FAMOUS LAST WORDS / Q Magazine Feb.2003

How the devil are you?
Jolly good, Thank you. It's another nice autumnal Manchester day.

It's Q's round, what are you having?
I haven't drunk alcohol for years, so it would have to be something snazzy like cranberry
and soda.

Tell us secret you've never told anyone before?
The Smiths quite liked each other once.

When was the last time you did an interview without The Smiths being mentioned?
I've done a few where I've been told we're not going to talk about The Smiths, but those
usuallyinvolve lots of finger crossing as they're the people who want to talk about it
most. So, never.

What's your most vivid childhood memory?
When I saw Marc Bolan play Metal Guru on Top Of The Pops, It hit me like a thunderbolt
and I got on mybike and just rode and rode with this wind sense of elation. I must have
gone 15 miles just by myself and I ended up near the airport.

What were you like at school?
I was pretty single-minded. Even then I considered myself a guitar player, which was
probably perceived as being a bit cocky.

What's the best piece of advice you've ever received?
Never get into a situation that you can't get out of. I really have stuck to it, because It's
good advice for all walks of life.

When did you last cry, and why?
I come from Ardwick mate, that kind of behaviour was beaten out of me at eight years
of age.

What's the most ridiculous thing you've ever bought?
I bought a black Fender Stratocaster with nine silver pick-ups for £400. In my defence
It's what I thought Kraftwerk would use If they played guitar. Unfortunately, a young Noel
Gallagher witnessed the event and grassed me up on a few occasions.

Have you ever been arrested?
In 1980 I introduced this guy I knew from work who'd been given some rare old paintings
to someone who could sell them for him. I got busted because they were stolen.
The cops kicked down the rehearsal room and I got arrested with my Les Paul on. It was
almost worth it, because being held up against a wall by four serious crime squad
officers while trying to hold an F sharp isn't something I'll forget in a hurry.

What do you miss most about working with Morrissey?
His sense of humour. We had a fairly unique sense of absurdity and northern-ness that
was pretty exclusive, and I miss that. He would often laugh at something that wasn't
funny and would still be laughing about it three hours later. It was sometimes
disconcerting, but lovely.

How would you prefer to die?
[laughs] Wide awake and knowing It's coming. I want to be prepared and leap right into it.

Where are you going now?
I'm going to meet the new guitarist in the band from the train station.

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