December 22, 2011. And we’re rapidly approaching 2012, a year that we will certainly live through. (Sorry for having offended any of those ridiculous 2012 apocalypse “believers.”)
December 22, 1988. The Smiths played at Wolverhampton Civic Hall for their farewell concert. In order to get into this show, fans had to wear either a Smiths shirt of a Morrissey shirt. Unfortunately, guitarist Johnny Marr was not present.
The Smiths came together in Manchester, England in 1982. Steven Patrick Morrissey and John Maher, singer-songwriter and guitarist songwriter respectively, started up the band—they also went on to be widely referred to as Morrissey and Johnny Marr. The duo recruited bassist Andy Rourke and drummer Mike Joyce later the in year (though they had a different bassist, Dale Hibbert, for one day. However, Marr felt that Hibbert did not mesh well with the group. The Smiths have, understandably, always been known as a rather demanding group. Note the earlier requirement to wear a band shirt to their show. You still have gotta love them though.) The chose the name The Smiths in response to the pompous and lengthy names of other bands of the early 1980s; in contrast, The Smiths is simple and understated.
This alternative rock quartet went on to release four studio albums and ten compilation albums. Their self-titled debut album was released in February of 1984, and it reached number two on the UK Album Charts. The band finished that year up with their first compilation album, Hatful of Hollow, and released their second album, Meat Is Murder, in early 1985.
After releasing two more studio albums, The Queen Is Dead and Strangeways, Here We Come, The Smiths started to fall apart. In June 1987, Johnny Marr decided it was time for a hiatus from the music scene. A month later he permanently quit after incorrectly assuming that Morrissey planted an article called “Smiths to Split” in The New Musical Express. The break up of the Smiths marked a very sad moment in music history—personally, I think this is the hardest break up I have ever endured (though I wasn’t really alive for it. But it still hurts a lot, okay?)
Morrissey went on to have a wonderful solo career and The Smiths are still very popular now. All I can say is, I would do anything to have been alive on December 22, 1988 and at Wolverhampton Civic Hall.