Stop me if you think you’ve heard this one before: Bigmouth strikes again (sorry if, ahem, that joke isn’t funny anymore). Morrissey, whose new album World Peace Is None of Your Business has been pulled from iTunes and Spotify amid a label dispute, has chosen an odd time to make a back-handed comment about beloved actor Robin Williams. In a post on semi-official mouthpiece True to You, as Stereogum points out, the iconic Smiths singers was paying tribute to the late actor Richard Attenborough when he then brought up Lauren Bacall, which then somehow led him to impolitic remarks about Williams.
Writing of Bacall, he said, “So sad that her death was overshadowed by that of Robin Williams,” continuing: “It was Lauren, not Robin, who changed motion picture history. Yet modern media has an odd way of forgetting the more senior servers of the arts.” It isn’t an unfair point — Bacall’s influence on cinema is vast — and it’s not as if Moz is pulling a Henry Rollins here. But it’s still in crabby keeping with the artist’s recent persona to speak, if not quit ill, then at least comparatively disparagingly about the dead. Can’t we praise Bacall without diminishing someone else?
Attenborough’s 1947 film Brighton Rock, as it happens, helped inspire the surging anthem “Now My Heart Is Full,” from Morrissey’s recently reissued 1994 album Vauxhall and I. Read the full post below, scroll down to hear the song and, if you’re extremely optimistic, check out his recently announced round of European tour dates.
Richard Attenborough dies
“I was thrilled beyond words to have met Richard Attenborough, who, of course, played Pinkie inBrighton Rock (1947), a central theme of my songNow my heart is full. When I met Sir Richard he was delightful, and I asked him if Brighton Rock seemed like a hundred years ago. He replied ‘Oh, much more than that …’.
I also had the extraordinary pleasure of meeting the recently deceased Lauren Bacall … so beautiful, so cautious … and so sad that her death was overshadowed by that of Robin Williams. It was Lauren, not Robin, who changed motion picture history. Yet modern media has an odd way of forgetting the more senior servers of the arts. Dora Bryan, whom I knew personally in the late 80s, and who also died in recent weeks, had pitifully slim attention from the British news media, yet her talents were a treasured staple of British life throughout the 1950s, 1960s and beyond. Dora had agreed to introduce the Smiths onstage at the London Palladium in 1986, but at the last minute her agent asked for a fee which we, the Smiths, just couldn’t afford.
However, in our X-factory society, it seems that anyone who has NOT appeared on Big Brother just isn’t worth remembering by the British media … alas.”