Las Vegas Weekly: "Should Morrissey Fans Allow His Ugly Recent Rhetoric To Affect Their Love Of His Music?" by Geoff Carter (August 26, 2021)

Here's a (somewhat) balanced attempt by Geoff Carter to grapple with the issues around Morrissey fandom these days, in Las Vegas Weekly.

Text below:

In August 1986, I saw The Smiths perform in Irvine, California. My friend and I went to the show on a last-minute impulse, snagging tickets from Tower Records and driving directly to the show. Before that night I was, at best, a passive Smiths fan, but the crackerjack 75-minute set delivered that night opened my eyes. And Morrissey, whom I’d previously underrated as a frontman, wowed me with his energy, sincerity and his intensely personal connection to the audience.

“I hope that the security don’t ruin your night too much, but I’m sure that they’ll do their best,” he said, after a yellowshirt handled a fan too roughly for his liking. “But never mind. They’re outnumbered.”

It was a proper piss-off, and it won me over instantly. After the show I bought every Smiths single and LP I could get my hands on. I internalized the lyrics of “The Boy With the Thorn in His Side,” “Nowhere Fast” and “How Soon Is Now,” contorting my very American teenaged perspective to align with that of an outspoken, possibly celibate vegetarian from Manchester, England. And when The Smiths dissolved a year later, and Morrissey embarked on his storied career as a solo artist, I kept listening, though with less fervor and fidelity. Generally speaking, I lost touch with Morrissey’s career shortly after You Are the Quarry in 2004.

That being said, it feels strange to say that I’m on the fence about checking out Morrissey’s weeklong residency at Caesars Palace. I mean, it’s Morrissey, right? “Everyday Is Like Sunday?” “First of the Gang to Die?” “Suedehead?” There’s little doubt that, were I go to one of these shows, I’d hear several songs I like and several more I unequivocally love. And though I haven’t seen Morrissey perform live since the late 1990s, friends tell me he hasn’t lost a step as an entertainer—provided, of course, that he actually shows up. (Morrissey has canceled so many gigs over the years, punk parody site The Hard Times got a solid piece out of it without much effort. The headline: “Morrissey Ranks His Most Iconic Canceled Performances.”)

But I can’t get past his big mouth, which—to paraphrase a Smiths classic—strikes again and again. Morrissey has always been outspoken, but his ire used to be directed at the British royal family and anyone currently eating a cheeseburger, whereas his recent interviews have been marred by intolerant, nationalistic and seemingly racist statements.

In a September 2010 interview with The Guardian, he described the Chinese people as a “subspecies” due to what he perceived as a systemic mistreatment of animals. In a 2017 interview with Der Speigel, he casually dismissed Hollywood’s victims of sexual assault: “[Throughout history], almost everyone is guilty of sleeping with minors. Why don’t we throw everyone in jail?” And in recent years, he’s put his support behind the anti-Islam group For Britain, even wearing its pin during a Tonight Show performance. The context around these comments—nearly always tied, in some way or another, to animal rights issues—doesn’t mitigate them.

It comes down to an essential question Los Angeles Times writer Randall Roberts asked in an October 2019 article about Morrissey: “Which is more powerful, the thrill that rushes into your spirit when you connect with a song or album, or the disappointment that comes with realizing you don’t share essential values with its creator?” It’s a question we’ve all had to ask ourselves these past few years—about J.K. Rowling, Michael Jackson and many others. It’s not as easy as “separating the art from the artist,” when the art is so deeply personal. How does “It takes guts to be gentle and kind” (from “I Know It’s Over”) sit comfortably along Morrissey’s June 2019 assertion that “everyone ultimately prefers their own race?”

I can’t answer this. Not yet. And I won’t judge the decisions made by others. I have a number of friends—many of them Mexican-Americans, a community in which Moz enjoys Elvis-like stardom—who are going to one or more of the Caesars shows, and I’m not about to tell them they’re wrong to do it. And truthfully, Morrissey would probably be grossed out by me, as well—a typical clueless Yank, seconds away from his next In-N-Out Burger. But I’ll continue to wrestle with this in my heart long after Morrissey’s Vegas residency has come and gone. His ugly rhetoric hasn’t yet diminished my love for The Smiths, but he’s trying his best.
 

celibate

Forever Ill
:popcorn:
Another Bandwagon jumper, none information about the current activities from Morrissey and band members. Don't give this guy a press card, let him pay if he wants to write about the gigs.
 
