Dr. Medulla wrote: ↑
23 Jan 2019, 5:44pm
WestwayKid wrote: ↑
23 Jan 2019, 5:26pm
Dr. Medulla wrote: ↑
23 Jan 2019, 4:40pm
oliver wrote: ↑
23 Jan 2019, 4:30pm
Dr. Medulla wrote: ↑
23 Jan 2019, 12:19pm
There may have been common interests, but I really have a hard time conceiving of Bernie putting up with Morrissey for long.
According to the books/interviews I've read, the main reason for the split was that Morrissey and Marr (who were still only 28 and 24 in 1987) were jointly managing the group because Morrissey disliked or distrusted every real manager they ever had.
I'm sure it would have been a countdown to who would have sacked whom first.
Less jointly managing than more and more of that work being dumped on Marr because, indeed, Morrissey would turn on every outside manager they had. Marr has said that he left the band because he was just plain burned out from having too many roles to play at that young age. But to your latter point, ha, I agree.
This is what I've always heard, too. Morrissey was apparently very protective of his relationship with Marr - and there were several instances where they brought in an outside manager and the manager would end up forming a working relationship with Marr who handled the business end of the partnership and Morrissey would get jealous and sabotage everything - which meant Johnny would then end up taking care of managing the band on his own again. This went beyond management. Morrissey didn't like the relationship between Marr and producer John Porter and went behind their backs to have Steve Lillywhite mix "Ask". There is also the story that Morrissey didn't like Ken Friedman - who was to be their final outside manager - as Friedman was too friendly with Marr. Morrissey lashed out by failing to show up for the video shoot for "Shoplifters of the World".
From everything I've read - Marr did not intend to leave the band. He was proud of the work they had done on Strangways and saw it as new direction for the group. He just wanted a break and Morrissey wanted to keep working. Morrissey was hot to get back into the studio to record b-sides for "Girlfriend in a Coma" but was adamant that they record a cover of Cilla Black's "Work is a Four Letter Word" along with "I Keep Mine Hidden".
The final straw was the NME article that said the band was going to split. Marr thought the article had been planted by Morrissey (it had not) and decided to walk.
Their relationship since the band split has been interesting. They actually sat down in late 2008 and almost got back together with Rourke (but not Mike Joyce). The idea was that they would wait for Johnny to honor his touring commitments with the Cribs - but then Morrissey never got back to him.
I thought the last straw was a video shoot where Morrissey stood everyone up. It was bad enough that a bunch of them went to his apartment, knew he was inside, but he refused to acknowledge them. Just more prima donna behaviour and Marr, exhausted, said fuck it and went on a holiday that ended up permanent after reading that the others were looking for a replacement.
It was a promo video for "Sheila Take A Bow" that he failed to show up for (rather than Shoplifters... as I previously mentioned). This would have been in spring 1987. Sire was pushing for the video to help promote the Louder than Bombs comp. Everything had been agreed upon and on the day of the shoot - Morrissey simply refused to show up. Nobody can get in touch with him and Marr did go to his house - but Morrissey refused to acknowledge that he was even there. According to the video's director who accompanied Marr, Johnny sald: "We cannot be in a band if this is how you're going to act. Come on outside right now, we've got to do this, we're responsible for this video, it's costing us money." Johnny did walk away from that "meeting" telling manager Friedman: "That's it. The band is over. Ken, it's over."
They didn't break up right away, but Morrissey summoned Marr to his home a few days later to issue an ultimatum: either they fire Ken Friedman or Morrissey would quit. Morrissey wanted that "things should go back to the way they were" which meant that Johnny would once again assume all band related responsibilities. Marr agreed - in part. He suggested that they split apart as a business entity and pursue their own management.
Marr still wasn't ready to break up the band - he just was worn out, overwhelmed, and wanted a break. He wanted to go off and record with the Talking Heads and Bryan Ferry and then have a proper break - but Morrissey pushed for them to go back into the studio to record b-sides before he'd "allow" Johnny the break he had asked for. Marr thought that was insane. The single (Girlfriend in a Coma) wasn't due to be released for several months and he didn't have any new songs to record. The fact that Morrissey wasn't to record "Work is a Four Letter Word" only added fuel to the fire.
There is another story about Morrissey failing to show up for the "Sheila Take A Bow" session without any sort of excuse. It might have been okay - but he had invited Sandie Shaw to sing backing vocals and then still failed to show - which forced Johnny to have to smooth things over.
So yeah - long winded reply from me - but the video shoot was probably the crack in the levee that led to its total collapse. It just sounds like Johnny wanted to make music - he didn't want to book tours and so on - but the situation was such that Morrissey was never going to allow an outside manager to come in and relieve him of those duties.
"If they believed in a place called Kokomo, then so did I." - Michael Edward Love