On 7th December 1983, The Smiths were performing a rather wild concert at the Derby Assembly Rooms which was later broadcasted on The Old Grey Whistle Test. After John Peel announced a free ticket giveaway on his show, a very energetic crowd turned up to the gig.
Morrissey, swirling a bunch of gladioli performed with the sure-mindedness of someone who knew that the Smiths’ place in history was already concrete. Together with fellow musicians Johnny Marr, Mike Joyce and Andy Rourke, the band played a jangly set bursting at the seams with upbeat melodies and searingly lyrics.
At one point Morrissey was hit in the eye by the stem of a projectile flower which was thrown from the audience and had to leave the stage to recuperate. Later he called the concert his greatest embarrassment. When the band started into the encore with “You’ve Got Everything Now” the stage suddenly became crowded with fans. Band members disappeared from view and Morrissey could barely sing his lines. He tried as best he could but made strangling noises as he was pulled left and right and tried not to get drowned in a sea of dancing fans. It was quite a riotous ending and one of the Smiths’ first major stage invasions.