Ardent Morrissey fans speak
of the compelling urge to make a physical connection with the man who,
in the words of one fan, "has described the content of my secret
soul and cradled my heart for the better part of a decade".
For Con, an Adelaide fan and father of two, the October concert at the
Thebarton theatre is "the culmination of 20 years of hoping"
and a chance to express - bodily - a stupefying gratitude:
"How do you thank someone who has changed the course of your life?
My one goal was to make him have a reaction because of me. He looked my
way and shook my hand. His muscle spasms were because of me. He moved
a muscle because of me. That is all I wanted. That was my goal."
To ask a Morrissey fan what it is about this singular figure that should
warrant such devotion, is a fascinating exercise. In 2003, it might just
seem a mandatory one.
Morrissey is 43 years of age, greying at the temples and stout of girth.
Morrissey does not have a record deal, has been without representation
for five years and has not released any new material since the coolly
received Malajusted LP of 1997.
Call him morbid, call him pale - Morrissey, it must be acknowledged, has
never been the most obvious of rock-and-roll icons.
"16, clumsy and shy that's the story of my life"
(The Smiths - Half a Person, 1987)
The less literal minded, however, might just recognise the sublime subversion
in headlining a rock festival in a brown cardigan and in turning the hackneyed
triumvirate of 'sex, drugs and rock-and-roll' on its head by evincing
celibacy and excess tea consumption while singing of impossible love (I
Want the One I Can't Have), snappily dressed stylists (Hairdresser on
Fire) and the barbarism of the meat-industry (Meat is Murder).
As glibly predicted in the title of The Smiths 1987 compilation album
"The World Won't Listen", and Morrissey has fallen far from
fashion, yet in 2002 as the Artist Formerly Known… embarks on the
most comprehensive world tour of his career, signs of a Moz resurgence
demand our recognition.
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