Either Penguin was just trying to get what they felt to be an inevitable work ahead of them out of the way or their sole criteria for publishing something in the ‘classics’ series relies on a person’s fame. But Morrissey’s fame is of a peculiar sort. A blurb on the book jacket reads: ‘Most pop stars have to be dead before they reach the iconic status that Morrissey has reached in his lifetime,’ (a quote which is prefaced only by a peculiarly vacant ‘It has been said’). It seems that today, to utter something about Morrissey’s legend is to speak a platitude so over-said and annoyingly true that it almost reaches the hardly controversial realm of, ‘It is better to be hated for what you are than loved for what you are not.’
Whether one belongs to the lonely stereotype Smiths followers of the 80s who found some affinity with the flower donning, hearing-aid wearing singer, or the almost soccer-frenzied ultra macho Midas Touch madness of the fans flooding the arenas of his solo years, Morrissey has been loved by people in every corner of the globe and he has been loved by them very much for a long time.