Asked by a music writer at what point did he realize his band was going to be a success, a singer songwriter says that he knew instantly. “There were lots and lots of people ready to identify with what I was feeling. Hatred! Hating everything, but not being offensively hateful (chuckle). It was like hate from quite gentle people.” After the band breaks up, he titles his first solo album Viva Hate. At first this seems like an extension of his famously combative personality, but in the years that follow, as he makes frequent anti-immigrant remarks, repeatedly criticizes those who speak out against sexual harassment in the entertainment industry and, during a performance on the Tonight Show, sports the logo of a notorious far-right political party, more and more of his fans (or, as they now have to think of themselves, ex-fans) conclude that the kind of hate he espouses has morphed from post-adolescent angst into pure cruelty. In short, it’s no longer charming.
(Jon Savage, Morrissey)