumping off point for their own tweet storm/hot-take.
 
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GirlAfraidWillNeverLearn

The Courage to Get on People's Tits
I was wondering that.

I just want to listen to him sing & not have him die in a burning windmill.

Personally, I think singers should stop having opinions, unless they want to be social media 'influencers' it's not worth getting involved in polarised debates. No one will listen. At best they'll use it as a jumping off point for their own tweet storm/hot-take.
I don't spend a lot of time pondering what people should or shouldn't do, so all I can say is that the thought of Morrissey conforming to some sort of social media friendly image is quite disturbing to me personally.
 

Mayfly

Well-Known Member
Honestly? Tell me one "solo" manager he did get along well, more than one month.

Gail Lawson (or something like that) was his manager at that time. She was the one whose phone calls Moz didn't return for about 6 weeks at the peak of his success with Viva Hate. So I thought this relationship was particularly bad, not even compared to the bottom line that you described here. Indeed, most of the time, managers last a couple of years but not much longer.

I think the manager Morrissey worked with best was Nigel Thomas, around the time of YA. But he passed away prematurely, as did his producer of that time, Mick Ronson, and his video director of that time, Tim Broad.
 

Phranc & Open

Well-Known Member
The list of potential and successful managers to take Morrissey to a higher level (commercially speaking) is long and lost. I don't know how many times I read in the music papers: "He has a new powerful manager on his side." If it came to nothing again, it was their fault, not his. What was with the last one that BMG had put at his side and where everything was totally great at first....
 
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Amy

from the Ice Age to the dole age
Never said being difficult is a sign of artistry. I'm not sure why you would read that into my post. I'm also confused at a lot of the users on this forum who wish Morrissey to be somehow 'corrected' so that he may become easier to get along with. It's like wishing for ice to be hot. You do realise who Morrissey is right?

Since when are poor social skills and fragile self esteem anything to worry about in the art and entertainment industry? The whole point of being an artist is to express yourself though your art because this whole "Hello how are you? I'm fine. Yes I am fine also." bullshit is always awkward for the reclusive artist.
You said, "No real artist is easy to work with" - which of course implies that all 'real artists' are hard work, and that isn't true. I'm not wishing for Morrissey to become someone else, I realise he has always been how he is and won't change. But seeing his behaviour and the coldness he has shown people as some kind of romantic, 'artistic' thing really skates over a) how much he has hurt others and b) how much he hurt himself and how lonely and unhappy he was beneath it.
 

reelfountain

On Timeout
You said, "No real artist is easy to work with" - which of course implies that all 'real artists' are hard work, and that isn't true. I'm not wishing for Morrissey to become someone else, I realise he has always been how he is and won't change. But seeing his behaviour and the coldness he has shown people as some kind of romantic, 'artistic' thing really skates over a) how much he has hurt others and b) how much he hurt himself and how lonely and unhappy he was beneath it.
The way Morrissey is, including all his faults and weaknesses, is what made him create all those wonderful songs. Great art doesn't come from being "nice and normal".

I'm not surprised Moz felt paranoia towards people in the past, and thus rejected them. Time has proved him right just how nasty other people can be.
 

ThePoliticalRevolution

Well-Known Member
The way Morrissey is, including all his faults and weaknesses, is what made him create all those wonderful songs. Great art doesn't come from being "nice and normal".

I'm not surprised Moz felt paranoia towards people in the past, and thus rejected them. Time has proved him right just how nasty other people can be.
I think Morrissey is fine.
 

SheilaSmith

Active Member
Yes, as someone already said, it is a shame they didn't keep their friendship!! They could have been recording together now, maybe!
vecinas.jpg
 

Mayfly

Well-Known Member
The list of potential and successful managers to take Morrissey to a higher level (commercially speaking) is long and lost. I don't know how many times I read in the music papers: "He has a new powerful manager on his side." If it came to nothing again, it was their fault, not his. What was with the last one that BMG had put at his side and where everything was totally great at first....

Peter Katsis? He was spotted at Morrissey's concert in London back in March. No idea what happened to him since. He may still be around, or he may not if Morrissey thinks he doesn't need a manager right now.
 
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Deleted member 29235

Guest
Peter Katsis? He was spotted at Morrissey's concert in London back in March. No idea what happened to him since. He may still be around, or he may not if Morrissey thinks he doesn't need a manager right now.
Deskstar still have Morrissey listed on their roster.
 

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