Reflections from a grateful fan:
A few weeks ago I saw Morrissey in concert; perhaps the sixth or seventh time I’ve seen him. He sounded beautiful, golden, and young. He was melodramatic in his ever-bereaved, morbid, wistful way, that keeps me so indescribably attached and connected to him. Confession: I have an insane devotion to Stephen Patrick Morrissey. My heart actually swells with reverence, compassion and understanding. Its love, from one outsider to another.
How is it that a straight LA born girl in her 30’s (yes I still think of myself as a girl) can possibly connect so deeply to a British, gay, male, alternative music icon from the 80’s? This question actually struck me as I noticed the deep feelings of admiration and love rise from deep inside me as I watched Morrissey perform in his dramatic melodic fashion at the Fox Theater in Pomona. After all, the only way I would really ever be caught dead in Pomona without a court order would be to see my favorite crooner or maybe some other not-to-be-missed musical event being hosted in P-town.
I’ve loved Moz since I was 16. My very first boyfriend had The Smiths Greatest Hits vol. 1 & 2 on CD constantly playing the summer I met him. It was then that I heard for the first time someone talk about feelings of alienation, heartbreak, and the general cruelness of the world and life that I was experiencing at that very moment!
Flashback: Picture for a moment teenage Dre in her room with the Dylan McKay poster hanging on the wall, the pom poms on the window seat, black Guess backpack resting against the mirrored closet doors. She is writing in her pink journal on her twin bed while The Smith’s song “Girl Afraid” floats out of the white Memorex stereo daddy gave her, exactly at the lyric, “She said he never really looks at me. I’ve given every opportunity”… When I hear that song, I time travel to that very moment, that feeling, the memory from that time in my life. Music is magic and powerful like that .
In fact, I was so sure that Moz was my male counter part in misguided and unrequited love, that it wasn’t until I was in my 20’s when my then boyfriend Xavier explained what his songs were actually about. I heard his innuendos for what they were and not at all the spin I had put on them. What?! He’s gay?! Gasp. Morrissey was in fact singing about his lifestyle and not at the heartbreak and sadness of my adolescence and not being asked to Prom by the boy with the hair like Elvis who’s name I’d been sketching in my journal for months…
That’s the beauty of all music though, isn’t it? You hear it with your own ears and apply your life experience to it. I find it fascinating that you can be an emo teenage girl drama queen circa 1996 navigating her way through the cruel social stratification of high school, or you can be the gay kid circa 1988 or 2006 in Manchester coming to terms with his sexuality. Despite time, space, and circumstance we are both comforted and validated by such lyrics as “I am the son and the heir of a shyness that is criminally vulgar. “ Wisdom is put to a rockabilly melody when he declares, “Rejection is one thing, but rejection from a fool is cruel”. We are no longer the only ones who feel invisible when he whales, “I don’t mind if you forget me. Having learned my lesson I’ve never left an impression on anyone”.
It’s amazing I didn’t just kill myself in the 90’s. Actually, I probably didn’t thanks to this vegan in vintage jeans with the golden voice singing, “If I were you I wouldn’t bother… For there are brighter sides to life and I should know, because I’ve seen them, but not very often …”
I left the concert the other night thrilled having seen my fantasy godfather healthy, well, and guess what? He’s still a little sad… and so am I. I guess some things never change. “I’m here with the cause, I’m here with the torch, in the corner of your room, sneaking in… When you’re dancing and laughing and finally living, hear my voice in your head and think of me kindly… “ I will. I promise.
Moz- Thank you and I love you. xo Dre