From The Desk Of The Primitives: When Morrissey Met The Primitives

The Primitives have been invited to guest edit MAGNET this week, so we thought we’d spin right back through memory, as the line from the title track of our new album, Spin-O-Rama, goes (how’s that for a clever bit of crowbarring?), and revisit some music-related experiences from our childhood, youth and early days of the band. There’s also some other random stuff to do with the world of the Primitives. It’s been a pleasure putting all this together, as there wouldn’t normally be any reason to relay any of this stuff. So thanks MAGNET, we’re enjoying the delve.


Tracy: We were quite surprised and slightly disbelieving when we heard Morrissey had become a fan of The Primitives in 1987. He’d seen us play live by accident when he went to see James at a college gig in London and we were the support band. Afterwards, he said something about us causing his sporran to ignite and demanded all our records be delivered to him without hesitation. He was also provided with a Primitives “Stop Killing Me” T-shirt, which he was hardly seen out of during the final months of the Smiths. Somehow or other, he ended up introducing us live on stage at the ICA in London later that year. He turned up early and came backstage to meet us all. The boys shook hands with him, but didn’t say much, so it was down to me to play host to this actual real-life pop star. We sat together in the corridor outside of the dressing room. I was a bit nervous, and I think he was, too, because he spent a lot of the time looking down at the floor, which prompted a short conversation about shoes. He went on to mention visiting the cathedral in our home town of Coventry as a child with his parents and he also pointed out that our cover of “Ticket To Ride” had a verse missing. “Ladies and gentlemen: The Primitives!”  he bellowed raucously as we took to the stage about an hour later. He watched us play from the side, but by the time we were coming off, he’d become swamped by admirers and flashing cameras, and the last we saw of him was as he was being helped out of the door by his minder.