Well anyone who knows me is well aware of the fact that I am a HUGE fan of
the 80's "alternative" band the Smiths and lead singer Morrissey's solo work as well...
But the funny things is: I
didn't like them at all when I first heard them in the early 80's. My younger brother Jon used to play them and I thought
they sounded so depressing and lead singer Morrissey's voice sounded so ridiculous that I teased him endlessly for listening
My opinion of the music changed in December '89 when I was on a road trip from Seattle to San Diego with my friend
Nick Jenkins to visit our high-school buddy Gary Smith. (how ODD is that? Strange but true: A Smith eventually got me hooked
on the Smiths) Under the seat was an old Smiths tape, "Meat Is Murder", and they insisted on listening to it. I refused. But
they put it in anyway and I suffered through a few songs until "How Soon Is Now?" came on. It was all over for me after that.
That was the most incredible opening riff to a song that I had ever heard in my entire life- and it gave me the biggest
rush I had ever gotten from a song. Amazing. We played it endlessly. The next day I got some tragic news over the phone from
home and that song really got me through it. I re-wound that f*cking song a THOUSAND times and basically played it non-stop
during the 1,100 mile, 20-hour drive back to Seattle just in time to attend the funeral. So then I appreciated the rest of
the songs they had and quickly bought up all of the CD's I could. The Smiths had long split up (in 1987) and Morrissey was
now solo. So I eventually got all his solo stuff as well...
The mystery surrounding "Moz" is that he has never
officially "come out" yet he is very effeminate and claimed to be asexual and celibate for many years. The rumours are that
he is indeed bisexual. That begs the question: Am I gay? No. I'm flamboyantly heterosexual. But I'm not a homophobe and hold
nothing against men who have sex with other men - or women with lust for other women. I am comfortable enough in my masculenity
to appreciate the man's music- regardless of who he does (or does not) sleep with.
I first saw Moz play live at the
Paramount Theatre in Seattle in 1991 with a few college friends, Pat Partington (later became the guitarist for Seattle alternative
pop bands The Cinematics , Pleasurecraft, and Jupe Jupe) and Paul Thometz. I met Pat in a Communications class
at the University of Washington and found that he was also a huge fan. Our friend Paul looked so much like Moz that when we
went to the show people did a double-take in line when we arrived.
It was the "Kill Uncle" tour and I somehow got
into the "pit" area and I was nearly hurled onstage by the moshers. My shoe came off in the tussle and someone chucked it
up onstage. So Moz danced around it for a bit and a security guard was nice enough to give it back to me. I stil wear
the shoes (re-soled twice since then- they look new).
I saw Moz again in 1992 for the "Your Arsenal" tour with my
then-girlfriend Jodeana Vernona Nagy but the show was cut short after some idiot threw their shoe at him and smacked him in
the face. I have since seen him at the Joint in Vega$ ('97), Thousand Oaks Civic Center ('97), The Hollywood Palladium ('99)
, Universal Amphitheater ('00), Santa Barbara Bowl ('02), Las Vega$ HOB ('02), The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn ('02) , and the Anaheim Pond ('02), and also plan on catching
a few shows on the "You Are The Quarry" tour this year: Anahem Pond 4/18, L.A.'s Wiltern Theatre 4/23, and in Europe @ Manchester's
MEN Arena 5/22!
update: I have seen him a million times since - full list of Morrissey
shows I have attended here: List of Morrissey shows I have attended: 54
In 1993 I moved to Los Angeles and took my Smiths/Moz fanaticism with me. Within a few days I was at work at Nordstrom's
in the Valley selling Men's Sportswear when my co-worker noticed by my hair-cut that I was obviously a Smiths/Moz fan and
told me that the club across the street, "ReBar" (the dance floor part of the Reuben's Summer House Restaurant) was hosted
by L.A. radio station KROQ DJ Richard Blade and that he played TONS of Smiths/Moz music as well as "alternative" stuff. Soon
at that club I met a fellow tall-haired fan named Jose Maldonado, lead singer of the Smiths/Morrissey Tribute band "The Sweet
and Tender Hooligans". I knew instantly that he would become one of my best friends. I would see him around quite a bit at
the L.A. dance clubs and on film and T.V. sets as a fellow Actor and "extra" but I didn't see his band play until the Smiths/Morrissey
Convention in 1997. We're still pals and I have seen his band play a hundred million times. Richard Blade left KROQ
in 2001 to retire to St. Martin in the Carribean for 2 years, but then returned and is now on sattelite radio- and he still
has hosted the Smiths/Morrissey Conventions.
In 1994 I worked in a record and video store in Malibu called The Wherehouse. By then I had bored of all my Smiths/Moz
CD's and traded them all in "used" and got "The Best Of... 1 and 2"
In 1997 Jose and I drove to Vega$ to see the first
U.S. Moz show in several years. In line I met several L.A. fans including Dawnie Nay and her future husband Tim Sprague. I
watched the show from the balcony as the die-hard fans smothered themselves trying to get onstage and grab their idol. I had
forgotten most of the lyrics he was singing but "Now My Heart Is Full" really stirred me and for a moment I felt embarrassed
that I couldn't remember them. I was pretty drunk and fortunately the 2 beautiful women I met upstairs thought I was charming
and dragged me into the Lady's room of the Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino and some things happened that I don't need
to share here becuase my Mother may stumble upon this page someday. Jose saw this happening and that basically gave me my
scandalous reputation as a Playboy. So whenever his band plays "Last of the Famous International Playboys" or "Boy Racer"
it is generallly directed at yours truly.
