RIP Leonard Cohen

'Hydra promised the life Cohen had craved: spare rooms, the empty page, eros after dark. He collected a few paraffin lamps and some used furniture: a Russian wrought-iron bed, a writing table, chairs like “the chairs that van Gogh painted.” During the day, he worked on a sexy, phantasmagoric novel called “The Favorite Game” and the poems in a collection titled “Flowers for Hitler.” He alternated between extreme discipline and the varieties of abandon. There were days of fasting to concentrate the mind. There were drugs to expand it: pot, speed, acid. “I took trip after trip, sitting on my terrace in Greece, waiting to see God,” he said years later. “Generally, I ended up with a bad hangover.” '

Morrissey's Autobiography

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.