Las Vegas Weekly: "Should Morrissey Fans Allow His Ugly Recent Rhetoric To Affect Their Love Of His Music?" by Geoff Carter (August 26, 2021)

Here's a (somewhat) balanced attempt by Geoff Carter to grapple with the issues around Morrissey fandom these days, in Las Vegas Weekly.

Text below:

In August 1986, I saw The Smiths perform in Irvine, California. My friend and I went to the show on a last-minute impulse, snagging tickets from Tower Records and driving directly to the show. Before that night I was, at best, a passive Smiths fan, but the crackerjack 75-minute set delivered that night opened my eyes. And Morrissey, whom I’d previously underrated as a frontman, wowed me with his energy, sincerity and his intensely personal connection to the audience.

“I hope that the security don’t ruin your night too much, but I’m sure that they’ll do their best,” he said, after a yellowshirt handled a fan too roughly for his liking. “But never mind. They’re outnumbered.”

It was a proper piss-off, and it won me over instantly. After the show I bought every Smiths single and LP I could get my hands on. I internalized the lyrics of “The Boy With the Thorn in His Side,” “Nowhere Fast” and “How Soon Is Now,” contorting my very American teenaged perspective to align with that of an outspoken, possibly celibate vegetarian from Manchester, England. And when The Smiths dissolved a year later, and Morrissey embarked on his storied career as a solo artist, I kept listening, though with less fervor and fidelity. Generally speaking, I lost touch with Morrissey’s career shortly after You Are the Quarry in 2004.

That being said, it feels strange to say that I’m on the fence about checking out Morrissey’s weeklong residency at Caesars Palace. I mean, it’s Morrissey, right? “Everyday Is Like Sunday?” “First of the Gang to Die?” “Suedehead?” There’s little doubt that, were I go to one of these shows, I’d hear several songs I like and several more I unequivocally love. And though I haven’t seen Morrissey perform live since the late 1990s, friends tell me he hasn’t lost a step as an entertainer—provided, of course, that he actually shows up. (Morrissey has canceled so many gigs over the years, punk parody site The Hard Times got a solid piece out of it without much effort. The headline: “Morrissey Ranks His Most Iconic Canceled Performances.”)

But I can’t get past his big mouth, which—to paraphrase a Smiths classic—strikes again and again. Morrissey has always been outspoken, but his ire used to be directed at the British royal family and anyone currently eating a cheeseburger, whereas his recent interviews have been marred by intolerant, nationalistic and seemingly racist statements.

In a September 2010 interview with The Guardian, he described the Chinese people as a “subspecies” due to what he perceived as a systemic mistreatment of animals. In a 2017 interview with Der Speigel, he casually dismissed Hollywood’s victims of sexual assault: “[Throughout history], almost everyone is guilty of sleeping with minors. Why don’t we throw everyone in jail?” And in recent years, he’s put his support behind the anti-Islam group For Britain, even wearing its pin during a Tonight Show performance. The context around these comments—nearly always tied, in some way or another, to animal rights issues—doesn’t mitigate them.

It comes down to an essential question Los Angeles Times writer Randall Roberts asked in an October 2019 article about Morrissey: “Which is more powerful, the thrill that rushes into your spirit when you connect with a song or album, or the disappointment that comes with realizing you don’t share essential values with its creator?” It’s a question we’ve all had to ask ourselves these past few years—about J.K. Rowling, Michael Jackson and many others. It’s not as easy as “separating the art from the artist,” when the art is so deeply personal. How does “It takes guts to be gentle and kind” (from “I Know It’s Over”) sit comfortably along Morrissey’s June 2019 assertion that “everyone ultimately prefers their own race?”

I can’t answer this. Not yet. And I won’t judge the decisions made by others. I have a number of friends—many of them Mexican-Americans, a community in which Moz enjoys Elvis-like stardom—who are going to one or more of the Caesars shows, and I’m not about to tell them they’re wrong to do it. And truthfully, Morrissey would probably be grossed out by me, as well—a typical clueless Yank, seconds away from his next In-N-Out Burger. But I’ll continue to wrestle with this in my heart long after Morrissey’s Vegas residency has come and gone. His ugly rhetoric hasn’t yet diminished my love for The Smiths, but he’s trying his best.
 
