Pat Nevin autobiography

Pat Nevins autobiography has a chapter on Morrissey.


The Accidental Footballer Hardcover by Pat Nevin - Amazon.co.uk

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joe frady

Vile Refusenik
https://www.morrissey-solo.com/threads/pat-nevin-on-meeting-morrissey.134299/#post-1986907215

í'm not sure whether í could stretch to shelling out cash money for a footballer's book. Haven't done that since the glory daze of Charlie Nicholas & King Kenny. But í might consider a quick flick if the bookshops open again, somewhere.

God love Pat, but í get the distinct feeling that, as with all gallus Weegie wingers, the tale twists and lengthens as the years go by. New details & cast list each time. The story is gold, but it goes on, Etc... :thumb:


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Famous when dead

Vulgarian
Moderator
Relevant parts from said:

Ch24

THIS CHARMING MAN

There have been a number of times in my life when I have been privy to moments that would have made others who shared my tastes exceedingly jealous. Sitting with Robin Guthrie from Cocteau Twins in his studio one evening as they made the Heaven or Las Vegas album was one such moment. As Robin showed me the heartachingly beautiful noises he could make with his guitar – it is bordering on impossible to describe what he could make that technology do – I honestly thought, Why don’t you just release an album of those noises? No rhythm, no drum or voice needed.
By the time I was at Everton, I’d also become a close friend of Vini Reilly from The Durutti Column. There were quite a few afternoons spent over at his house just sitting listening to him play guitar, working on his new compositions, which was close to heaven for me.
One afternoon Vini ventured, ‘Shall we go and visit my friend Steven in a couple of days?’
‘Steven who?’
‘Morrissey,’ he said a little sheepishly.
Vini had co-written Morrissey’s first solo album. I had really liked The Smiths and Morrissey would be a very intriguing person to meet anyway. His fame was enormous in the music world and indeed wider society. His personality was the bigger draw, though: he had a very different outlook to, well, just about anyone around. He was not only an outsider, but he appeared to be the champion of all outsiders in society. He still is a significant figure but just then he could only be described as an icon for many people as well as a ridiculous figure of fun to just as many others.
So yes I would love to pop round to his place!
On the morning of the proposed visit, I was at training as usual, which on this occasion was a lot of fun. It is hard to explain why some days are like that, but everyone seemed to be in a good mood. Most of the time it is very simple, we had won at the weekend, so everyone was chipper. Usually the training, even the hard running, is fun at these times.
One of the most painful training tasks was ‘doggies’ the length of the entire pitch. It is disguised running that doesn’t look as hard as it really is. So you run from the goal line to the six-yard line then back. Next it is to the eighteen-yard line and back to the goal line, then the halfway line and back, all this without stopping and at a high pace. You are not finished yet. You next go to the far eighteen and back, then the far six-yard line and back, then the opposite goal line and back. If the coach was in a really sour mood, you then came ‘back down’, hitting all the lines again on the way back. It is close to 1,400 yards, just below a sprint, but the real killer is that you are turning all the time at the lines, which kills your momentum.
Even that didn’t stop the buzz around the training ground that day and the seven-a-side at the end was one of those games nobody wanted to stop, we were all having such a good time. There were a good few days like that. I just wished that there had been more, particularly at Everton.
Getting changed in the dressing room after showering, I remembered the visit to Morrissey’s house and because I was in such a good mood I carelessly asked the lads:
‘Does anyone know the best way to a place called Bowden? I’m going to visit someone over there with a friend tonight.’
Norman Whiteside pipes up, ‘I do, I know it well, that’s where I live.’
I mentioned the road name.
‘That’s my road,’ yelped the big man. ‘That’s where I live! Why don’t I come along with you, you could introduce me to your mates and then we can all go out on the lash?’
Norman’s suggestion wasn’t really working for me. I hadn’t told him it was Morrissey I was visiting. The famous teetotaller was also a famously pained artiste, not piss artist. I made a mental note then and there to swerve Norm’s house as it could get very messy indeed.
Nevertheless, I fancied I might bring Norm along next time, when Morrissey invited me back as a firm friend! I do like putting very different people together, and then listening to and observing the interesting exchanges. But maybe that was a bit too ambitious for our first meeting.
