Morrissey accuses Johnny Marr of using his name as clickbait
In an open letter addressed to his former The Smiths’ colleague Johnny Marr, Morrissey has made a call for his former bandmate Johnny Marr to “stop using my name as clickbait”.
Morrissey: “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?”
And he adds: “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?”
Morrissey then ends the open letter by writing: “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.”
In a response on Twitter Johnny Marr simply says: “An ‘open letter’ hasn’t really been a thing since 1953, It’s all ‘social media’ now. Even Donald J Trump had that one down. Also, this fake news business… a bit 2021 yeah? #makingindiegreatagain”
The source of all the commotion…
By the time “Strangeways, Here We Come” was released in September 1987, The Smiths had split. The breakdown has been primarily attributed to Morrissey’s irritation with Marr’s work with other artists and Marr’s frustration with Morrissey’s musical inflexibility. Marr particularly hated Morrissey’s obsession with covering 1960s pop artists such as Twinkle and Cilla Black, saying in 1992: “That was the last straw, really. I didn’t form a group to perform Cilla Black songs.” In a 1989 interview, Morrissey cited the lack of a managerial figure and business problems as reasons for the split.
In 2008, Marr resumed contact with Morrissey and Rourke while remastering the band’s catalogue and in September of the same year, Morrissey and Marr met in Manchester and discussed the possibility of reforming the band. The two kept in contact over the next four days and decided to exclude Joyce from any prospective reunion and to wait until after Marr completed his commitments to the Cribs. Communication between the two abruptly ended while Marr was touring in Mexico with the Cribs and the topic of a reunion was never brought up again.
In June 2009, Marr told an interviewer on London’s XFM, “I think we were offered 50 million dollars for three … possibly five shows.” He said that the chances of a reunion were “nothing to do with money” and that the reasons were “really abstract”.
Marr said that he did not hear from Morrissey again until a brief email correspondence in December 2010.
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