The Independent

"Morrissey reaffirms support for far-right party" is today's headline in The Independent. They offer this absolute lie because they know they can get away with it. They will not be challenged. De-platforming and destroying lives is the principle motivation of modern journalism.
And so be it.
I cannot afford to take the Independent to court, thus I cannot afford to defend myself. I therefore step away, and I wish others more luck and more support with the press of Soviet Britain than I can muster.
The British Arts, we must assume, are officially dead.
The name 'The Independent' means independent of any morality, any principles of conduct, and any distinction between right and wrong.
… and this is the free British press? God help us all."

MORRISSEY
25 June 2019


The Interview.

A LARKSTONGUE IN APRIL.


conversation with Morrissey, 

April 2019, by Sam Esty Rayner. 


 *we apologize for the delay in printing this interview. 


sam:
I wanted to interview you myself because I am absolutely sick of reading terrible things about you in the UK press. 

M:
You are a part of a very large group! 

sam:
Why don’t The Guardian just have you killed and put an end to it all? 

M:
I think that’s their eventual intention. Be patient! 

sam:
Why haven’t any legal moves been made against The Guardian? 

M:
As a so-called entertainer, I have no human rights … apparently… because you put yourself ‘out there’. If I were a postman I would have won a Harassment Case against The Guardian and been awarded 10 million pounds in damages by now. You might wave The Guardian aside and simply say, well, they’re just loudly ridiculous, but at the same time you must wonder about their legal status and acceptable standards of journalism, and how to distinguish …. if you can … between what is actual news, and what is written with a full intent to cause harm. The Guardian have pestered and relentlessly harassed musicians in my life urging them not to work with me again. Now, this is not journalistic opinion at work, it is hate with the sole intent of making me a public target. In these days of casual knife crime and hurling of acid, you’d expect The Guardian to maintain a certain careful morality. But no. If I suffered physical harm as a direct result of the Guardian’s tyranny, you can imagine cheers and champagne exploding through their offices… it chills the blood. The Guardian fully believes it is a political party. 

sam:
I can’t think why I would ever buy a newspaper! Anything you say in this interview I will not edit, and obviously you can see audio in operation also. 

M:
That doesn’t worry me, I’m not Emmanuel Macron. 

sam:
You seem to settle all your press squabbles by yourself. 

M:
You look around to see if what is written draws fire from friends, and so on, but I imagine if anything was said in my favour the press wouldn’t print it anyway. 

sam:
Mojo even have a YouTube podcast dedicated to ‘terrible things said by Morrissey’, even though they are not actually terrible things by any means. 

M:
It’s now a trend. In 1984 the Manchester Evening News had an enormous front-page headline ‘Myra Hindley On The Cover Of New Pop Disc’ …. or some similar blast. Of course the picture was actually Viv Nicholson, but the press never apologize for getting it wrong and putting your life in danger. 

sam:
I experienced all of this first hand two years ago when the Italian press said you and I had been caught speeding through central Rome. I was apparently the driver … even though I wasn’t even in the country at the time, and you were the passenger. I’m listed with the Rome State Police as a driving offender for this! 

M:
Yes, it was horrifying. The car was a Fiat 500 doing 6 mph on the shortest road in Rome … no one could drive quickly even if they wanted to. The so-called Officer (Raffaele Barone) was threatening me with a gun and breathing very heavily …. crazed, darting eyes … which I assumed to be a medical condition. He had no name badge, no identification, and he refused to tell me his name. His assistant officer (Armande) quietly apologized for Barone’s behaviour. But the State Police rushed a statement into the press immediately - which was suspect. I appealed to the British Embassy in Rome, a Jill Morris, but she said she couldn’t help because “the situation was private”. It could not possibly have been more public! 

sam:
I then received hundreds of death threats on my Facebook from Italy … all probably from the same person.
This was a shame because your affinity with Italy has been very strong. 

M:
Yes, but you can’t ignore a madman with a gun. Just because someone wears an official uniform does not mean that they are sane, sober or even intelligent. 

sam:
You cancelled 6 shows in Italy because of the incident. People are beginning to think your middle name is Cancellation. 

M:
I know. But, as far as I can see, many bands cancel and nothing is ever said about it. The song and dance made about my cancellations is usually from people who wouldn’t go to the concert in the first place. 

sam:
But you will play the Canada dates? 

