Before The Smiths and in-between musical stints, Morrissey wrote on popular culture. He published two works with Babylon Books: The New York Dolls (1981), about his favourite band; and James Dean is Not Dead (1983), about actor James Dean's brief career. In an interview about the cultural movie icon, Morrissey explains his obsession as follows: "I saw Rebel Without A Cause quite by accident when I was about 6. I was entirely enveloped. I did research about him and it was like unearthing Tutankhamun's tomb. His entire life seemed so magnificently perfect. What he did on film didn't stir me that much but as a person he was immensely valuable. Everything from his birth in a farming town to coming to New York, breaking into film and finding he didn't really want it when he had enormous success. At school it was an absolute drawback because nobody really cared about him. If they did, it was only in a synthetic rock and roll way. Nobody had a passion for him as I did - for that constant uneasiness with life. Even though he was making enormous strides with his craft, he was still incredibly miserable and obviously doomed. Which is exactly the quality Oscar Wilde had. That kind of mystical knowledge that there is something incredibly black around the corner. People who feel this are quite special and always end up in quite a mangled mess."