"Reader Meet Author"|
This song must have been written at some point in 1994. An instrumental was recorded in December 1994 at Miraval Studios in France, with Boz Boorer (guitar), Alain Whyte (guitar), Johnny Bridgwood (bass) and Woodie Taylor (drums), but no Morrissey.
It came together at rehearsals in January 1995 at Abbey Road studios in London, with Spencer Cobrin replacing Woodie Taylor at the drums. The song was recorded with producer Steve Lillywhite at Hook End Manor the following March-April alongside most of the rest of the "Southpaw Grammar" album.
This song has never been performed specifically for radio, television or the web.
This song has been done in concert a total of 134 times by Morrissey. It was introduced on the 1995 Southpaw Grammar tour when it was done every night bar once. It was played to a majority of audiences on the 1997 Maladjusted tour, 47 times out of 54 concerts. It was done almost every night on the 1999 half of the Oye Esteban tour, but not so assiduously when the tour resumed in early 2000, for a total of 52 airings. It started the Tour Of The Tormentors MMVI as a regular, but was rarely played from May until the end of the tour (total 22 performances for 93 dates). The song was last heard at the concert Morrissey gave for the BBC at the beginning of 2009. Most of the material on the setlist for the latter concert was also played on the Tour Of Refusal later in the year, but not "Reader Meet Author".
There are no officially released live recordings of the song at this point in time.
In an interview published in Q Magazine in September 1995, to the question "'Reader Meet Author' seems to be about people who 'slum it'." Morrissye answered "I've come across it many times. It's a fascinating phenomenon. Especially amongst music journalists who pretend to understand all aspects of life however degrading. It amuses me that these people are middle class and I know a few and their preoccupation is in meddling with the destitute and desperate as a hobby. Middle-class writers are fascinated by those who struggle. They find it righteous and amusing... On the song you mention, I sing, 'The year 2000 won't change anyone here' and that's true. It won't change their lives. They won't be catapulted into space age culture and mobile fax machines. The poor remain poor. Someone has to work in Woolworth's."
In an interview published in the RTE Guide in January 1996, Morrissey said "Reader Meets Author is about a lot of middle-class journalists I know who think they have an understanding of the working classes and their fascinations, which they patently do not."
In a Q&A published on the True-To-You website in January 2006, Morrissey said of Boz Boorer who co-wrote this song: "The best of Boz is 'Reader Meet Author'."