Morrissey: Bowie “Looked Incredible And He Was Earth-Threatening”
In a conversation with his nephew, Sam Esty Rayner, the former Smiths frontman described how Bowie affected him growing up: “Well, certainly in 1972, ’73, ’74 he looked incredible, and he was earth-threatening for that period, so, when you consider how he started with no advantages it’s remarkable how a strong level of fantasy and vanity can give you so much strength, and he did it without giving anything whatsoever of his true self away.” When asked what he meant by Bowie’s “true self”, Morrissey elaborated, “Well, he was always laughing at something, or smiling at least, and never spoke about anything in depth. I’d say something not remotely funny and he’d burst out laughing.”
The conversation turned to Morrissey’s upcoming album, Bonfire Of Teenagers , singling out the track I Am Veronica, with the singer saying, “I’ve had so much sorrow in my life recently but I listen to I Am Veronica and, as frightening as this sounds, it seems to shine such a positive light and I begin to understand all the good things about my life. Now, that might sound silly, but I forget very easily that there are a few things in life that I am actually good at, and I Am Veronica makes me understand why I persist, or why I do what I do. I love the song so much.
He goes on to pay tribute to some of the punk bands of his youth, in particular Generation X and X-Ray Spex, the inspirations behind new track Rebels Without Applause: “They were great London bands, and it was great collecting their singles – as with The Jam -and the excitement of waiting-to-buy something that would be released on a Thursday … and you could find it in at least 10 shops in Manchester, well, it’s sad to reflect on how enjoyable all of that was and how it was needlessly chopped away.”