Many thanks to Lee, a regular visitor to the Message Board,  for reminding me of this interview with Morrissey.  The Smiths' picture sleeve single, Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me (Rough Trade RT200, 1987, from the LP Strangeways Here We Come) was inspired by Last Night Was Made For Love. Click the link above to hear the track in Real Audio.

In the article, there are two obvious mistakes by the interviewer - Billy's birth year, and the spelling of his real surname, which I have not corrected. The picture shows Morrissey with the LP Halfway To Paradise, although the report is clearly referring to The Sound Of Fury.


Morrissey interviewed by Ian Birch
Smash Hits, June 21 - July 4, 1984

BILLY FURY 1941-1983

Born Ronald Wycherly, made name in late '50s as tough rock and roll rebel (Britain's answer to Elvis Presley). Re-emerged in film That'll Be The Day in '73. Died of heart trouble.
"Billy Fury is virtually the same as James Dean. He was entirely doomed too and I find that quite affectionate. He was persistently unhappy and yet had a string of hit records. He was discovered working on the docks in Liverpool, was dragged to London, styled and forced to make records. He always wanted to make very emotionally over-blown ballads but he found himself in the midst of the popular arena. He despised almost every aspect of the music industry and was very, very ill from an early age. This album is the rarest I have. It was his first. Albums made in those days were thrust out to appeal to a mature audience. They talked about 'chandeliers' and 'cocktail dresses'. Singles were for teenagers and I'm afraid I always preferred the singles. I was the kind of child who'd bound out of bed on a Saturday, leapfrog down to the local shop and just stay there inhaling the air for hours and smelling all the vinyl and caressing the sleeves. I'd leave about mid-day and go to bed and consider that a completely successful day. I was really quite poor so whatever record I could buy was like a piece of my heart. Something I couldn't possibly exist without. Billy's singles are totally treasurable. I get quite passionate about the vocal melodies and the orchestration always sweeps me away. He always had such profound passion."
Morrissey with his Billy Fury LP: "he was persistently unhappy... and very, very ill from an early age."

The DVD Morrissey ¡Oye Esteban!, which at the time of writing was not available through normal channels in the UK, has a picture of Billy on the cover.