Morrissey's Six Most Controversial Moments
Though, on record, he is often compared to a lyrical Oscar Wilde, his day-to-day outbursts occasionally make him seem like a particularly grouchy Truman Capote. From slagging off the British Royal Family and bitching about carnivores to addressing his sexual identity, the Moz has never been shy about expressing dissent or shocking those people whom he deems "absolutely stupid."
Here are the Moz's six most controversial moments.
So Much to Answer For. When Morrissey and The Smiths released their self-titled debut in 1984, the music charts were awash with disposable pop ditties such as Wham!'s "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" and Culture Club's "Karma Chameleon," songs whose meaningless titles did not belie the vapidity of their lyrical content. So, The Smiths arrived like a refreshing Mancunian drizzle.
However, The Smiths is by far the band's darkest record. Songs such as "Reel Around the Fountain" and "The Hand That Rocks the Cradle" were denounced by the moronic tabloid press as condoning child abuse and encouraging pedophilia. Lyrics like "It's time the tale were told of how you took a child and you made him old" and "You can pin and mount me like a butterfly" left the pitchfork posse frothing.
The album closer "Suffer Little Children" went further. That song tells the story of the Moors Murders, a series of infamous sexual assaults and child killings committed by Ian Brady and his girlfriend Myra Hindley in the Manchester area during the early '60s. Using the real names of the victims, Morrissey was accused of glamorizing the murderers, both still living at the time, and several record stores removed The Smiths from their shelves. He insisted that he meant no offense. And later, he met a mother of one of the murder victims, after writing to her to explain the song was, in fact, a tribute to the children.
Maggie, Please Die. Of course, the controversy doesn't always come to Morrissey. Most often, the Moz courts the controversy. Such was the case with his repeated attacks against Margaret Thatcher. It all began in 1984 when he waxed lyrical about his loathing for the then-prime minister, a woman who he said should be "destroyed." Overzealous police soon searched the singer's home and carried out a fruitless investigation. Undeterred, he went after the Iron Lady again on his solo classic "Margaret on the Guillotine" in 1988, with the catchy refrain, "When will you die? When will you die?" That question was answered in 2012, which only prompted him to offer the interesting eulogy: "She had no wit and no warmth and even her own Cabinet booted her out."