Last year The Smiths ousted The Beatles, David Bowie, The Sex Pistols U2 and Oasis to be named "The most influential musical artists of all time" by Britain's music bible the New Musical Express (NME) and in a poll run by Manchester's Evening News to ascertain public opinion as to who should wear the mantle "Greatest Mancunian" Morrissey was the surprise run-away victor. With six times as many votes as his nearest competitor, computer inventor Alan Turing,

Morrissey stands quiffed head and shoulders above Rusholme registrar Emmeline Pankhurst, footballing legend Bobby Charlton and even Noel Gallagher whom, the newspaper reports, secured "twenty times fewer (votes) than Mr Melancholy".

Melancholy he may be, but as America swoons to the strains of emo and Morrissey is namechecked with increasing regularity by today's Bright Young Things - most notably Ryan Adams and Craig Nicholls of The Vines - Morrissey might just be poised on the brink of something like acceptance.


Not that it matters a whit to the World's Biggest Morrissey Fan and the ardent assorted who have always queued outside the theatres and wailed in the front rows, and for whom being on the outside is an integral and defining component of their attraction. For Angela, now back in Perth and writing letters in that that same small, cramped hand to the Dear Mozophiles she met on her Odyssey, it is enough to have discovered a small group of like-minded souls:

"So-called normal people don't understand. They look at the way the fans behave and then ask 'who is the person that inspires this behavior en masse?'"

A sad git. A poof in pink shirt. The only one who ever stood by me. A retro artefact. Vivid and in his prime…
Meeting Morrissey fans and curious bystanders around Australia, the quality most often ascribed to this man, revered and reviled in turns, is one of near-prescient affinity. In the hot afterglow of his first Morrissey concert, Con is far from alone in asserting the presence of a profound connection:

"I reckon he is singing just about every song to me. In the singular."

The sensation that Morrissey is capable of peering through the cracks in one's life and singing of the secrets within is one which renders him god-like and one with which I am all too familiar. As a Morrissey fan of the obssessive variety - is it too late to come clean?! - and a veteran of ten concerts, I remain to be convinced that Morrissey is indeed but flesh and bone.
Over the course of Morrissey's seven Australian concert dates, only one brave/foolish soul managed to evade venue security to mount the stage and hold Morrissey's hand in her own ….

...and as I was firmly but politely evicted from the Enmore Theatre stage, I caught the eye of the World's Biggest Morrissey Fan, and I understood all.

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