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Morrissey Tour Overview

Steven Patrick Morrissey (born 22 May 1959), known mononymously as Morrissey, is an English singer and songwriter. He came to prominence as the frontman and lyricist of rock band the Smiths, who were active from 1982 to 1987. Since then, he has pursued a successful solo career. Morrissey's music is characterised by his baritone voice and distinctive lyrics with recurring themes of emotional isolation, sexual longing, self-deprecating and dark humour, and anti-establishment stances.

Morrissey was born to working-class Irish immigrants in Davyhulme, Lancashire, England; the family lived in Queen's Court near Loreto convent in Hulme and his mother worked nearby at the Hulme Hippodrome bingo hall. They moved because of the 1960s demolitions of almost all the Victorian-era houses in Hulme, known as 'slum clearance', and he grew up in nearby Stretford. As a child, he developed a love of literature, kitchen sink realism, and 1960s pop music. In the late 1970s, he fronted the punk rock band The Nosebleeds with little success before beginning a career in music journalism and writing several books on music and film in the early 1980s. He formed the Smiths with Johnny Marr in 1982 and the band soon attracted national recognition for their eponymous debut album. As the band's frontman, Morrissey attracted attention for his trademark quiff and witty and sardonic lyrics. Deliberately avoiding rock machismo, he cultivated the image of a sexually ambiguous social outsider who embraced celibacy. The Smiths released three further studio albums—Meat Is Murder, The Queen Is Dead, and Strangeways, Here We Come—and had a string of hit singles. The band were critically acclaimed and attracted a cult following. Personal differences between Morrissey and Marr resulted in the separation of the Smiths in 1987.

About Morrissey

Steven Patrick Morrissey was born on 22 May 1959 at Park Hospital in Davyhulme, Lancashire. His parents, Elizabeth (née Dwyer) and Peter Morrissey, were Irish Catholics who had emigrated to Manchester from Dublin with his only sibling, elder sister Jacqueline, a year before his birth. Morrissey claims he was named after American actor Steve Cochran, although he may instead have been named in honour of his father's brother who died in infancy, Patrick Steven Morrissey. His earliest home was a council house at 17 Harper Street in the Queen's Square area of Hulme, inner Manchester, since demolished. Living in that area as a child, he was deeply affected by the Moors murders, in which a number of local children were killed; the crimes had a lasting impression on him and would inspire the lyrics of the Smiths song "Suffer Little Children". He also became aware of the anti-Irish sentiment in British society against Irish immigrants to Britain. In 1970, after the 'slum clearances' of Victorian-era houses in Hulme the family moved to another council house at 384 King's Road in Stretford.

Following a primary education at St Wilfred's Primary School, Morrissey failed his 11-plus exam and proceeded to St Mary's Secondary Modern School, an experience he found unpleasant. He excelled at athletics, though he was an unpopular loner at the school. He has been critical of his formal education, later stating, "The education I received was so basically evil and brutal. All I learnt was to have no self-esteem and to feel ashamed without knowing why." He left school in 1975, having received no formal qualifications. He continued his education at Stretford Technical College, where he gained three O-Levels in English literature, sociology, and the General Paper. In 1975, he travelled to the U.S. to visit an aunt who lived in Staten Island. The relationship between his parents was strained, and they ultimately separated in December 1976, with his father moving out of the family home.

Morrissey Facts

  • Soap operas aren’t the most rock and roll passion out there, but that hasn’t stopped Morrissey from indulging in them, both as a viewer and an actor. His love of quiet family drama even extends beyond the television, as he is obsessed with long-running radio show The Archers and was thrilled to be given the opportunity to cameo.
  • Petty celebrity feuds are not the only consequence of Morrissey’s outspoken ways, as he was also made to answer for his comments to both Scotland Yard and the FBI. This came during the 80s when The Smiths were at their peak, with several of Morrissey’s more controversial statements worrying the police force.
  • Several months before the Smiths dissolved, Morrissey enlisted Stephen Street as his personal producer and new songwriting partner, with whom he could begin his solo career.
  • Morrissey's first solo performance took place at Wolverhampton's Civic Hall in December 1988. The event attracted huge crowds, with NME journalist James Brown observing that "the excitement and atmosphere inside the hall was like nothing I have ever experienced at any public event".

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