Morrissey has been smart to keep his private life private all these years, because his new memoir could be explosive. The Smiths frontman in the 1980s, who went on to have a highly successful solo career, has announced that the release date of his much-anticipated autobiography will be October 17.
Among the scintillating questions that could finally be answered is the matter of his sexuality, which he’s coyly alluded to but never revealed. As early as 1983, he claimed to be “a kind of prophet for the fourth sex … bored with men and … bored with women.” A year later he refused “to recognize the terms hetero, bi, and homo [because] everybody has exactly the same sexual needs.” Another detail that could emerge is the cause of the The Smiths breakup in 1987.
Morrissey, who’s recently battled poor health, has been working on the memoir for years and had a lengthy manuscript finished in 2011. Controversially, he insisted the book — titled Autobiography — be published by Penguin Classics (UK and Europe), normally reserved for established and usually deceased authors. “I can’t see why not,” he said at the time, “when you consider what really hits print these days, and when you look at the autobiographies and how they are sold, most of it is appalling. It’s a publishing event, not a literary event.” The demand may be the reason a US publisher could not be found.
The cover image (pictured here) will be the same portrait that appeared on his Greatest Hits album of 2008, alongside this unattributed quote: “Most pop stars have to be dead before they reach the iconic status that Morrissey has reached in his lifetime.” If anyone can make the swaggering self-proclamation, it’s the Moz.