A Plea to the Smiths: Don’t Reunite. Ever. Please?

When I was a kid growing up in Winnipeg, one of the local AM Top 40 stations started a petition to get the Beatles back together. By the time the campaign wrapped up, it had more than 50,000 signatures, a big deal back in the pre-Internet days c.1974.

The Beatles resisted all overtures to get back together (although there was that surreal occasion on Saturday Night Live where things came very close)–a good thing because that would have ruined the myth and legend of the band.

As much as I was a Clash fan, I’m glad they never got back together because version 2.0 would never have met expectations. I feel the same thing about the classic versions of Oasis and Guns ‘N Roses.

And the other band that cannot ever recombine is The Smiths. Salon explains why they should leave things alone forever.

I love the Smiths. That’s why I don’t want them to reunite.

Let me preface this piece by establishing that I am a huge fan of the Smiths and have been for more than two decades now. When I was in high school, I hung a poster of frontman Morrissey over my bed, and I also plastered my college dorm’s walls (and door) with his photos. The Smiths’ “Best…I” album was the soundtrack to a major surgery I had in 1994; I vividly recall listening to a dubbed cassette of the record while convalescing in the hospital.
My first email addresses were a variation on the song “Hand In Glove,” and I stood in line way-too-early on a Saturday morning at a local grocery store to buy tickets for Morrissey’s 1997 tour. My fandom hasn’t waned as I’ve grown up, either: I’ve traveled for hours to see Morrissey and guitarist Johnny Marr play (separate) concerts, and I once flew cross-country because I wanted to see Moz play a show in Los Angeles with the rest of his most rabid fans. And despite show cancellations and delays in recent years, I still frantically refresh Ticketmaster for Morrissey tickets during venue pre-sales every time he announces a tour.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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