Thursday, June 05, 2003

Know Your Enemy #17

Morrissey on the Princess of Wales:

"To me there's something dramatically ugly about a person who can wear a dress for £6000 when at the same time there are people who can't afford to eat. When she puts on that dress for £6000 the statement she is making to the nation is: 'I am the fantastically gifted royalty, and you are the snivelling peasants.' The very idea that people would be interested in facts about this dress is massively insulting to the human race."

OK, OK, so I admit it: I devoured with relish the Smiths supplement that came with NME this week. I was too young for them to make an impact first time around, but for the last couple of years I've felt it's about time I gave them a real chance. I'm sure to those who were there at the time, waving their gladioli and Morrissey quiffs down at the front, the supplement might have seemed superficial and trivialising (that's assuming any of them actually read it, and let's face it - NME is pretty much kiddy fodder these days) - but, for me, relatively ignorant of their mystique and cultural impact, it was wonderful stuff. It affected me the same way as seeing the Joy Division half of '24 Hour Party People' - I just wanted to listen to all the music, right there, right then. I feel myself teetering on the brink of fandom, adoration and obsession. Just gimme some albums to hear...

Incidentally, what's with the whole concept of a supplement like this? Apart from the fact that they feel the need to cover Radiohead extensively around the release of Hail To The Thief, why did NME choose not to devote an issue of its Specials offshoot series to The Smiths? Not that I'm complaining, though, you understand. For the first time in quite a while, I was thoroughly enraptured with what I was reading, and it's perhaps indicative of a tacit acknowledgement by the editorial staff that what is great is not always what is 'now'. The Smiths are a truly legendary group, a fitting benchmark against which to measure the entertaining but ultimately shallow and disposable bands which are featured week in week out.

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