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Morrissey and Paws
June 24, 2014 6:19 AM   Subscribe

Morrissey recently canceled the remainder of his USA tour after coming down with an illness he allegedly caught from his opening act, Kristeen Young, who denies she was the cause of the illness. This was not Morrissey's first instance of controversy on this tour, however. ----- "And before last night’s show at the Observatory in Orange County, he incurred the wrath of the Scottish band PAWS when his management attempted to get their set that night canceled. PAWS and We Are Scientists were scheduled to play a smaller room within the same venue, but Morrissey didn’t want any chance of sound-bleed during his set, and his management allegedly demanded that PAWS cancel their opening set and We Are Scientists only take the stage, for a shortened set, after the Morrissey show was already over. PAWS were actually going to be paid double for the canceled show, but the idea of canceling at Morrissey’s behest didn’t sit well with them, and they lashed out against Moz on Facebook, calling him a 'rich, has-been, ego maniac acting like a baby throwing toys from a pram.'" Morrissey denies the allegations.
posted by josher71 (72 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
"this charming man"
posted by Fizz at 6:25 AM on June 24 [16 favorites]


Just...why is it important that he pin the blame on Kristeen Young? Why can't he just be ill?

And I'd way rather see PAWS and We Are Scientists than Morrissey. Then again, maybe I do so at my own peril. The more I ignore him, the closer he gets, after all.
posted by inturnaround at 6:29 AM on June 24 [22 favorites]


Heaven knows I'm a miserable git now.
posted by MartinWisse at 6:30 AM on June 24 [12 favorites]


I know, I know, it's serious.
posted by parki at 6:30 AM on June 24 [9 favorites]


Oh wow, I remember Kristeen Young from Muic From the Succubus Club all those years ago. Had no idea she was still going and apparently kicking ass.
posted by Pope Guilty at 6:32 AM on June 24 [1 favorite]


This doesn't sound like Morrisey at all. He never whines about anything, ever.
posted by loquacious at 6:34 AM on June 24 [64 favorites]


Please excuse me from the gym tour I've got this terrible cold coming on
posted by octobersurprise at 6:35 AM on June 24 [2 favorites]


I have had many friends excitedly buy tickets for Morrissey shows and I think maybe only a handful of those dates ever panned out to an actual live show. And yet they still keep buying tickets, hoping that maybe this time he won't cancel.

I love Morrissey as much as the next ex-teenage Goth, but after a while, you have got to say, "Oh, fuck this."
posted by Kitteh at 6:35 AM on June 24 [3 favorites]


Metafilter: but after a while, you have got to say, "Oh, fuck this."
posted by Naberius at 6:39 AM on June 24 [6 favorites]


I grew up during The Smiths/Morrissey heyday. Loved them, loved the music.
Fast forward 30 years later and I decide to buy a ticket to one of Moz' solo shows.
In Florida.
Via Ticketmaster.

I'm sure you can see where THIS is going, Gentle Reader.

Moz cancels show (as he always does).
Ticketmaster refunds only cost of ticket, and none of the tacked on fees, taxes, and other assorted nonsense that they charge when purchasing said ticket. (as they always do)
The ticket was $50 but there was at least $20 worth of tacked on rubbish.

Never. Again.

None of the above surprises me.
If I had to take a side it would be with Whomever Is Not Morrissey.
posted by John Kennedy Toole Box at 6:40 AM on June 24 [11 favorites]


Love Morrissey's solo music (some of it, anyway) but anyone who's expecting him to be an uncomplicated pleasure to work with should maybe talk to his former bandmates.
posted by blucevalo at 6:41 AM on June 24 [1 favorite]


I feel like there are some musicians and groups whose appeal is completely mystifying if you didn't get in to them at EXACTLY the right time in your youth. In fact, I think there's probably a spectrum of appeal-opacity, and that it's reduceable to a 10-point scale (I'll call it the "Primus Scale" for reasons that should be obvious), with acts like Sam Cooke and The Beatles ranking zero Primuses while boy bands and crab core and whatnot rank in the 9-10 range.

