Anyone with even a passing interest in the life and times of Steven Patrick Morrissey, aged 54 and two-quarters, should hardly be surprised by the convoluted birth of his long-awaited Autobiography. In classic Mozza style, its October 17 publication comes after weeks of fallouts with publisher Penguin Classics over "content disagreements", squabbles which have already resulted in one aborted release - completely par for the course with Davyhulme's favourite son.

For the most feverish of Morrissey fans, the 480-page tome is almost as anticipated as the day he finally makes amends with the lonely ghosts of Manchester's music past – namely, Mike Joyce and Andy Rourke - and releases tickets for a Smiths reunion tour (the same day he opens a foie gras restaurant in memory of Margaret Thatcher, presumably).

Excitement around the book's publication barely warrants explanation: few stars of the past 30 years have kept so much of themselves hidden from plain sight, tantalising with their lyrics but steadfastly refusing to confirm or deny facts pertaining to their actual person. "All of the rumours, keeping me grounded/I never said, I never said that they were completely unfounded," he warbled on solo high water mark 'Speedway'. Nineteen years on, it's finally time to separate truths from fiction, starting with the answers to these long-standing questions:


Under what circumstances did he meet Johnny Marr?

The initial tête-à-tête between The Smiths' songwriting core has been the subject of much myth and misinformation over the years. The well-spun yarn, recounted in numerous books and bios, is that Marr arrived unannounced on Morrissey's doorstep on Kings Road, Manchester on a May afternoon in 1982. However, interviews with Marr over the years have muddied the waters, suggesting the pair actually met at a Patti Smith concert. Will Morrissey have another version of events?

What really happened when The Smiths split?

At the opposite end of the Smiths timeline, it's difficult to definitively say which straw broke the camel's back when it comes to the band's dissolution. What we do know for certain is that Marr took a break in June 1987 before permanently leaving the group the following month. The real bone of contention is whether or not Morrissey planted a story in NME titled 'Smiths to Split', as suspected by Marr at the time, or whether there was something else bubbling underneath the surface that's remained hitherto unspoken.

What does he really think of David Bowie?

You should never meet your idols - but touring with them? As proven by Morrissey's disastrous joint run of concerts with David Bowie in 1995, that's an even more dangerous game. Previously enjoying cordial relations, the duo's friendship soured when Bowie insisted on entering the stage at the same time as Morrissey exited, something the latter argued was born of pure anxiety and jealousy before promptly quitting the tour. Their relationship since has been characterised by side-swipes and pettiness - none more so than Bowie refusing to allow Morrissey to use a photo of the pair on the repress of his single 'The Last of the Famous International Playboys' last year. Moz's response? Replacing Bowie with a snap of Rick Astley. Few will be flicking straight to the autobiography's index faster than Bowie, you'd suspect.

Will he ever forgive Mike Joyce and reform The Smiths?

It's an inevitable question, but one that bears answering again. Given the tone of an infamous statement posted on fansite True-to-You.net back in 2005, outlining the bitter legal battles between Morrissey and the former Smiths drummer, hell would probably freeze over before the pair reconciles. But don't be surprised if the book is peppered with tantalising nods to the conditions it would take for the band to reform in some guise or other, even as a Morrissey/Marr double act. Similarly, it could serve as the final, definitive full stop on recurring reformation rumours.

What's happened in his personal life over the past 30 years?

"Everything about my life is private, really," Morrissey told the Telegraph in 2011 when quizzed about whether the book would lift the lid on his personal relationships. "There's a lot of people who don't have private lives. And that's hard to believe. But it's absolutely true." But can a tome of almost 500 pages really redact such a significant portion of his life? Right now, a few days before publication, it feels as if anything could be revealed on those pages - and if that doesn't make for an instant classic, what does?