Morrissey recently canceled a scheduled appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live! because the show’s other guests, the stars of Duck Dynasty, “amount to animal serial killers.” Something Morrissey declared in a public statement or intimated in an interview has seized headlines around the world? Stop me if you’ve heard this one before.
While Morrissey’s cancellation proved ripe for parody on Kimmel, statements in the past have inspired more controversy than chuckles. Comments on England losing its English identity have generated accusations of racism, as has the singer’s referral to the Chinese as a “subspecies” while lamenting the nation’s lack of animal protection laws. Whether you love or loathe the perpetual drama, at least he’s never boring.
In a world full of safe, inoffensive pop stars, Morrissey is the rare provocateur, and here are some of our favorite quotes.
–Mikala Taylor // Frank Mojica
Photo via Morrissey-Solo
Morrissey on Style
“[Clothes] don’t have the relevance they once had, like in the ’60’s you could look at someone and assess their personality. That’s not the case anymore. Clothes are no longer the window of the soul.” I-D, 1983
“If you have no image, if you become popular and people begin to mimic you, how you dress can seem to be something that’s quite manufactured and contrived, which of course it never ever was. I think the image trap is just there and everybody goes into it. It strangles most people.” Hot Press, 1984
“Long hair is an unpardonable offense which should be punishable by death.” Smash Hits, 1986
“I once bought a Manchester United hat, which I think was 12 shillings, and somebody ran up behind me and pulled it off and just ran ahead. I thought, ‘It’s a very cruel world, I’m not prepared for this’. And I decided to get my revenge on society.” NME, 1988
“There’s nothing wrong with the odd sequin now and again. No, I’m not going to enter a glam phase, do I look as if I am? I’m more likely to wear satin here than on stage. No, I’m happy just being dumpy dumpy dumpy me. Dumpy, fat, and middle aged.” NME, 1989
Morrissey on Celibacy
Sex is a waste of batteries. Melody Maker, 1986
Im just simply inches away from a monastery and I feel that perhaps if I wasnt doing this that I probably would be in one which of course is a frightening thing to dwell upon. Picture Disk, 1984
“Obviously I’m interested in sex and every song is about sex. I’m very interested in GENDER. I feel I’m a kind of prophet for the fourth sex. The third sex, even that has been done and it’s failed. All that Marc Almond bit is pathetic. It sounds trite in print but it’s something close to ‘men’s liberation’ that I desire.” Sounds, 1983
“That was the problem with the ‘celibate’ word because they don’t consider for a moment that you’d rather not be, but you just are. I was never a sexual person.”
Who last saw you in your natural state?
“Almost certainly the doctor who brought me into this cruel world.” The Face, 1984
Morrissey on Morrissey
I think I must be, absolutely, a total sex object. In every sense of the word. NME, 1989
“The Last Of The Famous International Playboys are Bowie, Bolan, Devoto and me,” NME, 1989
“This is my 30th year, and Ive aged a lot recently, which is bit distressing for me, as it must be for everyone. The body changes shape and theres nothing you can do about it.” Hollywood Reporter, 2012
“If I were knocked down tomorrow by a passing train, I would be considered the most important artist ever in the history of English pop music. That’s just a rough guess.” Musician, 1991
What annoys you most about yourself?
Practically everything. I miss not being able to stand up straight. I tend to slide into rooms and sit on the chair behind the door.” Blitz, 1988