Morrissey QuotesBirth Date: 1972-08-15 (Tuesday, August 15th, 1972)
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- And if a double-decker bus crashes into us, to die by your side is such a heavenly way to die. And if a ten ton truck kills the both of us, to die by your side, the pleasure, the privilege is mine.
- So when you say it's gonna happen now. Well when exactly do you mean? See I've already waited too long. And all my hope is gone!
- I've been dreaming of a time when The English are sick to death of Labour and Tories And spit upon the name Oliver Cromwell and denounce this royal line that still salutes him And will salute him forever.
- Why pamper life's complexities when the leather runs smooth on the passenger's seat?
- In my life Why do I smile At people who I'd much rather kick in the eye ?
- I decree today that life is simply taking and not giving, England is mine and it owes me a living
- You shut your mouth, How can you say I go about things the wrong way? I am human and I need to be loved Just like everybody else does
- There's a club if you'd like to go, you could meet somebody who really loves you, so you go and you stand on your own, and you leave on your own, and you go home and you cry and you want to die
- Hand in glove, the good people laugh, yes we may be hidden by rags, But we've something they'll never have
- There's more to life than books you know, but not much more
- Oh, the alcoholic afternoons when we sat in your room
- I'm here with the cause, I'm holding the torch In the corner of your room- can you hear me? And when you're dancing and laughing, and finally living, Hear my voice in your head and think of me kindly.
- Most people keep their brains between their legs
- But sometimes I'd feel more fulfilled making Christmas cards with the mentally ill. I want to live and I want to love. I want to catch something that I might be ashamed of.
- And when I'm lying in my bed, I think about life and I think about death. And neither one particularly appeals to me.
- Does the body rule the mind or does the mind rule the body? I dunno...
- Now I know how Joan of Arc felt, As the flames rose to her Roman nose And her Walkman started to melt...
- As Anthony said to Cleopatra as he opened a crate of ale: 'Oh, I say, some girls are bigger than others, Some girls' mothers are bigger than other girls' mothers.
- There is no such thing in life as normal
- I say a lot of things I don't mean.
- I think the main thing is that I very rarely recognise the actual interview in print. To me, it's like being painted by an artist. And then you see the picture, and they've painted someone else.
- I don't perform. Seals perform.
- Well, I think when I was a child, more than anything else I wanted not to be ordinary. And I wanted to be considered to be a bit peculiar. When I was at school I wanted to be peculiar and I was delighted when I was at secondary school and I was actually thought to be peculiar (laughs). It was fantastically good for me because I looked around me and I thought, 'Well, however you are I don't want to be like you, so if you think I'm unbalanced then I'm delighted.' That really stayed with me.
- I normally live in Los Angeles, if you can call it normal living.
- That's why I do this music business thing, it's communication with people without having the extreme inconvenience of actually phoning anybody up.
- Not everybody is absolutely stupid. Why on earth would I be racist, what would I be trying to achieve?
- JU: Are you thin still? M: Um, in a crowd, yes. In a crowd of very heavy people.
- Lots of people make the stage and it can seem very violent and over the top, but it's not really. It's always a kind of gentle ballet.
- I never enjoyed life in my twenties, not one minute of it. It was a test of endurance that I'm surprised I survived. Professionally, of course, I was doing very well but personally it couldn't have been worse or more difficult for me if I'd been living in a mud hut in Leeds.
- DK: How often does the seriousness end and the irony begin in your work? M: Many times. I have a grand and endless capacity to find myself slightly ridiculous. I'm not pretending to be some wallowing prophet, for heaven's sake. I think we all have to sit down and look in the mirror and think, What is that absurd monstrosity?
- I know I've reached the stage where other artists would bleach their hair or buy a fancy costume, but, inexcusably, I can only be me, which is a full-time occupation and causes terrible backaches.