Morrissey ranks all the Primuses.
posted by saladin at 6:46 AM on June 24 [51 favorites]


In other news, water is wet.
posted by Going To Maine at 6:49 AM on June 24 [2 favorites]


The morrissey of this guy, the more I don't like.
posted by chillmost at 6:53 AM on June 24 [49 favorites]


they lashed out against Moz on Facebook, calling him a 'rich, has-been, ego maniac acting like a baby throwing toys from a pram.'" Morrissey denies the allegations.
"I'm not as rich as you might think."
posted by Flunkie at 6:58 AM on June 24 [13 favorites]


To be fair, he used to be a poor, defining-man-of-the-moment egomaniac acting like a baby throwing toys from a pram. At least a bit of money didn't go to his head and change him.
posted by dowcrag at 7:00 AM on June 24 [9 favorites]


Maybe the cold is a cover up... He was just worried about getting too close to Canada
posted by cirhosis at 7:02 AM on June 24 [1 favorite]


I remember in the DJ booth back in the college radio station where I used to hang out during my undergrad years, someone had taped up a photo of a smiling, barechested Morrisey, circa "Your Arsenal," and then had used marker to paint his skin red and add devil horns. It was pretty awesome.

Some things never change.
posted by KokuRyu at 7:02 AM on June 24


Johnny Marr is growing older with much more grace. He was always the best part of the Smiths catalog anyway.
posted by C.A.S. at 7:03 AM on June 24 [15 favorites]


This is all ridiculous cluelessness, almost certainly not by Morrissey himself, but by his new, clueless, all-too-busy management at Harvest Records.

Some of you might remember them as the same management group that created a Twitter account for Morrissey to promote the new album and tour, which he almost certainly didn't post to himself and which was subsequently abandoned.

Before we swear and curse at a musician, it might be a good idea to make sure that the musician is actually the one we should be upset at, as opposed to his numerous layers if label lackeys.
posted by markkraft at 7:05 AM on June 24 [2 favorites]


This is all ridiculous cluelessness, almost certainly not by Morrissey himself, but by his new, clueless, all-too-busy management at Harvest Records.

Yeah, let's give him the benefit of the doubt because of course he's so well-known for his levelheadedness and certainly hasn't shown himself to be an embarrassing ass before.
posted by kmz at 7:09 AM on June 24 [9 favorites]


Meanwhile, Morrisey and Pamela Anderson.
posted by juiceCake at 7:10 AM on June 24


"Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want". It's more than a song; it's a personal credo, apparently.
posted by grubi at 7:12 AM on June 24 [1 favorite]


Weirdly, one of the shows cancelled was to have featured support from Cliff Richard (if you're not too familiar with Cliff, check out my previous comment or the excellent blog Cliff Richard Dying Inside). According to Cliff, Morrissey is still in hospital, which would indicate that he may be suffering from something more serious than a cold caught from Kristeen Young, as he claimed and she vehemently denied. Whatever the case, get well soon, Morrissey!

Meanwhile, next month Morrissey releases his 10th solo studio album, World Peace Is None of Your Business, which features perhaps the most Morrissey-esque song titles of his career. Four songs have already been released as download-only singles, which can be heard on Spotify or Youtube:

World Peace Is None of Your Business
Istanbul
The Bullfighter Dies
Earth Is The Loneliest Planet

He's also release slightly strange spoken-word videos for each of these songs. The one for Earth Is The Loneliest Planet also stars Pamela Anderson. (Istanbul. World Peace Is None of Your Business.)

Mojo magazine describes the album as his best in 20 years on its latest cover, while giving it 4 stars. Other reviews are also positive: Q magazine, Uncut (part 2).
posted by cincinnatus c at 7:15 AM on June 24 [5 favorites]


Can you cite me one example of him being an embarrassing ass in the last five years?

Frankly, he has this situation where the music press itself -- and especially the British music press -- loves to hate him, because it creates a lot of controversy and drives readership. It's no wonder that he's stopped doing so many interviews with most of them.
posted by markkraft at 7:15 AM on June 24


Can you cite me one example of him being an embarrassing ass in the last five years?

