Steven Wells R.I.P.

June 25, 2009

I’ll leave it to his contemporaries to write the perceptive, insightful, emotional stuff.

ET has collected a list of tributes here.

There’s also the ever brilliant WSC forum too.

In James Brown’s piece he says “Anything loud or unhip became his domain” which seems particularly astute in the context of the few measly scraps I can offer.

Carter USM, Jesus Jones and finally, perhaps fittingly, Snuff.

Snuff said.

Indeed.

Steven Wells interviews Carter USM, 19th November 1994

Steven Wells interviews Carter USM, 19th November 1994. Photos Roger Sargent & Derek Ridgers

Steven Wells interviews Jesus Jones, 1st July 1989

Steven Wells interviews Jesus Jones, 1st July 1989. Photo Lawrence Watson.

Steven Wells reviews Snuff Said by Snuff, 18th Novemeber 1989

Steven Wells reviews Snuff Said by Snuff, 18th November 1989

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Stuart Maconie reviews Bona Drag by Morrissey, 20th October 1990

Stuart Maconie reviews Bona Drag by Morrissey, 20th October 1990.

Can’t say I agree with this positive, yet workmanlike review from Maconie. Morrissey was coming up short in the lyric dept. with increasing frequency even during The Smiths and post Viva Hate has bluffed it ever since.

Yet with the breakup of the Smiths still fairly recent in 1990, the starving demanded to be fed, unfortunately there was nothing left on the menu except gruel. Viva Hate had its morsels, Suedehead in particular, but without the foundation of Marr’s compositions and his sublime guitar work, the cracks in Morrissey’s irrelevant lyrics just became more and more apparent. With Bona Drag, Morrissey’s long, slow slide into irrelevance began. It pains me more than you realise that it still continues to this day.

But I will stick up for November Spawned A Monster, which I think of as the last great thing Morrissey wrote. Maconie dislikes it because it’s “so morbid and cheerless” Duh! That’s precisely why I like it. I can empathise with it. Sure it lacks wit and is dressed up in a touch too much metaphor but he’s singing to us, for us, the ugly and marginalized here, instead of prattling on about bloody Ouija boards and the like.

If all this just makes you want to listen to The Smiths, and it really should, then why not break out the old records for another spin and while you’re at it read Taylor Parkes latest retrospective piece on The Smiths over at The Quietus.

Note to self: Do not explicitly refer to a TV programme title that could be misconstrued, especially in conjunction with the sexualised use of the F word, if you do not want lots of people coming to your blog for all the wrong reasons.

Note to Pin-Up Nights: Thanks! You flatter me, but you really shouldn’t encourage me.

I spent a few days with some Glaswegians recently.

“What’s the difference between Glasgow and Edinburgh?”

“Well, Glasgow is a lot friendlier but you’re also much more likely to get stabbed”