Rocker Jesse Tobias believes singer Morrissey suffered a cursed year after repeated illnesses forced him to axe 60 concerts and dump his American tour. The former The Smiths frontman repeatedly left fans disappointed as he cancelled dozens of shows after suffering a string of health woes including double pneumonia, food poisoning, a bleeding ulcer, and a serious throat condition called Barrett's oesophagus.
His problems began in January (13) and continued intermittently until July (13), when the rocker finally gave in and announced he was axing his entire tour, and Tobias, who plays as part of Morrissey's backing band, is convinced the star was suffering some kind of hex.
The former Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist tells Uncut magazine, "Unfortunately we had a string of problems. It was horrible. This was a bit of a cursed year."
Despite his problems, Morrissey has ended 2013 on a high note - his acclaimed memoir, which was released in October (13), is on course to be one of the year's best-sellers after spending five weeks at the top of the U.K.'s paperback chart.
Organisers of the upcoming Nobel Peace Prize Concert in Norway have defended the decision to add singer Morrissey to the bill following a storm of protest over his controversial remarks about the 2011 Utoya massacre. The former The Smiths frontman is one of the stars scheduled to perform at the show in Oslo on 11 December (13) but the announcement on Monday (25Nov13) has been met with anger in the country.
The singer, a fervent animal rights activist, provoked a furore in 2011 when he described the massacre - in which 77 people were killed - as "nothing compared to what happens" in the meat industry.
Now news of his inclusion at the concert has reignited the scandal, with thousands of Norwegians taking to Twitter.com to attack the decision, and editors of the country's biggest newspaper Afterposten asking in a front-page headline: "The right man for the Nobel concert?"
Organisers of the event have now spoken out to defend the move.
Producer Odd Arvid Stroemstad tells AFP, "His explanation was convincing enough not to deny him the right to pay tribute to the Nobel laureate... When the artists go on stage, they do it for just one good reason. Some are to the left, some are to the right, but all of them perform for free to support the Nobel Peace Prize and its laureate."
Far-right fanatic Anders Behring Breivik was jailed for 21 years for killing eight people in a bomb attack in Oslo on 22 July, 2011 and slaughtering 69 more at a summer camp on the island of Utoya hours later.
Morrissey's comment was made during a show in Poland just two days after the horror.
British funnyman Russell Brand has received a further boost in his campaign for a global uprising against democracy after Primal Scream frontman Bobby Gillespie threw his support behind the star. The Get Him to the Greek actor made headlines in his native U.K. last month (Oct13) by branding the country's political set-up unworkable and calling for a revolution to end capitalism.
Now Gillespie has joined singer Morrissey in throwing his weight behind Brand's controversial campaign, telling NME magazine, "Good on Russell. You've got (British Opposition leader) Ed Miliband talking about responsible capitalism - there's no such thing as responsible capitalism. By its very nature it's irresponsible and exploitative. So I can understand why Russell said what he said."
Animal-loving singer Morrissey has branded U.S. President Barack Obama "abysmal" for supporting the slaughter of 45 million turkeys for America's Thanksgiving celebrations. The former The Smiths star has hit out at the U.S. leader's administration ahead of the annual festivities on Thursday (28Nov13), slamming White House staff as "embarrassingly stupid" for holding a 'turkey pardon' when one bird is spared death on the President's orders.
In a statement, Morrissey writes, "Please ignore the abysmal example set by President Obama who, in the name of Thanksgiving, supports torture as 45 million birds are horrifically abused; dragged through electrified stun baths, and then have their throats slit. And President Obama laughs. Haha, so funny!...
"Further, the meat industry is responsible for 51 per cent of human-caused greenhouse-gas emission, therefore the embarrassingly stupid White House 'turkey pardon' is open support for a viciously cruel and environmentally irresponsible industry."
Traditional Thanksgiving celebrations in the U.S. include a meal of roast turkey.
Morrissey and Jake Bugg have joined Mary J. Blige and James Blunt on the bill at the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize Concert in Norway on 11 December (13). The concert, which traditionally takes place the day after the Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony, will be hosted by actress Claire Danes. Morrissey will reportedly perform three tracks at the prestigious show.
Our past two weeks with The Walking Dead have been spent away from the prison, reuniting with a post-Woodbury Governor (now going a bit more amicably by "Brian") and the surrogate family he has accumulated along his trek for rehabilitation. Finding a new life in the affection he has for Lily, her daughter Meghan, and that surly ol' Aunt Tara, the survivalist formerly known as Philip Blake has committed to protecting these people at all costs. Even if that means he might revert to some of his pre-post-Woodburian philosophies of Machiavellian bloodlust. It was a pretty brief hiatus between murders, we have to say.