Maybe this?
posted by josher71 at 7:21 AM on June 24 [4 favorites]


*chuckles*
posted by jonmc at 7:22 AM on June 24 [2 favorites]


Can you cite me one example of him being an embarrassing ass in the last five years?

No idea what your standards for "embarrassing ass" are, but "the Chinese are a subspecies" thing was 2010 and last year he ranted about how great Farage is, especially his views on Europe, which is also pretty embarrassing.
posted by effbot at 7:22 AM on June 24 [6 favorites]


Kitteh: I love Morrissey as much as the next ex-teenage Goth, but after a while, you have got to say, "Oh, fuck this."

So apparently my wife and I were lucky, because these two ex-teenage goths went to a show where Morrissey actually performed, and let me say, good god damn man, is there no joy in your life? Seriously. SERIOUSLY. It was like a super whine-fest for anti-corporate vegans. At one point, he asked the crowd which was worse: McDonalds or Haliburton. We heard I Have Forgiven Jesus, which made our night, and we stuck around for a few more songs, but I like my miserable songs to be darker, and less whiny. And maybe it's because I now live in the land of a hundred casinos, but his lack of energy on stage made him seem like he was practicing for the casino crowds, where you play along to your greatest hits and everyone leaves happy, off to the slot machines and buffets.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:27 AM on June 24 [1 favorite]


About half this list is from just the last five years, and while there's quite a few choice quotes on it that don't bother me, personally, calling the Chinese "a subspecies" shoots well past embarrassing ass and into repugnant bigot.

Forcing your publisher to print your autobiography --- your first book length work of prose --- under its "classic literature" imprint, that's embarrassing ass territory.
posted by Diablevert at 7:30 AM on June 24 [5 favorites]


Before we swear and curse at a musician, it might be a good idea to make sure that the musician is actually the one we should be upset at, as opposed to his numerous layers if label lackeys.

Are you suggesting that Morrissey is so ill that he does not know these shows are being scheduled and cancelled?
posted by Lyn Never at 7:32 AM on June 24 [1 favorite]


Yeah, Morrissey is responsible for everything done in his name unless he condemns it and makes it right. So Harvest Records may have written that blame Kristeen Young post and they may have pissed off PAWS and WAS, but if he doesn't intervene, then he's responsible, he might as well have done it himself.

Morrissey's business is Morrissey. If he can't be bothered to pay attention to what people are doing for him in his name, then I can't be bothered to defend him.
posted by inturnaround at 7:37 AM on June 24 [2 favorites]


Here's a little palate cleanser: Johnny Marr's Happy Mondays Kidnap
posted by Drab_Parts at 7:39 AM on June 24 [3 favorites]




The more I ignore him, the closer he gets, after all.

REVEALED: Moz is the creepy Burger King mascot.
posted by grumpybear69 at 7:46 AM on June 24 [1 favorite]


"It's like, y'know, get that grease outta your hair, get a girlfriend, get a James Brown cd, get some Vitamin C, get some fucking clean air and some sunlight, go outside for a walk--get over it! Morrissey, buddy, come on! I’ll help him out, I’ll take him out and we’ll play frisbee! Cheer him up a little!"
posted by entropicamericana at 7:52 AM on June 24


As always, Moz is the boy with the thorn in his side.
posted by Sophie1 at 7:55 AM on June 24


It becomes a lot funnier when you imagine Morrissey is really Adrian Mole turned rock star.
posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide at 7:59 AM on June 24 [7 favorites]


Ticketmaster refunds only cost of ticket, and none of the tacked on fees, taxes, and other assorted nonsense that they charge when purchasing said ticket. (as they always do)
The ticket was $50 but there was at least $20 worth of tacked on rubbish.