- M: If you cannot impress people simply by being part of the great fat human race, then you really do have to develop other skills. And if you don't impress people by the way you look, then you really do have to develop other skills. And if you are now going to ask is everything I did just a way to gain some form of attention, well that's not entirely true. It is in a small way, but that's in the very nature of being alive. PM: Wanting to be loved? M: To be seen, above all else. I wanted to be noticed, and the way I lived and do live has a desperate neurosis about it because of that. All humans need a degree of attention. Some people get it at the right time, when they are 13 or 14, people get loved at the right stages. If this doesn't happen, if the love isn't there, you can quite easily just fade away. ... In a sense I always felt that being troubled as a teenager was par for the course. I wasn't sure that I was dramatically unique. I knew other people who were at the time desperate and suicidal. They despised life and detested all other living people. In a way that made me feel a little bit secure. Because I thought, well, maybe I'm not so intense after all. Of course, I was. I despised practically everything about human life, which does limit one's weekend activities
- PM: What annoys you most about yourself? M: Practically everything. I miss not being able to stand up straight. I tend to slide into rooms and sit on the chair behind the door.
- I think I'm a realist. Which people who don't like me consider to be pessimism. It isn't pessimism at all. If I was a pessimist I wouldn't get up, I wouldn't shave, I wouldn't watch Batman at 7:30 a.m. Pessimists just don't do that sort of thing.
- I once bought a Manchester United hat, which I think was 12 shillings, and somebody ran up behind me and pulled it off and just ran ahead. I thought, 'It's a very cruel world, I'm not prepared for this'. And I decided to get my revenge on society.
- When The Smiths began it was very important that I wouldn't be that horrible, stupid, sloppy Steven. He would have to be locked in a box and put on top of the wardrobe. l needed to feel differently and rather than adopt some glamorous pop star name, I eradicated Steven which seemed to make perfect sense. Suddenly I was a totally different person. Now when I meet pre-Smith people who call me Steven, I sit there and wonder who they're talking about. I always despised the name Steven, though being spelt with a 'v' rather than a 'ph' made life slightly more tolerable. But it was very important that Steven be drowned nonetheless.
- I think if I'd led an acceptably frivolous teenage life I wouldn't be singing in this group. I'm sure if you have a great time and get everything you want, all the friends you want, then you tend not to be so ambitious. If you're deprived of certain things it makes you very resilient and you kick very hard for what you want. And I wanted something very special because I'd led such an unspecial life previous to the Smiths.
- GQ: 'Who'll be the first of the Smiths to die?' M: 'Me. I'll be shot - probably by one of the ex-Smiths.'
- GQ: 'Were you in love with Johnny Marr?' M: 'Sexually? Absolutely not. There was a love and it was mutual and equal but it wasn't physical or sexual. There are lots of people post-Smiths who would like to make some dramatic homosexual story. There never was one. It's often said that Johnny rescued me but he was also bobbing about in his own lifeboat.'
- (About Pop Idols) Obviously, it's designed by record company executives who want a cheap success, and they don't want to give money to anybody and they don't want to give contracts, so they've created this world of very bubbly teenagers who want to be 'idols' and they think all they have to do is mime quite well and they've made it. ... But it's not the problem of the kids, it's the problem of the record companies, because it's just an inexpensive way for them to have so-called, I won't say 'artists', but erm...You're nodding, you know what I mean.
- Well, the problem I've had with all the interviews I've had in America - I had meetings with about nine labels - and they all say to me 'Will your new songs fit in with what is popular and what is in the chart?' And I say 'Good God, I hope not!'
- Well, I think the way you feel as a teenager stays with you, forever. I really believe that. And we try to change and we hope that we change, but we don't really in big ways, in serious ways. I think the personality is formed at that time, for the good and for the bad. ... We all want to grow up and move on and appear to be different to people. And we want people to see us in a different way. But, I don't know, I think the personality is very, very strongly cemented, and we just bear whatever shortcomings we have and learn to live with it.
- MS: Have you ever turned to religion? M: At no time. I am a seriously lapsed Catholic. It was at the usual time, 10, 11, 12, after being forced to go to church and never understanding why and never enjoying it, seeing so many negative things, and realising it somehow wasn't for me. I can only have faith in things I see. I could never be converted to Buddhism.
