A young Morrissey

Morrissey - London 1982

I used to work a lot for Rolling Stone in the 80’s, I was the photographer they came to when they needed something done in Europe. Most of the time it was American bands I had never heard of, but sometimes it was British ones.

So one Sunday afternoon in 1982 the Smiths showed up at the door of our little studio in a Bayswater Mews, to say they were young and inexperienced at photo shoots would be an understatement. They took direction well, but they had yet to really get their individual looks together and their clothes were pretty bad.

Doing what we often did we gave then black turtle neck sweaters and decent jackets to wear, but the singer, clad in this terrible rayon smock refused to wear anything else. He seemed to only have one name too, that of Morrissey.

Having done some reasonably decent group shots we turned our attention to the singer. He really had no clue as to what to do now he was on his own, it was kind of sad really, he was the front man yet he hardly had as much presence as a tin of cat food.

For 30 years these photos of him remained unseen, but, on closer examination there were one or two frames where he looked pretty good. I would never have guessed that he would go on to become so successful, but you never can tell, success is a fickle thing.