Johnny Rogan Dies (February 12, 2021)

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Johnny Rogan, leading music biographer, dies, aged 67 - The Irish Times

"London Irish writer was famous for his attention to detail and clash with Morrissey"

Excerpt:

"Johnny Rogan, the London Irish music writer best known for his biographies of the Byrds, Neil Young, the Smiths, Van Morrison and Ray Davies, has died at his London home. He was 67.

The author of more than 25 books on music, by far his most successful was Morrissey & Marr: The Severed Alliance, a book about the Smiths published in 1992 five years after the band’s break-up which prompted Morrissey to say: “I hope Johnny Rogan ends his days very soon in an M3 pile-up.”"





Regards,
FWD.
 

GirlAfraidWillNeverLearn

The Courage to Get on People's Tits
This is quite shocking. 67 is no age to go.

RIP
 

GirlAfraidWillNeverLearn

The Courage to Get on People's Tits

Eldritch

Well-Known Member
A shame indeed. I read The Severed Allience a quarter of a century ago and really liked it. Morrissey is a staunch self-mythologisizer so obviously he dislikes anybody who gets too close and reveals things about him he would rather keep hidden. This doesn't automatically mean that the result is malicious.
 

Famous when dead

Vulgarian
Moderator
Marr was similarly less than complimentary. Had there been Internet discussion back then, I suspect the full impact of this book at the time could better be judged - it was certainly something I pored over regularly.
Saw a .jpg of this on Twitter, but repeated here from the book:

Morrissey & Marr: The Severed Alliance

… what the critics said …

“A painstaking account … highly sympathetic.”
Observer

“A hugely readable and fascinating book. … Flawlessly informed … expertly laid out. …
Whatever there is, Rogan’s got it nailed. A superb achievement.”
*****Q

“An essential purchase … a painstaking and thorough investigation.”
Irish Times

Number 1 Rock Book Of The Year: “This biography demanded to be written. An irresistible and illuminating account of the most influential British band of the 80s, and a byword for diligent reporting and informed criticism.”
Vox

“The most controversial book of the year … tells as much about the Smiths as anyone can reasonably want to know … Rogan has more than done his homework and treads a fine line between academic rigour and a breathless fandom. A major achievement.”
NME

“Exhaustively researched and containing interesting and sensible readings of the songs.”
Sunday Times

“A wonderful love story … Rogan turns over lots of stones, digs deep, reads Morrissey’s juvenilia and dares to question the man’s motives, sources and opinions. … A bloody marvellous book.”
Melody Maker

“Mr Rogan is blessed with a brilliant mind. … The research is exhaustive to the point of obsession. … Quite superb.”
Manchester Evening News

“The Severed Alliance has become an integral part of Morrissey’s psychic self-torment, and thus an event of epic import.”
Billboard

“Hugely entertaining … It is a tribute to the enduring brilliance of their music that their story still holds fascination. It is also a tribute to Johnny Rogan, a writer of real integrity. Rogan records the end of the band sympathetically but without missing one spasm of hubris. A page-turner of the first degree …”
Sunday Telegraph

“Rogan is a rock biographer’s biographer. … This guy is literally a method writer”.
What’s On In London

“A typically thorough and ridiculously entertaining tome of the every-home-should-have-one variety. Rogan truly excels”.
Select

“The Best Rock Biography Of 1992 … Morrissey will be shaken and disturbed by Johnny Rogan’s brilliant account … Rogan’s analysis has the suspense and character development of a classy detective yarn … Excellently written with a novelist’s grasp of pace, The Severed Alliance is one of the classic rock books”.
Record Collector

“Personally, I hope Johnny Rogan ends his days very soon in an M3 pile-up.”
Morrissey

“There is a greater sense of veracity in this book than you’ll read in a thousand music press interviews … Every descriptive sentence seems curiously relevant … Morrissey’s absurd and unwise anti-Rogan outburst is no more than a finger prod against the author’s mighty wall of undeniable fact”.
City Life.

“One of the best books about music ever written.”
Q*****

“Though Morrissey has expressed the wish that Rogan dies – Johnny Rogan can feel proud of himself. He has written what is certain to be the definitive book of The Smiths and though he is capable of flexing his critical muscles, a clear-eyed love for his subject suffuses every line.”
Sunday Telegraph

Regards,
FWD.
 