I've never had ticketmaster withhold fees on a cancelled show.
posted by anazgnos at 8:00 AM on June 24 [1 favorite]


I hate it when people blame their colds or whatever on a specific person. What are you, a fucking epidemiologist?
posted by ChuckRamone at 8:03 AM on June 24 [11 favorites]


Leave Morissey alone!
posted by thelonius at 8:07 AM on June 24 [2 favorites]


In other Morrissey news, his new album's supposed to be terrific. "A reinvigorated Moz returns with his best work in years," says Mojo.
posted by Paul Slade at 8:10 AM on June 24 [1 favorite]


they lashed out against Moz on Facebook, calling him a 'rich, has-been, ego maniac acting like a baby throwing toys from a pram.'" Morrissey denies the allegations.

Which one specifically? the rich, has been, ego-maniac, or the acting like a baby throwing toys from a pram?
posted by Ironmouth at 8:23 AM on June 24 [1 favorite]


I've never had ticketmaster withhold fees on a cancelled show.

Yeah; I hate ticketmaster and their fees with the intensity of a thousand burning suns, but I've been refunded on everything I paid (including the 47%-of-the-total-ticket-price fees) on cancelled shows.
posted by inigo2 at 8:24 AM on June 24


Most of my friends in Atlanta who are into that sort of thing didn't even bother buying tickets this time: this was the fourth Morrissey show canceled here in 18 months. I think maybe he just doesn't like Atlanta.
posted by hydropsyche at 8:34 AM on June 24


I suppose your mileage might vary on whether these are embarrassing or just painfully earnest, but this January Morrissey wrote "I see no difference between eating animals and paedophilia." and "If you believe in the abattoir then you would support Auschwitz."

Must have missed the cultural moment for Moz because he's always struck me as a walking, whingeing, unhinged cringe.
posted by forgetful snow at 8:44 AM on June 24 [3 favorites]




Frankly, he has this situation where the music press itself -- and especially the British music press -- loves to hate him, because it creates a lot of controversy and drives readership. It's no wonder that he's stopped doing so many interviews with most of them.

Yeah, well, ya know. They hate it when their friends become successful.
posted by graphnerd at 9:19 AM on June 24 [1 favorite]


grumpybear69: REVEALED: Moz is the creepy Burger King mascot.

No wonder he's always ranting about McDonalds and KFC. Way to take down the competition, King Moz.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:27 AM on June 24


So, wait he cancelled his tour because of a cold? A cold!? Really? Take some freaking cold medicine, man. Sheesh.
posted by oddman at 9:29 AM on June 24


the guy needs to eat more meat
posted by philip-random at 9:40 AM on June 24 [10 favorites]


This is a more extreme version of his 2007 tour, when he had to cancel several dates because Dave Letterman kept his studio too cold.
posted by twoporedomain at 9:56 AM on June 24


Is he still ill?
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 9:57 AM on June 24 [5 favorites]


Sneeze around the fountain...
posted by Kitteh at 9:59 AM on June 24


I've never had ticketmaster withhold fees on a cancelled show.

Me neither. Always got a full refund from cancelled Morrissey shows (OK, it only happened once before).

The worst is when you buy a ticket from stubhub (resale) for a show in a town you'll only be in for the day. Instead of a refund, you get a new ticket that stubhub will be happy to help you resell for less than you paid for it, and then minus the cost of seller's fees, of course.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 10:12 AM on June 24




Has Morrissey ever covered "Hurt"? I'd actually like to hear what he could do with that song.
posted by octobersurprise at 12:04 PM on June 24


inigo2: "I've never had ticketmaster withhold fees on a cancelled show.

Yeah; I hate ticketmaster and their fees with the intensity of a thousand burning suns, but I've been refunded on everything I paid (including the 47%-of-the-total-ticket-price fees) on cancelled shows.
"

Not to derail, but I work in event ticketing (not at TM, but competitor) and service fees usually work out to a split of:
  • Credit Card Processing Fee (about 3% of your total; usually works out to about 3/16th of the fee, so if you're ticket costs $100, and your service fee is another $20, it'll be about $4 inside the service fee)
  • Ticketmaster's cut for running the ticketing infrastructure (about 1/4th of the fee)
  • Promoter / Facility (the remaining 1/2+ of the fee)
Service fees are a way for big artists / promoters to hide the true cost of a ticket. Because then they can advertise a $20 ticket, but actually net $30 with their split of the service fee, and pass on the credit card processing fee to the customer as well in the service fee.

