Like all legendary artists, The Smiths have a backstory that’s almost as fantastic as their music. However, while much of Morrissey and co’s career has been well documented, that doesn’t mean you’ve got everything now. Far from it, in fact, for there are still plenty of fun, quirky things to learn about the indie-pop icons. It’s time the tale was told, so here are 10 Smiths facts you probably didn’t know…
Listen to the best of The Smiths here, and check out our ten surprising Smiths facts, below.
1: The Smiths played their first gig before their classic line-up fell into place
The Smiths played their first live show on 4 October 1982, supporting Blue Rondo À La Turk at Manchester’s Ritz Ballroom. Guitarist Johnny Marr hadn’t yet invited Andy Rourke to join the group, so for this gig only, Morrissey, Marr and drummer Mike Joyce played with their initial bassist, Dale Hibbert. Morrissey’s friend James Maker also appeared onstage with the band, dancing and shaking maracas.
2: EMI Records rejected The Smiths – but later changed their mind
In a story echoing The Beatles’ failed audition at Decca Records, The Smiths’ second demo found its way into EMI staffers’ hands. However, after listening to the tape – which featured an early version of the group’s future smash What Difference Does It Make? – the label passed on the band. Later on, however, the venerable imprint changed their tune, signing The Smiths to their roster early in 1987.