I was glad to find that I hadn’t missed Morrissey on Desert Island Discs after tuning in last week to listen and finding the farming awards instead. I’ve never been a fan but I did like some of the early Smiths stuff and caught them live at their infamous Glastonbury appearance in 1984 where the stage ended up covered in greenery.
I often change my opinion of someone after listening to the show, Barry Manilow was one such example, Jerry Springer was another! Frankly I wasn’t expecting my opinion of Morrissey to change because…..well to be frank I’ve always thought he was a pompous arse!
What I did find though was that I started to understand him a bit better and to empathize with him. It had never dawned on me that he was about the same age as me, in fact at 50 he is 3 years older, and that his youth would have been similar to mine. He talked about his alienation growing up in a world where, even in the so called swinging 60’s, it was difficult for the majority of young men to be different.
While I don’t think I could have guessed the musical choices, listening to them it was easy to see where the roots of the Smiths came from. It wasn’t your usual Radio 4 type of music and I could imagine many retired Colonel’s turning of the wireless in disgust!
New York Dolls — (There’s Gonna Be a) Showdown
Marianne Faithfull — Come and Stay With Me
Ramones — Loudmouth
The Velvet Underground — The Black Angel’s Death Song
Klaus Nomi — Der Nussbaum – The Walnut Tree
Nico — I’m Not Saying
Iggy & The Stooges — Your Pretty Face is Going to Hell
Mott the Hoople — Sea Diver
One thing I found somewhat annoying was Kirsty Young’s sycophantic approach to the interview. She admitted many times to having loved the Smiths and her approach seemed to be one of a starstruck fan rather than an impartial interviewer.