Published Oct 23, 2015Joe Moss, the music manager who helped to introduce the Smiths to the world, has died following a battle with cancer. He was 72.
A tribute message on guitarist Johnny Marr's website reveals that Marr was just 17 when he met Moss in the early '80s, at which time Moss owned the clothing store Crazy Face. After the Smiths formed, Moss became their manager and gave them a practice space, a sound system and a van, and he helped to get them gigs, record deals and a crew. In late 1983, with the Smiths' self-titled album already recorded and "This Charming Man" on the charts, Moss unexpectedly left the group.
Fans might remember that, a couple of years ago, an early Smiths demo called The Pablo Cuckoo Tape emerged. It was recorded at Moss's Crazy Face warehouse.
In the '90s, Moss became a show promoter, and he resumed music managing in the late '90s. He became Marr's manager once again in 1999 and retained the role until his death.
Marr said in a statement:
Joe was a one off, an amazing person and totally unique. He started looking after me when I was seventeen; it was Joe who put the idea in my head to go and knock on Morrissey's door. He invested his time and money in us when no one else wanted to know, and his belief in us kept us going. Without him there wouldn't have been any Smiths. He was an original beatnik and a true bohemian, respected by all. Everyone who met him loved him; he can never be replaced.
Moss is survived by his wife Sarah and children David, Rachael, Ivan, Stella and Edie.