I logged on this morning to see a Tweet from an old friend, with a link to a newly uncovered early The Smiths rehearsal tape.
I obviously dropped everything and went for a listen, only to be met with an accompanying news story that Morrissey was hanging up his touring boots.
In an official statement, Morrissey writes,
"It takes a lifetime to find the right words, and at the moment, I haven't got them. I've been a colossal pain where this continuously unpredictable illness is concerned, and now the physical limits have been reached. The tour had, in fact, been fantastic for all of us - a new slice of life full of concentrated power. The audiences everywhere have given so much, although I know that neither of us will ever receive our due. I hope this isn't the end, and I hope there will be other chances, minus the heavy burden of illness. Knots of grief today, but full of resolve for tomorrow."
All Morrissey fans knew that the time would come, sooner, rather than laster, especially after his last few tours have been plagued with illness, postponed gigs and cancelled dates.
The sadness that I feel at the thought of never seeing him live again, I know is shared with each and everyone who has been shaped by his music over the last 30 years.
I'll leave you with this amazing rehearsal tape. 39 minutes of The Smiths rehearsing tracks intended for their first album. The version that Troy Tate rejected. It's pure and awesome.