To this day, they were, their fans believe, the best band in the world. Critics and sales figures told a similar story. Yet for all their brilliance and adoration - their famously energetic live shows routinely interrupted by stage invasions - The Smiths were continually plagued by their reticence to play the game, and by the time of 1987's Strangeways Here We Come, they had split. Tony Fletcher's A Light That Never Goes Out - part celebration, part paean - moves from Manchester in the nineteenth-century to the present day to tell the complete story of The Smiths. The product of extensive research and unprecedented access, it will serve to confirm The Smiths as one of the most important and influential rock groups of all time.
Tony Fletcher is the bestselling author of five non-fiction books and one novel. His biography of drummer Keith Moon, Dear Boy, has been named in many Best Music Book lists, and his biography of R.E.M., Remarks Remade, has been published in over half a dozen countries. During the 1980s heyday of the Smiths his magazine Jamming!, regularly featured the band as cover stars, and he was a co-presenter of the television show The Tube, for which he conducted Morrissey's first television interview. Fletcher saw the Smiths in concert for the first time at the London Lyceum in 1983, and for the last time at the Kilburn National, in 1986, on their final tour. A contributor over the years to a multitude of magazines, newspapers, radio and television shows, primarily in the UK and USA, Fletcher now lives with his wife and two sons on a mountaintop near the village of Woodstock in New York State. There he runs, skis, maintains his web site www.ijamming.net, and plays Hammond B-3 and Rickenbacker in the Catskill 45s, a group that only performs songs from 45 calendar years ago. They look forward to covering the Smiths as of 2028.