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Morrissey pens scathing open letter to Johnny Marr: "You don't know me"

@TylerGolsen

For anyone that may have been foolishly optimistic on the idea that someday, somehow, The Smiths would put aside their differences and get back together for some lucrative gig/tour/Las Vegas residency, I am sad to report that we have hit yet another set back.

That’s because Morrissey, in a new open letter to Johnny Marr published on his official website, has effectively burned what should be considered the most essential bridge to reconciliation.

Moz starts off with, “This is not a rant or an hysterical bombast”, which is the most essential way to start a rant. For a couple of paragraphs, Morrissey proceeds to ask Marr to keep his name out of his mouth. He expounds: “Would you please stop mentioning my name in your interviews?”.

It starts off well enough, with Morrissey urging Marr to acknowledge his “own career, your own unstoppable solo achievements and your own music?” That’s a gracious acknowledgement, is it not? But then, as to be expected, it goes a bit downhill from there.

“The fact is: you don’t know me. You know nothing of my life, my intentions, my thoughts, my feelings. Yet you talk as if you were my personal psychiatrist with consistent and uninterrupted access to my instincts,” Morrissey says in a way that is not at all conducive to a future appearance at Glastonbury or a sold-out concert at Hyde Park.

The most damning line follows, as he adds: “We haven’t known each other for 35 years – which is many lifetimes ago. When we met you and I were not successful.  We both helped each other become whatever it is we are today.  Can you not just leave it at that? Must you persistently, year after year, decade after decade, blame me for everything … from the 2007 Solomon Islands tsunami to the dribble on your grandma’s chin?”

It should also be acknowledged that Morrissey claims “the British press will print anything you say about me as long as it’s cruel and savage.” Which, yeah, I guess, guilty as charged. We’re reprinting this, aren’t we? But it’s still legitimate news, with legitimate public interest. If Morrissey has a problem with it, he should try not making so many pithy public statements.

But from the past few interviews, I’ve seen with Marr… he doesn’t appear all that concerned with his former bandmate. There’s the most recent one, which no doubt spurned Morrissey’s kick back with its prominent mention of Moz, but that appears to be an exception. Whatever gripe Morrissey seems to have against Marr, I can’t find any major evidence of it other than the occasional once-in-a-blue-moon reference, like Marr’s most recent interview in Uncut. And even then, it’s usually to The Smiths as a whole, not Morrissey himself.

You can read the entire open letter down below:

“This is not a rant or an hysterical bombast.  It is a polite and calmly measured request:  Would you please stop mentioning my name in your interviews?

Would you please, instead, discuss your own career, your own unstoppable solo achievements and your own music?

If you can, would you please just leave me out of it?

The fact is: you don’t know me.  You know nothing of my life, my intentions, my thoughts, my feelings.  Yet you talk as if you were my personal psychiatrist with consistent and uninterrupted access to my instincts.  We haven’t known each other for 35 years – which is many lifetimes ago.  When we met you and I were not successful.  We both helped each other become whatever it is we are today.  Can you not just leave it at that?  Must you persistently, year after year, decade after decade, blame me for everything … from the 2007 Solomon Islands tsunami to the dribble on your grandma’s chin? 

You found me inspirational enough to make music with me for 6 years.  If I was, as you claim, such an eyesore monster, where exactly did this leave you?  Kidnapped?  Mute?  Chained?  Abducted by cross-eyed extraterrestrials?  It was YOU who played guitar on ‘Golden Lights’ – not me.

Yes, we all know that the British press will print anything you say about me as long as it’s cruel and savage.  But you’ve done all that.  Move on.  It’s as if you can’t uncross your own legs without mentioning me.  Our period together was many lifetimes ago, and a lot of blood has streamed under the bridge since then.  There comes a time when you must take responsibility for your own actions and your own career, with which I wish you good health to enjoy.  Just stop using my name as click-bait.  I have not ever attacked your solo work or your solo life, and I have openly applauded your genius during the days of ‘Louder than bombs’ and ‘Strangeways, here we come’, yet you have positioned yourself ever-ready as rent-a-quote whenever the press require an ugly slant on something I half-said during the last glacial period as  the Colorado River began to carve out  the Grand Canyon.  Please stop.  It is 2022, not 1982.

Morrissey.  January 2022.”

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