The Smiths second, or third helping depending on how you’re counting, kicks off with the Headmaster Ritual which plants a flag, and sets the subject matter of this record on terra firma. Both Morrissey and Marr’s childhood school days, spent in Manchester’s Catholic School system were less than genial or engaging especially for the shy awkward lead singer of the (1984) hottest band in the UK. Songs like Rusholme Ruffians, Nowhere Fast and the candid Barbarism begins at home, bring home the point that for Stephen Morrissey, grade, middle, and high school where less than ideal with more than his share of bullying from peers and adults alike.
During a visit to Marr’s primary school, Sacred Heart, while speaking to a group of children, Morrissey was quoted saying, “Lots of the words I write are about school and the horrible times that I had, and in a strange way it’s like revenge on all those horrible teachers that made life miserable for me. So I think it really should be a lesson to all present day teachers that they really do have to treat their pupils with maximum care…”
Meat is Murder is a brilliant, scathing essay, put to words and punctuated by Marr’s exceptional musical artistry. At little over a year and midway through the band’s term the Smiths were at full stride with this record.
Running a marathon is an incredible experience. Nothing compares to the emotion and euphoria that I experienced the first time I ran one and crossed the finish line. Seeing all the people cheering me (and the other runners) and having my loved ones, who had been waiting for hours, there was amazing. I just can’t explain how it feels. You are so totally spent, raw and vulnerable. Out there for everyone to see. It’s extraordinary.
There are hours and hours of work that goes into preparing for a run like that. Hundreds of miles of training to get your body ready for the event. Even if you are not a super athlete, and you just want to finish the race, you have to have dedication, and work really hard.
To mark my 500th mile, the half-way-point of my quest to run 1000 this year, I pulled out Santana’s 1979 album Marathon. If you run a 10 minute mile like I do, you would have to listen to this album 6 and a half times in a row to finish a full marathon. Personally, I like to mix it up, but here it is for you to take out for a spin.
“Just Keep Punching that’s the thing to do…Great Stuckies!”
Fishcotheque is the first Jazz Butcher album without long time members Max Eider and David Jones., for a while anyway, but it still delivers great Pat Fish songs about chicken, getting it wrong and the next move sideways.
“Which came first the chicken or the egg? They get so damn crazy, they eat their own legs.”