The Morrissey influences

Gregor Samsa

I straighten up, and my position is one of hope.
Let's discuss his influences and your own personal feelings towards them. Like them? Dislike them? Etc...

Personally I feel that The Moz has got great taste in pretty much everything; books, music, film...
He's helped me discover some great stuff like Billy Fury, A.E Housman, Oscar Wilde (although I'm sure I would've stumbled across him eventually anyway), Anne Sexton, the kitchen-sink dramas, The Angelic Upstarts etc... Oh, and Ceylon tea! :)

I'm sure I'm not the only one. What about you?
 

Worm

Taste the diffidence
Re: The Morrissey influences!

Let's discuss his influences and your own personal feelings towards them. Like them? Dislike them? Etc...

Personally I feel that The Moz has got great taste in pretty much everything; books, music, film...
He's helped me discover some great stuff like Billy Fury, A.E Housman, Oscar Wilde (although I'm sure I would've stumbled across him eventually anyway), Anne Sexton, the kitchen-sink dramas, The Angelic Upstarts etc... Oh, and Ceylon tea! :)

I'm sure I'm not the only one. What about you?

Morrissey's tastes are hit and miss. Some of his favorite writers, movies, and bands I've loved. Some I've disliked. But I think being "hit or miss" is a sign of having the best kind of taste, actually. I wish I could find the quote-- I think Linder said it-- but Morrissey has "reliably bad taste". If you recall his pre-concert tapes, even the songs you're not quite sure about demonstrate a really strong and unique sense of taste. I was playing Brigitte Bardot's "Bubble Gum" last night and it really is a thin, wispy, forgettable little tune. But the thing is, it bears the stamp of Morrissey's taste. He makes odd choices, but they seem to be choices only Morrissey can make.

Thus I always pay attention to his tastes, and I would agree he has "great taste", even though I know I'll like only a few of the things he recommends. I love his "desert island" lists not because his good recommendations are good, but because his bad recommendations are invariably fascinating-- which makes them not bad at all, in the final estimate, because they force you to reconsider and re-think your own likes and dislikes.

I owe Morrissey huge thanks for sparking my curiosity in Wilde, because in addition to discovering the great Irishman's work for myself, out of his tastes came an entire galaxy of other writers I love and revere. I'd like to think I would have found Wilde anyway, but in any case the fact remains it was "Cemetry Gates" that changed my life profoundly.
 
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Gregor Samsa

I straighten up, and my position is one of hope.
Re: The Morrissey influences!

Morrissey's tastes are hit and miss. Some of his favorite writers, movies, and bands I've loved. Some I've disliked. But I think being "hit or miss" is a sign of having the best kind of taste, actually. I wish I could find the quote-- I think Linder said it-- but Morrissey has "reliably bad taste". If you recall his pre-concert tapes, even the songs you're not quite sure about demonstrate a really strong and unique sense of taste. I was playing Brigitte Bardot's "Bubble Gum" last night and it really is a thin, wispy, forgettable little tune. But the thing is, it bears the stamp of Morrissey's taste. He makes odd choices, but they seem to be choices only Morrissey can make.

Thus I always pay attention to his tastes, and I would agree he has "great taste", even though I know I'll like only a few of the things he recommends. I love his "desert island" lists not because his good recommendations are good, but because his bad recommendations are invariably fascinating-- which makes them not bad at all, in the final estimate, because they force you to reconsider and re-think your own likes and dislikes.

I owe Morrissey huge thanks for sparking my curiosity in Wilde, because in addition to discovering the great Irishman's work for myself, out of his tastes came an entire galaxy of other writers I love and revere. I'd like to think I would have found Wilde anyway, but in any case the fact remains it was "Cemetry Gates" that changed my life profoundly.

Very nicely put, Worm (how strange it is to call someone "Worm"...). And I think you're right about most things here. Especially the thing about his picks making you reconsider your own likes and dislikes.
And of course Cemetry Gates (and all those old interviews from The Smiths' era) certainly steered me into the world of Wilde. But I'm not that into Wilde's influences. Any tip there?
 

Worm

Taste the diffidence
Re: The Morrissey influences!

Very nicely put, Worm (how strange it is to call someone "Worm"...).

Tell me about it. But hey, a dung beetle isn't much better, Gregor. :rolleyes:

But I'm not that into Wilde's influences. Any tip there?

