In a trainwreck that just keeps getting worse, Mike Joyce today announced that he, too, will not take part in the Classically Smiths live shows he began teasing last week, saying he’d been barred from revealing Andy Rourke wouldn’t be taking part when the project was announced Monday.
UPDATE: The Classically Smiths concerts, not surprisingly, are now canceled, according to Pitchfork.
Joyce wrote on Facebook: “After much deliberation and soul searching I have decided that without Andy, an integral part of why I agreed to take part in the first place, I have come to this difficult decision. I still believe the shows and concept to be a fantastic idea and wish them all the success they deserve.”
It’s unclear, though, whether the Classically Smiths shows — three summer concerts featuring orchestral renditions of Smiths classics in the U.K., followed by a tour later this year — still will go on with just guitarist Craig Gannon, the so-called “fifth member” of The Smiths, and the Manchester Camerata Orchestra.
In his statement, Joyce says that once it became apparent Rourke wouldn’t participate in the Classically Smiths shows, “I agreed with Andy that I would take part in the press conference and inform people that he would not be taking part. Unfortunately on the morning of the press conference, I was informed I would not be able to say this. I therefore agreed to take part in the press interviews but did so without discussing Andy’s participation in the venture at any point during all TV, radio and print interviews.”
It’s also not clear who prevented Joyce from saying this, or why. Following Monday’s announcement of the Classically Smiths concerts, Rourke quickly distanced himself from the project, saying, “At no time did I give my consent for anyone in connection with this Classically Smiths project to act on my behalf or my name and nothing was ever confirmed, approved or contracted by me or my team.”
Still no word from Morrissey or Johnny Marr on this debacle.
Read Joyce’s full statement below.