Wednesday, 28 March 2018

The Smiths in 1980s Corrie

Family and friends aside, I have two loves in life - 1) The Smiths and 2) Coronation Street. As is well documented (for example, in previous blogs here and here), I particularly enjoy it when there is synchronicity between the two.

I noticed in a Classic Coronation Street episode shown on ITV3 last week that the wall of 'Baldwin’s Curtains' (as the business had recently been renamed) was adorned with a Smiths poster:

The poster is in the right hand corner of the above image. In this scene, Shop Steward Ivy Tisley is busy with a clipboard while Shirley Armitage and Vera Duckworth are gossiping about Mike Baldwin’s arrest for drink driving. The episode was originally broadcast in April 1988, six months or so after The Smiths spilt up. The poster can be seen in closer detail below:

This poster advertised the band's eponymously titled debut album and featured the image from the front cover of the record, which is of American actor Joe Dallesandro in a still from Andy Warhol's 1968 film 'Flesh'.

The first Smiths album was released in 1984. Does this mean the poster was on the factory wall for at least four years? I have no idea but the fact that this prop was incorporated into the Corrie set at all fills me with joy.

I bet Morrissey got a kick out of it too - his favourite TV programme, which he used to send scripts to as a boy, now paying homage to his band.

I wonder who The Smiths fan in the factory was - possibly Shirley. I can’t imagine Ivy, Vera or Ida Clough being into them.

This album happens to be my favourite in The Smiths’ back catalogue. It is essentially Morrissey’s teenage diary set to Johnny Marr’s wonderful guitar playing. One of the standout tracks is ‘Miserable Lie’, which is also a fave of Mary Taylor’s:

Whalley Range must be a more desirable area of Manchester now than when Morrissey were a lad!

By Martin Leay, on Twitter @mpleay

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