- I'm bereft of spiritual solutions. I do believe that there has to be a better world, but that's rather simple. I'm quite obsessed with death. I've gone through periods of intense envy for people who've died. Yes, I have a dramatic unswayable unavoidable obsession with death. I can remember being obsessed with it from the age of eight and I often wondered whether it was quite a natural inbuilt emotion for people who're destined to take their own lives, that they recognise it and begin to study it. If there was a magical beautiful pill that one could take that would retire you from this world, I think I would take it and I suppose that's the extremity of the obsessiveness.
- I could never really make the connection between Christian and Catholic. I always imagined that Christ would look down upon the Catholic church and totally disassociate himself from it. I went to severe schools, working class schools, where they would almost chop your fingers off for your own good, and if you missed church on Sunday and went to school on a Monday and they quizzed you on it, you'd be sent to the gallows. It was like 'Brush you teeth NOW or you will DIE IN HELL and you will ROT and all these SNAKES will EAT you'. And I remember all these religious figures, statues, which used to petrify every living child. All these snakes trodden underfoot and blood everywhere. I thought it was so morbid. I mean the very idea of just going to church anyway is really quite absurd. I always felt that it was really like the police, certainly in this country at any rate, just there to keep the working classes humble and in their place. Because of course nobody else but the working class pays any attention to it. I really feel quite sick when I see the Pope giving long, overblown, inflated lectures on nuclear weapons and then having tea with Margaret Thatcher. To me it's total hypocrisy. And when I hear the Pope completely condemning working class women for having abortions and condemning nobody else... to me the whole thing is entirely class ridden, it's just really to keep the working classes in perpetual fear and feeling total guilt.
- Age shouldn't affect you. It's just like the size of your shoes - they don't determine how you live your life! You're either marvellous or you're boring, regardless of your age.
- Actually I despise royalty. I always have done. It's fairy story nonsense. The very idea of their existence in these days when people are dying daily because they don't have enough money to operate one's radiator in the house, to me is immoral. As far as I can see, money spent on royalty is money burnt. I've never met anyone who supports royalty, and believe me I've searched. Okay, so there's some deaf and elderly pensioner in Hartlepool who has pictures of Prince Edward pinned on the toilet seat, but I know streams of people who can't wait to get rid of them. It's a false devotion anyway. I think it's fascist and very, very cruel. To me there's something dramatically ugly about a person who can wear a dress for ?6,000 when at the same time there are people who can't afford to eat. When she puts on that dress for ?6,000 the statement she is making to the nation is: 'I am the fantastically gifted royalty, and you are the snivelling peasants.' The very idea that people would be interested in the facts about this dress is massively insulting to the human race.
- It's hard to be a man. It's made to be hard and I don't know why. I think it's easier to be a woman. The women's movement has been so successful; the men's movement has never been accepted. I think it's not wanted. I think the expectation that men be stoic and strong is so enormous that finally they decide that this is the attractive way to be. There's more to life than being macho - such an ugly word - which is something that I realized at the age of one.
- When you're a teenager and in your early twenties it seems desperately eternal and excruciatingly painful. Whereas as you grow older you realise that most things are excruciatingly painful and that is the human condition. Most of us continue to survive because we're convinced that somewhere along the line, with grit and determination and perseverance, we will end up in some magical union with somebody. It's a fallacy, of course, but it's a form of religion. You have to believe. There is a light that never goes out and it's called hope.
- TF: At which point did you stop being celibate, why and who with? M: I don't see how anyone would benefit from seeing that kind of information in print. Least of all me.
- When you're young, you're afraid of being alone. Solitude is a burden and you try to escape from it. You always wonder when it's going to come to an end. Sometimes you can't get rid of it. At the age of 38, you use it in a different way. You've learned how to live with it, and you don't try to get rid of it by all means anymore. After all you may call this resignation, but I don't think it's harmful. You're not just standing there, in pain, asking yourself 'Why am I alone? Why don't I go out?' etc. You don't ask yourself these questions anymore. You adapt yourself. Living alone does not mean living in nothingness.
- M: I don't have relationships at all. It's out of the question. NK: Why? M: Partly because I was always attracted to men or women who were never attracted to me. And I was never attracted to women or men who were attracted to me. So that's the problem. I've never met the right person.