I started surfing the Net in 1996 but it wasn't until 1997 that Jose told
me about a great web site devoted to the Smiths/Morrissey: http://www.morrissey-solo.com/ . It turned out that my apartment in Santa Monica at the time was just a few blocks from the website creator, Dave
Tseng. Small cyver-world. It has had over 5,475,073 "hits" since Feb. 12, 1997- and a lot of them have been from me. I met
Dave at a Morrissey Birthday tribute at the Roxy featuring several bands playing a few Smiths/Moz covers. I have met him several
times since and he is a great guy. The promoter of the event, Carrie Williams, mistakenly believed I was Jeff Stodel, the
rythym guitarist in the "Sweet and Tender Hooligans". She asked me to join her for a bite after the show and I agreed
cuz I thought she was a total babe. She admitted a few days later that as we were driving in my car to the restaurant she
reallized to her horror that I wasn't Jeff after all. I ws flirty and had my arm around her at the restaurant and when I got
up to use the restroom she was asking everyone around us, including our tablemates Dieter Dixon and his girlfriend Amanda,
if they knew who I was. Nobody did. I came back and put my arm back around her, oblivious to the drama around me. Eventually
Lee Burkhart, the Sweet and Tender Hooligans bass player at the time, showed up and Carrie rushed over to him and asked "Who
IS this guy? Is he cool?" and Lee fortunately knew me and all was good and we can laugh about it now but at the time it was
Carrie later briefly became the Agent for the Sweet and Tender Hooligans.
has a "No In-and-Out" policy so everyone was stuck inside the whole night. That was interesting because during the show Morrissey
himself drove by and saw his name on the marquee celebrating his Birthday. He got out and took a picture in front of it. No
one inside had a clue.
For my 30th Birthday in 1999 I decided to buy back all those original Smths and Morrissey CD's
At one of the Sweet and Tender Hooligans shows in 2000 I met my pal Jennifer Williamson. She was a Law Student
at the time and we briefly dated and yet we are still friends ;^) She is responsible for me actually meeting Moz- I'll
always thank her for that!
He was having a signing for his "Oye Esteban!" DVD (basically a solo 'greatest hits' videos
compilation) at the Virgin Megastore in Hollywood. The only way to get it signed was to be one of the first 300 fans to buy
it at the pre-sale. She wanted to spend the night on the sidewalk with the other fans before they went on sale the next morning.
I refused to do it. No amount of convincing would make me want to do that. I was 31 and even if I was a teenager the idea
had no appeal to me at all. We argued several hours and she went home. At 5:30 AM she called BEGGING me to hold a spot for
her in line. I told her I would stop by the line on the way to work @ 9 AM. When I arrived there were over a thousand
fans and I knew I had no chance at getting the coveted wristband that the first 300 got. But I faithfully stood in line for
her anyway. No sign of her all morning. The doors opened and sure enough the 300 fans who had braved the cold of night got
the wristbands and hundreds more were left truly dissapointed. But out of no-where came Jen with 2 wristbands. "How did
you do it? Where were you?" I asked. She had snuck into the side door right as the store opened and beaten the odds. So for
that we got to come back a few days later with our coveted wristbands and Morrissey signed our DVD's for us.
to South Carthay (adjacent to Beverly Hills and Hollywood) in 1999, about a year before Morrissey bought a house in the Hollywood
Hills about 2 miles away from me. A fellow fan took me to his place. I showed a couple trusted fans his house but have never
"stalked" him or disturbed his privacy. That's just too creepy for me. So Morrissey, if you are reading this: You have nothing
to worry about!
I have several stories with fellow fans I have met from all over the world and maybe some day I'll
add them all to my web page. There are already several posted- if you've followed my updates over the years you know they
are there ;^)
List of Morrissey shows I have attended
Meeting the band in VEGA$ 9/6/02
I was able to get a few pix from the show and even some from the "After Party" afterwards...
The House of Blues has a V.I.P. Foundation Room and I was on the list to get in. That is the ONLY way to get in- as an
elevator at the main floor is the only access to that top floor and security won't allow you in unless you are validated...
I had met some of the guys in the band before and amazingly they recognized me and were all very cool to chat with!
Morrissey's handler's were not allowing any photos with him - but he did speak with me briefly and was very polite. I wish
I could tell you that he opened up and confessed all of his heart's desires and his view on the meaning of life- or even
better: news of a new record contract- but actually all that I had to say was "great show", blah blah blah and left him
to mingle with the band and crew before he left...
|Alain Whyte (middle) recognized me from a past show and was very pleasant to chat with...
|One more time- making sure we're all looking at the camera!
|I HAVE to include the beautiful Sarah Jane- who I met thru Morrissey-Solo- see her web site below!
Sarah Jane's web page
|Moz onstage in Vega$ ... sorry for the crappy picture quality!!
|Yep there he is: the Moz himself in action
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