Morrissey’s ‘Autobiography’ to finally be published

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              Image, Penguin Classics.

These days, it seems that ‘celebrities’ are releasing books left, right and centre. Whilst some are brilliant, many are churned out by egotistical (and often quite boring) people who are shamelessly eager to further cash in on their short time in the spotlight. However, these were not my thoughts upon hearing that, after being cancelled in September due to “a last-minute content disagreement“, Morrissey’s book, simply titled ‘Autobiography’, will be released on October 17th.

This is extremely exciting news for me, and any other Smiths/ Morrissey fan who is forever intrigued by this mysterious and eternally controversial icon. The hugely saturated selection of Morrissey books currently available, particularly the fawning ‘Meetings with Morrissey‘, have sparked more questions than answers; lacking a genuine first-person account of his life. The opportunity to read this in ‘Autobiography’ is thrilling beyond words.

For many, (myself included), Morrissey is so much more than just the former frontman of their favourite band, or their favourite solo artist. He is a character, an enigma. The Smiths, inspired by Morrissey and Marr, offered welcome respite from a tirade of monotonous ’80s synthpop, and spoke honestly and humorously (“I said Charles, don’t you ever crave. To appear on the front of the Daily Mail. Dressed in your Mother’s bridal veil?”).

According to the publisher, Penguin, “Autobiography covers Morrissey’s life from his birth until the present day”. This frustratingly vague, concise description doesn’t reveal a great deal of information. However, it suggests that Morrissey may discuss his life chronologically. Therefore, he could make reference to his youth in Manchester. It would be fascinating to read about the events which inspired the lyrics for songs such as ‘The Headmaster Ritual‘, which describes his unhappy school life. In a 1985 video feature, Morrissey describes his secondary school as “sadistic” and “barbaric”.

The Smiths dramatically split up in 1987 after Marr left the band. Stories about the real reason for this are murky and contradictory, so I look forward to reading Morrissey’s take on this matter, and the rise and the fall of this unique and brilliant band. However, I expect the inevitable section on the royalties dispute, which concluded in the judge calling Morrissey “devious, truculent, and unreliable” to make for uncomfortable reading. You only have to look as far as the lyrics to 1994 single ‘The More You Ignore Me, The Closer I Get‘ for confirmation of this (Beware. I bear more grudges. Than lonely high court judges. When you sleep. I will creep. Into your thoughts…).

As I was born in 1993, 6 years after their split, I never actually got to see the Smiths live. Despite this, Morrissey’s lyrics, Marr’s guitar, and Rourke’s powerful (and often sadly overlooked) bass have captivated me in a way that no other band probably ever will. Love him or hate him (he doesn’t care), Morrissey is without a doubt one of our great artists and lyricists. He is a musical icon, and I can’t wait to (hopefully) find out who he really is. ‘Autobiography’ is published on October 17th, and is available to pre-order now on Amazon.

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Joe Hart criticism harsh

Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart has been heavily criticised in the media following his performance in the 3-1 home loss to Bayern Munich. Whilst Hart could have done better for Munich’s first and third goals, neither of them came directly as a result of a glaring error from himself, and it is fair to say that City in general were largely outclassed in every department by formidable opposition. In my opinion, the media have been unfair in their criticism of the England number 1; using him as an easy scapegoat.

Gary Neville has been particularly critical, stating that he should have done better for two of Bayern’s 3 goals. This is probably true. However, this analysis is being used by the media to question Hart’s position as England number 1. The Daily Mail has even started a poll, where readers can decide whether or not Hart should be dropped by England after this “nightmare” of a performance. BBC Sport’s Phil McNulty has also taken a, in my opinion, exaggerated jibe at Hart, questioning his place at both domestic and international level, and describing him as having reached “crisis point”.

Criticism of Hart has been rife in recent months, with every performance and goal conceded placed under the microscope. However, people seem to be forgetting to look at the statistics. Hart has won the coveted Premier League ‘Golden Gloves’ award for most clean sheets three seasons in a row, and has generally been consistently reliable, and at times arguably outstanding, throughout his career.

It would be fair to say, that Hart is going through a bad patch of form at the moment, but at 26 years old, he is still young, and still learning his trade. In a short career, he has already won the FA Cup in 2011 and the Premier League in 2012. Joe is a strong character, recently responding to criticism of the England team from Gary Lineker by humorously quipping “they can tweet all they want from their sofa“. However, constant hounding from the press is hardly going to help his development.

We need to stick by our top English players (especially in World Cup year), not condemn them to failure after a bout of bad form before they have reached their full potential.