There’s Smiths drama afoot and somehow none of it involves Morrissey. Almost as soon as the announcement of the “Classically Smiths” shows — billed as featuring former members Andy Rourke, Mike Joyce, and Craig Gannon playing Smiths songs with orchestral accompaniment –went out Monday, Rourke’s rep reached out to say that he had never actually signed on to this tour and that any quotes attributed to him in the press materials had been fabricated. The next morning, Mike Joyce issued a statement via his rep to say that the Smiths drummer is pulling out of the shows as his participation was incumbent on Rourke’s involvement.
“It is with much regret that I have to announce that I will not be taking part in the show (s) Classically Smiths,” Joyce said in his statement. “I entered into agreement in good faith to perform these shows with Andy Rourke and Craig Gannon. Unfortunately it became apparent very late that Andy would not be taking part.”
Things get complicated later in the statement when Joyce claims that he was not allowed to discuss Rourke’s absence in a press conference promoting the shows, but doesn’t specify who told him.
“Unfortunately on the morning of the press conference I was informed I would not be able to say this,” Joyce said. “I therefore agreed to take part in the press interviews but did so without discussing Andy’s participation in the venture at any point during all TV, radio and print interviews. After much deliberation and soul searching I have decided that without Andy, an integral part of why I agreed to take part in the first place, I have come to this difficult decision.”
Joyce then suggests that the show could theoretically go on without him and Rourke. “I still believe the shows and concept to be a fantastic idea and wish them all the success they deserve,” he wrote.
Unfortunately, Bad Production LtD doesn’t share Joyce’s optimism. “In response to recent comments in the press, the planned Classically Smiths events will now no longer be taking place,” a rep said in an email to Spin.
UPDATE: On Tuesday, the “fifth Smith” Craig Gannon issued a statement blaming Rourke for pulling out of the shows after months of planning. From Facebook:
It’s with regret that the Classically Smiths shows will no longer be going ahead.
Five months ago myself, Mike Joyce and Andy Rourke all agreed to be a part of this project as the core three which was why it all went ahead. Unfortunately Andy pulled out at the very last minute. This meant that all the press releases, branding and marketing etc. had already gone out so it was too late to change anything. It also meant that we were under obligation yesterday to go ahead with the press launch which Mike and myself did but were told we couldn’t mention anything about the situation with Andy. That’s unfortunate as the last thing we wanted was to mislead anyone.
This is disappointing as we were all really excited about putting on these shows. I for one have been working solidly on this project for the last five months and it’s a shame that it’s fallen apart in this way.
“The only reason the project developed in the first place was because the three of us agreed to do it,” Gannon said in an email to Spin. “There was no point in doing it if any one of us dropped out so unfortunately that’s what happened. I myself have put it all behind me and am already on my next project.”