M:
Yes. 

sam:
Is your hand bad? Obviously it’s covered. 

M:
The stitches are out now but if I had shaken anyone’s hand last week blood would have spurted. That’s not a nice greeting. 

sam:
I don’t think anyone ever believes that you’re ill, or that you fell, or whatever. 

M:
I know. Generally colds and flu are passed on to me, and there’s nothing you can do when your voice is your instrument. I go to abnormal lengths to avoid colds. 

sam:
You must be pleased by radio play for “It’s Over” and “Wedding Bell Blues”? 

M:
Oh, yes. They sound fantastic on the radio. 

sam:
Could they be hits, do you think? 

M:
I don’t know. People who like my music want the physical item - they are not content just to stream. I can’t compete with artists who get 100 million streams per week. As vinyls, all my releases go to number 1, but I can’t compete in any other way. 

sam:
I don’t think anyone looks to the charts anymore. They don’t seem to make any sense. You see what’s happening and you see who has real popularity, yet the charts tell a completely different story. 

M:
I’ve said this before but I think the success of a record is decided in board meetings … usually before the record is even recorded. 

sam:
Does this apply to you in your world? 

M:
Well, no, because I’ve come and gone before anyone has time to notice! I have the least suspect chart-life in history! 

sam:
Many of your reviews have a sort of begrudging applause … as if writer’s are afraid to praise you. 

M:
Oh, I know. It’s OK, though. 

sam:
Can we just sort out your political position because I’m sick of reading about how you’ve had a ‘controversial outburst’ when I know that you aren’t seen anywhere and you don’t ever speak to anyone. I’ve known you for 35 years and I’ve never heard you outburst. Are you actually a supporter of UKIP

M:
No. Never. 

sam:
Of Nigel Farage? 

M:
No, no, no … but it’s obvious that he would make a good Prime Minister … if any of us can actually remember what a good Prime Minister is. 

sam:
You support For Britain? 

M:
Absolutely, yes. 

sam:
Labour, Conservative are obvious no’s, according to “Irish Blood, English Heart”! What about the Liberal Democrats or The Greens? 

M:
I know nothing about either of them. 

sam:
Well, why For Britain? 

M:
I think Anne Marie Waters is the only British party leader who can unite the left and right. I don’t know any other party leader who even WANTS to do this. The UK is a dangerously hateful place now, and I think we need someone to put a stop to the lunacy and to speak for everyone. I see Anne Marie Waters as this person. She is extremely intelligent, ferociously dedicated to this country, she is very engaging, and also very funny at times. 

sam:
The obvious press assessment is that she is racist, but I haven’t heard her say anything racist. 

M:
Neither have I. But if you call someone racist in modern Britain you are telling them that you have run out of words. You are shutting the debate down and running off. The word is meaningless now. Everyone ultimately prefers their own race … does this make everyone racist? The people who reduce every conversation down to a matter of race could be said to be the most traditionally ‘racist’ because everything in life is NOT exclusively a question of race, so why make it so? Diversity can’t possibly be a strength if everyone has ideas that will never correspond. If borders are such terrible things then why did they ever exist in the first place? Borders bring order. I can’t see how opposing Halal slaughter makes me racist when I’ve objected to ALL forms of animal slaughter all of my life. 

sam:
The Guardian want to destroy you because you said you were not a member of the ‘Loony Left’. At this stage, anything you say they will turn into a global threat to humanity. 

M:
Yes, and it tends to spread … and suddenly The Independent reported how people are walking out of my concerts … which was a lie. It’s all very KKK, isn’t it? … share our views or we’ll smash your face in. But their level of determination reflects what they perceive to be your power and the weight of your views. If you were talking utter nonsense they wouldn’t bother with you. Inadvertently they are telling you that you matter enormously. My political stance is simple: I oppose barbarism … from the left from the right, or from the centre. You must finally wonder why The Guardian considers it their job to destroy ANYONE. It isn’t their job. 

sam:
But the problem for them is that you’ve said you are not left wing, and therefore they believe you ought not to exist. 

M:
… which reflects their intolerance of diversity! It is not their place or their role in life to cut people down and attempt to wipe them out. They are not a political party, yet they think that they are. sam:
I don’t think people seriously believe that you are racist, but I think they enjoy saying that you are. 

