The former manager of The Smiths, Joe Moss, has died at the age of 72.
A statement on Johnny Marr’s website announced that Moss passed away on Thursday after a battle with cancer.
As well as the announcement, Marr – of whom Moss was also the manager in his solo career – issued a heartfelt tribute to the iconic figure.
“Without him there wouldn’t have been any Smiths,” he said.
“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.
“He was an original beatnik and a true bohemian, respected by all.
“Everyone who met him loved him; he can never be replaced.”
Moss and Marr first met in the 1980s when the Smiths guitarist worked in a clothes shop next door to Moss’ Crazy Face fashion store in the city’s Chapel Walks.
Introducing himself to Moss as a ‘frustrated musician’, the pair hit it off with Marr moving into the Moss household and put in charge of one of the Crazy Face stores.
Moss played a central part in making Marr’s musical ambitions a reality as he supplied The Smiths with rehearsal space at Portland Street as well as funding equipment and securing contracts.
He left the group unexpectedly in late 1983 when This Charming Man was performing well in the charts ahead of The Smiths’ first trip to America.
Some years later in 1999 Moss resumed his role as Johnny Marr’s manager, a position he retained until his recent passing.
Tributes have also been flooding in on social media, including former Smiths drummer Mike Joyce.
Joe Moss looked after us. He gave us a place to play & a brilliant mind to learn from. Joe was a giver. Joe loved us & we loved Joe.
— Mike Joyce (@mikejoycedrums) October 23, 2015
Moss is survived by his wife Sarah and his children David, Rachael, Ivan, Stella and Edie.
Image courtesy of shokophoto, via Youtube, with thanks