Juxtaposition: The Difference Time Makes
Morrissey, Age 17:
Morrissey, some time later:
Today, September 6, my new book, ‘A Light That Never Goes Out: The Enduring Saga of The Smiths,’ is published in the UK, Australia and some other English-speaking countries by William Heinemann/Random House. Those of you who’ve been in personal contact with me over the last couple of years will know how hard I’ve been working on this biography, traveling back to the UK frequently to conduct interviews with band members, friends, business associates and other musicians; those of you who have not been in such regular contact will now know what I’ve been up to!
It is not entirely coincidence that this week marks the 25th anniversary of The Smiths’ break-up, only five years after they formed and barely four years after their debut single. During that time, Morrissey, Johnny Marr, Andy Rourke and Mike Joyce recorded four albums, some 70 Morrissey-Marr compositions and left an indelible mark on popular culture. You don’t have to travel far, anywhere in the world, to hear the likes of ‘How Soon Is Now?’ or ‘Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want’ or ‘This Charming Man’ on the radio, in clubs, or on TV or film soundtracks. I’d like to believe that my book pays proper tribute to the band and to the remarkable impact they had on a generation of devoted fans, not only in the UK, but in the USA as well.
The cover copy for ‘A Light That Never Goes Out’ can be found here. You can see the cover wrap here. An excerpt from the book appears in the October issue of Mojo magazine, which has the Smiths on the cover. Mojo is also running a competition for free copies (UK readers only) until September 14. The book has already been reviewed in the Guardian, the Sunday Times and the Independent with significant radio publicity to come next week when I return from our family’s first-ever cross-country road trip. (I am writing this from a suburb in Denver!) You can order the book online via the usual suspects (it has been in Amazon's Rock & Pop Top 10 for a week already), but I would encourage my British readers to buy it at a proper old-fashioned book store while they still exist. (Waterstones has proven particularly supportive of this book, so do return the love!) ‘A Light That Never Goes Out: The Enduring Saga of The Smiths’ sells for £20 before the usual discounts, and though it is some 700 pages long, it is actually a shorter book than my Keith Moon bio; we just went for a larger type size!
The US edition will be published by Crown Archetype (also Random House) on December 4, with an entirely different cover and interior design, though the words will be the same (but for those damn American-English differences in spelling and meaning, which have caused me no end of editorial nightmares!). For American readers who prefer not to wait that long, I’m afraid I can’t offer you too much advice, as officially there is an embargo until then. In the meantime, if any of you out there think you might be able to help with the publicity of either the UK or US edition, please don’t hesitate to drop me a line. And feel free to share this e-mail.
If you want to chat about the book in a public forum, my author Facebook page is the best place. I am often to be found whittering away at Twitter. I still use my web site iJamming! for longer and larger posts.
Thanks for your time. I hope you dig the book.