In September 2021, singer Rick Astley and the band Blossoms announced a couple of gigs where they would play the music of the Smiths.
Tweets and articles raved that Rick was the solution to the Morrissey question, and a think piece defending him, published on Morrissey Central – as well as dips into the usual list of distorted quotes – was used to denounce him for objecting to being erased from his own work. https://www.morrisseycentral.com/messagesfrommorrissey/morrissey-astley
Morrissey has yet to comment directly, but his website carried an article saying: “Maybe Rick Astley will perform well in the upcoming shows… but make no mistake, no other artist can bring to the table what Morrissey can.” The irony being that what Morrissey “brings to the table” these days – support for far right politicians amid accusations of Islamophobia and racism – is exactly what makes him such a problematic hero now. He might have been guilty of wearing a dodgy trench coat in the 1980s, but unlike Morrissey, Astley has never suggested that “everyone prefers their own race”, claimed “the Chinese people are a subspecies”, or argued that the world “would be a more interesting place had Prince Charles been shot”. (Sarfraz Manzoor, the Times, 30 September 2021)
Songs about being a social outcast, written by a social outcast, stolen by a dominant mainstream that revels in his marginalisation.
Morrissey isn’t increasingly problematic. He’s been demonized. Held to a standard no one “normal” would have been held to. Had motives assigned to him that he doesn’t have. His words & actions twisted & spun into a narrative that has at its core a homophobic lie. https://folk-devil.com/tag/nicky-crane/