I was driving around today listening to WXRT when I heard an unfamiliar song that I just knew had to be Morrissey. Not only did I recognize his voice, but the lyrics about a broken back or something instilled a brief auditory flashback of the song, There Is A Light That Never Goes Out. At the end of the song, Terri Hemmert devulged that Morrissey is currently without a record contract. What? No label representing Morrissey?
When I got home, I did a little research. I found out that this is old news, but it is still “news” because it is still going on! (And, this also was re-affirmation that I am, in fact, midlife, because this information came to me months after it was initially revealed. So much for my young-life self’s declaration that I would never lose touch with what is going on in the music business.) Why would such a thing happen? Apparently, Morrissey has an album ready to go. Has he misbehaved in a way that offends record companies? Morrissey himself has a few theories.
I can’t imagine that this will go on much longer. Morrissey is still a relevant and influential artist, both a cult figure and accepted by the mainstream. In my opinion, Morrissey belongs to GenX. In our bedrooms, friends’ basements and dorm rooms across the country (and the world, for that matter), we indulged in Morrissey’s and The Smiths’ angst while forming our musical tastes for the lifetime ahead of us. To a certain extent, we made him and he defined us.
The glimmer of hope is this… With all the buzz generated by this story, perhaps some record company influential will realize the value of all this publicity (at the very least, putting Morrissey back on the radar of lifelong music consumers) and will get Morrissey a contract just in time for the release of his autobiography coming later this year.