Ketamine Sun

<><><><><><><><><><>
Marr was similarly less than complimentary. Had there been Internet discussion back then, I suspect the full impact of this book at the time could better be judged - it was certainly something I pored over regularly.
Saw a .jpg of this on Twitter, but repeated here from the book:

Morrissey & Marr: The Severed Alliance

… what the critics said …

“A painstaking account … highly sympathetic.”
Observer

“A hugely readable and fascinating book. … Flawlessly informed … expertly laid out. …
Whatever there is, Rogan’s got it nailed. A superb achievement.”
*****Q

“An essential purchase … a painstaking and thorough investigation.”
Irish Times

Number 1 Rock Book Of The Year: “This biography demanded to be written. An irresistible and illuminating account of the most influential British band of the 80s, and a byword for diligent reporting and informed criticism.”
Vox

“The most controversial book of the year … tells as much about the Smiths as anyone can reasonably want to know … Rogan has more than done his homework and treads a fine line between academic rigour and a breathless fandom. A major achievement.”
NME

“Exhaustively researched and containing interesting and sensible readings of the songs.”
Sunday Times

“A wonderful love story … Rogan turns over lots of stones, digs deep, reads Morrissey’s juvenilia and dares to question the man’s motives, sources and opinions. … A bloody marvellous book.”
Melody Maker

“Mr Rogan is blessed with a brilliant mind. … The research is exhaustive to the point of obsession. … Quite superb.”
Manchester Evening News

“The Severed Alliance has become an integral part of Morrissey’s psychic self-torment, and thus an event of epic import.”
Billboard

“Hugely entertaining … It is a tribute to the enduring brilliance of their music that their story still holds fascination. It is also a tribute to Johnny Rogan, a writer of real integrity. Rogan records the end of the band sympathetically but without missing one spasm of hubris. A page-turner of the first degree …”
Sunday Telegraph

“Rogan is a rock biographer’s biographer. … This guy is literally a method writer”.
What’s On In London

“A typically thorough and ridiculously entertaining tome of the every-home-should-have-one variety. Rogan truly excels”.
Select

“The Best Rock Biography Of 1992 … Morrissey will be shaken and disturbed by Johnny Rogan’s brilliant account … Rogan’s analysis has the suspense and character development of a classy detective yarn … Excellently written with a novelist’s grasp of pace, The Severed Alliance is one of the classic rock books”.
Record Collector

“Personally, I hope Johnny Rogan ends his days very soon in an M3 pile-up.”
Morrissey

“There is a greater sense of veracity in this book than you’ll read in a thousand music press interviews … Every descriptive sentence seems curiously relevant … Morrissey’s absurd and unwise anti-Rogan outburst is no more than a finger prod against the author’s mighty wall of undeniable fact”.
City Life.

“One of the best books about music ever written.”
Q*****

“Though Morrissey has expressed the wish that Rogan dies – Johnny Rogan can feel proud of himself. He has written what is certain to be the definitive book of The Smiths and though he is capable of flexing his critical muscles, a clear-eyed love for his subject suffuses every line.”
Sunday Telegraph

Regards,
FWD.

Sure it’s out there, do you have any links to Johnny’s criticisms of Rogan when SA came out?

I could only find this one from an interview, it seems Marr felt that along with other books on The Smiths that Rogan’s book was also untrue....


Do you find people think they know your story better than you do?

“Yes, I do. It was not a source of consternation, but it’s nice to get the truth out there and set the record straight. Particularly in light of things like Johnny Rogan’s book [The Severed Alliance], which was just a cynical cash-in after the band split. The Smiths have been the subject of at least one book that has been taken as an authority, which has in actual fact been written by someone that seems to really dislike the members of the band. We had to live with that for years.”

 
J

J Maldonado

Guest
At the time The Severed Alliance was a ground breaking look into the pre Smiths Moz and revealed a number of skeletons in the closet.
Rogan obviously got hold of diaries from family members.
He also had the phone number for BeechMount and spoke to Morrissey (as much as M said he didn't speak to him).
Think he got too close to the Morrissey family for M's liking.

For all the stick that Moz gave the book , to see him wheel it out at the Court case was ironic to say the least.
M also seemed to get the hump because Rogan found out that he used to like comics?
 

GirlAfraidWillNeverLearn

The Courage to Get on People's Tits
Sure it’s out there, do you have any links to Johnny’s criticisms of Rogan when SA came out?

