Edit
Morrissey Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4) | Mini Bio (1) | Trade Mark (3) | Trivia (16) | Personal Quotes (52)

Overview (4)

Date of Birth 22 May 1959Davyhulme, Manchester, England, UK
Birth NameSteven Patrick Morrissey
Nicknames Moz
Mozza, Mozzer
The Pope of Mope
The Sage of Salford
Height 5' 11" (1.8 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Steven Patrick Morrissey was born in Davyhulme, Manchester, England, UK. At a very early age, he took an interest in writing. His top priority was poetry, though he would have his biography on James Dean, "James Dean Is Not Dead", published by his early 20s. His literary influences ranged from Oscar Wilde to Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, though he was also an avid fan of pop music and film. Some of his primary musical idols were David Bowie, Ray Davies and Marc Bolan. In 1982, Morrissey was approached by local Mancunian guitarist and songwriter Johnny Marr. Marr asked him to collaborate, and so began possibly the greatest songwriting duo of the 1980s. Morrissey's witty and morbidly sentimental lyrics were a perfect match with Marr's odd chord progressions and unusual tunings. They soon added Marr's schoolmates Andy Rourke (bass) and Mike Joyce (drums). The duo became a quartet and dubbed themselves The Smiths. The Smiths released six studio albums and several catchy three-minute singles from 1983 to 1987. The band found critical acclaim in both their native England and the U.S. They never broke into the mainstream in the U.S., though they became college radio legends, mainly due to Morrissey's intelligent but often controversial themes. The band broke up in 1987 over a conflict of musical interest between Morrissey and Marr. Morrissey found solo success after The Smiths, achieving a far greater status in the U.S. than The Smiths ever had. His greatest triumph was 1992's "Your Arsenal", which was nominated for a Grammy for best alternative album. The album was produced by former David Bowie guitarist Mick Ronson. In 1997, former The Smiths drummer Mike Joyce successfully sued Morrissey and Marr over songwriting royalties. The chance of a "Smiths" reunion seems bleak, but their music will continue to be played by devoted, intelligent fans everywhere. To put it simply, the music of Steven Morrissey and The Smiths was "as smart as pop music gets".

- IMDb Mini Biography By: John Wilhelm

Trade Mark (3)

Known for his strangling croon, depressing but witty lyrics, and high hair
Pompadour
Often attacks political figures in his songs

Trivia (16)

Owns a home formerly owned by Greta Garbo.
Doesn't watch any movies made after 1970.
Is a vegetarian.
Sang a duet of Marc Bolan's "Cosmic Dancer" with David Bowie. [1991]
Owns a home formerly owned by Greta Garbo as well as F. Scott Fitzgerald. It was also given to Carole Lombard by Clark Gable, but she died before she ever got the chance to move in.
Lives next door to Nancy Sinatra. He wrote a song for her new album called "Let Me Kiss You".
Is a spokesperson for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) in their anti-IAMS campaign.
His new single, "First of the Gang to Die," entered the UK singles chart at number six, ahead of new entries by Marillion, Snow Patrol, Counting Crows and Nelly Furtado. [July 2004]
His favorite film is Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (1960), starring Albert Finney.
Lives in Los Angeles.
Released from a hospital, in Swinton, England on October 25, 2009, where he was held overnight after collapsing on stage during a concert.
Was named after Steve Cochran.
First album in seven years, You Are the Quarry, to be released on Sanctuary Records Label in the U.S. on May 18, 2004 [May 2004]
Working on a new solo album for release sometime in 2004. [January 2004]
Working on an new solo album for release early in 2006 [November 2005]

Personal Quotes (52)

