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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