- (Eating meat) is really on the same moral level as child abuse. It's the same thing. Animals are like children, they look to us for protection. We should protect them. I really feel quite smug about mad cow disease and foot and mouth and so forth, and I just think 'Well, what do you expect? People have been saying it for years.'
- I think animals need all the help they can get, because they have none. They have no rights. They have no protection. And so I think animals need help. And I think animals look to humans for protection, and of course humans lead them into slaughterhouses, which to me is just like an image of leading children into a slaughterhouse. There's no difference. That level of trust and: But it's a very cruel world.
- Because he (Elton John) is pushing his face in all the time, and telling us about his private life. Nobody's interested, he's incredibly rich, he should just go away, and he's just hoisting his problems onto everybody and working them out publicly and...I've said enough.
- But, ultimately, I don't have very cast iron opinions on black music other than black modern music which I detest. I detest Stevie Wonder. I think Diana Ross is awful. I hate all those records in the Top 40 - Janet Jackson, Whitney Houston. I think they're vile in the extreme. In essence this music doesn't say anything whatsoever.
- Jools Holland: 'Knock Knock!' Morrissey: 'I'm not in!' Jools: 'Oh, come on.' Morrissey: 'I refuse to open the door.'
- DK: Have you ever been to a rave? M: Rave is the refuge for the mentally deficient. It's made by dull people for dull people.
- CH: Have you told many fibs today? M: I lie a lot - it's really useful - but everything I've said today has been the whole truth and nothing but the truth. So help me... er... Trevor...
- Clevage Sister: 'What do you feel about erotic art?' Morrissey:'I don't know much about rotting art?' Clevage Sister: 'What about erotic music?' Morrissey:'I know a great deal about rotting music.'
- I can't believe I'm 29. Where did the years go? Why did the years go?
- It's the nicest birthday I've ever had. You've made a happy man very old.
- Hello you little charmers... We're The Smiths...
- I suppose you have work tomorrow? That's quite sad, really.
- Most of the faces I see on the covers of American music magazines are just dreadful- people with nothing to offer the world at all. (2003)
- The tabloids hound me. What makes me more dangerous to them than anybody else is the fact that I lead something of a religious lifestyle. I despise drugs and cigarettes, I'm celibate and I live a very serene lifestyle. (1985)
- I'm personally not fooled by the monarchy. Whereas one can set the Queen aside and acknowledge that she means a great deal to many people, that is not the case with the rest of the so-called Royal Family. We don't need to support all those people. I'm not fooled by William or Harry, who just seem like arrogant, despicable people. They're not of the modern world.
- In 1970s Coronation Street, if we must discuss it, the inhabitants were all aspiring to gentility. Now everybody is thrilled to be as common as muck and everybody strives to be seen as completely backward and aggressive and lunatic. It is like television commercials. Every single one now features a very aggressive voice, whereas in my youth it was always very gentle and soothing.
- Most people have nothing to say. And most people give you the same answers every time you talk to them.
- Britain's a terribly negative place. And it hammers people down and it pulls you back and it prevents you. Also, with the issue of immigration, it's very difficult because although I don't have anything against people from other countries, the higher the influx into England the more the British identity disappears.
- I do think it's actually possible to go through life and never fall in love or find someone who loves you.
- It's a crude world and most people are crude. All you can do is your best.
- I think what we're lacking is Direct Action whether we're discussing Tiffany or nuclear waste. Direct Action is the only thing that can save the world, there's no point in sitting cross-legged round a nicely polished table... No, I wasn't referring to us I was referring to political groups, nurses' unions and so forth. I think a few bricks need to be thrown through a few specific windows... like Katie Boyle's. (1988)
- There are indeed worse groups than Modern Romance. But can anyone seriously think of one?
- (On David Bowie) (He is) not the person he was. He is no longer David Bowie at all. Now he gives people what he thinks will make them happy, and they're yawning their heads off. And by doing that, he is not relevant. He was only relevant by accident.
- (On Band Aid) The whole implication was to save these people in Ethiopia, but who were they asking to save them? Some 13-year-old girl in Wigan! People like Thatcher and the royals could solve the Ethiopian problem within ten seconds. But Band Aid shied away from saying that - for heaven's sake, it was almost directly aimed at unemployed people.