M:
Someone made the point the other day about David Bowie’s famous “England would benefit from a fascist government” comment … and his admiration for Hitler … and how Hitler was as stylish as Jagger … and how the UK needed a “complete right wing leader”. Could you imagine if I’d said THAT! Now, of course, I sat privately with David many times, and he wasn’t remotely fascist… although it has been said that he’d visited Hitler’s bunker. But, how many writers at The Guardian have David Bowie albums? All of them, probably! Hypocrisy?
Obviously a fascist would never have recorded “Lady Stardust” … and a fascist would never have recorded “Wedding Bell Blues”, but, you see, the press choose their targets, and ignore what it suits them to ignore. In a way, that’s the key to modern Britain … only the mentally castrated are eligible for praise and awards. It’s against the law to be intelligent! The dumb have inherited the earth. [laughs] Because of this, British arts are controlled by completely limited possibilities, and the same faces appear everywhere. When you start arguing with The Guardian you feel as if you’re trying to reason with people who are barely toilet-trained. There actually becomes no point. 

sam:
You also knew Lou Reed for awhile? 

M:
Yes. He was a lovely person. He had a great smile which he almost never used. We had a great afternoon in Rome once, and he seemed very happy. 

sam:
I promise this is the last time I’ll mention The Guardian, but I laughed when I read how they criticized you because of your white privilege! Obviously, I know your life, and there’s been no hint of white privilege… white disadvantage, if anything! 

M:
Yes [laughs], but to even slur someone for white privilege is in itself a racist comment! It’s all reached such silly proportions now. How will it stop? 

sam:
There was also the assurance that your concerts last year had been prevented from happening due to pressure from violent left-wing extremists. 

M:
Again, absolute nonsense. The tour could not go ahead because it wasn’t insured. Now, why this was so is nothing to do with me, yet the press implied that I’d been smoked out of my log-cabin and dragged to Reading Jail. It IS possible to be just silly. 

sam:
The Manchester Arena Bomb took place on your birthday, and I was there celebrating with you, and I came into the room and announced that at least 19 kids were dead. You spoke out about it immediately, yet you weren’t invited to sing at the Arena event for Manchester. Why was this? 

M:
Because I DO look back in anger! I would have sang “World Peace Is None Of Your Business” or “Life Is A Pigsty” - or something truthful and meaningful. If my child had been killed at Manchester Arena I wouldn’t be lighting candles and swaying … I’d be in a complete rage. 

sam:
UKIP are suddenly ahead in the polls. Would you vote for them? 

M:
No. I’ve never voted for anyone in my life. UKIP means nothing to me. 

sam:
But you are a Brexiteer? 

M:
I didn’t vote in the referendum although I can see how there is absolutely nothing attractive about the EU. My view has always been that the result of the referendum must be carried through. If the vote had been remain there would be absolutely no question that we would remain. In the interest of true democracy, you cannot argue against the wish of the people. Without the people, nobody in high office gets paid. 

sam:
I’m 35 and I’ve never tasted animal flesh or bird flesh or fish. My brother is 28 and he’s never tasted animal flesh … even as newborns we weren’t given anything with dead animal bits in it. Why do you think successive governments support the idea of dead animals as human food? 

M:
I think … it’s because … successive governments receive support and cash and sponsorship from pharmaceutical companies and farmers associations, so therefore governments are obliged to repay them. The idea, I think, is to keep people unwell, sick, or dying, and the best way to do this is to convince them that fat slices of sheeps faces are good for you. If the human race looked after itself and didn’t eat pigs’ noses then pharmaceutical companies would perish. In the USA, most people die because of animal consumption, but it doesn’t ever seem to be a concern to the government because of … it’s good for business to keep people on medication. The food industry has destroyed the truth about what food is. 

sam:
There’s a few political songs on California Son, but not many, and generally it’s a well-crafted pop album above anything else. Did you want to calm it down a bit? 

M:
It wasn’t ever calm! My very first interview was with Nick Ferrari for The Sun, and obviously you can guess how that went. That was almost 40 years ago! 

sam:
Sometimes you sound political even when you aren’t being so … because your voice is so adamant. I don’t know what “Don’t Interrupt The Sorrow” is about, but it sounds as if you’re making a point. 