I could only find this one from an interview, it seems Marr felt that along with other books on The Smiths that Rogan’s book was also untrue....


Do you find people think they know your story better than you do?

“Yes, I do. It was not a source of consternation, but it’s nice to get the truth out there and set the record straight. Particularly in light of things like Johnny Rogan’s book [The Severed Alliance], which was just a cynical cash-in after the band split. The Smiths have been the subject of at least one book that has been taken as an authority, which has in actual fact been written by someone that seems to really dislike the members of the band. We had to live with that for years.”



Select, 1993, "The Secret History..." by Stuart Maconie


Screenshot_20210212-133855_Chrome.jpg


 
J

J Maldonado

Guest
Sure it’s out there, do you have any links to Johnny’s criticisms of Rogan when SA came out?

I could only find this one from an interview, it seems Marr felt that along with other books on The Smiths that Rogan’s book was also untrue....


Do you find people think they know your story better than you do?

“Yes, I do. It was not a source of consternation, but it’s nice to get the truth out there and set the record straight. Particularly in light of things like Johnny Rogan’s book [The Severed Alliance], which was just a cynical cash-in after the band split. The Smiths have been the subject of at least one book that has been taken as an authority, which has in actual fact been written by someone that seems to really dislike the members of the band. We had to live with that for years.”

There was an interview where Marr said he had only agreed to speak to Rogan , because Rogan had pestered people close to Marr and so felt he needed to speak to put his side over , by which time Rogan had made his mind up anyway!b
 

BrummieBoy

BrummieBoy
Until this book arrived, I had assumed that the gruesome twosome of Marr and Morrissey's absurd self-mythologising was informed by a camp-tastic irony. Clearly not given Morrissey's potty mouthed outbursts and similar ill-advised vitriol from Maher which has been helpfully resurfaced in this thread. Once they'd both been exposed as hustling bitches who set out to shaft (variously) their schoolfriends, band members and business associates in that hilarious High Court case of mortifying, destructive DRAMA! : then it was all over bar the descent into reputational oblivion which has now consumed both of them as far as I can see. The only unjust element remaining is that Marr is somehow seen as less implicated than his delusional accomplice in this failed scam, purely because he has some residual sanity and listened to his lawyers when they advised the game was up, to settle and move on whilst The Diva had years more of hugely amusing hissy fits, going to the House Of Lord Fraud Whores to beseech them to help him hold on to his £$, not his friends. How ironic that the 'rebel' who claimed to be against wealth and privilege, famously ineptly dissing the Queen Of England, ended up on his knees before a brace of bishops, peers and ancestors of William The Conqueror offering up the last shreds of his credibility in hopes they would side with his silly attempts to rewrite contractual obligations and history. The only sadness, for me, was that Morrissey didn't take this all the way to the EU 'Court Of Human Rights' in Strasbourg for a final cataclysmic dénouement. When the arts collective commonly known as 'The Smiths' appeared prior to the Interwebz it was still possible to 'do a Bowie' and pull off fairly impressive feats of reinventions. Loads of acts/artists did it, Madonna taking it to the gaudy max, of course. Morrissey's juvenilia genius move was to focus and locate that reinvention via Art in his locality and its history, in a way that blindsided the culture and was ridiculously impressive for a while. Alongside the musical historian Marr's co-opting of famous guitarist sonic landscapes like Rory Gallagher and the rest, it was all to make a wonderful palette, an Altar Of Influence that stands the test of the passage of time even as Morrissey is in endless karaoke mode and Marr isn't that fussed, TBH, as far as I can see. There's more to life than being more and more rich and famous: unless, of course, you're trapped in an existential cul-de-sac like the prat Steven. I read Rogan's book as a Loki prankster provocation and the reaction was baffling as by as the archival power of the Interwebz was debunking and deconstructing the auto-hagiographies of every 'star', including Bowie. But David read the runes and gave up all that stuff whilst Morrissey did his Carry On PR with an endless whining war with co-dependent click-bait press until the readership either got bored or threw up in disgust at Morrissey's 'Der Spiegel' downfall. Rest in peace, Mr Rogan, you did us all a favour, and it was funny as fcUK to watch the reaction as you savaged the neurotically curated fake Hall Of Mirrors that both Marr and Morrissey co-created. #TGIF. Sun is shining, I have some spare time, so I can have some fun on here annoying clowns in Croatia and Carlisle. It's A Wonderful Life when you're not lost in space and time seeking money, power and fame....best wishes...BB

PS:

Marr-Morrissey?
(why does the lyricist get precedence over the musicologist, by the way?)
 

