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The wit and wisdom of Morrissey: Morrissey's 50 most memorable quotes

The Smiths are on the cover of this week's NME, marking the 25th anniversary of 'The Queen Is Dead' coming out. Here we've compiled Morrissey's best quotes from over the years – onwards to read his pearls of wisdom.





1. On growing old: “Age shouldn’t affect you. You’re either marvellous or you’re boring, regardless of your age.”

2. On his public profile: “I'm dramatically underexposed. I demand more attention!” (NME, 1985).

3. On personal grooming: “I do maintain that if your hair is wrong, your entire life is wrong.” (1984).

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4. On sex: “I always thought my genitals were the result of some crude practical joke.” (NME, 1986)

5. On modernity: “Whenever I go past Mcdonalds I get very, very angry.” (NME, 1989)

6. On rap music: “I really do think it's a great musical stench. I find it very offensive, artless and styleless. To me it's very reminiscent of thuggery, pop thuggery. I don't want to hear it at all."

7. On comedians: “If met Vic Reeves, I'd have no desire other than to smack him in the face.” (Q April, 1994)

8. On indolence: “Doing nothing gives me great pleasure. And believe me, I succeed wonderfully in it.” (Rock Sound, 1993)

9. On regret: “Life would be so colourful if only I had a drink problem.” (Vox November, 1990).

10. On Elton John: “He is pushing his face in all the time and telling us about his private life. Nobody's interested. He should just go away.”

11. On wishful thinking: “I am capable of looking on the bright side - I just don’t do it very often.” (Melody Maker, 1987)

12. On personal appearance: “Long hair is an unpardonable offense which should be punishable by death.” (Star Hits, 1986).

13. On rock star philanthropists: “Bob Geldof is a nauseating character. Band Aid was the most self-righteous platform ever in the history of popular music.”

14. On existence: “When I'm lying in my bed I think about life and I think about death and neither one particularly appeals to me.”

15. On self pity: “I see myself rather like an old discarded dishrag.” (Select May, 1994).

16. On Oasis: “They are very tame to me. God bless Noel, I'm sure he'll always have a spot on 'Bob's Full House', but I search for something with more bite and rage.”

17. On awards ceremonies: "The Brits are ghastly. I never would accept a Brit. It would be like Laurence Olivier being happy getting a TV Times award.”

18. On animal welfare: “With people in the world such as 'Jamie Oliver' and [TV chef] Clarissa Dickson-Wright there isn't much hope for animals.”

19. On being desirable: “I think I must be, absolutely, a total sex object. In every sense of the word.” (NME, 1989)

20. On mental health: “I have seen one or two psychiatrists. They just sit and nod and doodle.” (Blitz April, 1988)

21. On dance music: “It's the refuge for the mentally deficient. It's made by dull people for dull people.” (Details, 1992).


22. On the future: “I'm just happy being dumpy. Dumpy, fat and middle-aged.” (NME, 1989).

23. On charisma: “I'm not very good at being dull.” (Blitz, 1988).

24. On being pale and interesting: “Yes I have had a tan, actually. I went to Los Angeles and got one there, but it didn't make it back to Britain. You're not allowed to come through customs with a tan.” (i-D, 1987).

25. On honesty: “I lie a lot - it's really useful.” (Star Hits, 1987).

26. On Richard Madeley: “He referred to me as an 'insufferable puffed-up prat'. This is a bit rich coming from a man who actually married his own mother.”

27. On seizing the day: “Nothing is important, so people, realising that, should get on with their lives, go mad, take their clothes off, jump in the canal, jump into one of those supermarket trolleys, race around the supermarket and steal Mars bars and kiss kittens.” (NME, 1985)


28. On fetishes: “I can get incredibly erotic about blotting paper.” (Star Hits, 1985).

29. On the charts: “The public are losing interest. You can have a number one album these days with 30,000 sales, which is really pathetic.” (2002).

30. On hero worship: “I've always assumed there's a dark river flowing beneath my fans' desires.”

31. On psychoanalysis: “[Sigmund Freud] just made people feel so neurotic about their lives. I mean, if you dreamt about a lampshade, it meant you wanted to be whipped by the local vicar or something.” (NME, 1984)

32. On the music industry: “In England, pop music seems now to be exclusively for children. If an artist is no good, why is it necessary to have that artist repeatedly rammed in our face?” (2003)

33. On blandness: “Don't talk to me about people who are 'nice' cause I have spent my whole life in ruins because of people who are 'nice'.”

34. On being miserable: “What's the first thing I do when I wake up in the morning? Wish I hadn't.”

35. On musicians: “Artists aren't really people. I'm actually 40 per cent papier mache.”

36. On residing in America: “I normally live in Los Angeles - if you can call it normal living.”

37. On romance: “I do think it's possible to go through life and never fall in love, or find someone who loves you.”

38. On being unique: “I've never intended to be controversial but it's very easy to be controversial in pop music because nobody ever is.”

39. On growing up weird: “My parents were worried about me, certainly when I became so deeply interested in music and people like the New York Dolls who, at the time, were very peculiar indeed.”

40. On not getting any: “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.”

41. On a life in music: “I lost myself to music at a very early age, and I remained there.” (Select, 1991).

42. On The Cure: "Robert Smith is a whingebag."

43. On addiction: “Music is like a drug, but there are no rehabilitation centres.” (Select, 1991).

44. On vanity: “Well, I am an extremely beautiful person.” (Select, 1994).

45. On life goals: "Sometimes I wish I was just a simple drunkard." (Select, 1991).

46. On mental health: “I just feel that when all is said and done, I am not insane.” (Q April, 1994).


47. On being creative: “I'd rather produce art than become art.” (Record Mirror, 1985).

48. On dying: "I have an unswayable obsession with death. If there was a magical pill that one could take that would retire you from the world, I would take it." (NME, 1988).

49. On being exploited: "I've gone through managers like people go through shredded wheat. Nobody looks after you." (1995).

50. On his legacy: “When they bury me in a church and chuck earth on my grave, I’d like the words ‘Well, at least he tried’ engraved on my
tombstone.” (Melody Maker, 1987).


Some more Morrissey gems:

I don't perform. Seals perform.

JU: Are you thin still?
Morrissey: Um, in a crowd, yes. In a crowd of very heavy people
(From "LA Confidential", interview by Jaan Uhelszki, Mojo (April 2001))

GQ: “Who’ll be the first of the Smiths to die?”
Morrissey: “Me. I’ll be shot – probably by one of the ex-Smiths
(From an GQ october 2005, p. 278)

Morrissey also has words for the royal family, saying Prince William and his new "fiasco" fiancee, Kate Middleton, "are so dull as people that it is actually impossible to discuss them". William "has never made the faintest imprint on the English soul", but – even worse – he "is also a hunter of deer".

Source: 1 / 2 / 3

Tags: morrissey, music / musician, music / musician (alternative and indie)
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