WWSP's "The Alternate Boot!"

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Creative Dynamos!



I finished reading Morrissey & Marr: The Severed Alliance by Johnny Rogan a week or so ago. 501 pages plus footnotes. It was a good read. I learned a lot about Morrissey and Marr and the Smiths and Manchester, and the British music scene in the 60's, 70's and 80's, a lot more, than I knew before. Maybe more than I needed to know, but what the hell, I got into the story. Two very charismatic, interesting, intelligent creative dynamos are the focus of this unlikely saga.

One day Johnny Marr, a local Manchester guitar hot-shot, and aspiring songwriter, knocks on Steven Morrissey's door, and the creative spark is lit.

An amazing musical collaboration. Why did it work? Why did it disintegrate? Still sort of a mystery. Opposites attract, combine & meld to create a musical chemistry, a strange and beautiful alchemy. And then those opposite qualities sort of get in the way as the years and records roll out. 

I think Morrissey/Marr and the Smiths are one of those love them or hate them artists/bands. No middle ground. If you love them, you totally fall for them. You need to hear everything they ever recorded. You need to close-listen, obsessively.

Rogan's book helps bring the music alive again. And deepens the understanding of certain songs. I find the Smiths music alive & vital today. Their music doesn't age. Beautifully realized pop masterpieces. Everything in the world, encapsulated in shimmering  pop songs - intelligence, grace, beauty, humor, infinitely subtle and thrilling.

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