Just a day after three of the band announced they were getting back together for three shows in the summer, it turned out They’d Started Something They Couldn’t Finish.
It was announced on Monday that drummer Mike Joyce and bassist Andy Rourke along with the “Fifth Smith” Craig Gannon would be joined on stage by an orchestra to perform their music for the first time in 30 years.
But it wasn’t long before Rourke rubbished claims that he was taking part in the “Classically Smiths” tour later this year.
Now Joyce, 54, has revealed he knew the guitarist did not want to be involved, but he went ahead with a press launch after being ordered not to talk about the musician who was said to be “in the States”.
And after some “soul searching” the drummer has decided he too will not be “re-imagining” the Manchester band’s biggest hits for a new generation of fans.
Joyce said: “It is with much regret that I have to announce that I will not be taking part in the shows ‘Classically Smiths.
“I entered into agreement in good faith to perform these shows with Andy Rourke and Craig Gannon.
“Unfortunately it became apparent very late that Andy would not be taking part.
“I agreed with Andy that I would take part in the press conference and inform people that he would not be taking part.
“Unfortunately on the morning of the press conference I was informed I would not be able to say this.
“I therefore agreed to take part in the press interviews but did so without discussing Andy’s participation in the venture at any point during all TV, radio and print interviews.
“After much deliberation and soul searching I have decided that without Andy, an integral part of why I agreed to take part in the first place, I have come to this difficult decision.
“I still believe the shows and concept to be a fantastic idea and wish them all the success they deserve.”
With no Morrissey, no guitarist Johnny Marr, no Rourke and no Joyce that just leaves Gannon, who only joined the group for a few months in 1986 before it all ended acrimoniously, involved in the "re-union".
Classically Smiths was described as a “re-imagining” of the band’s work, promoter Joel Perry said it was a “homage” to a “fantastic back catalogue of song writing”.
Rourke was quoted as saying he was “thrilled and excited to be involved in Classically Smiths”.
Asked about the star's absence from the press launch he said: “Andy’s in the States right now, but he’ll be joining up with Mick and Craig to prepare for the shows.”
That was news to the guitarist who quickly issued a statement describing them as “false statements”.
“At no time did I give my consent for anyone in connection with this Classically Smiths project to act on my behalf or my name, and nothing was ever confirmed, approved or contracted by me or my team.”
His representative called the quotes “100% fabricated and without approval”.
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