Book shines a 'Light' on the Smiths

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This being WLIR country, Tony Fletcher's new book is extra big news. And not just because it's almost 700 pages.

"A Light That Never Goes Out: The Enduring Saga of the Smiths" (Crown Archetype; $30) meticulously chronicles the rise of one of the '80s' best bands. This charming man Fletcher -- a former Newsday music freelancer who also told the stories of The Who's late drummer, Keith Moon, in "Moon" and R.E.M. in "Remarks Remade: The Story of R.E.M." -- did a fine job of recounting England's The Smiths: Morrissey, right, Johnny Marr, Andy Rourke and Mike Joyce.

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He scores interviews with the band's guitar god, Marr, as well as other insiders (no Moz, but, hey, he's Moz). And before you shout "Big Mouth Strikes Again," take in the scene when 18-year-old Marr met a shy Morrissey in 1982. " 'Hey,' said Johnny, 'this is just how Leiber and Stoller met!' " Indeed.

With the holidays approaching, devotees of The Smiths will be crying, "Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want." Now you know what to get them.

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