- I can get incredibly erotic about blotting paper. (1985)
- (On Freud) He just made people feel so neurotic about their lives. I mean, if you dreamt about a lampshade, it meant you wanted to be whipped by the local vicar or something. (1984)
- I'm not very good at being dull. (1988)
- (On Craig Gannon suing him) My opinion is that Craig Gannon didn't really win because... he's still Craig Gannon. (1990)
- (When asked who does his laundry) Me, I'm afraid. Every Friday night you'll find me leaning over the bathtub, immersed in Persil... It's quite passionately romantic leaning over the bath, scrubbing one's shirts. (1985)
- That was the problem with the 'celibate' word because they don't consider for a moment that you'd rather not be, but you just are. I was never a sexual person.
- The Cure, a new dimension to the word 'crap'.
- I believe in [the idea of resiting to lying to make something more interesting] but I've never found it necessary. But I'll certainly consider it for the future.
- I've always thought my genitals were the result of some crude practical joke.
- I hate men who only see women in a sexual way - to me that's criminal and I want to change that.
- I believe that everything went downhill from the moment the McDonalds chain was given license to invade England - don't laugh, I'm serious. To me it was like the outbreak of war and I can't understand why English troops weren't retaliating. The Americanisation of England is such a terminal illness - I think England should be English, and Americans should go home and spoil their own country.
- I don't want to sound horrible or pessimistic, but I really don't think, for instance, black people and white people will ever really get on or like each other. The French will never like the English. The English will never like the French. The tunnel will collapse.
- Considering the obsession that the British media have with politics and politicians, it's surprising how catastrophic British politicians are. The British media still don't have the nerve to admit to themselves how useless Tony Blair is. Useless for Britain, useless for Europe. Useless, useless, useless. I think it's sad that England can't produce one single inspiring politician.
- (When asked: Are you currently feeling devious, truculent, or unreliable?, referred to what judge John Weeks called Morrissey) The judge who said those words only did so because they described exactly what I am not, nor have ever been. He would be delighted that you remember his quote. This judge, John Weeks, had his eye on the press when he made that comment. Some judges are a bit like ex-drummers, they'll do anything for a bit of press attention. I was delighted when Michael Stipe called him a 'fuckhead' in Q magazine. It was the first time anyone had ever stood up for me in the press on this matter. (1999)
- (On the 1996 court case over royalties) It was an extraordinary miscarriage of justice. The whole point of this court case was to say Mr. Joyce is a poor shambolic character in desperate need of money who has been treated abysmally by Morrissey and Marr - when the fact was he had been treated with absolute generosity, considering the minor role that he played. He played his instrument and went home. He was always in search of more shags. Now Johnny Marr and myself, throughout the history of The Smiths, never slept with anybody, and took The Smiths very seriously. We stayed up till the small hours perfecting and shaping everything. Joyce was the exact opposite - he had no sense of duty. So when this person therefore, 10 years after the group has ended, starts demanding ?1m...
- (On mobile phones) I hate the way they ring, and when I see people use them in public I feel repulsed by that. I find it such an invasion. And also, I don't want to be tracked down and almost monitored every second of the day.
- Robert Smith is a whingebag. (1984)
- When I wrote an ineffectual line such as 'I was looking for a job/ And then I found a job/And Heaven knows I'm miserable now', that outraged people (which pleased me).
- If I had stood in the middle of a Manchester housing estate and announced, 'I'm celibate', I probably would have been shot.
- Things seem so wonderful from a distance, but when you go to Rome, you're bored and you want to come straight back home to Scunthorpe.
- Madonna reinforces everything absurd and offensive. Desperate womanhood. She is closer to organized prostitution than anything else.
- The reason I believe that The Royal Family is evil is because they enjoy fox hunting. These are despicable people. And Charles has no intelligence whatsoever.
- I cannot understand having children. Even if the opportunity arose, I would definitely turn it down. No, I don't blame anyone for bringing me into the world, but I do feel that life is excessively overrated.
- I have to say, and this sounds rehearsed, I've always felt closer to transexuality than anything else.
- The lyrics I write are specifically genderless. I don't want to leave anybody out. Handsome is a word that people think is applied to males...but I know lots of handsome women. After all, there is such a thing as a pretty male.
