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It’s Official: Morrissey WAS in Punk Band Slaughter and The Dogs (But Only Briefly)…

It’s Official: Morrissey WAS in Punk Band Slaughter and The Dogs (But Only Briefly)…

Above Photo: Incontrovertible Proof? Not Quite. Just an Artist’s Impression of Morrissey Doing It Dog Style.

I’m a big fan of The Smiths and of Morrissey as an artist. In fact the only piece of post-Punk and New Wave band memorabilia I have is this long sleeved T shirt bought at a Morrissey gig in London in 1992, which I found in storage recently.

Spotted in my storage unit - The only time I saw Morrissey live, London, December 1992.

The only time I saw Morrissey live, London, December 1992.

I’m also a massive Slaughter and The Dogs fan.

1978 was made more passable by being able to blast out their album Do It Dog Style, learning to play bass by jamming along to it; and the band get a lot of mentions in my ’70s-’80s Punk and New Wave memoir, Bombed Out!

So the continuing reports that Morrissey passed an audition for Slaughter and The Dogs always amuses me. Of course Morrissey has consistently denied it, but others close to The Dogs and in the early Manchester Punk scene still suggest this was indeed the case.

"We want you as a New Recruit." Strange Bedfellows - Slaughter and The Dogs point the finger at Morrissey.

“We want you as a New Recruit.” Strange Bedfellows – Slaughter and The Dogs point the finger at Morrissey.

Even famous Manchester Punk photographer Kevin Cummins, in an interview about Morrissey said: “I met Morrissey in the mid to late Seventies when he used to be with Slaughter And The Dogs.”

The thought of Morrissey as lead singer of Slaughter and the Dogs is only slightly weirder than thinking someone like David Bowie could have been in them.

An early Morrissey with New Wave band The Motels (morrissey-solo.com)

An early Morrissey, left,with New Wave band The Motels (morrissey-solo.com)

Yet even Morrissey’s own Wikipedia page repeats this as fact (so, er, it must be true…). Although curiously his name doesn’t appear in the “Past Members” section of the Slaughter & the Dogs Wiki page.

This is from Morrissey’s Wikipedia entry:

After [Ed Banger and] The Nosebleeds’ split, Morrissey followed Billy Duffy [later of the Cult] to join Slaughter and the Dogs briefly replacing original singer Wayne Barrett. He recorded four songs with the band and they auditioned for a record deal in London. After the audition fell through, Slaughter & The Dogs became Studio Sweethearts, without Morrissey.

Now I can exclusively reveal Bombed Out Punk has received a transcript of Morrissey’s interview with the remaining Slaughter and The Dogs members which proves he did indeed join the band, if only briefly, as rampaging and irreconcilable musical differences quickly destroyed the partnership.

This is the transcript….

bombed-out-punk-new-wave-memoir-peter-alan-lloyd-1970s-1980s-punk-new-wave-liverpool-bands-1980s-recession-was morrissey in slaughter and the dogs punk band the smiths (3)

Slaughter and the Dogs [Collectively SD]: Great audition Moz: You’re in the band.

Morrissey: Fantastic. All I’ve ever wanted is to be lead singer in a band with whom I totally see eye to eye on everything – creativity, musical issues and song content.

SD: Great. That’s that then…Is there anything you’d like to ask us?

Morrissey: Um, well, I was going to suggest we re-work the lyrics a little bit in Where Have All The Boot Boys Gone….

SD: How so?

Tony Wilson, and Mike Rossi and Wayne Barrett of Slaughter and the Dogs. (c Tosh Ryan)

Tony Wilson, and Mike Rossi and Wayne Barrett of Slaughter and the Dogs outside a Dole Office. (© Tosh Ryan).

Morrissey: I’m thinking about rewriting the opening lines:

“Wearing Boots and short haircuts,

We will kick you in the guts,”

SD: Why would we want to change them?

Morrissey: They’re a little confrontational, don’t you think? It’s time for the band to adopt a more pacifist tone. Perhaps we could replace them with something less aggressive, like:

“Wearing long hair and moccasins,

We’ll forgive you all your sins,”

SD: What the fuck?!…..

Slaughter and The Dogs live. (mdmarchive.co.uk)

“Wearing long hair and Moccasins” – Slaughter and The Dogs live. (mdmarchive.co.uk)

Morrissey: Let me finish…. I was also thinking of changing other lyrics in that song, for example:

“Some get married and settle down,

Others they leave for a foreign town.”

SD: What’s wrong with them. Too fucking confrontational as well, are they?

Morrissey: “Er, no. The opposite, actually. They’re too aspirational. Undoubtedly some do get married and settle down and others do leave for a foreign town, but many don’t…

SD: So what?

Morrissey: Consider the vast majority of Britain’s underclass, who are seemingly happy in the haze of their humdrum lives. I think we should be writing about them and their miserable existence, not about how easy it is to escape it. Where’s the gloom in that?

SLaughter and The Dogs leaving the dressing room of Eric's Club, Liverpool, in 1977 (Bombsite Fanzine)

Slaughter and The Dogs leaving the dressing room of Eric’s Club, Liverpool, in 1977 (Bombsite Fanzine)

SD: Anything else you’d like to fucking change while you’re at it?

Morrissey: I’m glad you asked me that question, because I’m totally against the name “Slaughter and the Dogs” too.

SD: What’s wrong with that?

Morrissey: I don’t want to be in a band with a name that in any way links slaughter and defenceless creatures, like dogs. That name has to go, or I walk. We should have something that doesn’t scream ‘animal slaughter’ from the rooftops…

SD: But it comes from the names of two albums “Diamond Dogs” and “Slaughter on 10th Avenue.” It’s got fuck all to do with killing animals…

Slaughter and the Dogs - Against All Forms of Animal Cruelty...

Slaughter and the Dogs – Totally against all forms of animal cruelty…

Morrissey: Others may not see it so clearly….Anyway, I have a new name for the band; one that isn’t so revolting; one that’s more subtle, more easy on the eye and the ear….

SD: Let’s fucking hear it then….

Morrissey: The Smiths.

SD: Get the fuck out of here Morrissey. You’re sacked. You’ll go nowhere with an attitude like that and that shithouse name for a band…


Buy a signed copy of Bombed Out! here: http://www.bombedoutpunk.com/buybook.php

The Smiths.

The Smiths.

See also: http://www.bombedoutpunk.com/music/1970s-manchester-punk-bands-slaughter-the-dogs/

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