Morrissey’s Autobiography: 5 Questions We Hope Moz’s Book Answers
On Oct. 17, Morrissey releases 'Autobiography,' a book Smiths fans have waited on for decades and are bound to rip through in about three hours, despite the fact it's 480 pages long.
Rightfully arriving via Penguin Classics -- an imprint generally reserved for stuff they make you read in school -- the story of Moz's life is sure to feature plenty of the singer and wordsmith's trademark wit and wisdom, as well as his candid assessments of everything from pop music (dreadful) to politics (truly vile) to the royal family (don't get him started).
Beyond that, hardcore devotees -- ourselves very much included -- are hoping the book strips back the armor of this notoriously secretive British icon and offers a few revelations about his personal life.
What follows are the 5 questions we'd most like to see answered by Morrissey's 'Autobiography.' Really, though, if we're totally honest, we hope he doesn't tell all. Morrissey isn't the "Pope of Mope," as detractors like to paint him. He's rock's Great Unknowable, and that's what makes him so brilliant.
That is, how does a good-looking lad from a reasonably stable family wind up becoming the supremely strange being that is Morrissey -- a simultaneously self-loving, self-loathing "original of the species," as Bono once put it? It's not the kind of thing Moz is liable to put his finger on, at least not in any one line, paragraph or even chapter, but here's hoping the book on the whole sheds some light on why our hero is the way he is.
Morrissey hasn't released an album since 2009's 'Years of Refusal,' and at the moment, he hasn't got a record deal. Since he's not the DIY type -- in this one area of his life, he's pretty traditional -- and likely wouldn't go the Radiohead route, fans naturally wonder if and when he'll drop another full-length. Could the final chapters of 'Autobiography' provide clues?
In 1987, when Johnny Marr left the Smiths -- the group he'd co-founded as a teenager and poured his heart and soul into for half a decade -- fans were shocked and puzzled. The guitarist has said he was exhausted, angry and fed up with Moz's antics, and while that all makes sense, given how hard the band was working in those days, something's never seemed quite right. Could it be there's more to the story than anyone suspects?
Thanks to songs like 'National Front Disco,' which references a notorious U.K. right-wing party, and 'Bengali in Platforms' -- a vicious rebuke of Pakistanis looking to assimilate into British culture -- Morrissey has earned a reputation as a racist. He's only made things worse with inflammatory press remarks and his co-opting of the Union Jack -- viewed as a symbol of nationalism -- during '90s concerts. Morrissey has insisted he's neither fascist nor racist, but accusations continue to to dog him and likely always will.
Morrissey is a master at handling the press, and when it comes to answering questions about his sexuality, he's particularly crafty. Somehow, he's managed to exist as a major pop star for more than three decades without saying definitely whether he's gay or straight or otherwise. Back in the day, he described himself as celibate and asexual, but in recent years, he's sung about "explosive kegs" between his legs and hinted at romance with other human beings. What have said humans got between their legs? It's none of our business, and it'd ruin the mystique to learn the truth, but we'd be lying if we said we're not curious to get the scoop.