Don't talk to me about people who are "nice" cause I have spent my whole life in ruins because of people who are "nice".
Artists aren't really people. And I'm actually 40 per cent papier mache.
All I said was "bring me the head of Elton John", which would be one instance when meat would not be murder, if it was on a plate.
That was the problem with the 'celibate' word because they don't consider for a moment that you'd rather not be, but you just are. I was never a sexual person.
Age gives you a great sense of proportion. You can be very hard on yourself when you're younger but now I just think 'well everybody's absolutely mad and I'm doing quite well'.
My parents were worried about me, certainly when I became so deeply interested in music and people like the New York Dolls who, at the time, were very peculiar indeed.
The Smiths was an incredibly personal thing to me. It was like launching your own diary to music.
There are indeed worse groups than Modern Romance. But can anybody seriously think of one?
Having never been sufficiently drunk to enjoy a Level 42 record, I prescribe the Burmese neck ring to these chumps for being so icy.
Oasis are very tame to me. At a time when they have the spotlight of the world on them, they should have made the most revolutionary, creative record and instead it's practically awful. For a song which is trying so hard to create hooks, it doesn't really have any. God bless Noel; I'm sure he'll always have a spot on Bob's Full House (1984), but I search for something with more bite and rage.
I do think it's possible to go through life and never fall in love, or find someone who loves you.
I've never intended to be controversial but it's very easy to be controversial in pop music because nobody ever is.
Not everybody is absolutely stupid. Why on earth would I be racist, what would I be trying to achieve?
I normally live in Los Angeles, if you can call it normal living.
That's why I do this music business thing, it's communication with people without having the extreme inconvenience of actually phoning anybody up.
You have to, at least from a distance, look as if you know what you're doing, and I can manage that.
[speaking in 2003] In England, pop music seems now to be exclusively for children. Lavish promotional campaigns are meant to blind audiences to the uselessness of an artist. If an artist is no good, why is it necessary to have that artist repeatedly rammed in our face?
I think Band Aid was diabolical. I think Bob Geldof is a nauseating character. Many people find that very unsettling, but I'll say it as loud as anyone wants me to. In the first instance the record itself was absolutely tuneless. One can have great concern for the people of Ethiopia, but it's another thing to inflict daily torture on the people of England. It was an awful record considering the mass of talent involved. And it wasn't done shyly - it was the most self-righteous platform ever in the history of popular music.
Elton John is pushing his face in all the time and telling us about his private life. Nobody's interested, he's incredibly rich and he's just hoisting his problems on to everybody and working them out publicly. He should just go away.
[speaking in 2002] The public are losing interest. You can have a number one album these days with 30,000 sales, which is really pathetic when you think of the 70s or the 80s when you could sell over 100,000 and you would be coming in at number five or six.
I've always assumed there's a dark river flowing beneath my fans' desires.
Age shouldn't affect you. It's just like the size of your shoes - they don't determine how you live your life! You're either marvellous or you're boring, regardless of your age.
Long hair is an unpardonable offense which should be punishable by death.
[on rap music] I really do think it's a great musical stench. I find it very offensive, artless and styleless. To me it's very reminiscent of thuggery, pop thuggery. I don't want to hear it at all.
I don't belong to any political groups, I don't really say anything unless I'm asked directly and I don't even demonstrate in public.
[on the Brit Awards] The Brits are ghastly and there has never been a time when they haven't got it wrong. For me to ever accept a Brit, well, I never would. It would be like Laurence Olivier being happy getting a TV Times award.
With people in the world such as Jamie Oliver and Clarissa Dickson Wright there isn't much hope for animals.
Thank you to the British television person (I'm not exactly sure what it is he does) Richard Madeley who, at least, made me laugh recently by referring to me as an 'insufferable puffed-up prat'. This comment may or may not be true, but I think it's a bit rich coming from a man who actually married his own mother.
Some people have wives and girlfriends. I had the New York Dolls.
[on the poet Anne Sexton] A very beautiful woman and quite glamorous, but the outside of her body had no relation to what was inside. For me, she's steeped in mystery and interest.
I think people who write about music now are not satisfied to be merely factual. They're not satisfied to merely tell the world, "This happened, this group played here, the audience cheered, everybody left smiling and we all went home." The modern writer feels they must make everything seem wrong. Yes, criticism moves everything on, but as a writer you might find yourself criticising people for something you yourself have never mastered. It would be quite acceptable if everybody who wrote about music had themselves made music for many, many years. But it's never the case.
