Never Had No One Ever

"On The Queen Is Dead, 'Never Had No One Ever', there's a line that goes 'When you walk without ease/on these/the very streets where you were raised/I had a really bad dream/it lasted 20 years, seven months and 27 days/Never had no one ever'. It was the frustration that I felt at the age of 20 when I still didn't feel easy walking around the streets on which I'd been born, where all my family had lived - they're originally from Ireland but had been here since the Fifties. It was a constant confusion to me why I never really felt 'This is my patch. This is my home. I know these people. I can do what I like, because this is mine.' It never was. I could never walk easily."

- Morrissey

"I can never divorce that song from the emotion that inspired it, which is totally personal. It goes back to what I was saying before about where the sadness comes from. It's me, being in my bedroom, living on a housing estate, on a dark night, surrounded by all that concrete and trying to find some beauty through Raw Power and James Williamson. There's a certain kind of gothic beauty in 'I Need Somebody'. I wasn't looking to cop a riff; I was looking to cop a feeling. The atmosphere of 'Never Had No One Ever', and pretty much the whole LP, for everything that can be said about the pressure I was under at the time as Johnny in The Smiths in '85, really that music could have come out of my bedroom when I was 16."

"We had no manager, so me and Morrissey were trying to run the whole band, plus we were still on an independent label, but out of all that adversity we still managed to make this great album. A song like 'Never Had No One Ever' could only have come out of that mindset - fucked-up."

- Johnny Marr

I don't have any good tabs for this song at the moment. I have heard that it is possibly in an open tuning, but I'm not sure which one. If you have any ideas, let me know.

Here are the scans from the Queen Is Dead piano songbook, with guitar chord boxes:

There are no youtube covers of this one out there at the moment. Here are The Smiths at Nottingham:

and at Salford:

Although the first video is from stage left, behind the guitarists, one thing I noticed in both videos is how in the pre-chorus, Johnny bends a note by detuning his guitar with the tuning peg. Awesome.

1 comment:

Halloway said...

I hear the verse chords as Am C/G D7add9 Am Dm Em Am C/G D7add9 Am F G...

C/G 332010
D7add9 200210

In fact, it is basically very similar to Bigmouth! The live version even more so as they play F and G instead of the Dm and Em.

Craig Gannon seems to be strumming something around 5th position, possible playing those high stabs you can just hear. Perhaps a close listen to the CD will reveal what that might be.