S

Seymour Glass

Guest
o_O
FFS peeps, the dork who wrote this stupid article is a well known hobo and vagrant.(n)
lives in a rusted camper with no running water and an unicycle in the shower(n)
feeds on McMuffins.:expressionless:
and coors beer:grimacing:

Pay no mind to his docile babbling, not one iota of sense does he have.:hammer:
Coors is delicious!
 
L

LittleBastard

Guest
As most of you probably know the concert mentioned in this article appears on the "Thank Your Lucky Stars" bootleg... and there's more that develops between Morrissey and Security.

The part quoted above is at the end of That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore:



Then it picks up quite dramatically about 1 min into I Know It's Over... quite moving to hear Morrissey berating Security on behalf of fans:




Anyway, I hadn't heard these clips in a long time... so thought I'd share.
IMO it's the best Smiths live material out there, 2nd only to Rank. I have a piece of the pink shirt he was wearing that night stored away somewhere, as a good friend struggled for a bit of the sleeve and shared.
 

Jen M

Member
"Should music reviewers keep trying to influence Morrissey fans as if their lives depended on it?" is the real question that needs to be addressed.
 
N

Nobody of importance

Guest
It's an opinion piece. Who cares. You know what they say about opinions right? They're like assholes; everybody has one. I tend to stay away from reviews, editorials or any sort of opinion pieces. Even if I agree with them.
 

2pennyprince

New Member
As most of you probably know the concert mentioned in this article appears on the "Thank Your Lucky Stars" bootleg... and there's more that develops between Morrissey and Security.

The part quoted above is at the end of That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore:



Then it picks up quite dramatically about 1 min into I Know It's Over... quite moving to hear Morrissey berating Security on behalf of fans:




Anyway, I hadn't heard these clips in a long time... so thought I'd share.
I love his effortless transition from screaming at the security to singing.
 

Ketamine Sun

HANG THEM HIGH VERONICA

Las Vegas Weekly: "Should Morrissey Fans Allow His Ugly Recent Rhetoric To Affect Their Love Of His Music?" by Geoff Carter​





Well, to ‘allow’ his so-called PAST not ‘recent rhetoric’, fans would first need to be bothered by his statements. So it’s not really a question of allowing, but rather a question of, what’s more important to you, the music/his art or the way media portrays (their perception of ) Morrissey?



VIVA MOZ VEGAS !!!


:thumb:
 

The.Truth.

Every.Single.Time.
Poor Morrissey. Apparently "the media" have somehow tricked him into repeatedly making statements that proved to be unpopular with many people.
 
A

Anonomous

Guest

Las Vegas Weekly: "Should Morrissey Fans Allow His Ugly Recent Rhetoric To Affect Their Love Of His Music?" by Geoff Carter​





Well, to ‘allow’ his so-called PAST not ‘recent rhetoric’, fans would first need to be bothered by his statements. So it’s not really a question of allowing, but rather a question of, what’s more important to you, the music/his art or the way media portrays (their perception of ) Morrissey?



VIVA MOZ VEGAS !!!


:thumb:
Yup. Say as you will Morrissey cause ya walk the walk.
 
B

baggiest1970

Guest
Just a local writer talking about Morrissey. Absolutely nothing wrong with the article. It's refreshing to read since it seems everything written around Las Vegas (I've lived in Las Vegas since 2004) seems to be about the latest and greatest pop/hip-hop group. I will be there Saturday, judgement free, watching one of the greatest songwriters of my generation. I am looking forward to it.
 
R

RIPMorrissey

Guest
Mask mandates are in effect for indoor concerts in Las Vegas. Masks are at the ready and will be thrown at Quilloughby on night one, aka his final concert ever. Can’t wait to read about him storming off the stage for the last time in his pathetic life.
 
M

MeatisMuckduck

Guest
Here's a (somewhat) balanced attempt by Geoff Carter to grapple with the issues around Morrissey fandom these days, in Las Vegas Weekly.

