Morrissey has credited David Bowie’s late guitarist Mick Ronson with saving his career after The Smiths split up.
The Suedehead hitmaker reached number one in the British charts with his debut solo album Viva Hate but the follow-up, 1991’s Kill Uncle, failed to emulate its success, garnering lacklustre reviews and barely scraping into the top 10.
With his career on the ropes, the rocker called in Ronson to produce his third album Your Arsenal the following year (92) – and the glam rock veteran’s work on the record was widely praised by critics and helped earn a Grammy nomination for Best Alternative Music Album.
Now Morrissey has spoken out to share his memories of Ronson, who died from liver cancer in 1993, and thank him for giving his career the boost it badly needed.
He tells Britain’s Uncut magazine, “I’d released a slightly pallid Lp, Kill Uncle, and I knew that one more similar slip and I’d be rightly hanged on a hook through the tongue. Mick saved me… He took me aside one night and said, ‘You realise your drummer can’t actually play?’ and I said, ‘Yes. But it isn’t always a problem.’ Mick could have used this as a stick to beat me with, but his only instinct was to save all of us – drummer included – from the snake pit. There wasn’t a single moment when Mick wasn’t patient and understanding, we all absolutely loved him.”