Wilde is a perfect entry-point into both Victorian and Romantic writers, behind him, and the Modernists (and, to some degree, the post-modernists), that followed after him. As a critic he leads one to the best of the past, both recent (Keats, Flaubert, Ruskin, Carlyle, Huysmans and even, tangentially, writers like Whitman and Dostoevsky) and ancient (Aeschylus, Plato). He did this primarily through the filter of Walter Pater, a Victorian who planted certain seeds for the twentieth century, particularly in "The Renaissance". Wilde's philosophy, which is only now getting its due, is far more fertile and interesting than previously thought. In fact, Wilde, who was conversant with Continental philosophy at Oxford, put forth certain aesthetic ideals that somewhat resembled Nietzsche's-- Thomas Mann once said as much in a casual remark that betrayed as much surprise as bemusement.

If you want to know more, there is no better book to read than Thomas Wright's just-published "Built of Books" (Amazon). Wright wrote a biography of Wilde through the prism of the books he read and loved, so it's extremely helpful in mapping out Wilde's tastes. The other source, the one I found first a long time ago, is Richard Ellmann's definitive biography. Wright's is just as comprehensive in its more limited, but still highly entertaining scope.
 

Gregor Samsa

I straighten up, and my position is one of hope.
Re: The Morrissey influences!

Tell me about it. But hey, a dung beetle isn't much better, Gregor. :rolleyes:



Wilde is a perfect entry-point into both Victorian and Romantic writers, behind him, and the Modernists (and, to some degree, the post-modernists), that followed after him. As a critic he leads one to the best of the past, both recent (Keats, Flaubert, Ruskin, Carlyle, Huysmans and even, tangentially, writers like Whitman and Dostoevsky) and ancient (Aeschylus, Plato). He did this primarily through the filter of Walter Pater, a Victorian who planted certain seeds for the twentieth century, particularly in "The Renaissance". Wilde's philosophy, which is only now getting its due, is far more fertile and interesting than previously thought. In fact, Wilde, who was conversant with Continental philosophy at Oxford, put forth certain aesthetic ideals that somewhat resembled Nietzsche's-- Thomas Mann once said as much in a casual remark that betrayed as much surprise as bemusement.

If you want to know more, there is no better book to read than Thomas Wright's just-published "Built of Books" (Amazon). Wright wrote a biography of Wilde through the prism of the books he read and loved, so it's extremely helpful in mapping out Wilde's tastes. The other source, the one I found first a long time ago, is Richard Ellmann's definitive biography. Wright's is just as comprehensive in its more limited, but still highly entertaining scope.

You have no idea how much pleasure one gets from simply being a dung beetle... ;)

Wow. Really nice of you. The Ellmann-bio seems the most interesting since I am pretty much a novelty when it comes to Oscar Wilde, the person. Am gonna try and get a hold of it.
Thanks again, mate!
 

Gregor Samsa

I straighten up, and my position is one of hope.
Not to mention the astounding genius of Sir John Betjeman. Pure brilliance.
 

Stevie

Member
Let's discuss his influences and your own personal feelings towards them. Like them? Dislike them? Etc...

Personally I feel that The Moz has got great taste in pretty much everything; books, music, film...
He's helped me discover some great stuff like Billy Fury, A.E Housman, Oscar Wilde (although I'm sure I would've stumbled across him eventually anyway), Anne Sexton, the kitchen-sink dramas, The Angelic Upstarts etc... Oh, and Ceylon tea! :)

I'm sure I'm not the only one. What about you?

The only one I can thank him for is opening me up to the genius of Wilde...James Dean and The Ramones I have always liked...can't think of any others.
 

Bluebirds

Well-Known Member
His literary influences certainly

His main musical ones less so, apart from Bowie, Roxy Music, British punk, Joni Mitchell (see I'm not anti-American) and possibly some others.

Don't get me wrong I've given most a chance but Klaus Nomi, Jobriath and all those doomed "outsiders." Big pile of steaming turd. Sorry but thats the way it is.

New York Dolls and Sparks are ok but I'm never dancing to them in my mirror, put it that way.

Filmwise unfortuantely I'm either working or sleeping in the day so find it difficult to watch Channel 4 at 1pm in the afternoon. :lbf: (which is where you can usually find the Morrissey matinee!)
And Coach Trip is on More4 anyway. Go on Brendan....


However on the back of Mozipedia I am getting Whale Nation to read over Christmas
 

joe frady

Vile Refusenik
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joe frady

Vile Refusenik
to wit ~
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to woo...
from 'Q' October 1989
 

bailiffwithbadbreath

'so-slow liberation army'
Wonderful interview posted above by 'Frady!' It reminds me of how vibrant Morrissey was in the 1980s.
 

Jessikers

Some Passable Creature
Wow, I'm a major Bette Davis fan- I didn't know Moz liked her so much!!
 

joe frady

Vile Refusenik
Wow, I'm a major Bette Davis fan- I didn't know Moz liked her so much!!
Oh yeah. If you believe Mark Simpson ("Saint Morrissey") she has been the major artistic touchstone for Morrissey's entire career.
 
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