The legendary guitarist - who has had a long-running feud with his former songwriting collaborator Morrissey - insisted he doesn't take his former band's success for granted because most upcoming groups haven't aren't as lucky as he has been forging a solo career.
He told the Sunday Times newspaper's Culture magazine: ''There are loads of brilliant musicians who can't even get a record deal or be heard, so it would be pretty churlish of me to moan about having had such big success.
''In a weird way, it means you don't have to worry about that part of it anymore, which means you can get on with other stuff. If you're lucky, you don't get bitter - at least you can go, 'I did that.' ''
The 'This Charming Man' hitmaker admitted he struggled to come to terms with the bands break-up and thinking he had to start again.
He added: ''When your first stage on that journey is so successful, so significant, that's not easy to deal with.
''I remember when I started hanging out with Andrew [Loog] Oldham, realising that here was a person who'd managed the [Rolling] Stones, produced records, all that, and he'd stopped it all at the same age I was when I left The Smiths.
''And he said to me, 'Oh the plus side, all your baggage is already packed, and you're good to go.''
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