Boz Boorer

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Boz Boorer
Birth nameMartin James Boorer
Born (1962-05-19) 19 May 1962 (age 60)
Edgware, Middlesex, England
GenresRockabilly, pop, rock and roll
Occupation(s)Guitarist, singer-songwriter, producer
Years active1978–present
LabelsEMI, RCA Victor, Mercury, Vee-Jay, Sanctuary Records Fabrique Records

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 later was replaced by Neil Rooney. Three years after forming, the band signed to the fledgling British rockabilly label Nervous Records, and released the single "Rockabilly Guy" in 1979.[1]

By 1980, the Polecats had signed to Mercury Records. The 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 Polecats reunion which produced a live album and a new studio set. Raucous Records released a compilation album of Boz Boorer's work titled Between The Polecats in early 2001. The band tours when time permits, and the most recent gig was 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.

After 30 years with Morrissey, Boorer is not currently part of Morrissey's live band, and was not announced as a contributing musician to Morrissey's upcoming studio album Without Music the World Dies. No announcement has been made as to whether Boorer's absence from Morrissey's band is a temporary hiatus, or if Boorer has left permanently.

Solo career and other work[edit]

Boorer has released solo material between his recording and touring. In 2008, he released the album Miss Pearl.[9] 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 was in Ant's full time band in 1993-1994 for the Persuasion tour and the recording of the Wonderful album before being replaced by Kris Dollimore in 1995 due to Boorer's commitments with Morrissey. 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 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. The album included a track "Le Stalker" with vocals by Georgina Baillie.

Personal life[edit]

Boorer has been married to Lyn since 1981, and they have two daughters: Pearl-May and Billie-Rose.[10]



Solo albums[edit]

  • Between the Polecats (2001)
  • My Wild Life (2003)
  • Miss Pearl (2008)
  • Some of the Parts (2012)
  • Age of Boom (2016)
  • Initials BB (2023)

With 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)

With Happy Martyr[edit]

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


Solo singles[edit]

  • "Slippery Forces" (2012)
  • "Girl from Atlanta" (feat. Eddie Argos) (2014)
  • "Age of Boom" (2016)
  • "A Good Day Tomorrow" (feat. Lusty) (2022)
  • "Initials BB" (feat. James Maker) (2022)

With 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

With 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)

Appearances/songwriting credits[edit]


Shillelagh Sisters[edit]
John's Children[edit]
Adam Ant[edit]


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

Songwriting credits with Morrissey[edit]


  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. ^ "". Archived from the original on 18 April 2009.
  7. ^ Laing, Rob (Winter 2011). "Boz Boorer: Morrissey and I". Total Guitar. 71–73: Future Publishing.{{cite magazine}}: CS1 maint: location (link)
  8. ^ "Interlude – Morrissey – Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 16 February 2019.
  9. ^ "Miss Pearl - Record Collector Magazine".
  10. ^ "Boz Boorer Bio". Boz Boorer Website. Retrieved 12 October 2016.
  11. ^ "Black & White – Record Collector Magazine". Record Collector. 26 May 2011. Retrieved 24 August 2014.
  12. ^ "Mod Speed: John's Children; a new album". 25 May 2011. Retrieved 24 August 2014.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
new role in band
Adam Ant second guitarist
1993 - 1994
Succeeded by