Driving along the M56 from Chester I wondered if I should stop off and get a present for Morrissey, but I just couldn’t imagine what to take. A bottle of wine was out of the question and anyway that whole idea of a gift seemed a bit middle-class and conventional for the current king of the indie scene. It didn’t cross my mind to think of topics to discuss or even particular questions to ask. I always just turn up and chat to people, listen to what they have to say and allow the discussion to flow, no matter who it is.
When Vini and I arrived at Moz’s pile, it underlined my belief that it definitely wasn’t the right night to take Norman along. Sitting in the poet/singer’s kitchen in those slightly awkward opening few moments my mind jumped back just a few hours to how starkly different my other life was to this one. Twenty-odd grown men grunting and sweating through a punishing run, heavy with laddish banter and tales of heavy drinking peppered with industrial language. Here it was quiet, incredibly reserved, with sparkling use of English about our favourite artists and the offer of some raspberry tea in china cups, with a saucer!
That initial awkwardness was lasting a little too long for my liking. I knew we shared a special liking for Jayne Casey and for the music she made with her band Pink Industry, so that chat helped things along a little. There were plenty of things we had in common that we could converse politely on. Morrissey had made his second album with the talented songwriter Mark E Nevin from Fairground Attraction. I had met my namesake introducing him, Eddi Reader and the rest of the band onstage for their recent Liverpool gig. Morrissey also seemed intrigued by the radio show I had been doing in Liverpool on a radio station set up with the DJ Janice Long and Pete Wylie from the band Wah!, who were among my favourite bands from Liverpool. People always seemed to be surprised to find that I DJed and that has never changed. Morrissey seemed satisfied when I confirmed that, ‘Yes, I do regularly play The Smiths when I DJ at a club or on radio.’ There followed a discussion about the various merits of Wah! v Echo and The Bunnymen v The Teardrop Explodes and of course Pink Industry, who we both insisted should be part of the debate.
Another effort on my part went down less well. More than once I had been mistaken for Johnny Marr at gigs in London. At an Aztec Camera concert a guy had come up to me insisting I was Johnny Marr and would not believe me when I said I wasn’t. That was until Annabel said to him, ‘I can prove he isn’t Johnny.’ ‘How can you do that?’ he replied. ‘Well, if you turn round and look ten yards to your right, you will see that Johnny Marr is actually standing over there.’ Unfortunately, there was still an iciness between the two former partners and Morrissey moved the topic away from the genius songwriter and guitarist very quickly.
He was still being a bit guarded, clearly trying to get more from me than he was willing to give of himself and I totally respected that. He was one of those people in the public eye who was loathed as much as he was loved. When your personality, as well as your art, gets that much abuse in the media, it doesn’t matter how much bravado is shown on screen, you would be naive and stupid to trust everyone you meet right away. I understood that but I had already got a bit exasperated by what was coming across as a defensive preciousness. I had to put him more at his ease, so I asked him a question which I really wanted to know the honest answer to.
‘Tell me, Steven, do you like football? I cannot imagine you do, but was there ever any point in your life when you had some interest or even just went along to see what all the fuss was about?’
I knew enough about him then to know that he loved giving unexpected answers, to blindside the questioner, no doubt sometimes just to be contrary. The correct ‘Morrissey the personality’ answer would be to say he had never had the faintest interest in the game, but was the contrarian willing to go out on a limb and suggest the opposite?
He mused over it for a little while, probably too long to make me believe I was getting a straight answer – it was a thin line to tread – then he said carefully, ‘I can’t say I have ever really thought about it. My mind and my thoughts have never ventured towards that area, my soul was otherwise engaged.’
Good answer and one that wouldn’t give offence to a footballer asking him. Even though I wouldn’t have been slightly put out had he said, as I thought he might, that he hated the game. I decided to try a final little teaser on the subject.
‘I only ask because another player from our team was going to pop round with me tonight, his name is Norman and he lives not far from here.’
He answered quickly, probably too quickly this time:
‘You mean Norman Whiteside who used to play for United and moved to Everton last year?’
‘Not bad knowledge from a guy whose soul is engaged elsewhere!’