BookishBoy

Well-Known Member
Until this book arrived, I had assumed that the gruesome twosome of Marr and Morrissey's absurd self-mythologising was informed by a camp-tastic irony. Clearly not given Morrissey's potty mouthed outbursts and similar ill-advised vitriol from Maher which has been helpfully resurfaced in this thread. Once they'd both been exposed as hustling bitches who set out to shaft (variously) their schoolfriends, band members and business associates in that hilarious High Court case of mortifying, destructive DRAMA! : then it was all over bar the descent into reputational oblivion which has now consumed both of them as far as I can see. The only unjust element remaining is that Marr is somehow seen as less implicated than his delusional accomplice in this failed scam, purely because he has some residual sanity and listened to his lawyers when they advised the game was up, to settle and move on whilst The Diva had years more of hugely amusing hissy fits, going to the House Of Lord Fraud Whores to beseech them to help him hold on to his £$, not his friends. How ironic that the 'rebel' who claimed to be against wealth and privilege, famously ineptly dissing the Queen Of England, ended up on his knees before a brace of bishops, peers and ancestors of William The Conqueror offering up the last shreds of his credibility in hopes they would side with his silly attempts to rewrite contractual obligations and history. The only sadness, for me, was that Morrissey didn't take this all the way to the EU 'Court Of Human Rights' in Strasbourg for a final cataclysmic dénouement. When the arts collective commonly known as 'The Smiths' appeared prior to the Interwebz it was still possible to 'do a Bowie' and pull off fairly impressive feats of reinventions. Loads of acts/artists did it, Madonna taking it to the gaudy max, of course. Morrissey's juvenilia genius move was to focus and locate that reinvention via Art in his locality and its history, in a way that blindsided the culture and was ridiculously impressive for a while. Alongside the musical historian Marr's co-opting of famous guitarist sonic landscapes like Rory Gallagher and the rest, it was all to make a wonderful palette, an Altar Of Influence that stands the test of the passage of time even as Morrissey is in endless karaoke mode and Marr isn't that fussed, TBH, as far as I can see. There's more to life than being more and more rich and famous: unless, of course, you're trapped in an existential cul-de-sac like the prat Steven. I read Rogan's book as a Loki prankster provocation and the reaction was baffling as by as the archival power of the Interwebz was debunking and deconstructing the auto-hagiographies of every 'star', including Bowie. But David read the runes and gave up all that stuff whilst Morrissey did his Carry On PR with an endless whining war with co-dependent click-bait press until the readership either got bored or threw up in disgust at Morrissey's 'Der Spiegel' downfall. Rest in peace, Mr Rogan, you did us all a favour, and it was funny as fcUK to watch the reaction as you savaged the neurotically curated fake Hall Of Mirrors that both Marr and Morrissey co-created. #TGIF. Sun is shining, I have some spare time, so I can have some fun on here annoying clowns in Croatia and Carlisle. It's A Wonderful Life when you're not lost in space and time seeking money, power and fame....best wishes...BB

PS:

Marr-Morrissey?
(why does the lyricist get precedence over the musicologist, by the way?)

To answer your question: presumably because nobody's life was ever saved by a guitar riff?
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
I got the updated circa 2012 edition which had a lot of interesting new material - there seemed to be a lot more from Morrissey's dad, including a funny quote about his reaction when visiting Morrissey's mum one day, to her explanation as to why she was narked with Rogan and his book - "He said I lived in the tenements!" and his dad replying "But you did live in the tenements!". To me the book is worthwhile because it has a lot of quotes/interviews like that which I've never seen anywhere else, regardless of what Rogan's take is on the story of the band (which, as far as I can recall, wasn't controversial anyway, and pretty much reflected what Morrissey and Marr have both confirmed themselves in various interview over the years).
 

Gregor Samsa

I straighten up, and my position is one of hope.
I was thinking about re-reading SA just the other day. Haven’t read since I was a Morrissey n00b.
How much of it is bullshit and how much is fact? Do we know?
 
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