Boz Boorer

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Boz Boorer
Birth nameMartin James Boorer
Born (1962-05-19) 19 May 1962 (age 59)
Edgware, Middlesex, England
GenresRockabilly, pop, rock and roll
Occupation(s)Guitarist, composer, singer-songwriter
Years active1978–present
LabelsEMI, RCA Victor, Mercury, Vee-Jay, Sanctuary Records Fabrique Records
Associated actsMorrissey
The Polecats
Adam Ant
Kirsty MacColl
Edwyn Collins

Martin James "Boz" Boorer (born 19 May 1962 in Edgware, Middlesex, England) is an English guitarist and producer most known for his work founding the new wave rockabilly group The Polecats; and later for his work as a co-writer, guitarist and musical director with Morrissey, for which he is principally known today.

The Polecats[edit]

The band Cult Heroes was formed in 1977 by Tim Worman (known as Tim Polecat, vocalist), Boz Boorer (guitarist and vocalist), Phil Bloomberg (bassist), and Chris Hawkes (drummer). After finding much difficulty persuading promoters to book them on the rockabilly circuit with a name sounding "too punk",[citation needed] they adopted Hawkes' suggested band name The Polecats. Hawkes was later replaced by Neil Rooney. Three years after forming, the band signed to the fledgling British rockabilly record label Nervous Records, and released the single "Rockabilly Guy" in 1979.[1]

By 1980 the Polecats had signed to Mercury Records. That same year they released their most successful LP, Polecats Are Go!. The band had UK chart success with a David Bowie cover "John, I'm Only Dancing", a reworking of "Rockabilly Guy", and another cover version of the T.Rex song "Jeepster".[2] In 1983, they entered the charts in the United States with their song "Make a Circuit With Me". Shortly after, John Buck replaced Neil Rooney on drums. Boorer left the group in the same year[1] but in 1989 he led a 1989 Polecats reunion which produced a live album and a new studio set. Raucous Records released a compilation album of Boz Boorer's work entitled Between The Polecats in early 2001. The band continue to tour when time permits, with the most recent gig being at The Hot Rod Hayride in Bisley, Surrey, UK, on 30 July 2016.[3][4]


Boorer, along with guitarist Alain Whyte, joined Morrissey in 1991 when the singer assembled a new band tour in promotion of his album Kill Uncle. With Whyte, he is credited with successfully synthesizing jangle pop and American rockabilly to create a new sound for Morrissey that helped to revitalize his career.[5][6] Since 1991, Boorer has worked not only as one of Morrissey's co-writers and guitarists but also as the band's musical director.[7]

In 1994, Boorer produced for the first time a record for Morrissey: it was for the single "Interlude", a duet between Morrissey and Siouxsie,[8] a one-off released under the banners of both artists. Boorer notably directed the strings section.

Solo career and other work[edit]

Boorer has released solo material between his recording and touring. In 2008, he released the album Miss Pearl. Besides having a solo career, writing and playing for Morrissey and touring occasionally with the Polecats, Boorer has worked with other artists, including Adam Ant, Kirsty MacColl, Joan Armatrading, Jools Holland, and Edwyn Collins. He also worked with his wife's band, the Shillelagh Sisters, between 1983 and 1998.

In 2009, Boorer produced the debut EP by Tiguana Bibles, "Child of the Moon".

He and his wife own a studio in Portugal, Serra Vista Studio. In summer 2010, Boorer recorded, produced and mixed Portuguese garage/blues/rock band Murdering Tripping Blues' second album, "Share the Fire".

In 2011, Happy Martyr was formed with rapper Alex Lusty. The plan was to record some acoustic, stripped-down hip-hop, which Boorer described as "an MC fronting early Tyrannosaurus Rex". The albums One Square Mile and Nothing Like Love were released in 2012 and 2014 respectively.

In August 2012, Boorer released his fourth solo album, "Some of the Parts", and the single "Slippery Forces" on Fabrique Records. The song "Saunders Ferry Lane" features the vocals of James Maker. "Sunday Morning Coming Down" is a cover of the Kris Kristofferson song. John Moore of Black Box Recorder and The Jesus and Mary Chain appears as a special guest on diverse instruments.

In June 2014, Boorer teamed up with Art Brut (band) singer Eddie Argos for a new solo single, "Girl From Atlanta", which was included on his solo album "Age Of Boom" in 2016 for Fabrique Records.