He smiled broadly at his own contradiction and that moment seemed to break the ice – from then on Moz was fantastic company, I think he enjoyed the verbal and intellectual challenge as a game and the tight-lipped uncertainty was replaced by a more trusting smile. He quickly dropped the more melodramatic side of his act and the evening became a memorable one. He shot a glance at Vini, our mutual friend that seemed to say, yes he is OK. 1
With any uneasiness now left behind I decided to push it a little further.
‘Steven, why don’t you show us around your house, give us the guided tour?’
It was a huge, imposing, turreted Victorian affair that his success with The Smiths had earned him. He came from a fairly humble background like me, I thought, so wanting the chance to show off such an impressive abode surely must have been hidden deep down in there somewhere. Of course he was also famously introspective and incredibly private about his own personal life, I knew that. I was convinced few people would have come round for the first time and been bold enough to ask to be ‘shown round’ right off the bat, so this impudence just might work and I was very curious to see more. He demurred for a while but from where I come from, a guided tour of someone’s house, however big or small, would be quite a normal thing to suggest and be granted. Eventually he gave up, after a surprisingly meek struggle, and showed us around.
Each room was fabulously and tastefully decorated. I particularly liked the one that was an homage to Oscar Wilde. It had some impressive first-edition Wilde works in the library area and was furnished opulently with heavy, deep-coloured curtains and a lush sofa with sumptuous, classic-period armchairs. The only thing it seemed to lack for the perfect Georgian gentleman’s room was a well-stocked bar filled with sherry, port and decent malt whiskies.
Another room was swiftly bypassed on the stairs with a flick of the wrist and a ‘You wouldn’t be interested in that one’ comment. Like hell I wouldn’t be interested, that was the one I wanted to see most, now that he had dismissed it with just a little too much disdain! I was already envisaging a picture of Dorian Gray, but with an ageing Morrissey in the frame. He changed his mind and then relented again after some gentle persuasion. He turned the key in the lock so sluggishly and opened the door to the room so slowly that it was even more obvious that he was embarrassed about its contents. I just wanted to push past him at this point, it was such a painstaking palaver.
The door finally opened to reveal the very last thing I expected to see: a fully kitted-out multigym with all the most modern equipment.
The final upper lounge room was the most interesting of all. In a sparsely decorated space, there was a brand new and rather beautiful baby grand piano. Vini, a classically trained pianist as well as an astonishing guitarist was visibly impressed and said, ‘Steven, I didn’t know you played.’
I am pretty sure his reply would have impressed Oscar Wilde himself.
‘Oh, I don’t, I just bought it for you to play for us this evening. I thought it would be rather lovely.’ Vini did and it was.
At one point later we played a bit of football in the garden. It is one of the few times I look back and wish we’d camera phones.
I liked Morrissey a good deal, although nowadays I suspect we might not see eye to eye politically. He was a gracious host and invigorating company that night. I drove home at about midnight in the knowledge I’d had a special day. The night hadn’t ended for Morrissey however. An hour later a strange drunken man appeared to be trying to climb over his garden fence and set the burglar alarms off. A blue light was soon flashing outside the property, but fortunately our Norman had legged it by then.
The next day at training I apologised to Norm for not being able to ‘find’ his house and I agreed to go out with him that afternoon for ‘a couple’. I was called to the manager’s office on union business at the end of the training session and by the time I got downstairs Norm had gone, dragging John Ebbrell, our young, up-and-coming midfielder out instead. That night Norman lost his driving licence, allegedly doing around 20mph in the outside lane of the M56. I have always felt slightly guilty about that; I should have been there to save him from himself. Big-hearted as ever, he offered to give me his big Mercedes for buttons now that he wouldn’t be needing it for a while. My guilt wouldn’t let me accept, but he insisted I borrowed it for a while to visit my mum who had started to become ill back home in Glasgow.
I never saw Morrissey again. He sent me a postcard – ‘From one dribbler to another’ as he so perfectly put it – that could have been a perfect Smiths single. I am not great at keeping things like that, but like all my cards from Peely, I still have that one. He phoned the house a short while later, but with our busy lives, him making albums and touring, me playing football and being a devoted husband and father, we never got round to having that second raspberry tea.


