Autobiography by Morrissey

Morrissey at book signing

I am not Morrissey’s biggest fan, but I do find him a very quotable bloke, so I decided to listen to his autobiography, read by David Morrissey (no relation). Personally, I have the very strong belief that the author should read his own audiobook. David does a good job, but I feel that Steven would have put across a completely accurate meaning. There are many gratifying references to his own lyrics, and it would be nice to hear Steven delivering his own jokes.

As everyone who has ever listened to any of his music knows, he is not the cheeriest of people. He begins by telling us of his childhood. His family did not have a huge amount of money and he disliked school. Nothing unusual there, but he gives the impression that he somehow considers himself to be so much more tragic than the average tragic teenager. It would appear that he decided one day to become a singer, then the very next day the Smiths existed. There is a bit more to it than that, but he really does not give very much attention to the beginnings of his music career, which seems odd, because isn’t that the main thing that the kids want to know?

He spends an awful lot of time grumbling about what various people have said about him. This journalist printed that, this band member lied about this, that record label boss did the other, and poor old innocent Steven is so hard done by. I suppose this is his chance to talk to the world in his own voice, but I find it hard to be sympathetic to this “oh, the world has been so unkind to me” attitude.

This is not the first time that I have read an autobiography and found that I do not like the author very much but with this one I feel that I still do not know a great deal about him. He goes through some things in tortuous, ranting, waffling detail. There was a court case involving royalties for ex Smiths band members that Morrissey goes into into in intricate detail that can only be born out of endless sleepless nights of replaying conversations in his head. That said, I enjoy his insights to how life is being an artists at the whims of the music business, and his story highlights how the hugely popular artists can be poorly handled to the detriment of all involved. This is an interesting book, even for those who are not huge fans of Morrissey, because his music has been so influential.

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