|Meeting Morrissey at Sparks
Nov. 14, 1998
By Jo Solders
I just posted to the Mael List (Sparks)
and the Panic List my encounter with Moz. I just wanted to let you know of my sighting and
heres what I wrote in a delirious state late last night so I thought Id share
it with you.
Well I drove down to LA from SF to see
Sparks (my other favorite band) last night at the Key Club and I had the surprise of my
life before the show, when one of my friends tells me "Morrissey is here"
which I didnt believe at first but then the tone of his voice and look in his face
told me differently. I thought he could be here since he was a Sparks fan back in 1975 and
spends a lot of time in LA and likes to go out to shows, but could this be true? Now
Im starting to hyperventilate when another friend, drags me out of my front row
spot, next to the stage and said "do you want to meet Moz?" All my Sparks pals,
said "go on, well hold your place." Well, you dont have to tell me
twice (plus I was numb now) so downstairs we went to the VIP area. I was supposed to have
a wristband for this area, (the record company was kind enough to give the Mael List
members who traveled to the show wristbands to this area, basically a bar area downstairs)
but I didnt think I wanted to go down there if I was going to be at the front of the
stage anyway with the other rabid fans so I didnt pick it up. Now here I am racing
down there but to my amazement, NO ONE even bothered to stop me as I scurried down the
stairs. Maybe because my friend had been down there a lot so they figured we were together
or maybe because I looked insane.
Not a lot of people down there (all the fans were upstairs) but there HE was - HIS MOZNESS
- sitting basically alone. He was chatting with a British Sparks fan I knew at a table
nearby but HE seemed to be alone.
My knees started to shake and I walked toward him, then backed off, then stopped. My
friend, pushed me towards him and then left to get her spot upstairs again. I thought THIS
is your chance, hes right there and you better get it together NOW. I walked over
near him, said hello to the guy I knew, whereby Moz turns away thinking Ive come
over to talk to this other person but I put out my hand saying "Hello Morrissey"
and proceeded to sit down next to him on the long bench seat hes sitting on. By now,
its not me, I believe aliens took over from this point on. I was so calm and
collected and articulate and started to converse with him like he was an old pal of mine.
It just happened, I started talking and amazingly we proceeded to have a nice conversation
for the next ten minutes or so (we talked about the several shows I saw last year,
Petaluma (oh you were at that one?), San Francisco (he liked the 2nd show better than the
first - which was GREAT) and I reminded him that he said "Thank you all for buying
two tickets, I know Im not that popular really." He said, "I was right
though, wasnt I", (well sort of) Salt Lake City (he liked that show a lot and
said the club thought it wouldnt sell at all but he did, he seemed proud of that
feat) and I said I liked the Smoking Popes who opened that show. He nodded and asked if I
liked the other band as well, Elcka (I did and have their CD) who opened too on that tour.
We mentioned a few other cities in no particular order.
Since this was a Sparks show we talked about the stone age of the 70s and
"Kimono My House" which had a profound effect on both of us (well here we were
all these years later at a Sparks show for chrissake) and then of course the New York
Dolls. I mentioned I saw them in Denver, Colorado and I was totally ruined for life after
that since I was quite young (under 18 for sure). I guess he finally figured out what I
said "Oh YOU saw them? I thought you knew someone who saw them. (He looks at me again
- yes, Im old Moz) Really? In Denver. Colorado? Thats amazing. Have you heard
of Arvada, Colorado (I have). Well I visited there from 78-79-80 with some family I had
that lived there I didnt find anything going on there so Im surprised they
played there. (A few cool bands did make it there I said but thats why I moved from
there to SF years ago) We both laughed at how we dont visit Colorado much anymore
(though my family is still there).
I know we talked about pop music or something like that for a bit longer when Richard
Blade rushes in to see if he got in okay and to make sure he was "the real
Morrissey" Morrissey said "Im not the real Morrissey." Moz said
something about Ron and Russell (Sparks brothers) putting him on the list etc. etc. Now
Im thinking to myself "here I am sitting next to Morrissey while he and Richard
Blade are talking about Ron and Russell this and that, and Im thinking this is SO
WEIRD. Moz and the Mael Brothers! In the same place with ME! Anyway, Richard Blade said he
was going to introduce Sparks. Moz asks when that will be 15 minutes. Richard Blade was
trying to remember if it was 12 or 14 years since Sparks appeared in the US. The words
just flew out of my mouth "oh, its been 12." And everyone nods with that.
(Im trying not to crack up at this point.) Moz said he might try to fight his way
upfront but Richard offered him a spot at his table upstairs instead.
All the while, Richard Blade would look at Moz, then me, then Moz, then me, probably
wondering if was anyone (I wasnt, Im just me). I smiled at him and acted as if
this was an everyday occurrence for me. It was quite surreal. Then Richard introduces his
girlfriend to Moz as a huge fan, they shake hands and they leave. Well, I know I need to
leave soon to get back upstairs so I ask him a few more questions and ask if hes
working on any new material" and he says "I dont know, I dont know.
Im just hanging out, just hanging out." Of course, he wouldnt tell me
anyway. I get up, shake his hand, tell him my name (I forgot to earlier) and tell him
its been a pleasure but I must take my place up at the front of the stage whipping
my long velvet jacket around as I turn to exit the room, acting as if I owned it or
something like that It was so unbelievable. Of course, as soon as I got out of the main
area and out of sight of Moz, I found I couldnt even find the door out and had to
ask someone. Then I got upstairs and was running through the crowd, and kept ending up in
dead ends, trying to make my way back up front. Finally, I found my way back and then I
realized what had just happened and started to laugh and shriek with delight. I
couldnt believe I was so coherent in front of Morrissey and was very aware of little
mannerisms as he spoke (touching his lip with his finger, raising his eyebrow, smiling
wryly at some silly thing) and me looking at his face and thinking, I cant believe
Im talking to you.
He looked the same, hair wise, and wore jeans, a white shimmery material type shirt with
no buttons under a gray jacket. He wore this watch that looked huge to me and ring on his
finger, pinky? I was ready to scream and sing and dance when Sparks came on thats
Oh, a few more Moz tidbits. During the signing afterwards, I was talking to Ron and Russ
Mael and they do "know" me from their UK shows (I talked to them about Morrissey
among many things) and from being in their fan club all these years. I said that they are
awesome since they could inspire 'Weird' Al Yankovic (yes he was there but I dont
know if he sat with Moz) and Morrissey to attend their show. With that, Russell Mael (the
cute one), says "Oh Morrissey is your Other guy isnt he" as he looks at
his brother Ron (the genius one) since before Moz, there was Ron for me. Ron then says how
he really wanted Morrissey to be on their reworkings album "Plagiarism". I asked
what song would they want him to do? "Anything. You should tell him about it." I
thought do they think I know Morrissey? I think by this time, it was all too much, and I
started cracking up laughing and had to leave. Of course, I couldnt find the door
out and walked in circles until I did. I guess I walk in circles whenever I meet one of my
idols, I have to work on that.
What a crazy night. I met Mel outside after the show and we started to scream when I told
her what happened. Now shes kicking herself for NOT getting there on time. How
funny, I go to those shows last year and never even meet him (it wasnt easy to do
anyway) and then I go to a Sparks show in LA and hes just sitting there. Thank God I
had something to talk to him about. Alzheimers hasnt set in just yet! I need
to sleep now, I really havent since this all happened. Sparks were FANTASTIC by the
way. I dont know if one person is supposed to be this happy. Shit, I have to be up
in four hours. Well, there you go.
Well, I have to go pass out now
Jo In a Coma
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