Text below:

In August 1986, I saw The Smiths perform in Irvine, California. My friend and I went to the show on a last-minute impulse, snagging tickets from Tower Records and driving directly to the show. Before that night I was, at best, a passive Smiths fan, but the crackerjack 75-minute set delivered that night opened my eyes. And Morrissey, whom I’d previously underrated as a frontman, wowed me with his energy, sincerity and his intensely personal connection to the audience.

“I hope that the security don’t ruin your night too much, but I’m sure that they’ll do their best,” he said, after a yellowshirt handled a fan too roughly for his liking. “But never mind. They’re outnumbered.”

It was a proper piss-off, and it won me over instantly. After the show I bought every Smiths single and LP I could get my hands on. I internalized the lyrics of “The Boy With the Thorn in His Side,” “Nowhere Fast” and “How Soon Is Now,” contorting my very American teenaged perspective to align with that of an outspoken, possibly celibate vegetarian from Manchester, England. And when The Smiths dissolved a year later, and Morrissey embarked on his storied career as a solo artist, I kept listening, though with less fervor and fidelity. Generally speaking, I lost touch with Morrissey’s career shortly after You Are the Quarry in 2004.

That being said, it feels strange to say that I’m on the fence about checking out Morrissey’s weeklong residency at Caesars Palace. I mean, it’s Morrissey, right? “Everyday Is Like Sunday?” “First of the Gang to Die?” “Suedehead?” There’s little doubt that, were I go to one of these shows, I’d hear several songs I like and several more I unequivocally love. And though I haven’t seen Morrissey perform live since the late 1990s, friends tell me he hasn’t lost a step as an entertainer—provided, of course, that he actually shows up. (Morrissey has canceled so many gigs over the years, punk parody site The Hard Times got a solid piece out of it without much effort. The headline: “Morrissey Ranks His Most Iconic Canceled Performances.”)

But I can’t get past his big mouth, which—to paraphrase a Smiths classic—strikes again and again. Morrissey has always been outspoken, but his ire used to be directed at the British royal family and anyone currently eating a cheeseburger, whereas his recent interviews have been marred by intolerant, nationalistic and seemingly racist statements.

In a September 2010 interview with The Guardian, he described the Chinese people as a “subspecies” due to what he perceived as a systemic mistreatment of animals. In a 2017 interview with Der Speigel, he casually dismissed Hollywood’s victims of sexual assault: “[Throughout history], almost everyone is guilty of sleeping with minors. Why don’t we throw everyone in jail?” And in recent years, he’s put his support behind the anti-Islam group For Britain, even wearing its pin during a Tonight Show performance. The context around these comments—nearly always tied, in some way or another, to animal rights issues—doesn’t mitigate them.

It comes down to an essential question Los Angeles Times writer Randall Roberts asked in an October 2019 article about Morrissey: “Which is more powerful, the thrill that rushes into your spirit when you connect with a song or album, or the disappointment that comes with realizing you don’t share essential values with its creator?” It’s a question we’ve all had to ask ourselves these past few years—about J.K. Rowling, Michael Jackson and many others. It’s not as easy as “separating the art from the artist,” when the art is so deeply personal. How does “It takes guts to be gentle and kind” (from “I Know It’s Over”) sit comfortably along Morrissey’s June 2019 assertion that “everyone ultimately prefers their own race?”

I can’t answer this. Not yet. And I won’t judge the decisions made by others. I have a number of friends—many of them Mexican-Americans, a community in which Moz enjoys Elvis-like stardom—who are going to one or more of the Caesars shows, and I’m not about to tell them they’re wrong to do it. And truthfully, Morrissey would probably be grossed out by me, as well—a typical clueless Yank, seconds away from his next In-N-Out Burger. But I’ll continue to wrestle with this in my heart long after Morrissey’s Vegas residency has come and gone. His ugly rhetoric hasn’t yet diminished my love for The Smiths, but he’s trying his best.
lol another one of these articles. Enough.
 
M

MeatisMuckduck

Guest
Mask mandates are in effect for indoor concerts in Las Vegas. Masks are at the ready and will be thrown at Quilloughby on night one, aka his final concert ever. Can’t wait to read about him storming off the stage for the last time in his pathetic life.
Go f*** yourself.
 

Trending Threads

Top Bottom