After a slew of controversy surrounding a section of Morrissey’s Autobiography detailing his longstanding friendship with photographer Jake Walters, which lead The Smiths lead singer to release a statement (link) denouncing rumors regarding his sexuality, a more confrontational approach to dismiss this subject has come to surface. The American release and British hardback versions have heavily edited versions of his interactions with Walters.
An anonymous report states that an entire description of a night out with Chrissie Hynde and Jake Walters has been re-written to only include Hynde. Other paragraphs have also been tarnished from their original publication. Not only has there been censorship in literary aspects, but a picture of Jake has also been omitted from these versions.
An anonymous Morrissey-solo.com tip thoroughly remarks:
I picked up my copy of the American edition of Autobiography today and started reading through it, and when I reached the part of the book where Jake is introduced, I noticed that his picture was missing. I didn’t really think anything of it, but then I realized that his section of the book is heavily edited, with certain paragraphs detailing the relationship truncated considerably and some lines and anecdotes omitted entirely. What’s really strange is how trivial some of these changes are; for example, in the UK version of the book, Morrissey describes a night out with Jake and Chrissie Hynde at a Battersea pub, but in the American version it is only Morrissey with Chrissie.
This part of the book contains the only editorial differences between the UK/US editions I’ve noticed so far, though I haven’t read through it all so there could be more. However, I find these changes very odd and they stymy the flow of Morrissey’s prose somewhat, to the extent that it actually lessens the emotional intensity of what I consider to be one of the most moving sections of the book….
Finding a reason without official word is difficult, but is currently assumed to be caused by the fact that so many critics placed the microscope highly on his vaguely described affairs with men instead of focusing on the whole of the autobiography itself.
The publications nor the author himself have not yet been reached for comment.
Currently, there is no word on if sections featuring a pseudonym Gelato have been edited. While certain aspects of the book are homoerotic in theory, it’s very upsetting that a genuine friendship would be compromised because of a media firestorm or conflicting sexual declarations. More information will be posted as this develops.
Thank you to Elizabeth Wiet for assistance on this piece.
UPDATE #1: The phrases ‘walked in and stayed for 2 years, and ‘I becomes we’ have been omitted. British Airways brothers/lovers anecdote have been excused. The apparent Dublin/Dr Anthony Clare/Sherborne episode excised. No mention of tea in the bath, someone to answer the telephone, etc. All missing from these editions.
UPDATE #2: Considering the playful tweets from Jake Watlers since the release of Autobiography, including a Retweet from a @PenguinUKBooks and this, it is extremely unlikely that the photographer had anything to do with this censorship.
So where can I find the original unedited text? Is it the original UK paperback only? Are there no uncensored hardcover editions available? Thank you.
I believe it’s only the original UK paperback. I’m just as annoyed as you are. Hardbacks are the shit.