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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Morrissey and Me: Four Stranger Writers Hold Forth on the Pope of Mope

Posted by on Tue, Nov 13, 2012 at 12:18 PM

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The news made a number of Stranger writers leap in the air: On November 8, Morrissey would be playing Seattle's Moore Theater as part of a "greatest hits" tour to commemorate his nearly 30 years in the music biz. Between the size of the venue (small!) and the promise of the set list (Smiths-ridden!), anticipation was higher than Lisa Dank on Twitter. Then came the awful news: Due to his need to be with his ailing mother, Morrissey was canceling/rescheduling all remaining dates on his tour, including our coveted November 8 at the Moore.

Our first impulse was to kill ourselves. But then we realized Morrissey would want us to go on, and live, and hopefully buy his next 16 compilation albums (Morrissey: Songs in Alphabetical Order!). We also realized the best way to cure sadness over not getting to see Morrissey was to obsess over Morrissey. So please enjoy...

The Riches of the Poor
by Derek Erdman

There was a time in the late 1980s in Cleveland, Ohio, when admitting to liking Morrissey was sufficient reason to catch a beating. Admiring a man who wore gold lamé and writhed on rocks in the desert didn't go over well with teenage alcoholics with absent or abusive parents. Chains were appearing on wallets, studs and beer patches on denim vests. I somehow landed in a group of "tough kids," and although I wasn't very good at fighting, I got into a lot of fights.

My grandmother managed a decrepit bowling alley that became the last diversion for civilized behavior. My friends and I spent half of a summer there, bowling for free when we were 17. We had access to giant rusty American cars, handed down or purchased for less than $300—poor and careless, we huffed glue and destroyed everything that we could. I was going into my senior year of high school and sometimes worked as a telemarketer—I had a sinking feeling that I was at the beginning of the wrong path.

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