Morrissey asserts that former Smiths bandmate, Johnny Marr, must stop mentioning his name for “clickbait” in interviews, via an open letter published on his website on Tuesday, Jan 25. He begins the statement with a disclaimer, stating that he doesn’t intend to stir drama but rather that the statement is “a polite and calmly measured request: Would you please stop mentioning my name in your interviews?
As the statement goes on, it becomes a little less measured and certainly less polite as Morrissey elaborates. “The fact is: you don’t know me. You know nothing of my life, my intentions, my thoughts, my feelings. Yet you talk as if you were my personal psychiatrist with consistent and uninterrupted access to my instincts.” He continues, “Must you persistently, year after year, decade after decade, blame me for everything … from the 2007 Solomon Islands tsunami to the dribble on your grandma’s chin?”
The exact inspiration for the letter is unclear, and it does not appear that there have been public instances of Marr explicitly blasting Morrissey. However, The Guardian cites an interview with Uncut Magazine where Marr mentioned remaining close with everyone he has collaborated with musically– except for Morrissey– as a possible motivator for the letter.
Morrissey continues, “You found me inspirational enough to make music with me for 6 years. If I was, as you claim, such an eyesore monster, where exactly did this leave you? Kidnapped? Mute? Chained? Abducted by cross-eyed extraterrestrials? It was YOU who played guitar on ‘Golden Lights’ – not me.”
Morrissey ends the letter, again emphasizing his disdain for Marr’s ostensible name-dropping in interviews, “There comes a time when you must take responsibility for your own actions and your own career, with which I wish you good health to enjoy. Just stop using my name as click-bait. I have not ever attacked your solo work or your solo life, and I have openly applauded your genius during the days of ‘Louder than bombs’ and ‘Strangeways, here we come’, yet you have positioned yourself ever-ready as rent-a-quote whenever the press require an ugly slant on something I half-said during the last glacial period as the Colorado River began to carve out the Grand Canyon. Please stop. It is 2022, not 1982.”
Marr acknowledged the statement via Twitter, saying: “An ‘open letter’ hasn’t really been a thing since 1953, It’s all ‘social media’ now. Even Donald J Trump had that one down. Also, this fake news business…a bit 2021 yeah?”
Dear @officialmoz . An ‘open letter’ hasn’t really been a thing since 1953, It’s all ‘social media’ now. Even Donald J Trump had that one down. Also, this fake news business…a bit 2021 yeah ?#makingindiegreatagain
— Johnny Marr (@Johnny_Marr) January 26, 2022