M:
That’s good, isn’t it? Imagine if the song had a point and I didn’t make it. 

sam:
It’s great to see Jobriath in there with so many great American songwriters, and “Morning Starship” sounds like a big hit to me. But you weren’t involved in the Jobriath projects a few years ago? 

M:
No. I don’t like anything that dwells on the private aspects of Jobriath’s life. I only ever liked the music. I don’t care what he did or where he went at 4:AM. 

sam:
I understand your point, and I agree. Was “It’s Over” easy to sing? 

M:
Oh, no. I was petrified. I was convinced I couldn’t do it, and when you hold a song in such high esteem you somehow feel that you have a nerve to even attempt it. I think I gave up after several tries, but Joe (Chiccarelli, producer) kept pushing me … which no producer had ever done before … and the final results were great. It’s the most proud recording of my entire life. 

sam:
I enjoyed the B-side covers of last year, but I’d like to hear them properly recorded instead of live. Will that happen? 

M:
No. I feel the same about “To Give Is The Reason I Live” which we had done for several years but hadn’t ever recorded. A song has its time, and then it’s over. I loved the song “Action Is My Middle Name”, but that, too, wasn’t ever properly recorded. Also, “People Are The Same Everywhere” was a fantastic song … just lost in the swill of time. 

sam:
Did you invite Billie Joe Armstrong to sing on “Wedding Bell Blues” because his name is … Bill? [laughs] 

M:
No! [laughs] … and … strangely … you won’t believe that I didn’t even make that connection until a few days ago! My brain works in mysterious ways. I was always a Billie Joe fan, and we had met, and then I was thrilled when he agreed to sing. I love the results. 

sam:
You also sang with Sameer from Young The Giant … I’m sorry, I can’t pronounce his surname. 

M:
He is incredible … one of the most powerfully soothing voices I’ve ever heard … almost like Elvis Presley. 

sam:
and … LP! What is she like? 

M:
Hysterical. She’ll sit there drinking all night … she’s almost as funny as Chrissie [Hynde], and of course, what she does on “It’s Over” is phenomenal. I am blessed! 

sam:
“Wedding Bell Blues” sounds like a deliberate plea for same-sex marriage. Is it? 

M:
I don’t know what it is! I couldn’t think of any reason to change the lyrics or switch genders or play about with it. You know my life, I haven’t ever been married, and once I feed the birds, the foxes and the badgers then my day is over. I’m unlikely to ever be married to anything except bird-seed. 

sam:
The big track on the album is “Some Say I Got Devil”. It’s as powerful as “Life Is A Pigsty” or “Trouble Loves Me”. Again, you don’t seem to switch the genders. Am I wrong? 

M:
I wanted to sing it in the way that I had always heard it, or knew it. You see, I’m not concerned at all about people being offended. If people dislike you they will always find a reason to be offended. 

sam:
I wasn’t saying that. It’s not offensive. It’s beyond sad. I can’t imagine any other artist in 2019 recording a track like that … 

M:
Oh, look, I’ve been accused of everything. I’ve been called every name imaginable … I’m only attacked by people who don’t have the emotional ability to ignore me. This is why I wrote the song ‘If You Don’t Like Me, Don’t Look At Me’. 

sam:
You’re missing my point! It’s a great track, and you sing it with such power … you don’t hear that truth anymore in music.



You had Germaine Greer on the cover of your recent single. Do you put other people on your sleeves for discussion?

M:
Not really. I almost never like the way I look, so it’s ideal to use shots of other people. I’ve always loved Germaine Greer, of course, and second wave feminists … who have no relation to the modern fourth wave feminists… who are too selective about what offends them. 

sam:
for example? 

M:
well, they ignore FGM in Bradford, for example, yet they make such a fuss about the Hollywood casting couch… which has existed since 1904. 

sam:
I have heard your new studio album for 2020 and, interestingly, it’s an unexpected swerve from “Low In High School” or “California Son”. Is it hard to sit still and wait for it to be released? 

M:
No, because the understanding was that I would have to. 

sam:
Why did you record in France, yet again? 

M:
The studio is terrific, there’s lots of animals, and no television. I feel completely safe in France. 

sam:
Songs like “Jim Jim Falls” and “Bobby, Don’t You Think They Know” sound very powerful, whereas “Love Is On Its Way Out” is just beautiful. Are you constantly torn between this gemini hard strike and soft stroke? 

