Monday, 21 October 2013

Could've seen Morrissey in Gothenburg, didn't though

Popheaval's back in business, invigorated and full of energy! I had a wonderful time travelling with a friend, exploring new cities and obviously going out a lot. Too bad no musical experiences or mind blowings occurred as we didn't find any especially interesting gigs to go to. There was however a moment of surprise when I was going through some music news and found out that Morrissey was announced to be doing a one-off book signing in Gothenburg (of all the places!) in order to promote his recently published autobiography. The very city we were visiting at that moment! 

Now, I'm not a big fan of Morrissey or the Smiths - as a matter of fact, I always felt they were a bit overrated - but there's no denying of the importance of his career. The guy is one of the most recognisable icons of alternative music. So of course I wouldn't have minded elbowing my way through a crowd of hysterical fanboys and -girls to catch a glimpse of the singer but unfortunately we were leaving for Malmö (both very nice Swedish cities, by the way) that night so I had to settle for reading about it online instead.

I wasn't going to buy the book anyway, so to me it was never about getting to personally meet him but rather just getting to see a renown pop icon with my own eyes. However, after having read about the contents of the book my disappointment was quickly replaced with indifference: among all other things, Morrissey was bashing Siouxsie in it! How very dare he. Seriously speaking, 'Moz' has always been known as a bit of a diva and not many have been spared from his bitching: earlier this year, for instance, he described Margaret Thatcher's funeral as "rubbing salt in wounds", even calling the Iron Lady "a terror" and "barbaric" immediately after her passing. Then again, that isn't really anything new of him as he once wrote a song about her titled "Margaret On The Guillotine" with him wondering in the lyrics "When will you die?" Subtle, as ever.

Apparently he isn't a big fan of women to begin with, (with the rare exception of The Pretenders frontwoman Chrissie Hynde) saying that the first 'woman' he fell in love with was The New York Dolls' Jerry Nolan, while also bad-mouthing Sarah, Duchess of York and her daughters (“A little bundle of orange crawling out of a frothy dress, the drone of Sloane blessed with two daughters of Queen Victoria pot-dog pudginess.”), ridiculing Nico (of The Velvet Underground fame) for her face showing signs of aging (“You feel certain that Nico is in there somewhere amongst the creases.”) and yeah, then there's Siouxsie whom he describes as "blancmange" before adding: “Within eight seconds she seems to have alienated everyone in the room…eyes roll ceilingwards each time Godzilla snaps out her stipulations". Other example of Morrissey's crusade against women is when he's talking about a former NME journalist Julie Burchill: “Julie Burchill is, of course, not loveable, and has pitifully late middle-aged legs.” Um, alright? “Her naked body probably kills off marine plankton in the North Sea." Ouch. How exactly she is supposed to slaughter microscopic aquatic organisms while unclothed is not further explored in my sources though, so I'm afraid you've just got to get the book to find out. Heaven knows I'm not doing that. But yeah, he's certainly living up to his fame as a whiny moaner filled with bitterness.

In other news, the book also provides an interesting insight to his life - well, it is an autobiography after all. Those of you who enjoy Morrissey's lyrics will undoubtedly enjoy his style of writing, and there are a lot of anecdotes about his experiences: did you know, for instance, that he was offered a cameo role in Friends, performing in Central Perk with Lisa Kudrow's character Phoebe, in addition to being offered roles in both Eastenders and Emmerdale? On the other hand, he also opens up about darker themes such as a kidnap attempt and his less-than-happy school years. One of the themes that will stir the most attention will probably still be his sexuality, which he finally, though vaguely confirms while describing his two-year relationship with another man: "for the first time in my life the eternal 'I' becomes 'we', as, finally, I can get on with someone."

Anyway, his falling out with Siouxsie dates back to 1994, when the two recorded a duet together. A music video was set to be filmed as well, but due to artistic disagreements (Morrissey wanted to use patriotic visual elements such as bulldogs, while Siouxsie reportedly insisted on a poodle, just to wind him up I'd believe) nothing came out of it, with the duo's relationship turning sour in the process. The song, a stunning cover of Timi Yuro's 1968 song of the same name, is an incredibly beautiful piece of music nevertheless, and since it's Sunday today (and you know who I associate this weekday with), it'll make a perfect addition to the soundtrack of your evening. Just listen to how well their voices blend together, it's a shame that a clash of their big egos ensued. Enjoy!

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