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  • Writer's pictureSteve

Shoplifters of the World (2021)

As a huge Smiths fan at the time, I get exactly where the writers are coming from here. They were such a unique entity, representing the disenchantment and longing of a generation. That generation grew up, however.

My travels as as a teenager ended up with me living in Manchester where I have been ever since, more by accident than design, and subsequently met all of the Smiths at one time or another, though never together. Johnny was even so kind as to sign my many vinyl albums and twelve inch singles and even gave me some of his early Electronic releases. Mike Joyce's kids went to the same school as mine, so we often found ourselves at parent's evening or waiting at the school gates together.

My familiarity with the individuals is maybe the reason I didn't feel the need to rush out to see this upon release but the adage of 'never meet your heroes' applies here as much as anywhere. I thought I would die when I heard they were splitting up, never expecting I would meet them all within a year or two, finding each and every one to be all just too human.

What I guess it means is that if you live next to Tom Cruise and you find out that he farts alot when he sunbathes in his back garden, your opinion of him may change, or improve, even. As a response to their demise, this is not indicative, I would have to say. This may be the reaction depressed American teenagers had upon hearing the news, I really couldn't say. I was just thankful for what we'd been given up until that point, knowing that it couldn't possibly go on.

Sad but inevitable. If we learned one thing from The Smiths, it's that nothing lasts forever and that applies to youth as well as the way the music made you feel.


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