A

Anonomous

Guest
Can't wait for the remarks on The Love Community, the once was U.S.A. And those Vegas Casinos roasted Prime Rib and rack of lamb. Deli trays stacked with turkey and ham. Breakfast sausage links and bacon. Real bangers and mash, what a vacation. Carne Asada on Mexico night. Salami sandwich in hand , when on go the lights. Ronald Mac Donald and Moz take the stage. The 2 are in love, the new Vegas Rage. Ronald and Morrissey have a big Meet and greet. Big Macs and Cheese burgers, All you can eat !
 
A

Anonomous

Guest
Here's a (somewhat) balanced attempt by Geoff Carter to grapple with the issues around Morrissey fandom these days, in Las Vegas Weekly.

Text below:

In August 1986, I saw The Smiths perform in Irvine, California. My friend and I went to the show on a last-minute impulse, snagging tickets from Tower Records and driving directly to the show. Before that night I was, at best, a passive Smiths fan, but the crackerjack 75-minute set delivered that night opened my eyes. And Morrissey, whom I’d previously underrated as a frontman, wowed me with his energy, sincerity and his intensely personal connection to the audience.

“I hope that the security don’t ruin your night too much, but I’m sure that they’ll do their best,” he said, after a yellowshirt handled a fan too roughly for his liking. “But never mind. They’re outnumbered.”

It was a proper piss-off, and it won me over instantly. After the show I bought every Smiths single and LP I could get my hands on. I internalized the lyrics of “The Boy With the Thorn in His Side,” “Nowhere Fast” and “How Soon Is Now,” contorting my very American teenaged perspective to align with that of an outspoken, possibly celibate vegetarian from Manchester, England. And when The Smiths dissolved a year later, and Morrissey embarked on his storied career as a solo artist, I kept listening, though with less fervor and fidelity. Generally speaking, I lost touch with Morrissey’s career shortly after You Are the Quarry in 2004.

That being said, it feels strange to say that I’m on the fence about checking out Morrissey’s weeklong residency at Caesars Palace. I mean, it’s Morrissey, right? “Everyday Is Like Sunday?” “First of the Gang to Die?” “Suedehead?” There’s little doubt that, were I go to one of these shows, I’d hear several songs I like and several more I unequivocally love. And though I haven’t seen Morrissey perform live since the late 1990s, friends tell me he hasn’t lost a step as an entertainer—provided, of course, that he actually shows up. (Morrissey has canceled so many gigs over the years, punk parody site The Hard Times got a solid piece out of it without much effort. The headline: “Morrissey Ranks His Most Iconic Canceled Performances.”)

But I can’t get past his big mouth, which—to paraphrase a Smiths classic—strikes again and again. Morrissey has always been outspoken, but his ire used to be directed at the British royal family and anyone currently eating a cheeseburger, whereas his recent interviews have been marred by intolerant, nationalistic and seemingly racist statements.

In a September 2010 interview with The Guardian, he described the Chinese people as a “subspecies” due to what he perceived as a systemic mistreatment of animals. In a 2017 interview with Der Speigel, he casually dismissed Hollywood’s victims of sexual assault: “[Throughout history], almost everyone is guilty of sleeping with minors. Why don’t we throw everyone in jail?” And in recent years, he’s put his support behind the anti-Islam group For Britain, even wearing its pin during a Tonight Show performance. The context around these comments—nearly always tied, in some way or another, to animal rights issues—doesn’t mitigate them.

It comes down to an essential question Los Angeles Times writer Randall Roberts asked in an October 2019 article about Morrissey: “Which is more powerful, the thrill that rushes into your spirit when you connect with a song or album, or the disappointment that comes with realizing you don’t share essential values with its creator?” It’s a question we’ve all had to ask ourselves these past few years—about J.K. Rowling, Michael Jackson and many others. It’s not as easy as “separating the art from the artist,” when the art is so deeply personal. How does “It takes guts to be gentle and kind” (from “I Know It’s Over”) sit comfortably along Morrissey’s June 2019 assertion that “everyone ultimately prefers their own race?”