It wasn't a bad read. 📖➡️PM.
Regards,
FWD.
 

DrStatham

Active Member
I am intrigued by a great many things here.

First off, the fact that seemingly during this period he was actually called Steven by people who knew him irl.

Secondly, the gym.

And also the fact he considerably played down his own football knowledge.

Very interesting read, thanks for saving us from having to buy the book FWD!
 

joe frady

Vile Refusenik
Relevant parts from said:

Ch24

THIS CHARMING MAN

There have been a number of times in my life when I have been privy to moments that would have made others who shared my tastes exceedingly jealous. Sitting with Robin Guthrie from Cocteau Twins in his studio one evening as they made the Heaven or Las Vegas album was one such moment. As Robin showed me the heartachingly beautiful noises he could make with his guitar – it is bordering on impossible to describe what he could make that technology do – I honestly thought, Why don’t you just release an album of those noises? No rhythm, no drum or voice needed.
By the time I was at Everton, I’d also become a close friend of Vini Reilly from The Durutti Column. There were quite a few afternoons spent over at his house just sitting listening to him play guitar, working on his new compositions, which was close to heaven for me.
One afternoon Vini ventured, ‘Shall we go and visit my friend Steven in a couple of days?’
‘Steven who?’
‘Morrissey,’ he said a little sheepishly.
Vini had co-written Morrissey’s first solo album. I had really liked The Smiths and Morrissey would be a very intriguing person to meet anyway. His fame was enormous in the music world and indeed wider society. His personality was the bigger draw, though: he had a very different outlook to, well, just about anyone around. He was not only an outsider, but he appeared to be the champion of all outsiders in society. He still is a significant figure but just then he could only be described as an icon for many people as well as a ridiculous figure of fun to just as many others.
So yes I would love to pop round to his place!
On the morning of the proposed visit, I was at training as usual, which on this occasion was a lot of fun. It is hard to explain why some days are like that, but everyone seemed to be in a good mood. Most of the time it is very simple, we had won at the weekend, so everyone was chipper. Usually the training, even the hard running, is fun at these times.
One of the most painful training tasks was ‘doggies’ the length of the entire pitch. It is disguised running that doesn’t look as hard as it really is. So you run from the goal line to the six-yard line then back. Next it is to the eighteen-yard line and back to the goal line, then the halfway line and back, all this without stopping and at a high pace. You are not finished yet. You next go to the far eighteen and back, then the far six-yard line and back, then the opposite goal line and back. If the coach was in a really sour mood, you then came ‘back down’, hitting all the lines again on the way back. It is close to 1,400 yards, just below a sprint, but the real killer is that you are turning all the time at the lines, which kills your momentum.
Even that didn’t stop the buzz around the training ground that day and the seven-a-side at the end was one of those games nobody wanted to stop, we were all having such a good time. There were a good few days like that. I just wished that there had been more, particularly at Everton.
Getting changed in the dressing room after showering, I remembered the visit to Morrissey’s house and because I was in such a good mood I carelessly asked the lads:
‘Does anyone know the best way to a place called Bowden? I’m going to visit someone over there with a friend tonight.’
Norman Whiteside pipes up, ‘I do, I know it well, that’s where I live.’
I mentioned the road name.
‘That’s my road,’ yelped the big man. ‘That’s where I live! Why don’t I come along with you, you could introduce me to your mates and then we can all go out on the lash?’
Norman’s suggestion wasn’t really working for me. I hadn’t told him it was Morrissey I was visiting. The famous teetotaller was also a famously pained artiste, not piss artist. I made a mental note then and there to swerve Norm’s house as it could get very messy indeed.
Nevertheless, I fancied I might bring Norm along next time, when Morrissey invited me back as a firm friend! I do like putting very different people together, and then listening to and observing the interesting exchanges. But maybe that was a bit too ambitious for our first meeting.
Driving along the M56 from Chester I wondered if I should stop off and get a present for Morrissey, but I just couldn’t imagine what to take. A bottle of wine was out of the question and anyway that whole idea of a gift seemed a bit middle-class and conventional for the current king of the indie scene. It didn’t cross my mind to think of topics to discuss or even particular questions to ask. I always just turn up and chat to people, listen to what they have to say and allow the discussion to flow, no matter who it is.
When Vini and I arrived at Moz’s pile, it underlined my belief that it definitely wasn’t the right night to take Norman along. Sitting in the poet/singer’s kitchen in those slightly awkward opening few moments my mind jumped back just a few hours to how starkly different my other life was to this one. Twenty-odd grown men grunting and sweating through a punishing run, heavy with laddish banter and tales of heavy drinking peppered with industrial language. Here it was quiet, incredibly reserved, with sparkling use of English about our favourite artists and the offer of some raspberry tea in china cups, with a saucer!
That initial awkwardness was lasting a little too long for my liking. I knew we shared a special liking for Jayne Casey and for the music she made with her band Pink Industry, so that chat helped things along a little. There were plenty of things we had in common that we could converse politely on. Morrissey had made his second album with the talented songwriter Mark E Nevin from Fairground Attraction. I had met my namesake introducing him, Eddi Reader and the rest of the band onstage for their recent Liverpool gig. Morrissey also seemed intrigued by the radio show I had been doing in Liverpool on a radio station set up with the DJ Janice Long and Pete Wylie from the band Wah!, who were among my favourite bands from Liverpool. People always seemed to be surprised to find that I DJed and that has never changed. Morrissey seemed satisfied when I confirmed that, ‘Yes, I do regularly play The Smiths when I DJ at a club or on radio.’ There followed a discussion about the various merits of Wah! v Echo and The Bunnymen v The Teardrop Explodes and of course Pink Industry, who we both insisted should be part of the debate.
Another effort on my part went down less well. More than once I had been mistaken for Johnny Marr at gigs in London. At an Aztec Camera concert a guy had come up to me insisting I was Johnny Marr and would not believe me when I said I wasn’t. That was until Annabel said to him, ‘I can prove he isn’t Johnny.’ ‘How can you do that?’ he replied. ‘Well, if you turn round and look ten yards to your right, you will see that Johnny Marr is actually standing over there.’ Unfortunately, there was still an iciness between the two former partners and Morrissey moved the topic away from the genius songwriter and guitarist very quickly.