So, this week, we find Govsy and the good-time gang holed up in the military camp of his former associate Martinez, living in relative peace but for the occasional zombie, a unit of decapitated corpses not far down the road, and the ocean of demons that haunt our one-eyed hero. The latter dilemma is what takes down the Governor, who kills Martinez violently in an effort to preserve his place as the pinnacle of masculinity and security in the eyes of his new adoptive wife and child. When Lily remarks that she has never felt safer than under Martinez's reign and little Meghan revels in his kindness and fortitude, we see Blake flip — his actions are no longer Machiavellian, they're simply sociopathic.
And after Martinez, the Governor graduates to a few other crimes against humanity. He kills the good fellow Pete, who threatened to take command of the camp in Martinez's absence, and strongholds Pete's grieving brother Mitch into following his orders all the way through. And so, Govsy has his new Woodbury. But he's none too satisfied with their stomping grounds. He wants somewhere with walls. Cue: the Governor finding the prison.
But the shot of him glaring at Rick and Carl, then over to Michonne and Hershel, only serves us one real threat: the threat that we have to head back into that bleak, infected graveyard. To be honest, these past two episodes have proved to be a refreshing respite from the show's devotion to the prison. We haven't missed the central characters quite yet, especially with Carol no longer a part of the community. In earnest, a bit more time out in the sun with the Governor, getting to know his new family, understanding the bounds (or lack thereof) of his blossoming toxic attachment to them, might have served we fans of the show a little better than an immediate return to the jail... a turn we seem to be on the verge of taking, considering the closing moments of this week's ep.
While these past several weeks are leagues beyond the quality of The Walking Dead's preceding season, there is an ever-present fear of growing irreparably sick of Rick and his troupe. Every moment spent with them is one of intense severity, and every (in)decision made in the camp is one that incurs groans and aches from begrudging viewers. In truth, we didn't mind getting to know a new bunch of folks just a few miles down the road... they were chipper, at least! Why can't we stick it out with them, for a while? We don't have Dale anymore to keep things light back home, so we need to find that good cheer someplace. Or else we'll all just lose it.
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Outspoken rocker Morrissey has a new target in his sights - Catherine, Duchess Of Cambridge's younger sister Pippa Middleton. The former The Smiths frontman is a long-term animal rights campaigner and he has launched a savage attack on the sister-in-law of the U.K.'s Prince William over her love of hunting, branding her a "thickwit" and insisting she is "the sick face of modern Britain".
The Suedehead hitmaker was infuriated by photographs printed in a British tabloid last month (Oct13) showing Middleton posing with 50 dead birds at her feet following a pheasant shoot in Scotland.
In a statement, he writes, "On October 5, the Daily Mail newspaper gave us all an 'amusing' report of thickwit Pippa Middleton laughing as she stood over 50 birds shot dead by her friends and herself after a 'busy day's shooting'. We are reminded by the Daily Mail that Middleton is a 'socialite', which tells us that she is privileged and can more-or-less kill whatever she likes - and, therefore she does.
"The sick face of modern Britain, Pippa Middleton will kill deer, boar, birds - any animal struggling to live, or that gets in her socialite way. This is because her sister is, of course, Kate, who herself became 'royal' simply by answering the telephone at the right time..."
Middleton caught the world's attention with her figure-hugging frock at her sister's wedding to Britain's second-in-line to the throne in 2011.
AMC's planned The Walking Dead spinoff is now quite possibly going to be a prequel detailing just how the zombie plague was created, as reported by TVLine. So far, the reaction from fans has been a dispassionate, zombie-like "enh," but everyone at the cable network is still trying to drum up enthusiasum for the followup to their most popular show.
The series, set a few years before The Walking Dead, will finally answer exactly how the virus was made, and for what purpose. Series creator Robert Kirkman is developing the new show as well, but he'll no longer have his own source material to work with, as the comics remain focused on Rick & Co. Instead, we could be spending time with the geniuses who developed a zombie supervirus and then let it turn into a raging epidemic.
What's odd is that AMC is framing this idea as a novel, exciting concept — getting to see what happened before the apocolypse hit. But if anything, there's been a glut of films with that exact premise, and the thing that made Walking Dead stand out was how the characters had to deal with the huge change that wasn't their fault. But plenty of fans will likely take this new series as a chance to jump ship from the staid characters on the original show, which has struggled to find an emotional center or meaningful conflicts from the remaining cast. But, with the same people behind the camera on both shows, there's no reason to believe the same thing won't happen with a new group of people. Especially a group of people that develop a zombie supervirus. And then release it into the world. Which it ruins. It's creating a The Newsroom-like hindsight-is-20/20 timeline, but instead of enabling the characters to somehow be future-predicting supersavants, they'll constantly be messing up — because they can't fix their own mistakes or come up with a cure without contradicting The Walking Dead.
This series isn't even planned to air until 2015, so there's plenty of news to come, and potentially change. But with their only other new shows on the horizon another potential comic book adaptation and another prequel, AMC has their work cut out for them.
Singer Morrissey has thrown his support behind Russell Brand's controversial call for a re-think on democracy. Get Him to the Greek star Brand caused a stir in his native U.K. last month (Oct13) when he revealed he refuses to vote in national general elections, as he believes the current political set-up doesn't work.