I can’t answer this. Not yet. And I won’t judge the decisions made by others. I have a number of friends—many of them Mexican-Americans, a community in which Moz enjoys Elvis-like stardom—who are going to one or more of the Caesars shows, and I’m not about to tell them they’re wrong to do it. And truthfully, Morrissey would probably be grossed out by me, as well—a typical clueless Yank, seconds away from his next In-N-Out Burger. But I’ll continue to wrestle with this in my heart long after Morrissey’s Vegas residency has come and gone. His ugly rhetoric hasn’t yet diminished my love for The Smiths, but he’s trying his best.

Hey there Morrissey. Would you kindly wear your L.L.Bean plaid hunting coat on opening night in Vegas. Maybe a shawl and smoking jacket with pipe and rocking chair. Tell the world of Manchester and Daddy chasing Mumsey about the house with a golf club ! We remember we do ! How on earth could we forget the entire weeks long episode of Daddy and his antics with the ladies...very young ladies they was. Virgins mostly till Peter deflowered the poor lasses ! A brute he was indeed ! No wonder Mumsey hit EM over the head with a fry pan ! Cheerio ol man.
 

SuedeMoz

Well-Known Member
“I hope that the security don’t ruin your night too much, but I’m sure that they’ll do their best,” he said, after a yellowshirt handled a fan too roughly for his liking. “But never mind. They’re outnumbered.”
As most of you probably know the concert mentioned in this article appears on the "Thank Your Lucky Stars" bootleg... and there's more that develops between Morrissey and Security.

The part quoted above is at the end of That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore:




Then it picks up quite dramatically about 1 min into I Know It's Over... quite moving to hear Morrissey berating Security on behalf of fans:





Anyway, I hadn't heard these clips in a long time... so thought I'd share.
 
Last edited:
M

Moz Fan

Guest
As most of you probably already know the concert mentioned in this article appears on the "Thank Your Lucky Stars" bootleg... and there's more that develops between Morrissey and Security.

The part quoted above is at the end of That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore:




Then it picks up quite dramatically about 1 min into I Know It's Over... quite moving to hear Morrissey berating Security on behalf of fans:





Anyway, I hadn't heard those clips in a long time so thought I'd share.


Really nice. Thanks for sharing.
 

The.Truth.

Every.Single.Time.
Morrissey is a pretty good singer and lyricist who says a lot of stupid things. I think we should get some kind of pie chart before buying a ticket. I'd like to know what percentage of the songs will be great, which will be tolerable, which will be intolerable, and how much time he's going to spend making political statements.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
How many people did the Taliban murder today? Islam......lovely.
The Taliban is no more representative of Islam than the IRA were of Catholicism. Did you blame the Catholic church for every IRA atrocity?

And as someone else has pointed out, the Taliban did not carry out this attack, it was ISIS. But see this is what people of low intellect do: "Taliban, Islam, ISIS? All the same innit. All as bad as each other." Just one big lump of humanity you can group together, stick a label on and blame for the actions of a small minority of lunatics.

Convenient thinking is easy. But it ain't reality pal.
 

Gregor Samsa

I straighten up, and my position is one of hope.
Do fans have the option of not going?
Everyone but disgruntled old Smiths fans. They’re apparently forced at gun point.
 

Homunculosaurus

Diversity is the new conformity
Morrissey is a pretty good singer and lyricist who says a lot of stupid things. I think we should get some kind of pie chart before buying a ticket. I'd like to know what percentage of the songs will be great, which will be tolerable, which will be intolerable, and how much time he's going to spend making political statements.
I don't think he has said anything stupid. What "stupid" remarks of his can you cite that could not just as easily be interpreted as intentional trolling and/or nuanced comments that bear multiple levels of interpretation?
 

Johnny

Well-Known Member
The Taliban is no more representative of Islam than the IRA were of Catholicism. Did you blame the Catholic church for every IRA atrocity?

And as someone else has pointed out, the Taliban did not carry out this attack, it was ISIS. But see this is what people of low intellect do: "Taliban, Islam, ISIS? All the same innit. All as bad as each other." Just one big lump of humanity you can group together, stick a label on and blame for the actions of a small minority of lunatics.

