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The Smiths turned
down $5 million reunion offer

The Smiths turned
down $5 million reunion offer

Pioneering U.K. modern rock band the Smiths turned down a $5 million offer to reunite at the upcoming Coachella Valley Arts and Music Festival in Southern California, former front man Morrissey said Thursday. His revelation, during a public interview at the South by Southwest Music and Media Conference in Austin, triggered gasps from the audience. When journalist David Fricke asked if he had considered it, Morrissey replied, "No, because money doesn't come into it," a response that drew applause from the crowd.

Of the critically adored act, which broke up in the late 1980s, Morrissey said, "It was a fantastic journey. And then it ended. I didn't feel we should have ended. I wanted to continue. [Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr] wanted to end it. And that was that."

Discussing his forthcoming album, Ringleader of the Tormentors, due April 4 via Attack/Sanctuary, the notoriously gloomy singer-songwriter admitted that he's writing songs from a good place these days. "I'm just seeing lots of joyful things in life, which I didn't in the past," he said, adding slyly, "Which maybe you noticed. Politically the world is ridiculous, but there's still a lot of beautiful things.... Nature saves us, nature calms us down."

Morrissey will first support the album with a European tour that includes a six-week run of sold-out shows in the United Kingdom. A North American leg is also expected. The Coachella Valley festival, which takes place April 29-30 about 120 miles east of Los Angeles, will feature such acts as Depeche Mode, Tool, and Madonna. (Barry A. Jeckell, Reuters)

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