INTERVIEW: Neil Calcutt, author of ‘Reader Meet Author’, a.k.a. the other Smiths DJ | noctula press
Morrissey is a famous English singer-songwriter and author who drove to Upon the demise of the Smiths in , Morrissey began a successful solo career. His lyrics are so important that over the years, they have constantly been The More You Ignore Me, the Closer I Get; Reader Meet Author; The. Oct. 28, “Reader Meet Author (acoustic version)” Morrissey But in Rogan's later book Morrissey, the former Smiths singer claimed no stranger of sprinkling autobiographical morsels inside of his lyrics. The fact that the Smiths have sustained a cult following fifteen years after their demise is understandable. teacher who uses Morrissey lyrics as a teaching tool in her English class, most notably “Reader Meet Author” from 's Southpaw.
FN Are you thinking of anyone specific? Maybe that website Morrissey-solo? NC Those people obviously love him, but in an obsessive way, and they spend time saying absolutely horrific things about him, maybe just because of the notoriety that might attract, getting attention from other people.
What do you like about him and what was his role when growing up? But just seeing that club night that we do and how popular it is, people coming from all over the world, Manchester should be proud of him. Although maybe the person I am is shaped by listening to his music.
Some people get quite obsessive about a person, want to get to know them, they hang on everything they say. We live in a society that prefers to ridicule rather than praise. It all goes back to what I was saying before about people not appreciating things.
But when he was around, for the last years he was largely ignored. FN I think it has to do with him being extremely honest about what he thinks and not being willing to please people, and a lot of people hate that kind of brave personality.
My relationship with their art changes, and I will boycott them if they are sexist, homophobic or racist, for example. FN I know, I include myself in that lot. FN Well, I prefer to support and promote artists who bring a positive contribution to society, according to the values I subscribe to, which I understand are not universal, but I think they can mostly be shared.
Actually, there is something I wanted to ask about the book, as a female reader. All those incidents are absolutely ridiculous! They are actual incidents that occurred and, obviously, there were two individuals involved, but they were all from times when I was very young and reflect the awkward and embarrassing issues involved in growing up — albeit from a male perspective.
As with everything else, I was trying to put a humorous slant on everything. Perhaps when we are teenagers, the people we meet are tools for discovery of sexuality for all of us.
Morrissey - Song Meanings and Facts
But, for example, there is a chapter, where you talk about a girlfriend and you say she was not particularly attractive or interesting, and you were very detached. The girlfriends in your book get very different treatments: I was confused by the polarisation of treatments towards those women, very different. Women are there, beautiful or ugly, but with no special qualities or any inspiring power. Going back to what we were saying earlier, maybe there is some regret about not having a closer relationship with my mother as my sister had.
For me, the book is all about my mother and putting to rest the emotions I had about what happened, which I talk about towards the end of the book. I got there through a very strange route, by going off on different tangents.
Her death and the infidelity of my first girlfriend were two of the things which had the biggest impact on me in my entire life, as they would with anyone, especially at a young age. I still love her and the experiences we shared. It was just disappointing how things turned out. The book was written to tell stories, meandering here and there, through silly little things that happened.
Some of them exaggerated for comedy effect. The only people who get a bit of a hard time are my stepfamily — and I could have been a lot harsher… FN Wow! I can understand where you are coming from. Those were specific instances in my life as a young boy. At that age, you are driven by emotion, or a sexual urge or to be with someone.
I totally believe in equality, I might not like someone because they are incredibly boring but never because of their gender or their ethnicity or whatever.
I know what that person was and what I loved about her. I just find it very strange that of such an important person in your life, we know nothing. Especially when you are young, it might just be the way they smile at you, or a silly thing that they say. I only talk about things that happened with her. We all have our dark sides, and what you did just shows our complexity and it takes guts to openly say that in some instances we have been horrible.
We all have been. Everyone can make up their own mind, but I hope that those who read my book will think: You can dislike the language or cringe about some things — even I do!
People can relate to it.
I think the great merits of your books are your honesty, self-criticism rare quality and your fantastic humour about your most embarrassing moments, I really liked that.
And also, acknowledging your darker sides. NC Going back to what we were saying earlier about the women in my life, in the parts where I try to understand why relationships failed, I felt so much affection for these people.Morrissey - Reader Meet Author
It was not just a case of me deciding I was bored. I felt so much affection, but in life you feel affection for a lot of people. When you are with someone, you wonder: And there are people like the girl I loved so much, I can still despise a part of her behaviour, but I still love her.
