There is something quite emotional about picking up a book that your hero has written about their life. Knowing you are about to read things about them that you never knew- will it change your view on them? Will it change how you feel about certain songs? Will you be shocked? One thing happened after I finished reading Morrissey’s autobiography today; my love for him became stronger and reinforced why he is my absolute hero. I know heroes are meant to be people who save lives and the like. But the thing is, Morrissey saved my life- that’s why he’s my hero. I’ll take it to my grave debating if it was a life worth saving or not, but he was there when I had nothing or no one. He always will be. His words mean more to me now, after reading his biography.
I’ve never written a book review before and I evidently cannot write music reviews. I suppose this won’t be a review because I won’t tell you what happens and what is said. He does touch on his personal life, and to an extent I do think he mentions things fellow Morrissey fans already knew. We know of the trouble he went through with THAT court case. However for me, there is one moment in the book that brought me to tears (happened a few times, but at this point I had to stop reading for a while.) The friendship he had with the wonderful Kirsty MacColl was beautiful. You can truly sense the love he had (and still has) for her when you see how fondly he writes about her. There’s a paragraph about her death (I won’t type it up) that just made me sob uncontrollably for a while. Maybe I wanted to just hug Morrissey and tell him it’s all okay. Maybe at that point I realised that my hero feels everything I feel and can word it in ways I’ll never be able to, but I already knew that. I don’t know what it was, I suppose it was the way he wrote it. He writes in that beautiful delicate yet honest way that us Morrissey fans love him for. He gets to the core of every human emotion regardless of how ugly it may be, and makes us feel less alone for carrying it around.
Yesterday I watched the news on Channel 4 and ITV, showing clips of Morrissey fans in Sweden finally meeting their hero. I’ve seen lovely photos on Facebook of the fans who were lucky to meet him. The whole atmosphere surrounding this book is something that I don’t think will be repeated, maybe again. Is anyone going to care about the winner of X-Factor’s life? No. Well, maybe if they read Heat magazine/if dull and mundane things interest them. Morrissey’s life has been painful at times, and to read about the losses he has experienced is heartbreaking. I knew that, from his lyrics alone, that this book would be written in that extremely personal way (it’s an autobiography afterall! I know) but to read it all in book form is completely different. At times you do feel as if he is sat next to you telling you everything about his life. All you can do is nod in agreement or cry at the moments that just break your heart.
His book is a work of art and shows him in a vulnerable yet beautiful way. That’s just Morrissey all over. He is someone who is baffled at his own success yet those who love him can see exactly why he is adored like this. Morrissey writes with utter tenderness and sheer humour when needed. He is everything I want in a hero. I remember when I read Patti Smith’s Just Kids, when I finished it I knew it would be a book that I would constantly go back to when I needed something to make me feel human and capable again. The same applies to Morrissey’s autobiography. Except with his book, it is reminder that things take time and you won’t always be the laughing-stock.
I sometimes think about what it must be like to meet him, and to somehow tell him what he means to me, but I’m no good with words. I’m no good with saying certain things, maybe I’d have to play him a song to sum it all up. I have no idea, maybe that day will never come. As the book came to a close I believed he is finally at place where he is happy and has all that he needs. He is by no means a materialistic man, and I think that’s part of why I love him. I don’t understand people who wish to purchase things of value to claim their worth as a person. Your worth is established in your heart.
Morrissey is the person who has dragged me kicking and screaming through life when I didn’t see a point. At times I still don’t see a point, but I play a Morrissey song and I hear hope. I hear hope that will carry me through. Of course, he is my light that will never go out. His charm and wit is an honour to be familiar with on a daily basis. Some may regard his autobiography as 457 pages of self-pitying. It really really isn’t. He is telling his life story, his way. There are stories that will make you cry, stories that will make you laugh- much like his songs. When asked a question at school, he replies with “I’m sorry, I’m not interested.” It was obvious that from a young age that this young boy was destined to be the voice of those who needed to be heard in a way that only Morrissey understood and could express.
There are many stories in his book that are just a pleasure to read, but there is one paragraph that spoke to me instantly and will remain etched upon my heart and brain:
“However heavy-hearted and impossible you might feel about yourself, you can still bestow love through recorded song-which just might even be the only place where you have the chance to show yourself as you really are since nothing in your disposed life gives you encouragement.”
Morrissey fans of the world, unite and take over.