Personal life[edit]

Boorer has been married to Lyn since 1981, and they have two daughters: Pearl-May and Billie-Rose.[9]

Songwriting credits with Morrissey[edit]

  • "Now My Heart Is Full", "Spring-Heeled Jim", "The More You Ignore Me, the Closer I Get", "Lifeguard Sleeping, Girl Drowning", and "Speedway" from Vauxhall and I
  • "The Teachers Are Afraid of the Pupils" and "Reader Meet Author" from Southpaw Grammar – "Honey, You Know Where To Find Me" and "You Should Have Been Nice To Me" (only on remastered version)
  • "Maladjusted", "Ammunition", and "Satan Rejected My Soul" from Maladjusted
  • "Come Back to Camden", "I'm Not Sorry", "The World is Full of Crashing Bores" and "I Like You" from You Are the Quarry
  • "I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris", "That's How People Grow Up", "Black Cloud" and "One Day Goodbye Will Be Farewell" from Years of Refusal
  • "World Peace Is None of Your Business", "Istanbul", "Staircase at the University", "Mountjoy" and "Oboe Concerto" from World Peace Is None of Your Business – "Drag The River", "Scandinavia", "Julie in the Weeds" and "Art Hounds" (only on deluxe version)
  • "I Wish You Lonely", "Jacky's Only Happy When She's Up on the Stage", "All The Young People Must Fall in Love", and "Who Will Protect Us From The Police" from Low in High School – "Lover-To-Be" and "This Song Doesn't End When It's Over" (only on deluxe version)
  • "Jack the Ripper", "You've Had Her", "I'd Love To", "Mexico", "I Can Have Both", "Christian Dior", "Noise is the Best Revenge", "The Public Image", "The Slum Mums", "Action Is My Middle Name", "The Kid's A Looker" and "Brow of My Beloved" are tracks that appeared on B-sides of Morrissey singles.
  • "Kit", "I Know Who I love", "I'm Playing Easy To Get", "Blue Dreamers Eyes", "Diana Dors" and "I Couldn't Understand Why People Laughed" are unreleased tracks.


The Polecats[edit]

  • "Rockabilly Guy" (1979)
  • "John I'm Only Dancing" (1981) No. 35 UK
  • "Rockabilly Guy" No. 35 UK
  • "Jeepster" No. 53 UK
  • "Make A Circuit With Me" (1983) No. 76 UK

Shillelagh Sisters[edit]


† Written by Boorer

Adam Ant[edit]

  • "Wonderful" (1995) UK No. 32 US No. 39
  • "Gotta Be A Sin" (1995) UK No. 45

Happy Martyr[edit]

  • "Sleep Tight" (2011)
  • "Painkillers" (2012)
  • "Kiss Me Like You Stole It" (2012)
  • "Christmas Kisses" (2012)
  • "Empty Handed" (2013)
  • "All Lies Lead to the Truth" (2014)


  • "Slippery Forces" (2012)
  • "Girl From Atlanta (feat. Eddie Argos)" (2014)
  • "Age Of Boom" (2016)


The Polecats[edit]

  • Polecats are Go! (1981)
  • Live in Hamburg (1981)
  • Cult Heroes (1984)
  • Live and Rockin' (1989)
  • Won't Die (1996)
  • Nine (1997)
  • Pink Noise (1999)
  • The Best of the Polecats (2000)
  • Rockabilly Guys: The Best of the Polecats (2001)
  • Not Nervous! Rare 1980 Demos Remastered (2006)
  • Rockabilly Cats (2008)

Shillelagh Sisters[edit]


John's Children[edit]

Adam Ant[edit]

Happy Martyr[edit]

  • One Square Mile (2012)
  • Nothing Like Love (2014)


  • Between the Polecats (2001)
  • My Wild Life (2003)
  • Miss Pearl (2008)
  • Some of the Parts (2012)
  • Age Of Boom (2016)


  1. ^ a b "Boz Boorer interview". Retrieved 16 February 2019.
  2. ^ "Rockabilly Guys: The Best of the Polecats – The Polecats – Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 16 February 2019.
  3. ^ Morrison, Craig. Go cat go!: rockabilly music and its makers, p. 239 (1998) (ISBN 978-0-252-06538-5)
  4. ^ LeRoy, Dan. The Greatest Music Never Sold, p. 213 (2007) (ISBN 978-0-87930-905-3)
  5. ^ "Newsday – The Long Island and New York City News Source". 12 July 1991. Retrieved 24 August 2014.
  6. ^ [1] Archived 18 April 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ Laing, Rob (Winter 2011). "Boz Boorer: Morrissey and I". Total Guitar. 71–73: Future Publishing.CS1 maint: location (link)
  8. ^ "Interlude – Morrissey – Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 16 February 2019.
  9. ^ "Boz Boorer Bio". Boz Boorer Website. Retrieved 12 October 2016.
  10. ^ "Black & White – Record Collector Magazine". Record Collector. 26 May 2011. Retrieved 24 August 2014.
  11. ^ "Mod Speed: John's Children; a new album". 25 May 2011. Retrieved 24 August 2014.

External links[edit]