Big touring companies (like ice-shows, circuses, a certain comedian) may even add an additional promoter "bump" of a dollar or two inside the service charge.

edit: And yes, Canceled shows = Everything gets refunded
posted by wcfields at 12:13 PM on June 24 [2 favorites]


My favorite Ticketmaster fee was always the Print At Home "convenience" fee. If you wanted them to snail mail you the ticket (via regular mail) it was free, but if you opted instead to print the ticket yourself, they added a fee for that. I think they might have gotten rid of it eventually but the sheer gall was pretty amazing.
posted by kmz at 12:15 PM on June 24 [5 favorites]


Might I recommend the Sweet and Tender Hooligans, for all your teenage goth Smiths/Morrissey desires? I can personally attest to it being a thoroughly satisfying experience.
posted by ApathyGirl at 12:18 PM on June 24


A friend and I got to see him live in our little corner of Texas' armpit (Beaumont), one of the last concerts before he cancelled the tour. This was after he postponed the original show, and then subsequently cancelled it, last year. I was honestly surprised that he actually showed up this time, but it was a good show. Decent mix of old and new, and getting the chance to hear him sing Hand In Glove live will remain a concert highlight for me. It was just so surreal for Morrissey of all people to be visiting our downtrodden, racially-charged, small-minded, refinery-job-meat-grinder of a college town. He even mentioned the Beaumont show as being among the best shows of his live career in a subsequent press release, which I found hilarious. My friend and I had joked that once his tour bus made it here, he'd take one look around and tell the driver to get out of there as quickly as possible.

I really feel like this will be his last album, though. He's always been a punchline for jokes about tour cancellations, but the past few years have been something else entirely. And the new songs are... ehhh... not great, to my ears. And this is coming from someone who really liked most of his recent albums. And even though the show we saw was enjoyable, it was pretty obvious that he was going through the motions.

I'll listen to the album when it comes out, but I'm not setting my expectations high. It's weird watching your musical heroes wither. It happened to me with Depeche Mode last year. After putting out a handful of my favorite DM albums late in their career, out popped Delta Machine... and the less said about it, the better. We still saw the concert when it came close, and it was still great, but the magic was gone.

It's hard to quantify Moz's appeal. He's fickle and says ridiculous things. His catalog is arguably spotty (I, like most of his fans, give him a lot more benefit of the doubt than he deserves). And there's no getting around the fact that he's a major asshole.

But.

When I was in the closet in highschool, with no one to talk to about it (or pretty much anything), it really did feel like he was speaking to me through his songs. That's pretty much textbook Moz-fan trite, I fully realize. But it's always amazing when music can move you to feel that way. And no matter how much older and happier and better-put-together that I become, I'll always have a soft spot for the old prick because of that.
posted by kryptondog at 12:20 PM on June 24 [5 favorites]


Where I live I can pay a traffic ticket by mail for free (well, cost of postage and a cheque), but it's $9 or something to do it online. Because, like the "print at home" fee, people will say what the hell, let's just get this over with right now.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 12:21 PM on June 24


What is this I don't Steven
posted by Petersondub at 1:48 PM on June 24 [2 favorites]


Today, I said to someone that Paul Westerberg (at least in terms of 80's underground rock) was the anti-Morrissey. I realize that say Ted Nugent or David Lee Roth might be even more so but they were from different scenes, so Paul and the 'Mats get the nod.
posted by jonmc at 2:04 PM on June 24 [2 favorites]


This is a more extreme version of his 2007 tour, when he had to cancel several dates because Dave Letterman kept his studio too cold.

Cold doesn't cause colds though so blaming the cold for a cold is nonsense.
posted by juiceCake at 4:55 PM on June 24 [2 favorites]


Since the mid-1980s, I've had a mental image of Morrissey driving past the Burger Kings and White Castles of the world, wishing with all his heart for a double cheeseburger with no onion, extra cheese and extra pickle. Knowing all too well that he had burned that bridge forever when The Smiths released Meat is Murder.

