"As a child, I was quite deliriously happy. We had no money, but they were na´vely pleasant times. But as a teenager, I could never stress how depressed I was."
"I had quite a happy childhood until I was six or seven, after that it
was horrendous. At the age of eight I became very isolated - we had a
lot of family problems at that time - and that tends to orchestrate you
life. I had a foul adolescence and a foul teenage existence. Except you
couldn't really call it an existence. I just sort of sccraped through,
escaping into films and books until The Smiths happened and allowed me to
"Before I joined the group I was in a seious medical condition."
"I read persistently. I swam in books as a child, and at some point it
becomes quite ruinous. It gets to the point where you can't answer the
door without being heavily analytical about it. But ultimately I think
they've proved to be positive weapons for me now. I feel that if I han't
been through that very swamped period, I perhaps couldn't deal with this
whole new situation, or The Smiths would be just another group, just
hovering along and disappearing quickly. I really and sincerely believe
"It seemed suddenly that the years were passing, and I was peering out
from behind the bedroom curtains. It was the kind of quite dangerous
isolation that's totally unhealthy. It was like a volunteered
redundancy, in a way. Most of the teenagers that surrounded me, and the
things that pleased them and interested them, well, they bored me stiff.
It was like saying, 'Yes, I see that this is what all teenagers are
supposed to do, but I don't want any part of this kind of drudgery.'"
"I lived a hopelessly isolated life. I literally never, ever met
people. I wouldn't set foot outside of the house for three weeks at a
"The power of the written word really stung me, and I was also entirely
immersed in popular music."
"The realisation that suicide was quite appealing and attractive happened
when I was eight."
"I was never young. Periods where, by law, you were meant to be totally
reckless, I was absurdly, cripplingly, serious. I could never relax, I
never accpeted my sexuality. This idea of fun: cars, girls, Saturday
night, bottle of wine . . . to me, those things are morbid. I was always
attracted to people with the same problems as me. It doesn't help when
most of them are dead!"
"As achild I went to this Catholic school: they fed us this idea of
heaven and living for ever and ever and ever. It used to petrify me.
Can you imagine living this life without end? It's horrific.
"I decided that I was going to be a pop star at a very early age, but I
wasn't too sure about my capabilities. I sang in the school choir, but
that doesn't really count."
"I often recount tales of total morbidity, but I can't remember the old
rolling in the hay bit, out in the countryside sketching horses or
whatever. I can simply remember being in very dark streets, penniless."
"I never wanted to get off PE - it was the only intellectual subject in
school. But I did used to get off all the other subjects. I just used
to be constantly ill- general manic depression, mainly. I didn't need
notes or anything. They just had to take one look at me and that was
"I never had an adolescence. I went straight from six to 46. Quite
depressing, really. I missed out on all those things like discos at
Christmas. I suppose I've now regressed, but I wouldn't call it a second
childhood, because it's my first."
"I was never bullied at school, I must admit. I was never picked on,
never pushed around. It's not very interesting, is it?"
"I always wanted to be a librarian. To me that seemed like the perfect
life: solitude; absolute silence; tall, dark libraries. But then they
started to become very modern, you know, these little prefabs, and they
had no romance whatsoever. So suddenly the idea had no fascination for
"The past is so very important. I don't like it when people say, let's
leave the past and go ahead, because a lot of the future isn't that
"Because I had such an intense view about taking one's life, I imagined
that this must be my calling, sucide, nothing more spectacular or
interesting. I felt that people who eventually took their own lives were
not only aware that they would do so in the last hours or weeks or months
of their life. They had always been aware of it. They had resigned
themselves to suicide many years before they actually did it. In a sense,