[in 2009] I don't want to go on much longer, really. I think that would suggest a lack of imagination. A certain lack of dignity also. There has to reach a point where you've said enough, I think.
It is true that music is a universal language - the ONLY universal language, and belongs to all, one way or another. However, with fitting grimness I must report that David Cameron hunts and shoots and kills stags - apparently for pleasure. It was not for such people that either "Meat is Murder" or "The Queen is Dead" were recorded; in fact, they were made as a reaction against such violence. I recall some years ago a party political broadcast on behalf of the Conservative Party where David Cameron spoke directly to camera as an LP copy of "The Queen is Dead" proudly displayed itself on the wall behind his right shoulder. It is, of course, a fantastic thrill when the music you make is acknowledged by virtually anyone at all. But David Cameron is not just anyone. Some months ago, as the long-beaked amongst you might recall, I was due to appear on the Andrew Marr Show alongside David Cameron, and however much I worship the words of Andrew Marr, I could not go through with the invitation. This was because I knew, then, that David wanted to repeal the Hunting Act, which would mean the brutal killing of foxes, hares, deer, badgers, otters - just about anything that moves.
Politicians only care about the public as electorate, and once the victory vote has been seized there is no place for debate between The Prime Minister and the people who elected him. (I cannot use the him/her term in relation to a Prime Minister because, as we all know, Margaret Thatcher has ensured that a female Prime Minister would never again be risked.)
I apologize very deeply for my support over the years for the group Roxy Music. I had no idea until very recently that their singer, Bryan Ferret (Bryan Ferry), is also an avid hunter, and is now managed by his Lord of the Hunt son, Odious Ferry (Otis Ferry).
[on the death of comic actor Charles Hawtrey in the NME in 1988] The very last comic genius...by never giving press interviews, and by all accounts being unfriendly and friendless, Hawtrey's mystique surpasses Garbo [Greta Garbo]. I personally loved him.
[on David Bowie in 2004] Bowie is not the person he was. Now he gives people what he thinks will make them happy and they're yawning their heads off. And by doing that, he is not relevant. He was only relevant by accident.
As far as my reputation is concerned, I can't take the risk of being on a show alongside people who, in effect, amount to animal serial killers.
[in 1984] I think we'd really like to initiate the complete collapse of the video because I really believe that it has nothing whatsoever to do with music. I think it's pantomime, I think it's trivial, and I really believe that the record itself should be all the prop, if prop is the word, that one should need.
From epoch-defining singer-songwriter to middle aged twitterer sans record deal. I started at the top and worked my way down.
I could sing like a constipated rodent with clothes peg on its nose and bleat witlessly over breakbeats but what would Thom Yorke do then?
My life is unrelenting grey, relieved only by passing moments of absolute blackness.
The only time I'm truly alive is when I'm on a stage singing - mostly about death, it has to be said.
I hope Victoria Beckham outlives me; the prospect of a tearful Elton [Elton John] trotting out Candle in the Wind for a third time is unbearable.
I was happy being sad until I visited an analyst; and now I'm bored with being sad. Progress.
[on "The Queen Is Dead"] It didn't really occur to me ever that people would consider the title offensive. The song existed, and I thought it was so strong it deserved special attention, which it was given by being the title track. And the words, obviously, 'The queen is dead' - I probably concentrate more on song titles than the content of the song itself. I think titles are the most important thing in the world. I hate it when people say, 'I've written a new song,' and you ask them what it's called and they say, 'I don't know yet'. I don't want to hear the song then. Another aspect was that no Top 10 groups, or any English group with a high status, were trying to compile a thoughtful language. And I thought The Queen is Dead, as a title between Invisible Touch and A King of Magic and Picture Book was something one would pause over.
[on animal researchers] We'll get you.
I support the efforts of the Animal Rights Militia in England and understand why fur-farmers and so-called laboratory scientists are repaid with violence - it is because they deal in violence themselves and it's the only language they understand. Animal-rights activists are usually very intelligent people who are forced to act because the law is shameful or amoral.
If you agree with vivisection then go and be vivisected upon yourselves.
You can't help but feel that the Chinese are a subspecies.
[on Prince William and Catherine Duchess of Cambridge] William and Kate are so dull as people that it is actually impossible to discuss them.
I didn't have any high expectations of my solo career. There are lots of lead singers in groups who attempt solo careers and it never happens. Mick Jagger couldn't sell a solo record to save his life, so why should it happen to me? I think a lot of people were very, very surprised that I've continued to sell records. The general opinion was that once Johnny Marr unplugged that umbilical cord I would just kind of deflate like a paddling pool.

See also

Other Works | Publicity Listings | Official Sites | Contact Info

Contribute to This Page