That is my personal theory to explain why he is the whiniest man on earth.
posted by double block and bleed at 7:24 PM on June 24


Morrissey seems, even now in his 60s or whatever, to have never ever gotten past that high school vegetarian mode where it's just a moral club to beat everybody else with. I'd assume most rank-and-file vegetarians would be embarassed by him.

It's also funny to me that Johnny Marr is apparently like the world's humblest, least obtrusive vegan
posted by anazgnos at 8:37 PM on June 24 [6 favorites]


Morrissey has what you might call "an artistic temperament", I'm glad he keeps up his brand as a miserable jerk, and has not become mood levelled and adjusted.

To his credit he did step in earlier this year to save This Charming Charlie from the corporate copyright lawyers.
posted by koebelin at 8:20 AM on June 25


Johnny Marr also has actual musical talent, taste, and skills.

Moz just provided the "special sauce" of limited plainsong-like melodic lines, mordant cultural references, and an identity for the audience to latch on to. While required for pop success, there's an actual case of lead singer syndrome in action here. The lower the amount of identifiable, quantifiable skill, the greater the insecurity and display of attitude.
posted by C.A.S. at 12:51 PM on June 25


I agree that he has lead singer syndrome, but would argue he had that even before he became a lead singer (and is probably the reason certain people become lead singers).

As for "just" provided the special sauce, I'd disagree. He was a key component to the Smiths and a unique one. The pairing of Marr and Morrissey was a great one and though I think Marr would have found a role in music without him, I don't think his role would be what it is without Morrissey. Conversely, I doubt Morrissey would have a role at all if not for Marr.

It was interesting to hear some of Morrissey's "collaborators" describe how Morrissey would just show up in the studio and not bother to ask if the song sent to him by post had been updated, changed, etc. and how he sings the chorus where the chorus should not be, things like that.

Because of this, I understand one of the reasons people dislike the Smiths. Most of the songs don't follow a conventional song structure and some may not care for that. That said, I believe Marr and Morrissey made it work very well.

Post Smiths, neither has produced work as unique or good. Morrissey used to, it seems, have a sense of humour about himself, and the strong image, aesthetic, and so forth he was part of establishing with and for the Smiths clearly an artistic statement. The problem is he became his statement, took himself way to seriously, and became a bitter parody of himself. His disrespect to his bandmates, in the Smiths toward the end and afterwards is legendary, not to mention his disrespect of management, all of which helped to blow up the Smths and inspire Marr to get the fuck out of managing the band's affair and putting up with bullshit from Morrissey.

Not an uncommon thing in musical history of course.

I enjoyed Marr's latest album and seeing him perform Smiths songs, despite a weak voice, is far better than seeing Morrissey do the same. His band butchers the songs. Morrissey needs a great band and he lost that years ago.
posted by juiceCake at 8:28 AM on June 27


Yes, I probably overstated my case, and I think you are right. There was a definite alchemy with both of them together. I probably overstated my case because Morrissy was so latched onto that I don't know how much of Marr's contribution to what made those records special is appreciated by non-guitar players.

Also, ever since my girl pointed out how narrow Morrissy's melodic lines were, I can't here them the same. That being said, its pretty remarkable what that band was doing in the context of their times.
posted by C.A.S. at 1:24 PM on June 28


Morrissy was so latched onto that I don't know how much of Marr's contribution to what made those records special is appreciated by non-guitar players.

Agreed. It's quite baffling. He's had a couple of listenable songs since but very weak compared to the Smiths. This isn't unusual either of course, Very few singers or musicians have the ability to be great for decades.

I'm not a guitar player but the music always came first for me with the Smiths and as mentioned Morrissey, at least at the time, was perfect for that music and established a very unique and strong identity. It's uncomfortable to see the same man essentially parody that identity.

Although I'm not a favourites type of person, Strangeways is my favourite Smiths album and speaks to the fact the band could evolve, both in singing and music but as usual, outside factors conspire to stop artistic endeavors. It seems Morrissey is more about outside factors then music.
posted by juiceCake at 7:00 PM on July 1


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