Written by Pmachine 17 Aug 2006, 10:3321 Views
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Firstly, thanks to Julia for allowing me to write something for TTY.
I wanted to thank everyone who had turned up - or turned out - for the Ringleader tour; very appreciated by all of us. I know many of you traveled extensively, and in return, all we can do is our best - which, believe it or not, is what we do. So, thanks to all of you. In retrospective trance my favorites were:
.....Zagreb Grimsby Stirling Cheltenham Whitehaven Turku Helsinki Budapest Istanbul..oh, all of them, really (except Gateshead!@! And IMOLA!@) ... the final London Palladium night left me in a bit of a dream state.... However, I'm sorry the sound wasn't quite anchored for the first London Palladium or the first Dublin Olympia. I am only a spout.
The tour, I hope, has kept the right people in touch with one another. I am honestly thunderstruck to see so many familiar faces night after night.
We hope to place a final August date in Luxembourg City - we are still trying to prove to the promoter that we're worth the gamble.
Thanks to everyone who bought Ringleader of the Tormentors; I'm sorry it remains classically ignored by radio, not to mention those delightful awards events - but, if you really think the Mercury or Brit awards have anything at all to do with musical merit then your brain is probably 75% plutonium-proof concrete. Yes, it's a snake pit.
I remain very happy with Ringleader of the Tormentors; it has the demeanor of distinction and pleases me more than anything else I've done. It's the Scottish terrier I'll never have.
I'm sorry that the press is frozen in time; open at the bottom but jammed at the top. It is an eternal conundrum. God forbid the world ever moves on! God forbid I can ever refer to "the audience" without it being printed as "my fans" - a term I would never use - not even under anesthetic. It's annoying how each interview bounds its way into print emerging as, in fact, a Smiths piece. I wish this wasn't so, but there it is. It's doubly annoying because, if the Smiths reformed tomorrow, the loudest yawn would come from the press. Similarly frustrating is the way in which each solo album is compared to Smiths albums. This would only make sense if the solo albums and the Smiths albums had been recorded during the same period. We are eight lifetimes away from the 1980s and earth is now a completely different planet. On the subject of the Smiths, I thought it was very lazy of Warners not to commemorate the 20th year of The Queen Is Dead without a special edition CD - or boxed CD, or tea towel - or something! We can only assume that those highly paid and magnetically talented people at Warners are far too busy rolling their own tampons to allow art and creativity to take them away from their work. As always for the Smiths, another poignant moment wasted.
I have heard that the CDs Viva Hate, Kill Uncle, Your Arsenal and Vauxhall and I are to be re-presented/re-mastered/re-whatevered. I have no involvement with this project, and whatever I learn about it is via the delightful gossip chain. I am sorry to hear that Bona Drag is not included because it is such a complete body of work and one of which I am most proud. However, if The Very Best of the Smiths is anything to go by I think we are all justified in expecting the worst. Having said that, I am not even sure whether it's EMI or Warners-Reprise who are doing the re-issues, but neither company are particularly bright when it comes to such things - as they consistently prove. For example, when Warners in London sent me the final proof of the Very Best of the Smiths I wearily pointed out to them that there were 18 typo errors on their artwork and that, in any case, they shouldn't release the CD in such an awful sleeve. They completely ignored me, of course, but they corrected the 18 errors. Typical!
Back to the tour:
Thanks, as always, for the military rigor of the band; the best yet, the most enjoyable yet; they magnify me and I'm honored. Anyone who tells you that previous line-up's were better probably has hormones that can't settle down.
Thanks to the mesmerizing Kristeen Young, and also to Sons and Daughter and Tiger Army and The Boyfriends for filling in the gaps. Kristeen, I think, will soon be bigger than life. To me, she already is.
I am writing this in the city of Barcelona where, many years ago, I discovered the American writer James Baldwin sitting alone and somewhat lost in the darkened lobby of one of the city's oldest hotels. Surprised at being inches away from such a great man, I froze in sheepish clumsiness, circled him eleven times, before I realized that he could not possibly have any interest in being approached by someone who had spent all 25 years of their life locked in an attic because too awful to look at. So, I did nothing, walked on, and shortly thereafter he was dead. Yet another lesson.
Thanks as always to Julia for facing all of those check-ins and checkouts so squarely and bravely; I honestly have no idea what could possibly make it worth it.
I recently had a film offer to appear for roughly 20 minutes in an American film starring Alec Baldwin wherein I'd play the part of a potty music teacher. It's ideal casting, of course, but hampered by the slightly minor detail that I cannot actually act. I couldn't even convincingly play the part of a dead person even if I were actually dead. So that, sadly, is that. The world is spared.
Finally, and most trivially, thank you to the British television person (I'm not exactly sure what it is he does) Richard Madeley who, at least, made me laugh recently by referring to me as an "insufferable puffed-up prat". This comment may or may not be true, but I think it's a bit much coming from a man who actually married his own mother. But that's life ...