- Bring me the head of Elton John.
- Long hair is an unpardonable offense which should be punishable by death.
- (On rap music) I really do think it's a great musical stench. I find it very offensive, artless and styleless. To me it's very reminiscent of thuggery, pop thuggery. I don't want to hear it at all.
- For me Prince conveys nothing. The fact that he's successful in America is interesting simply because he's mildly fey and that hasn't happened before there. Boy George, again I think he really doesn't say anything either.
- (On the 1996 trial over royalties which was won by Mike Joyce) It was a terrible miscarriage of justice. So it's been really shocking. I wish the very, very worst for (Mike) Joyce, for the rest of his life.
- I think Band Aid was diabolical. I think Bob Geldof is a nauseating character. Many people find that very unsettling, but I'll say it as loud as anyone wants me to. In the first instance the record itself was absolutely tuneless. One can have great concern for the people of Ethiopia, but it's another thing to inflict daily torture on the people of England. It was an awful record considering the mass of talent involved. And it wasn't done shyly - it was the most self-righteous platform ever in the history of popular music.
- Oasis are very tame to me. At a time when they have the spotlight of the world on them, they should have made the most revolutionary, creative record and instead it's practically awful. For a song which is trying so hard to create hooks, it doesn't really have any. God bless Noel; I'm sure he'll always have a spot on 'Bob's Full House', but I search for something with more bite and rage.
- If Prince came from Wigan he would have been slaughtered by now.
- With people in the world such as Jamie Oliver and Clarissa Dickson Wright there isn't much hope for animals. I support the efforts of the Animal Rights Militia in England and I understand why fur-farmers and so-called laboratory scientists are repaid with violence - it is because they deal in violence themselves and it's the only language they understand - the same principles that apply to war. You reach a point where you cannot reason with people. This is why the Animal Rights Militia and the Hunt Saboteurs exist. They are usually very intelligent people who are forced to act because the law is shameful or amoral.
- In England, animals are hunted to the point of extinction, and then a great effort is made to save and reintroduce animals, and once they are re-established, they are then hunted back to the point of extinction. Everybody needs to hate something, it seems.
- I don't consider myself to be political, even though to sing or to write are political acts, of sorts. The proof of your political thinking is usually in your conduct. I find myself opposing barbarism, that's all. People like Blair and Bush have proved that in order to succeed in politics you must be cruel and morally bankrupt. I see no difference between Blair or Bush and Saddam Hussein - all egotistical dictators. Perhaps the only difference is that Blair and Bush do it with a smile. Murder and smile .... as Shakespeare said. Good people do not succeed in politics - it's impossible. I also think that most people have lost faith and trust in politics, and this can only be because most political leaders prove themselves to be contemptuous of the people who elect them. When Bush decided that he would have a state visit to England, Blair described the anti-Bush protestors as 'these people' - even though 'these people' were in fact the ordinary people of England who had probably voted Blair into government. But, Blair was prepared to attack his own people in order to avoid upsetting Bush. This is what happens in non-democratic countries.
- With all my heart I urge people to vote against George Bush. Jon Stewart would be ideal, but John Kerry is the logical and sane move. It does not need to be said yet again, but Bush has single-handedly turned the United States into the most neurotic and terror-obsessed country on the planet. For non-Americans, the United States is suddenly not a very nice place to visit because US immigration officers - under the rules of Bush - now conduct themselves with all the charm and unanswerable indignation of Hitler's SS. Please bring sanity and intelligence back to the United States. Don't forget to vote. Vote for John Kerry and get rid of George Bush!
- One of my physical encounters was with a man. That was 10 years ago. It was just a very brief, absurd and amusing moment. It wasn't love. I have never experienced that.
- (when asked if he had slept with women) Yes. I feel completely open. If I met somebody tomorrow, male or female, and they loved me and I loved them, I would openly proclaim that I loved them, regardless of what they were. I think people should be loved whatever their gender, whatever their age. I am open to everything.
- (After announcing the death of Ronald Reagan, during a performance in Dublin 2004) 'Pity it wasn't George [W] Bush!'
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