Tag Archives: Morrissey

➤ Proustian frissons aplenty as Derek Ridgers’ photographs revisit three decades

Derek Ridgers, photography, exhibition, Society Club,Morrissey

Derek Ridgers in Soho last night: his portrait of Morrissey a bridge between two eras. Photographed by Shapersofthe80s

❚ SOME PHOTOGRAPHERS ARE as extrovert as their famous sitters, but Derek Ridgers has captured the essence of British street style and achieved a uniquely influential status by tip-toeing through the margins of life, feather-footed as the questing vole. Anyone who has followed the Punk and New Romantic scenes recognises the Ridgers types — “transient beings moving across an urban landscape, experimenters, flamboyant souls who cared more than anything about how they looked and whose greatest fear was of being ordinary”, as writer Val Williams noted in the Ridgers photobook of 2004, When We Were Young: Club and Street Portraits. His straight-up photographic style pinned those clubbing butterflies like curios into the display case labelled Swinging 80s. They trigger the involuntary remembrance of the texture of an era as readily as cake did for Marcel Proust: each image has the potential to become the “vase filled with perfumes, sounds, places and climates”.

Throughout April and May we may relish the Ridgers back catalogue in a new exhibition titled Unseen at Soho’s Society Club. The selection documents celebrities and street stylists from 35 years of commissions by music mags and national press. Here is an engaging mix of concert shots and powerfully intimate portraits in which eye-contact is key: Nick Cave, David Lynch, J G Ballard, Boy George, Leigh Bowery, Tom Waits, The Cramps, Mick Jagger, plus the image of Keith Richards which is currently touring in the Sunday Times Magazine 50th anniversary show.

Another exceptionally striking portrait has the singer Morrissey eyeballing the Ridgers lens with an intense gaze that definitely says misunderstood but could just as easily be saying cussed. It was shot in London in 1985, year of The Smiths’ second album, Meat Is Murder, when Moz began raising the temperature with political views about the Thatcher government and the monarchy.

Derek Ridgers, photography, exhibition, Society Club, Keith Richards

Soho last night: Ridgers, Richards and a new snapper called Tracy Jenkins. Photographed by Shapersothe80s

Ridgers said: “He’s a bit of a strain to photograph in the sense that there is so little of his personality coming back at you. Or at least there wasn’t in those days. Maybe he was very shy but he seemed taciturn in the extreme. The two times we met, he gave the impression of not wanting to say boo to a goose. He honestly hardly said a word to me. Nothing at all like the extremely opinionated personality that comes across in interviews these days.”

The two characteristic Morrisseys of then and now — the one taciturn, the other curmudgeonly — bestride three decades which completely reinvented British notions of youth culture, music, sexuality and success, yet at last night’s preview it was salutory to be pulled up by a 26-year-old illustrator among the guests who had to ask: Who was Morrissey?

All the more reason to buy ourselves a cool black-and-white print as a Proustian trigger, either directly from the Ridgers Archive or from an earlier catalogue viewable at the Society Club. Titled Previously Unpublished, this takes us from an iconic 1982 lineup of the ever-evolving band The Fall, through Culture Club, John Galliano, Roddy Frame, Tim Roth, into the 90s of the Charlatans, Ray Winstone, Lee Scratch Perry and a pensive Kylie Minogue to a raunchy Boo Delicious and more in the new century.

Ridgers has published three books of photographs, has exhibited frequently, and was a judge in How We Are Now, an online photography project launched by Tate Britain in 2007.

➢ Derek Ridgers Unseen runs until May 31 at the Society Club, 12 Ingestre Place, London W1F 0JF

➢ Previously Unpublished can be bought in various formats from Blurb, “a creative publishing service”

➢ 50 Years of The Sunday Times Magazine is viewable in Bristol, Manchester and Birmingham until June


➤ Morrissey detonates bidding war for his memoirs

❚ A NEAT OUTCOME RESULTED from last week’s Radio 4 interview with Morrissey, former singer with The Smiths, the UK’s leading indie band of the 80s, who broke up in 1987. After the reluctant interviewee said that he was “very very surprised to be making music today” he added that, had his music career failed, “I would have become a novelist”. He then revealed that he had written his memoirs and was in the progess of redrafting his 660-page manuscript. He dared to suggest: “I’d like it to go to Penguin, but only if they published it as a classic. I can’t see why not — a contemporary Penguin Classic — within the next year or so.”

Very Best of Morrissey,CD,download, vinyl,Radio 4, Front RowBy Good Friday Penguin Books, creators of the modern paperback, were trying to head off a bidding war between rival publishers by announcing that it is indeed willing to publish his autobiography. A spokeswoman told The Independent: “There is a natural fit between Morrissey’s sensibility, his artistic achievements and Penguin Classics. A book could be published as a Penguin Classic because it is a classic in the making. It’s something we would like to discuss with Morrissey.”

There is no minimum time limit before a book can be considered a Penguin Classic, but the list embraces people or works that have “caused scandal and political change, broken down barriers, social and sexual”. However, a leading article in the same day’s paper pours cold water on the mighty ego of the singer they call Bigmouth: “Sadly for Morrissey, it’s the accumulated judgement of posterity, rather than authors, which determines what literature survives and what gets pulped.”

Nevertheless, according to The Independent report: “Morrissey is not short of suitors. The publishing director of Faber and Faber sent the singer an open letter begging him to join the ‘house of Eliot’, a reference to T S Eliot, the giant of 20th-century poetry. Lee Brackstone wrote: ‘We feel very strongly that you belong in this company. You deserve Faber and the love we can give you. History demands it; destiny commands it’.”

These events coincide with today’s UK release of a new album, Very Best of Morrissey, a 20-track download and CD of remastered solo classics (also as 18 tracks on vinyl, EMI/Major Minor). A bonus DVD, which includes eleven remastered videos (three of which are previously unavailable on DVD) including Boxers, Sunny, and The More You Ignore Me The Closer I Get, plus I’ve Changed My Plea To Guilty taken from the Jonathan Ross TV show in December 1990.

As from tomorrow the 12-minute interview with R4’s Front Row is available on iPlayer. Morrissey deals briskly with pressing issues such as ageing (“many of the early songs were like mating calls and I have to think seriously about singing them now”), the problem of having the prime minister as a fan (“no I’ve never met him”) and, inevitably, a Smiths reunion (this is not the place for spoilers). And yes, Johnny Marr gets a mention.

Dermot O’Leary,Morrissey, interview,Very Best OfUpdate: Listen to favourably selected highlights from a frankly tiresome interview between a cranky Morrissey and a very patient Dermot O’Leary (BBC R2 on April 30, 2011) as the evasive singer winds him up while discussing their Irish roots and musical idols, a UK and Scandinavian tour, an album of new material and the “mutants” of Coronation Street. We hear two clips from his Very Best Of CD, Girl Least Likely To, and Interlude: The next day Moz told True To You why he had been so cantankerous: “I’m sorry I made the O’Leary radio interview so difficult but I was in a foul mood, having spent a full week surrounded by the royal dreading. England may very well be a Windsor dictatorship, but, PR weddings aside, it is usually quite bearable.” He also complains about his familiar views on the British monarchy being cut from the earlier R4 interview.


➢ Listed at True-to-you.net — Morrissey’s nine-date UK summer tour runs from Perth June 15–Plymouth June 30, plus Glastonbury Festival on June 24, and Hop Farm Music Festival July 2.


➢ Morrissey’s handwriting free from searchfreefonts
Morrissey,handwriting , font, download