He was still being a bit guarded, clearly trying to get more from me than he was willing to give of himself and I totally respected that. He was one of those people in the public eye who was loathed as much as he was loved. When your personality, as well as your art, gets that much abuse in the media, it doesn’t matter how much bravado is shown on screen, you would be naive and stupid to trust everyone you meet right away. I understood that but I had already got a bit exasperated by what was coming across as a defensive preciousness. I had to put him more at his ease, so I asked him a question which I really wanted to know the honest answer to.
‘Tell me, Steven, do you like football? I cannot imagine you do, but was there ever any point in your life when you had some interest or even just went along to see what all the fuss was about?’
I knew enough about him then to know that he loved giving unexpected answers, to blindside the questioner, no doubt sometimes just to be contrary. The correct ‘Morrissey the personality’ answer would be to say he had never had the faintest interest in the game, but was the contrarian willing to go out on a limb and suggest the opposite?
He mused over it for a little while, probably too long to make me believe I was getting a straight answer – it was a thin line to tread – then he said carefully, ‘I can’t say I have ever really thought about it. My mind and my thoughts have never ventured towards that area, my soul was otherwise engaged.’
Good answer and one that wouldn’t give offence to a footballer asking him. Even though I wouldn’t have been slightly put out had he said, as I thought he might, that he hated the game. I decided to try a final little teaser on the subject.
‘I only ask because another player from our team was going to pop round with me tonight, his name is Norman and he lives not far from here.’
He answered quickly, probably too quickly this time:
‘You mean Norman Whiteside who used to play for United and moved to Everton last year?’
‘Not bad knowledge from a guy whose soul is engaged elsewhere!’
He smiled broadly at his own contradiction and that moment seemed to break the ice – from then on Moz was fantastic company, I think he enjoyed the verbal and intellectual challenge as a game and the tight-lipped uncertainty was replaced by a more trusting smile. He quickly dropped the more melodramatic side of his act and the evening became a memorable one. He shot a glance at Vini, our mutual friend that seemed to say, yes he is OK. 1
With any uneasiness now left behind I decided to push it a little further.
‘Steven, why don’t you show us around your house, give us the guided tour?’
It was a huge, imposing, turreted Victorian affair that his success with The Smiths had earned him. He came from a fairly humble background like me, I thought, so wanting the chance to show off such an impressive abode surely must have been hidden deep down in there somewhere. Of course he was also famously introspective and incredibly private about his own personal life, I knew that. I was convinced few people would have come round for the first time and been bold enough to ask to be ‘shown round’ right off the bat, so this impudence just might work and I was very curious to see more. He demurred for a while but from where I come from, a guided tour of someone’s house, however big or small, would be quite a normal thing to suggest and be granted. Eventually he gave up, after a surprisingly meek struggle, and showed us around.
Each room was fabulously and tastefully decorated. I particularly liked the one that was an homage to Oscar Wilde. It had some impressive first-edition Wilde works in the library area and was furnished opulently with heavy, deep-coloured curtains and a lush sofa with sumptuous, classic-period armchairs. The only thing it seemed to lack for the perfect Georgian gentleman’s room was a well-stocked bar filled with sherry, port and decent malt whiskies.
Another room was swiftly bypassed on the stairs with a flick of the wrist and a ‘You wouldn’t be interested in that one’ comment. Like hell I wouldn’t be interested, that was the one I wanted to see most, now that he had dismissed it with just a little too much disdain! I was already envisaging a picture of Dorian Gray, but with an ageing Morrissey in the frame. He changed his mind and then relented again after some gentle persuasion. He turned the key in the lock so sluggishly and opened the door to the room so slowly that it was even more obvious that he was embarrassed about its contents. I just wanted to push past him at this point, it was such a painstaking palaver.
The door finally opened to reveal the very last thing I expected to see: a fully kitted-out multigym with all the most modern equipment.
The final upper lounge room was the most interesting of all. In a sparsely decorated space, there was a brand new and rather beautiful baby grand piano. Vini, a classically trained pianist as well as an astonishing guitarist was visibly impressed and said, ‘Steven, I didn’t know you played.’
I am pretty sure his reply would have impressed Oscar Wilde himself.
‘Oh, I don’t, I just bought it for you to play for us this evening. I thought it would be rather lovely.’ Vini did and it was.
At one point later we played a bit of football in the garden. It is one of the few times I look back and wish we’d camera phones.
I liked Morrissey a good deal, although nowadays I suspect we might not see eye to eye politically. He was a gracious host and invigorating company that night. I drove home at about midnight in the knowledge I’d had a special day. The night hadn’t ended for Morrissey however. An hour later a strange drunken man appeared to be trying to climb over his garden fence and set the burglar alarms off. A blue light was soon flashing outside the property, but fortunately our Norman had legged it by then.
The next day at training I apologised to Norm for not being able to ‘find’ his house and I agreed to go out with him that afternoon for ‘a couple’. I was called to the manager’s office on union business at the end of the training session and by the time I got downstairs Norm had gone, dragging John Ebbrell, our young, up-and-coming midfielder out instead. That night Norman lost his driving licence, allegedly doing around 20mph in the outside lane of the M56. I have always felt slightly guilty about that; I should have been there to save him from himself. Big-hearted as ever, he offered to give me his big Mercedes for buttons now that he wouldn’t be needing it for a while. My guilt wouldn’t let me accept, but he insisted I borrowed it for a while to visit my mum who had started to become ill back home in Glasgow.
I never saw Morrissey again. He sent me a postcard – ‘From one dribbler to another’ as he so perfectly put it – that could have been a perfect Smiths single. I am not great at keeping things like that, but like all my cards from Peely, I still have that one. He phoned the house a short while later, but with our busy lives, him making albums and touring, me playing football and being a devoted husband and father, we never got round to having that second raspberry tea.