M:
It’s a good question. You know, there’s a constant search … or desire … just to be allowed to do it … just to be allowed to record, at will, doing you’re own thing … and that search doesn’t end. Even now, at my age, I wait for someone to say “It’s OK now, just go in and record.” 

sam:
Do you share the sorrow over Notre Dame? 

M:
Yes, but let’s be realistic … it’s arson. Everybody knows that. 

sam:
Why do you say that? 

M:
You can judge it by the speed by which the corporate media rushed to call it an accident even though the fire had just started and no one was in any position to know anything. Brainwashing! It’s a bit like hearing the full reason behind a plane crash even though the plane has yet to hit the ocean. 

sam:
you’ll soon be 60. Has the panic set in? 

M:
It set in when I was 6. 

sam:
You have 7 sold out nights on Broadway next month. Do you suspect that the UK press have already written their terrible reviews … telling us what a failure you are? 

M:
Yes! [laughs], but it’s OK … I am from Woking … I can take it. 

sam:
Mott The Hoople are playing their farewell concert in Manchester this week, or next. I know you saw them when you were 12. What could Mott The Hoople possibly say to a 12-year old? 

M:
Too much, in my case. My friend Jed Weitzman actually saw Mott The Hoople when he was 5! So, 12 is quite middle-aged in comparison.



sam:
I know your biggest hero is Bruce
Lee as well as the obvious Oscar Wilde and James Baldwin. How does Bruce Lee fit into it all? 

M:
Style. I said many years ago about never having seen a bad photograph of James Dean. Some people just ARE style. I know you feel the same way about Marilyn Monroe, which is also true. It wasn’t possible to photograph her unflatteringly. Style is just there within certain people without anyone needing to point it out… Anne Sexton was another. 

sam:
would you say this is true of you? 

M:
NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! 

sam:
Manchester recently lost Pete Shelley … and also Mark E. Smith. Were you saddened by their deaths? 

M:
No, not really, because with both of them … as with Pete Burns, I suppose … you can see that they’ve had a rough time and they’ve … had enough. Humans don’t last, yet we expect them to. sam:
I think you were a fan of Buzzcocks, though? 

M:
I believe I was the first person ever to write about them. I saw their first ever gig and the next day I was at the post office with a 3p stamp. 

sam:
What Seventies band would you most like to see re-form? 



M: I suppose the only band that would please millions of people would be The Jam, and although I’m not certain, I gather they don’t much care for each other … so we can be excused for giving up hope on that one! 

sam:
Finally, any small regrets? 

M:
Oh, I never make my regrets small … if I can help it. Oh. Umm. Robert Smith. I said some terrible things about him 35 years ago … but I didn’t mean them … I was just being very Grange Hill. It’s great when you can blame everything on Tourette’s syndrome. [laughs] 

sam:
but you’ve never met him? 

M:
Oddly, I was in a pub near Buckingham Palace perhaps ten years ago … and there he was … staring over confrontationally. I take no moral responsibility for whatever I said in 1983 … after all … who does? 

sam:
You’ve met Joni Mitchell several times. Is she nice? 

M:
I don’t think she’d like to be called nice. But, you know, people who go through that overwhelming experience of fame - especially in the 1970s when talent was actually an essential ingredient … you cannot expect them to be ordinary. They’ve gone somewhere that most of us can only dream of 

sam:
Since this is a Morrissey interview, I should edit this conversation and make you out to be a difficult monster who plans to control the political world. What would you do if I did that? 

M:
… expect to find it printed in The Guardian as a special pull-out colour supplement? 

sam:
Highlight of your entire career? 

M:
[long pause] Sophia Loren coming to see me last year. There’s no one on earth more royal. But, also, some years ago I played in a field in Surrey, and I couldn’t



believe Iggy & The Stooges agreed to play before me … and then Lou Reed agreed to play … and Patti Smith agreed to play … and it was the most astonishing line-up and such a fantastic day and such an incredible crowd. 




There were no press present and no reviews. That just about sums it all up! 


sam:
I wish I had filmed this conversation. 

M:
Well, you didn’t. 




HMV

"Morrissey would like to express sincere thanks to HMV Records UK for their 'sterling' support given to California Son." VP.

Using Format