The Jesus and Mary Chain
These are among the messiest and most painful breakups in pop music. Frank Black dissolved the Pixies and informed his bandmates by fax. The Jesus and Mary Chain notoriously split on stage at a House of Blues show in 1998. But the Smiths, probably had the most difficult breakup of all. Johnny Marr left the group before their final album was released. And in the 1990s, Andy Rourke and Mike Joyce, band’s rhythm section sued Marr and singer Morrissey claiming that they’d been jilted out of songwriting royalties.
In the last five years, however, we’ve seen the reunions of both the Pixies and the Jesus and Mary Chain. We’ve also been lucky enough to see Gang of Four, My Bloody Valentine and Mission of Burma return to the stage. So you can imagine that I was not that surprised when I checked out NME this morning to see a story about a possible Smiths reunion for Coachella 2009. Apparently “the buzz around the people who used to work for the band is they could play Coachella for a ludicrous amount of money.” Now, rumors of a Smiths reunion are nothing new. But given the current musical climate, maybe we need the Smiths to come back and remind us why they were so great in the first place. And it seems as though someone may've come up with enough cash to get them to forget about the fact that there was a showdown in a British courtroom a decade ago.
Now I saw Morrissey back in 2005, and he was pretty good. His voice was strong and he was very impressive as a performer. And yes, I sang along when he played songs from his old group. Nonetheless, those songs sounded incomplete without Marr’s jangling guitars, or Rourke and Joyce’s solid bass and drums. I they reunited, I know it wouldn’t be the same. But the Smiths broke up when I was 5 years old. They're all still very strong performers. I'd be a fool to miss a chance to see them live. And who cares about the money. If it means that they can live a little more comfortably, then great.
I have suffered horrible conditions and long waits for only a few bands (ahem, Radiohead). After all the Smiths have done for me, spending three days in the California deserts would be nothing.
“Bigmouth Strikes Again”
(From the Old Grey Whistle Test, 1986
Featuring Craig Gannon on rhythm guitar).
The story has just been refuted by Johnny Marr's management.
Click here for the whole story. Sigh