“I follow the man because that’s who I portray but I suppose I’m miles apart in real life.”
Speaking to Manchester Evening News, electrical contracts director Johnny Turner – the Morrissey of The Smiths Ltd. – spoke about his nine year tenure performing as Moz and how it has changed in light of Morrissey’s problematic public image.
“It has started filtering through to me”, Turner says. “Someone posted on our website asking if I do political rants in between songs, and another asking if I’m a fake Morrissey do I have the same fake views as him.
“It’s not worth responding to those sorts of comments, you’re just putting fuel on the fire.”
Turner noted that the politics associated with Morrissey shouldn’t distract from what The Smiths Ltd. are all about. “For us, as a tribute band, it’s all about the music first and foremost and celebrating the music of The Smiths.”
As all good tribute bands begin, Johnny created his Moz persona during a karaoke session in Blackpool. Though he has always resembled the Smiths singer: “I do get double-takes”, he says “but I’m not an identical twin of him. I’m like the Aldi version of Morrissey!
Johnny says: “There’s such a cult following for The Smiths, and we must be doing something right because we get a lot of repeat custom.”
Watch The Smiths Ltd. in action below.
Most recently, Morrissey postponed all dates on his upcoming European and UK tour. “Logistical circumstances beyond our control” were cited as the reason for the cancellation by Gigs and Tours.
Former Hacienda DJ Dave Haslam speculated that the gigs may be cancelled last week (June 29). Haslam was organising a protest party to coincide with the former Smiths frontman’s shows in Manchester.
Organisers have said that all tickets will be refunded from the point of purchase.