Now the former The Smiths frontman is backing Brand's suggestion of an alternative form of government.
In a statement posted on fan website True-to-you.net, Morrissey writes, "Thank you to Russell Brand for standing up and speaking out in recent weeks. Like anyone who speaks out in modern Britain, he has been shot down. Nothing must interfere with the depressive psychosis of modern Britain, which has become a most violent and melancholic country, with no space for measured debate.
"Like Russell, I believe that the most powerful vote you can give is No Vote; for the days of prime ministers have gone, and it's time for a form of change that is far more meaningful than simply switching blue to red."
Fans of the comic book series were excited when, back in The Walking Dead's farming days, AMC announced that a beloved character known as The Governor would be finding his way into the program's canon. But the incarnation of the man that Season 3 gave us was to no great end: the year's back half amounted to the show's most convoluted and least gripping league of episodes yet (though not all of this can be pinned on the one-eyed tyrant). We thought that the character might be gone for good at the season's close, but heard tell in the entertainment news circuit that David Morrissey would be signing back onto the show through 2014, bemoaning the extended presence of this poison on the Walking Dead narrative. Yeah, we went into this new episode — that which finally reintroduced The Governor into our routine (after a brief end-of-episode appearance last week) — with a bad attitude. But we have to say that "Live Bait" pulled off something we didn't think likely: a really great, albeit highly unusual, episode devoted entirely to Philip Blake.
Maybe I'm just high off my also unexpected enjoyment of Thor: The Dark World, but The Walking Dead of late is feeling somewhat like a string of Marvel movies. The past three weeks have served as standalone stories, each dedicated to the unraveling and examination of a noteworthy character: Carol first, then Hershel, and now The Governor. And his is the most akin to your comic book origin story, what with an introductory theme song and a complete absence of all other regular characters. Hell, even Morrissey's appearance at the end of the previous episode felt kind of like one of Marvel's mid-credits Nick Fury/Thanos/The Collector scenes. And throughout "Live Bait," there is an ambiance of the cinematic.
The Governor's new story finds him trekking the world, alone but for his scraggly beard, post-Woodbury and without much life force carrying him forward. The character is effectively his own kind of zombie, surviving because of his biological need to, grunting in lieu of speech, discarding any sort of humanity or zeal that once coursed through him. The Governor meets up with a family of four — aged, dying dad, his two adult daughters, and one's 7-year-old girl — holing up in their apartment building and growing begrudgingly attached to the clan... especially the youngest member.
Govsy warms up to little Megan, teaching her about chess, assuaging her resistence to speech, and eventually luring her away from a gaggle of approaching zombies, promising he'll never let anything bad happen to her. Yes, this new back-from-the-dead-and-maybe-angling-to-be-a-person-with-a-soul Governor might be a pretty abrupt jump from last season's pure-evil Governor, but "Live Bait" does an effective job of delivering the man well into this interim state of being, and a young girl just adorable and vulnerable and reminiscent-of-his-own-zombie-offspring-y enough to make the reinvention believable.
And although the last thing Walking Dead needs is new characters, I'm very on board with the Governor's new surrogate family: the caustic Tara and the more compassionate Lily (unless I have that backwards?) — I regret having to lose the endearingly upbeat dad, if only for his quick charm, but the narrative calls for it. Megan needs someone to adore, and the Governor needs someone to adore him.
So the Governor's quest, perhaps that to overtake the prison or in any other way claim the fruits of the Rick camp's labors, are now driven in a new way: by motives that we can sympathize with. Yes, he stands to lose his new surrogate family when they realize what a monster he is, but that point is a far way down the road from here. First, they need to grow to love him. Enough to be conflicted by the idea of his past deeds of psychosis. And then, once Mr. Blake has all that he wants in this world, it's only a matter of time before Michonne (most likely) pops by to spill the beans. Or his brains.
But this quiet, Ben Nichols-scored (that opening number is called "The Last Pale Light in the West") episode gives us hope for a more interesting and down to Earth, albeit still tortured and maniacal, Governor. One we can really get attached to as we watch him take the world down in flames... as scary a thought as that is.
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Third Smiths album "The Queen Is Dead" features hit single "The Boy with the Thorn in His Side"
Second Smiths album "Meat Is Murder" is released.
Publishes Autobiography, his long-awaited memoir.
Debut album "The Smiths" is released.
Comeback album "You Are The Quarry" is released
First solo album "Viva Hate" is released following the breakup of The Smiths.
Dropped by new label Harvest Records after he disparages the company's promotion of his solo album "World Peace Is None of Your Business"
A devout vegetarian since the age of 11
Walked off stage while performing at the Coachella music festival, because the stage was close to the consession area. Apolgized upon his return, "The smell of burning animals is making me sick. I just couldn’t bear it."
Some of his more controversial statements in interviews have led to accusations that Morrissey harbors some racial animus. He threatened to sue British music paper New Musical Express for accusations of racism in 2011; both parties later settled out of court.