An early instrumental version of this song was rehearsed at soundchecks while the band were on the Meat Is Murder tour in the spring of 1985.
Morrissey had given the song lyrics by the time they entered RAK Studios in London in August 1985 to record it. Further mixing was done to it later in the month at the same studio. Morrissey and Johnny produced the recording, with Stephen Street as recording engineer. Early demos included different lyrics.
This song has never been performed specifically for radio or television.
This song has never been done in concert in full by the Smiths, but it has been done at least 33 times (perhaps up to 35 times as some setlist information is missing) on the 1986 Queen Is Dead in a medley with "What She Said". The medley started with "Rubber Ring", went into "What She Said" and returned to "Rubber Ring" for the outro.
Morrissey did the song 35 times after the Smiths, all on the 2004 You Are The Quarry tour. It was on a majority of setlists, but with occasional breaks of 1 to 3 shows at a time, from its live inception in early May of that year until the end of November. This was the first time the song was done as a stand-alone and in full. It should also be mentioned here that Morrissey sang "What She Said" 4 times in the summer of 2008 whilst on the Greatest Hits tour, with an outro of "Rubber Ring" in the same arrangement as on the Queen Is Dead tour (but without the intro).