Morrissey, circa 2005

Morrissey today issued a lengthy and somewhat whiny statement to his fans in which he reflects back on his troubled 2009, addressing, for the first time, his on-stage collapse and the concert two weeks later during which he was pelted in the head with a bottle, as well as apologizing for the performance of his just-released B-sides compilation, Swords.

In the letter posted on fan site True-to-you.net, Moz also refers to his last three studio albums — Years of Refusal, Ringleader of the Tormentors and You Are the Quarry — as his “life’s peaks.” Apparently believing his ’00s work is stronger than The Smiths’ output, he writes, “These three will allow me to die in peace. I am no longer in the thrall of anything that preceded them; the past is not me.”

Addressing, albeit in typically oblique fashion, his on-stage collape in Swindon on Oct. 24 and the Liverpool concert on Nov. 7 during which he was struck in the head with a water bottle tossed by a fan, Morrissey writes:

“Hope denied in Liverpool, and the physical limits were tipped in Swindon — these were life’s unfortunate lows. I spent the night at the Great Western Hospital in Swindon where the staff restored my faith in humanity. I had no idea such kindness existed.”

The singer also addresses his trouble-plagued tour, which saw at least 20 cancellations in the U.S. and Europe. The apparent culprit? The flu.

“There were more stop-start-trap-doors and cancellations this year than ever before, and it’s difficult to keep your mental balance and to remain unclouded at such times. Since every living person appeared to have some strain of flu, there seemed no reason why I should escape it, and I could not listen to medical advice that cautioned me to stand back from the audience and not to shake anyone’s hand. Life has come to this? By tours’ end I had no face worth rearranging.”

Other highlights from Moz’s missive: Dublin was his favorite gig of ’09; those damned Russians didn’t publicize his concerts enough; Swords was a “meek disaster” because it wasn’t distributed properly and was priced too high; a proposed tour of Australia and New Zealand “collapsed under a mound of doubts”; and he’s now without a record label, and “interest is zero” from new labels. Oh, woe is Moz.

Read Morrissey’s full statement after the jump…

Statement from Morrissey to True-to-you

On these last days of the old year, I thank everyone who attended the 2009 concerts.

My personal favorites were:

1 Dublin
2 Dusseldorf
3 Munich
4 Pomona
5 Warsaw

The three Brixton concerts were dramatic and perfect for me, and there was a great air of adventure in both Estonia and Latvia. The Russian concerts were a big thrill, but in the absence of even a speckle of publicity … it’s difficult. You begin to feel as if you’re playing to a private club — and, in fact, you are. We pondered on the massive poster-campaigns for others and we wondered how such things become possible. The audiences in Russia were loud and greatly inspiring.

Hope denied in Liverpool, and the physical limits were tipped in Swindon — these were life’s unfortunate lows.

I spent the night at the Great Western Hospital in Swindon where the staff restored my faith in humanity. I had no idea such kindness existed.

There were more stop-start-trap-doors and cancellations this year than ever before, and it’s difficult to keep your mental balance and to remain unclouded at such times. Since every living person appeared to have some strain of flu, there seemed no reason why I should escape it, and I could not listen to medical advice that cautioned me to stand back from the audience and not to shake anyone’s hand. Life has come to this? By tours’ end I had no face worth rearranging.

The landscape of familiar faces who have replaced the Irregular Regulars, and who attend as many of the concerts as possible, continue to astound me. I don’t know how — or even why — they attend so many. It is remarkable, and the financial costs must wipe them out for good. I am repeatedly honored and speechless by their dedication.

There are no 2010 plans to fire me out of a cannon. Hopes of concerts in New Zealand and Australia collapsed under a mound of doubts. That’s life.

Even though you see the death of culture all around you, you also want to raise whatever it is you do to a higher plane, yet there is no one, it seems, who can inch the Morrissey thing forwards. As we all now know, the world of music is purely market-driven — not even youth-driven anymore. Talent or merit or songs do not enter the equation for a split second; the campaign is the thing, the campaign is what is discussed amongst the public, the campaign is what impresses the press, and the songs are never a factor. The labels will only push the “artists” that they themselves have discovered, and have no interest in the self-made, blah, blah. But my parting with Universal is not a negative. I am sorry that Swords was such a meek disaster. It was proposed and accepted as a budget-priced CD, yet emerged everywhere as the most expensive CD in the racks. It was poorly distributed and didn’t stand a chance, and ranks as the lowest chart position I’ve ever encountered. I remain steadfastly proud of Years of Refusal, which along with You Are the Quarry and Ringleader of the Tormentors are my life’s peaks. These three will allow me to die in peace. I am no longer in the thrall of anything that preceded them; the past is not me.

I was delighted at the radio airplay in England for “I’m Throwing My Arms Around Paris,” which seemed to match both “Suedehead” and “That’s How People Grow Up” singles for rotation.

However, “I’m Throwing My Arms Around Paris” did not chart in France! … but everything has its time and place…

What does the future hold? What does the next minute hold? It all rests as ever on determination — that which springs from somewhere deeper than the body. Record label interest is zero, but the sun will creep back into the room one way or another. It always does.

Small and bowed, I offer you my eternal thanks, and my hopes for a steady 2010, full of good grace and no darkness.

MORRISSEY
London, December 2009.

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