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50th Birthday - Stephen Morris


Today Generation 50th Birthday 28th October 1957-2007

Stephen's life story
Stephen Morris with his daughters Grace and Tilly

Stephen Morris with his daughters Grace and Tilly

BBC On This Day

Transverse Myelitis Association

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Gillian and her mates

I saw first spotted Gillian on the front of the Macclesfield Gazette. Listen here

I didn't like learning my Uncle Johnny's clarinet, so I persuaded my parents to let me learn the drums. Listen here
On Holiday in Teneriffe

The whole family went on holiday to Tenerife in the early 70s. This is probably the last photo of me smiling for years. Our earlier holidays were mostly in England. Listen here

This is me in a sulk in the back garden with my sister Amanda, just before the harvest festival. She's about three years younger than me so I reckon this was in about 1965. Listen here
Uncle Jonny's Jazz Band

My Uncle Jonny is the sax player on the far left.  Listen here.
Sunday School trip to Alton Towers

I went to Alton Towers with the Sunday School. I'm the very smallest one right at the front in the middle. Listen here

Birthday Parties
I first entered this world at four in the morning. My cousin Sue still remembers being smuggled in to the hospital to see me, childbirth wasn't suitable for the "sub-teens" back then.

I couldn't have asked for a better childhood, and I’m afraid I abused it terribly. I turned into a rebel at grammar school - no, it's not fair to say I was a rebel, I was an oik. Later I turned into a hippy.

At school the older boys wore RAF greatcoats and carried rock LPs, (usually the Best of Cream or Deep Purple) under their arms - on display - so you could see how hip they were. Eventually music replaced my early obession with model aeroplanes and tanks and I learnt how to play the drums.

I got expelled from school, got caught shoplifting and generally misbehaved - I think my parents were just relieved I didn't end up in jail....

Punk happened, I met Ian Curtis and joined the band Joy Division. We had a fantastic time. But then Ian committed suicide. You never get over something like that. We decided to carry on as New Order with my girlfriend Gillian joining on keyboards. You keep asking yourself why did he do it? And that's all everyone asked us, that's how we got a bit of a reputation for being difficult in interviews.

In the early eighties Rob, our manager had the bright idea that what Manchester needed was a nightclub - so we set up the Hacienda. Read more here.

Now I'm married to Gillian who I first met when she was in a punk band at the same time. We have two daughters Tilly (11) and Grace (7). Gillian took an extended leave of absence from the band in 2001 when at 18 months Grace was diagnosed with Transverse Myelitis - something I’d never even heard of before.
Its effects are something like a spinal injury and it left Grace paralysed from the waist down. She has, thankfully, largely recovered from that, but still continues to need care and treatment.
Visit the transverse myelitis website for more info on this (more common than you might think) condition.

I live just outside Macclesfield, not far from where I grew up, in the same village that Brian Redhead lived in. He was the local celebrity when I was young.

I am unqualified to do anything else other than music, but there's nothing else I want to do. I do think there's something undignified about still being in a group when you're over fifty. Pop music is a young man's game.

Ageing finds myself turning into my dad,we all turn into our parents eventually, but I don’t think there’s social pressure today that there was for him. For my parents, single parenthood was a real stigma, divorce was only for the rich and famous, mentioned in hushed tones. I was free to do and experience more, I didn't have to do certain things to be accepted .

My children's lives are very different from mine. The technology they take for granted offers so many opportunities. It's like the punk thing - anyone can make music, create videos and get them out there. I'm sure Tilly and Grace will help me blog about my life - Tilly's already been helping me tackle MySpace.

I really like the idea of getting all my memories and photos in one place and seeing what we as a generation have in common, as well as the things that make everyone's lives so very different.

Birthday Parties

It is the 28th 0ctober 1959,Mack the Knife by Bobby Darrin (loved that song as a kid) is Number one in the charts,I am 2 years old,Lets have a party!
Looking at this picture now brings back mostly food related memories.
Look closely and you may notice just to the right of the the cake (which I dont remember at all) a jelly on a plate.This was bright orange and shaped like a rabbit.In front of this is one of my fondest childhood memories. Read more about birthday parties on the blog.

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