Back in 1992, Morrissey’s camp reached out to NME photographer Derek Ridgers about using his photo of skinheads as part of a montage during the Smiths singer’s stage show for an upcoming French gig. Long story short, not only did Moz use the photo as his sole stage backdrop (i.e. not part of a montage) throughout his entire tour, he made it the tour’s dominant image, putting it on T-shirts, backstage passes, and the cover of the program. Ridgers says he never received payment or any explanation, but he remains a fan of Morrissey’s music anyhow.
Now another Moz fan finds himself in a similar situation. A forum user at Morrissey-solo.com under the name of @MorrisseyGang said a man named Sean Preston from Merchandising For Life contacted him about using the above image of a naked Morrissey shutting up the Queen of England, which @MorrisseyGang designed. The designer said he’d be willing to let the company use his image if they made a payment offer, and he never heard back. Then photos of Morrissey’s tour merchandise started popping up online, and @MorrisseyGang noticed that his image was on one of Moz’s newest tour T-shirts. Check it out on the far left of the merch table and then close up.
At least the designer can take solace in the fact that Morrissey will probably cancel all the shows where this T-shirt is supposed to be for sale anyway, though it is for sale here for £25. And unfortunately, because @MorrisseyGang does not own the original nude Morrissey photo, he probably has no legal recourse against Morrissey or Merchandising For Life. I guess post-Smiths Moz gave up asking please?