Convenient thinking is easy. But it ain't reality pal.
The IRA never represented Catholic people in the 6 Counties.
You will find never find a more anti-Catholic organisation in the world than the present day Sinn Fein.
 

SeniorLife

To be finished, would be a relief.
Anyone who can't separate the artist from the music doesn't deserve ears. WTF do people looking at the Mona Lisa really know about DaVinci, or people who love A Christmas Carol know about Dickens and his treatment of his wife? Fuk all is the answer.

All I care about is Moz making great albums. His personal views don't influence me any more than watching Chucky would inspire me to become psychotic.

chucky-homestuck.gif
While I agree, on the whole....the dilemma we run into is that 'the artist' and 'the work' is being entirely influenced by his personal views....they are his personal views! And they creep into his lyrics and become a stumbling block for him to write even better lyrics.

I agree completely. I also only care about Morrissey making great albums. Use Morrissey's music to enrich our lives. If (you) are being influenced or looking to Morrissey to influence your views on life, then (you, not you ACTON) you need some better role models. Look to people who care about you. Morrissey doesn't care about us. If you honestly think so, you are sorely misled.

Or do whatever you want. It's your life, who am I to dictate?.....
 
M

MorrisseyTrash

Guest
The countdown to the end of Moz begins…now.

#RIPMorrissey
 
L

Lujissey.

Guest
It seems that this guy needs to do psychotherapy to answer the disturbing doubts that Moz generates in his intense life... oh what reflections he makes... it has left me thinking!!!! How important this man's opinion must be to Morrissey!!!! :rofl: :guitar::guitar::drama::drama:
 
L

Lujissey.

Guest
This is more about 'timing' than 'content' isn't it? Designed to be disruptive & divisive just as the good ship 'Moz' is about to set sail to Las Vegas. Despicable shit-stirring.

Quiet you can not prevent the sun from coming out, our Sun will always come out !!! Up Moz!!!!!!VIVA Mozuchisss!!!!
 

Stephen Hofmann

Well-Known Member
The Taliban is no more representative of Islam than the IRA were of Catholicism. Did you blame the Catholic church for every IRA atrocity?

And as someone else has pointed out, the Taliban did not carry out this attack, it was ISIS. But see this is what people of low intellect do: "Taliban, Islam, ISIS? All the same innit. All as bad as each other." Just one big lump of humanity you can group together, stick a label on and blame for the actions of a small minority of lunatics.

Convenient thinking is easy. But it ain't reality pal.

Did you vote for Biden? How embarrassing for you. Trump looks like a genius compared to this guy.
 

Stephen Hofmann

Well-Known Member
The Taliban is no more representative of Islam than the IRA were of Catholicism. Did you blame the Catholic church for every IRA atrocity?

And as someone else has pointed out, the Taliban did not carry out this attack, it was ISIS. But see this is what people of low intellect do: "Taliban, Islam, ISIS? All the same innit. All as bad as each other." Just one big lump of humanity you can group together, stick a label on and blame for the actions of a small minority of lunatics.

Convenient thinking is easy. But it ain't reality pal.

You stupid idiots never..........ever.............fukcin learn.


Dewsbury: Four immigrants/descent have been jailed for a total of nearly 40 years after being convicted of kidnapping a teenage boy and subjecting him to a "terrifying ordeal".
They crashed into the 17-year-old victim’s car and assaulted him before forcing him into another vehicle. He was repeatedly beaten and transferred between different vehicles before managing to get away and seek help.
• Amar Khan was sentenced to nine years imprisonment.
• Jhazeb Khan was sentenced to nine years imprisonment.
• Shahzeb Khan was sentenced to 10 years and nine months imprisonment.
• Ansar Qayum was sentenced to 10 years and nine months imprisonment.
Another man Harun Nawaz was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment for assisting an offender in relation to this case.
The police have also issued a wanted appeal for another man who has been linked to this offence. Detectives have released a picture of Aftab Khan who is wanted on suspicion of kidnap. He is believed to still be in the Thornhill Lees/Dewsbury area."
 

Trending Threads

Top Bottom