Morrissey discusses cancer, suicide, and why President Obama is “white inside”

Legendary singer discusses his cancer diagnosis, depression, alleged sexual assault at San Francisco airport, and more


Morrissey appeared as a guest on the latest episode of Larry King Now. Billed as his first in-depth interview in 10 years, the singer-songwriter discussed a variety of topics, including his recent cancer diagnosis and ongoing battle with depression; allegedly getting sexually assaulted at an airport in San Francisco last month; and his opinion on President Obama. He also performed “Kiss Me A Lot” from his latest album, World Peace Is None of Your Business.

Read transcriptions of Morrissey’s most notable quotes from the interview and watch video highlights below.

On his recent cancer diagnosis…

“Barrett’s cancer, it’s in the esophagus,” Morrissey said of his diagnosis. “They screen it occasionally and I have medication, but I’m OK. Lots of people have it and they fade away, lots of people have it and they don’t fade away.

He said of his initial reaction, “You don’t really hear that word, the c-word. It seems to drifts over you. You just say, “yes, oh yes.” Later when you’re on the stairs by yourself, it triggers in your mind. At the time, you don’t hear it.”

Morrissey said he does not have stage four Barrett’s cancer, but did not provide any more specifics. Asked by King if he “would say he’s in good health today,” Morrissey responded, “blooming.”

On his battle with depression…

“For me, it never gets better, I’ve had it for many many years,” Morrissey explained. “I refer to it as the ‘black dog.” It doesn’t go away … It’s usually the very first thing when you wake up, there is no cure.”

He added, “I don’t take [medication], I’ve been through everything. It’s a frame of mind, a state of mind.”

Morrissey said he’s never attempted suicide, but added, “Everybody thinks about it, even people who mistakenly think they are happy. Taking control and saying ‘no more, no more of this silliness,’ and it’s admirable.”

On being allegedly groped by the TSA…

“He put his finger down by rear cleavage,” Morrissey said of the incident. “I had been through the full scanner and the second base and everything was fine and clear, but then he went straight for my private bits and put his finger down my rear cleavage. The people I was with from special services they said this is assault and he said, ‘well that’s just your opinion.’

“They’re above the law,” Morrissey added. “Yes, I filled out a complaints thing, but nothing happened.”

On President Obama…

“I don’t think with places like Ferguson and so on that he’s really helped his own people by being more interested in forgetting about the police machinery and constantly saying the police are always right, we must listen to the police when everybody knows that’s not true,” Morrissey said. “So is Obama, is he white inside? That’s a very logical question — but I think he probably is.”

“Kiss Me A Lot”:

Update: The full interview has come online.

Morrissey also performed “Kiss Me A Lot” on last night’s episode of the Late Late Show with James Corden, in case you want to compare the two performances.