Morrissey has had a pretty tough year, no doubt. From collapsing onstage to getting pegged in the head with a bottle, and finally ejecting a heckler who yelled “fuck you” while he was trying to tell a joke, the live thing was a mess. It turns out Moz also wasn’t happy with how his label handled the best-of collection Swords, aka ” a meek disaster”: “The labels will only push the “artists” that they themselves have discovered, and have no interest in the self-made, blah, blah.” But the year’s almost over and he did find plenty of things to be happy about, too. We know all this because, hoping for “a steady 2010, full of good grace and no darkness,” Morrissey wrote a letter to his fans today at True-to-you.
16 December 2009
Statement from Morrissey to True-to-you
On these last days of the old year, I thank everyone who attended the 2009 concerts.
My personal favorites were:
The three Brixton concerts were dramatic and perfect for me, and there was a great air of adventure in both Estonia and Latvia. The Russian concerts were a big thrill, but in the absence of even a speckle of publicity .. it’s difficult. You begin to feel as if you’re playing to a private club – and, in fact, you are. We pondered on the massive poster-campaigns for others and we wondered how such things become possible. The audiences in Russia were loud and greatly inspiring.
Hope denied in Liverpool, and the physical limits were tipped in Swindon – these were life’s unfortunate lows.
I spent the night at the Great Western Hospital in Swindon where the staff restored my faith in humanity. I had no idea such kindness existed.
There were more stop-start-trap-doors and cancellations this year than ever before, and it’s difficult to keep your mental balance and to remain unclouded at such times. Since every living person appeared to have some strain of flu, there seemed no reason why I should escape it, and I could not listen to medical advice that cautioned me to stand back from the audience and not to shake anyone’s hand. Life has come to this? By tours’ end I had no face worth rearranging.
The landscape of familiar faces who have replaced the Irregular Regulars, and who attend as many of the concerts as possible, continue to astound me. I don’t know how – or even why – they attend so many. It is remarkable, and the financial costs must wipe them out for good. I am repeatedly honored and speechless by their dedication.
There are no 2010 plans to fire me out of a cannon. Hopes of concerts in New Zealand and Australia collapsed under a mound of doubts. That’s life.
Even though you see the death of culture all around you, you also want to raise whatever it is you do to a higher plane, yet there is no one, it seems, who can inch the Morrissey thing forwards. As we all now know, the world of music is purely market-driven – not even youth-driven anymore. Talent or merit or songs do not enter the equation for a split second; the campaign is the thing, the campaign is what is discussed amongst the public, the campaign is what impresses the press, and the songs are never a factor. The labels will only push the “artists” that they themselves have discovered, and have no interest in the self-made, blah, blah. But my parting with Universal is not a negative. I am sorry that “Swords” was such a meek disaster. It was proposed and accepted as a budget-priced CD, yet emerged everywhere as the most expensive CD in the racks. It was poorly distributed and didn’t stand a chance, and ranks as the lowest chart position I’ve ever encountered. I remain steadfastly proud of “Years of refusal”, which along with “You are the quarry” and “Ringleader of the tormentors” are my life’s peaks. These three will allow me to die in peace. I am no longer in the thrall of anything that preceded them; the past is not me.
I was delighted at the radio airplay in England for “I’m throwing my arms around Paris”, which seemed to match both “Suedehead” and “That’s how people grow up” singles for rotation.
However, “I’m throwing my arms around Paris” did not chart in France! … but everything has its time and place…
What does the future hold? What does the next minute hold? It all rests as ever on determination – that which springs from somewhere deeper than the body. Record label interest is zero, but the sun will creep back into the room one way or another. It always does.
Small and bowed, I offer you my eternal thanks, and my hopes for a steady 2010, full of good grace and no darkness.
London, December 2009.
I know Morrissey doesn’t want to look back, but over the past year I’ve watched this clip a couple times when reading about things spiraling downward for the man. Why? Because he’s so in control in it — and makes it look so easy in the process.
Oh time, you cruel fucker.