David Bowie Won’t Allow Morrissey to Use Private Photo

We got beef: David Bowie and Morrissey (Photos: AP)

Brit music icons David Bowie and Morrissey are engaged in a bit of a skirmish, according to reports today. Apparently, Morrissey is re-issuing his 1989 single “The Last of the Famous International Playboys” and wanted to use a private, previously unseen photo of himself and Bowie as the cover art.

But quicker than you can say “Viva Hate,” Bowie gave the Mozzer a “not-so-fast,” reaching out to EMI UK with a request that the photo not be released. As a statement on the Morrissey fan site True to You says, “David Bowie has ordered EMI UK not to run the proposed artwork for Morrissey’s April 8th issue of the re-mastered ‘The Last of the Famous International Playboys’ single and CD. The sleeve featured a previously unseen private photograph of Bowie and Morrissey taken by Linder Sterling in New York in 1992. Although Bowie has no legal rights to the photograph, most of his back catalog is presently licensed to EMI.”

While Morrissey and Bowie have covered each other’s songs, this is not the first time that the two legends have had beef. Morrissey provided support to Bowie on his 1995 Outside tour, where they locked horns, leading to Morrissey’s abrupt departure. “You have to worship at the temple of David to become involved,” Morrissey said in a 1998 interview. Here’s a bit of video of Morrissey and Bowie explaining what happened in not-so-nice terms:

1998 Bowie And Morrissey by Theleetsoldier

Kevin Wicks

Kevin Wicks

Kevin Wicks founded BBCAmerica.com's Anglophenia blog back in 2005 and has been translating British culture for an American audience ever since. While not British himself—he was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri—he once received inordinate hospitality in London for sharing the name of a dead but beloved EastEnders character. His Anglophilia stems from a high school love of Morrissey, whom he calls his "gateway drug" into British culture.
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