It wasn't a bad read. 📖➡️PM.
Regards,
FWD.

Thank You FWD :thumb:

Surprising how much of that was virtually verbatim from the time í met Mr Nevin 6 years ago. í suppose he would have dined out on the tale at countless indie nights over the years, so the story would be well-honed. But some of the descriptions were identical ~ Beechmount being a huge turreted affair, Etc. Kinda pathetic that í could recall & type word-for-word what some wee dribbler told me, over a week after our meeting. í can barely remember anything my boss tells me at work from one day to the next...

.
 

AztecCamera

Well-Known Member
I reckon when it is ever going to end with you delusional sociopaths? Not only is California Son a character in your psychopath Brittish Lord of the Rings Dungeons and Dragons cold rainy day fantasies, he is on your imaginary loonie foreigner kickball teams. I reckon I guess because his third cousin twice removed from Ireland played on the Moz Angeles kickball team there is some delusional desperate hope for you, but like most Americans, California Son can't even make the kicking motion with his leg. It's called BASKETBALL. Wake up! chipper curry he doesn't live in LA anymore beachmouth airbnb fake flower house altrichchchicham inn nn nn nn nn nnn n nnnn it.

Fark Arse!


Air Morrissey.jpg
steve basket small.jpg

basket60.jpg
 

Young And Alive

Senior Member
Norman Whiteside and Pat Nevin were Everton teammates between 1989 and 1991. By 1990 Morrissey had met Boz so, given this story includes Vini Reilly, I'm assuming it took place in 1989.

Morrissey was like a rake in 1989 so I can only assume he didn't use his home gym very much. Certainly by the mid 90s Vauxhall and Southpaw era he had bulked up significantly, but in the late 80s he was still very skinny.

Interesting that Nevin knew or assumed Morrissey was teetotal. I always thought he was partial to red wine when The Smiths were on tour, unless he gave up alcohol for a while after that?

Nice story all the same.
 
M

Moz Fan

Guest
Relevant parts from said:

Ch24

THIS CHARMING MAN

There have been a number of times in my life when I have been privy to moments that would have made others who shared my tastes exceedingly jealous. Sitting with Robin Guthrie from Cocteau Twins in his studio one evening as they made the Heaven or Las Vegas album was one such moment. As Robin showed me the heartachingly beautiful noises he could make with his guitar – it is bordering on impossible to describe what he could make that technology do – I honestly thought, Why don’t you just release an album of those noises? No rhythm, no drum or voice needed.
By the time I was at Everton, I’d also become a close friend of Vini Reilly from The Durutti Column. There were quite a few afternoons spent over at his house just sitting listening to him play guitar, working on his new compositions, which was close to heaven for me.
One afternoon Vini ventured, ‘Shall we go and visit my friend Steven in a couple of days?’
‘Steven who?’
‘Morrissey,’ he said a little sheepishly.
Vini had co-written Morrissey’s first solo album. I had really liked The Smiths and Morrissey would be a very intriguing person to meet anyway. His fame was enormous in the music world and indeed wider society. His personality was the bigger draw, though: he had a very different outlook to, well, just about anyone around. He was not only an outsider, but he appeared to be the champion of all outsiders in society. He still is a significant figure but just then he could only be described as an icon for many people as well as a ridiculous figure of fun to just as many others.
So yes I would love to pop round to his place!
On the morning of the proposed visit, I was at training as usual, which on this occasion was a lot of fun. It is hard to explain why some days are like that, but everyone seemed to be in a good mood. Most of the time it is very simple, we had won at the weekend, so everyone was chipper. Usually the training, even the hard running, is fun at these times.
One of the most painful training tasks was ‘doggies’ the length of the entire pitch. It is disguised running that doesn’t look as hard as it really is. So you run from the goal line to the six-yard line then back. Next it is to the eighteen-yard line and back to the goal line, then the halfway line and back, all this without stopping and at a high pace. You are not finished yet. You next go to the far eighteen and back, then the far six-yard line and back, then the opposite goal line and back. If the coach was in a really sour mood, you then came ‘back down’, hitting all the lines again on the way back. It is close to 1,400 yards, just below a sprint, but the real killer is that you are turning all the time at the lines, which kills your momentum.
Even that didn’t stop the buzz around the training ground that day and the seven-a-side at the end was one of those games nobody wanted to stop, we were all having such a good time. There were a good few days like that. I just wished that there had been more, particularly at Everton.
Getting changed in the dressing room after showering, I remembered the visit to Morrissey’s house and because I was in such a good mood I carelessly asked the lads:
‘Does anyone know the best way to a place called Bowden? I’m going to visit someone over there with a friend tonight.’
Norman Whiteside pipes up, ‘I do, I know it well, that’s where I live.’
I mentioned the road name.
‘That’s my road,’ yelped the big man. ‘That’s where I live! Why don’t I come along with you, you could introduce me to your mates and then we can all go out on the lash?’
Norman’s suggestion wasn’t really working for me. I hadn’t told him it was Morrissey I was visiting. The famous teetotaller was also a famously pained artiste, not piss artist. I made a mental note then and there to swerve Norm’s house as it could get very messy indeed.
Nevertheless, I fancied I might bring Norm along next time, when Morrissey invited me back as a firm friend! I do like putting very different people together, and then listening to and observing the interesting exchanges. But maybe that was a bit too ambitious for our first meeting.
Driving along the M56 from Chester I wondered if I should stop off and get a present for Morrissey, but I just couldn’t imagine what to take. A bottle of wine was out of the question and anyway that whole idea of a gift seemed a bit middle-class and conventional for the current king of the indie scene. It didn’t cross my mind to think of topics to discuss or even particular questions to ask. I always just turn up and chat to people, listen to what they have to say and allow the discussion to flow, no matter who it is.
When Vini and I arrived at Moz’s pile, it underlined my belief that it definitely wasn’t the right night to take Norman along. Sitting in the poet/singer’s kitchen in those slightly awkward opening few moments my mind jumped back just a few hours to how starkly different my other life was to this one. Twenty-odd grown men grunting and sweating through a punishing run, heavy with laddish banter and tales of heavy drinking peppered with industrial language. Here it was quiet, incredibly reserved, with sparkling use of English about our favourite artists and the offer of some raspberry tea in china cups, with a saucer!
That initial awkwardness was lasting a little too long for my liking. I knew we shared a special liking for Jayne Casey and for the music she made with her band Pink Industry, so that chat helped things along a little. There were plenty of things we had in common that we could converse politely on. Morrissey had made his second album with the talented songwriter Mark E Nevin from Fairground Attraction. I had met my namesake introducing him, Eddi Reader and the rest of the band onstage for their recent Liverpool gig. Morrissey also seemed intrigued by the radio show I had been doing in Liverpool on a radio station set up with the DJ Janice Long and Pete Wylie from the band Wah!, who were among my favourite bands from Liverpool. People always seemed to be surprised to find that I DJed and that has never changed. Morrissey seemed satisfied when I confirmed that, ‘Yes, I do regularly play The Smiths when I DJ at a club or on radio.’ There followed a discussion about the various merits of Wah! v Echo and The Bunnymen v The Teardrop Explodes and of course Pink Industry, who we both insisted should be part of the debate.
Another effort on my part went down less well. More than once I had been mistaken for Johnny Marr at gigs in London. At an Aztec Camera concert a guy had come up to me insisting I was Johnny Marr and would not believe me when I said I wasn’t. That was until Annabel said to him, ‘I can prove he isn’t Johnny.’ ‘How can you do that?’ he replied. ‘Well, if you turn round and look ten yards to your right, you will see that Johnny Marr is actually standing over there.’ Unfortunately, there was still an iciness between the two former partners and Morrissey moved the topic away from the genius songwriter and guitarist very quickly.
