Joe Moss, manager of Johnny Marr and The Smiths, passed away this past Thursday after a battle with bone cancer. Moss and Marr’s friendship began when they met at Moss’ clothing store back in the 80’s. Shortly after they met, Moss took Marr under his wing and became his manager. It was Moss who encouraged Marr to show up at Steven Patrick Morrissey’s door uninvited, thus beginning a long and gratifying musical career for him and The Smiths.
According to Spin, Marr announced Moss’ passing on his website and included the following 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 served as the manager for The Smiths from 1980-1983, finding them a van and a recording space in their early writing stages. According to Marr, Moss was the first to believe and fully invest in the band. He was able to get them record deals in both the UK and the US, before he unexpectedly quit just prior to the band’s first American tour.
Following the tour, Moss continued to manage Marr from the 90’s up until his passing. After his breakup with The Smiths, Marr continued on to have a successful solo career under Moss’ management. He has put out two solo albums, one of which was was released in 2014. He also went back into the studio to remaster all of The Smiths’ old albums.
Moss is survived by his wife, Sarah, and their five children, David, Rachel, Ivan, Stella and Edie.