A Touching Story About Vini Reilly, Member of the Durutti Column and a Guitarist for Morrissey

I wasn’t aware of all the strokes that took away Vini Reilly’s ability to play guitar.  This is from Julie Hamill’s blog:

The late afternoon sun streams into Vini Reilly’s living room creating a warm and mellow low light just before it gets dark.  I take a seat on the couch and imagine him here playing the guitar, creating gentle sounds that float into the air like little clouds.  He is a spectacularly good guitarist (although he will deny this fervently) and has created much beautiful music with The Durutti Column as well as contributed his own brand of guitar poetry on the incomparable ‘Viva Hate’ with Morrissey.It seems heart-rending and cruel then, that three strokes have caused some paralysis to his hands, rendering him unable to tie a shoelace: ‘My guitar… I sound like a nine year-old boy in his first guitar lesson’, he says, despondently.

The Durutti Column was the first signing to Factory records in 1978 and released no less than thirty-seven albums, becoming known for a precise, gentle and melancholic guitar sound.  This sound came to the attention of Stephen Street who, in 1988, enlisted Reilly to play on Morrissey’s debut solo album.  Vini recalls this time with great fondness; and cites Morrissey and Andrew Paresi as dear friends.  He regrets his inaccurate and untrue comments he made towards Stephen Street, and is keen to set the record straight that comments he made were due to ill health:  ‘I was suffering from displaced anger. This is where you’re very angry with yourself and you don’t understand, you just shout at people you really care about’.

Keep going.  It’s very good. Thanks to Fouad for the link.


Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ 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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.