A young “Steve” Morrissey (he would have been 17 years old at the time) wrote in the 1976 issue of Melody Maker, insulting the Ramones. In 2012 Billboard interviewed Morrissey shortly after this item was mentioned:
Billboard: “A music blog recently uncovered an article you wrote in 1976 with the headline ‘Ramones Are Rubbish.’ Do you still believe the Ramones should have been ‘rightly filed and forgotten?”‘
Moz: “I came clean about this many years ago. When I bought the Ramones first album on import, I was enraged with jealousy because I felt they had booted the Dolls off the map. I was 100% wrong. Three days after writing that Ramones piece, I realised that my love for the Ramones would out-live time itself. And it shall. Well, it virtually has already. If the Ramones were alive today, they’d be the biggest band in the world. It takes the world 30 years to catch on, doesn’t it? I mean, look at poor Nico. Every modern teenager now seems to love Nico, yet while she was alive she couldn’t afford a decent mattress.”
In the mid-70s, Moz used much of the money from his various jobs (as a clerk for the civil service, a salesperson in a record store, a hospital porter) to purchase tickets for gigs, attending performances by Talking Heads, the Ramones, and Blondie. Having met the guitarist Billy Duffy (best known as the guitarist of The Cult) in November 1977, Morrissey agreed to become the vocalist for Duffy’s punk band, the Nosebleeds. Moz co-wrote a number of songs with the band and performed with them in support slots for Jilted John and then Magazine. The band soon disbanded.
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Featured image via NY Daily News.
Sources: Billboard, Morrissey-Solo, Wikipedia.