05 October 2009
The Smiths made their first trip to the US in December of 1983. Morrissey was happy to hear that the band would be staying at the Iroquois Hotel in Manhattan for their new years eve show at the Danceteria. The Iroquois hotel had been home to one of Morrissey's idols, James Dean, for two years in the early 1950's, however the band found the hotel in decay and infested with cockroaches upon their arrival. During the New Years eve performance, unable to sleep in his slum of a hotel room, and feeling the effects of jet-lag, and malnourished, Morrissey famously fell off the stage. That combined with Mike Joyce contracting the chicken pox, led to the smiths cancelling the remaining New York City date and heading back to the UK, not before Marr and Morrissey wrote Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now in their hotel room.
Morrissey would later say, "When I wrote an ineffectual line such as 'I was looking for a job, and then I found a job, and heaven knows I'm miserable now', that outraged people. All the daily tabloids treat me as a dangerous figure and that pleases me. At least it means that I'm a strong person and I'm not Andrew Ridgeley."
Who doesn't love a good Wham! reference?
"On the very brief spasms of employment that I had in the past, it always seemed to me that there were moments of the day when I'd realise I was working with these people that I despised. I had to talk to these horrible people about what they did yesterday and I would have to report to a boss that I couldn't stand. When you're in that position, which was the absolute basis of 'Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now', you realise that you're actually spending your entire life living with people you do not like and doing something you do not like, which is incredibly distressing. So that was the basis of the song."