And I look back and think: We made a lot of mistakes, but I still have a lot of affection for her.
Reader Meets Author
I struggle when sometimes, when you breakup with someone, that you can go from living with someone for two years to not being allowed to see them again. NC But if someone is with a new partner, they are not going to appreciate someone from the past showing up. FN It can work, sometimes. It takes time for new partners to accept people from the past and vice versa, but it can work. It all depends on the people involved and how rational they are. You can be friends with your exes and get to the point where you are happy for them to be happy with somebody else who is perhaps more suitable for them, if you really love them.
I think the way you talk about things in the book is very typically British or perhaps English. FN Samantha Fox was huge in Italy too, worry not. NC Sometimes I step back from my book and wonder what the audience would be. I hope people get something out of it — whether it will be entertainment or just a sense of nostalgia.
So I started giving early drafts to friends and I got positive feedback from them, but I thought: That gave me confidence. People had taken the time to write comments for me. The quotes in the blurb are from these total strangers, often American readers.
And I was surprised that they could enjoy it, despite the cultural differences. Very cultured people etc. FN Yes, very positive: And then I moved here… NC And your dreams were shattered… [we both laugh] FN What struck me most — thinking that young British people were all like the Sex Pistols — was how most young people actually strive to be all exactly the same, looking alike and doing the same things at the same time.
Being brainwashed with the idea of British creativity which was and is realI then crashed against the requirement, in all environments, to conform, a massive pressure to be exactly like everyone else. In your book, for instance, something I find very English is how to turn everything originally straightforward into something eventually awkward. Even when something could run perfectly smoothly, a very simple situation, the English are able to generate awkwardness: This is hard to live with, as we know life is very messy.
Punks were mainly kids rebelling against adults, not necessarily adults making conscious decisions. It takes a lot here to see people protesting though. Then you see the news in Europe and people taking to the streets and starting fires for the slightest thing. I had this romantic notion of France once. I was in love with French culture and music. So I started learning the language and so on.
So ultimately, you want to find people who are similar to you, who share your beliefs. I was there, it sounded better than it was because I could not understand everything they were saying, but they were horrible homophobic people!
I wanted to live there at some point. NC Those things you were saying about being the British being conscious and nervous. I think there are a lot of positives with that: Even though not everyone is polite, there is the idea that you are supposed to be acting in a certain way towards people. In this country, in many areas where access to culture is limited, life eventually is about doing a job you hate, earn money, getting paid, getting drunk, trying to forget about things and not much more.
The climate influences behaviour as well: You have to be indoors all the time — which is why there are so many pubs and bars. People just consume too much alcohol.
FN Yes, I know. In this country — and probably more so in other countries — the reaction is always: For me, when you turn on the news, or pass by homeless people, or you see someone being horrible, the more I think about it, the more stressed I get. FN There are a few episodes in the book where you save animals: I do the same: NC I always think: Why have I ended up with this stray cat! Someone else might see something in the news and say: FN I find it really disturbing that there are so many homeless people and nobody seems to do anything about it.
It does not seem to be a priority for those in charge who can help these people. NC Nobody cares, and also they are demonised in the media. You can enjoy parts of your culture, but unless you have contributed to it, why should you take pride in it? You get people going: Why are they allowed to say things like that? Why are we in a situation where people are on the streets? Why are there hundreds of thousands of people dying trying to escape war zones?
Throughout his life, Morrissey has had romantic relationships with a number of men and women and has never been married nor fathered any children. His lyrics are so important that over the years, they have constantly been studied by numerous scholars. Throughout his career, Morrissey has been accused on several occasions of being a racist.
For example, inhe once referred to reggae music as a vile kind of music which glorified black supremacy. He was a good athlete while in school. Before becoming a professional musician, Morrissey was a writer and tried to make a career for himself in music journalism. Morrissey became a vegetarian when he was 11 years old, and grew up to become one of the most miltant vegetarian the world has ever known. In a interview that Morrissey had with Larry King, he said he had become a vegan.
Despite criticizing Hillary Clinton inhe endorsed her for President during the Presidential election in the United States.
Morrissey and the legendary Irish footballer Robbie Keane are cousins.