He was still being a bit guarded, clearly trying to get more from me than he was willing to give of himself and I totally respected that. He was one of those people in the public eye who was loathed as much as he was loved. When your personality, as well as your art, gets that much abuse in the media, it doesn’t matter how much bravado is shown on screen, you would be naive and stupid to trust everyone you meet right away. I understood that but I had already got a bit exasperated by what was coming across as a defensive preciousness. I had to put him more at his ease, so I asked him a question which I really wanted to know the honest answer to.
‘Tell me, Steven, do you like football? I cannot imagine you do, but was there ever any point in your life when you had some interest or even just went along to see what all the fuss was about?’
I knew enough about him then to know that he loved giving unexpected answers, to blindside the questioner, no doubt sometimes just to be contrary. The correct ‘Morrissey the personality’ answer would be to say he had never had the faintest interest in the game, but was the contrarian willing to go out on a limb and suggest the opposite?
He mused over it for a little while, probably too long to make me believe I was getting a straight answer – it was a thin line to tread – then he said carefully, ‘I can’t say I have ever really thought about it. My mind and my thoughts have never ventured towards that area, my soul was otherwise engaged.’
Good answer and one that wouldn’t give offence to a footballer asking him. Even though I wouldn’t have been slightly put out had he said, as I thought he might, that he hated the game. I decided to try a final little teaser on the subject.
‘I only ask because another player from our team was going to pop round with me tonight, his name is Norman and he lives not far from here.’
He answered quickly, probably too quickly this time:
‘You mean Norman Whiteside who used to play for United and moved to Everton last year?’
‘Not bad knowledge from a guy whose soul is engaged elsewhere!’
He smiled broadly at his own contradiction and that moment seemed to break the ice – from then on Moz was fantastic company, I think he enjoyed the verbal and intellectual challenge as a game and the tight-lipped uncertainty was replaced by a more trusting smile. He quickly dropped the more melodramatic side of his act and the evening became a memorable one. He shot a glance at Vini, our mutual friend that seemed to say, yes he is OK. 1
With any uneasiness now left behind I decided to push it a little further.
‘Steven, why don’t you show us around your house, give us the guided tour?’
It was a huge, imposing, turreted Victorian affair that his success with The Smiths had earned him. He came from a fairly humble background like me, I thought, so wanting the chance to show off such an impressive abode surely must have been hidden deep down in there somewhere. Of course he was also famously introspective and incredibly private about his own personal life, I knew that. I was convinced few people would have come round for the first time and been bold enough to ask to be ‘shown round’ right off the bat, so this impudence just might work and I was very curious to see more. He demurred for a while but from where I come from, a guided tour of someone’s house, however big or small, would be quite a normal thing to suggest and be granted. Eventually he gave up, after a surprisingly meek struggle, and showed us around.
Each room was fabulously and tastefully decorated. I particularly liked the one that was an homage to Oscar Wilde. It had some impressive first-edition Wilde works in the library area and was furnished opulently with heavy, deep-coloured curtains and a lush sofa with sumptuous, classic-period armchairs. The only thing it seemed to lack for the perfect Georgian gentleman’s room was a well-stocked bar filled with sherry, port and decent malt whiskies.
Another room was swiftly bypassed on the stairs with a flick of the wrist and a ‘You wouldn’t be interested in that one’ comment. Like hell I wouldn’t be interested, that was the one I wanted to see most, now that he had dismissed it with just a little too much disdain! I was already envisaging a picture of Dorian Gray, but with an ageing Morrissey in the frame. He changed his mind and then relented again after some gentle persuasion. He turned the key in the lock so sluggishly and opened the door to the room so slowly that it was even more obvious that he was embarrassed about its contents. I just wanted to push past him at this point, it was such a painstaking palaver.
The door finally opened to reveal the very last thing I expected to see: a fully kitted-out multigym with all the most modern equipment.
The final upper lounge room was the most interesting of all. In a sparsely decorated space, there was a brand new and rather beautiful baby grand piano. Vini, a classically trained pianist as well as an astonishing guitarist was visibly impressed and said, ‘Steven, I didn’t know you played.’
I am pretty sure his reply would have impressed Oscar Wilde himself.
‘Oh, I don’t, I just bought it for you to play for us this evening. I thought it would be rather lovely.’ Vini did and it was.
At one point later we played a bit of football in the garden. It is one of the few times I look back and wish we’d camera phones.
I liked Morrissey a good deal, although nowadays I suspect we might not see eye to eye politically. He was a gracious host and invigorating company that night. I drove home at about midnight in the knowledge I’d had a special day. The night hadn’t ended for Morrissey however. An hour later a strange drunken man appeared to be trying to climb over his garden fence and set the burglar alarms off. A blue light was soon flashing outside the property, but fortunately our Norman had legged it by then.
The next day at training I apologised to Norm for not being able to ‘find’ his house and I agreed to go out with him that afternoon for ‘a couple’. I was called to the manager’s office on union business at the end of the training session and by the time I got downstairs Norm had gone, dragging John Ebbrell, our young, up-and-coming midfielder out instead. That night Norman lost his driving licence, allegedly doing around 20mph in the outside lane of the M56. I have always felt slightly guilty about that; I should have been there to save him from himself. Big-hearted as ever, he offered to give me his big Mercedes for buttons now that he wouldn’t be needing it for a while. My guilt wouldn’t let me accept, but he insisted I borrowed it for a while to visit my mum who had started to become ill back home in Glasgow.
I never saw Morrissey again. He sent me a postcard – ‘From one dribbler to another’ as he so perfectly put it – that could have been a perfect Smiths single. I am not great at keeping things like that, but like all my cards from Peely, I still have that one. He phoned the house a short while later, but with our busy lives, him making albums and touring, me playing football and being a devoted husband and father, we never got round to having that second raspberry tea.


It wasn't a bad read. 📖➡️PM.
Regards,
FWD.

Really nice. Thank you.
 
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