There is something about fans of The Smiths and Morrissey that just stands out from fans of other singers/bands. I’ve never really met anyone in person who truly got my love for Morrissey. Maybe one or two, but that’s it. Those who truly get the love for him are the ones I’ve seen at Morrissey shows. The ones who cry as soon as he walks on stage, the ones who sing every word back to him knowing that it is one of the many songs of his that saved our lives. It doesn’t need words, because the actions of us all just sum up our feelings perfectly.
There are times where I’ve worn one of my Morrissey/The Smiths t-shirts and a knowing nod or smile has been thrown my way from a stranger on the street. Once I was waiting at Piccadilly station in Manchester on the platform, and I was wearing a Morrissey shirt. Stuart Maconie walked past me and smiled. That was pretty cool. I’ve had a woman in Liverpool stop me as I was walking through the street, grabbed my arm and asked if the M tattoo on my arm was for Morrissey. You feel something quite powerful and a mutual understanding when this happens. It makes you feel something that probably wouldn’t mean as much if it was another band or singer.
One of these encounters happened again today.
Today is a year of my girlfriend and I being together, and this afternoon we went out for lunch. On my jacket I have a badge with Morrissey’s face on with the words, “It’s so easy to laugh, it’s so easy to hate. It takes guts to be gentle and kind” around it. A voice of a young chap said to me, “Excuse me, is that..on your badge..The Smiths?” I said it was. He replied with “I Know It’s Over.” An d we agreed on the beauty of the song and spoke briefly about his autobiography which is FINALLY out next week. That short interaction with someone about a person who has evidently been one of the biggest influences in your life not only makes you proud to be a fan, but it makes you glad that someone else also gets the importance of Morrissey.
Of course you do get these people who seem to love just saying nasty things about Morrissey. They label him as miserable (obviously they don’t get intelligent humour) and such things. However, you cannot please everyone. And why on earth would you want to please everyone and win people over? No thank you. For me, I love Morrissey because he manages to express every ugly feeling I’ve ever had in a way that makes it feel alright. He exposes the feelings we are told to push down and ignore in a way that makes you feel less vile for having them. He also dislikes the Royal Family, which I fully endorse. His words for so long have been my life. He’s changed my life in ways those who TRULY love him will only know how. If you’ve only ever heard of The Smiths because of 500 Days Of Summer and have never listened to another song by him or The Smiths- they will not get it at all. That’s alright, they probably love another band/singer in the same way. Everyone has that one singer/band that they will defend until their very last breath.
When someone stops you in the street to acknowledge the t-shirt you are wearing, and you both exchange understanding acknowledgments- it just makes you even more proud to be a fan of that band/singer.
There is one video, I believe that truly sums up how much us Morrissey fans love him and what it means to love him. Oh and of course the atmosphere you can feel whilst at a Morrissey show:
Morrissey fans are the most passionate and loving fans. They know what it is like to truly love a singer with EVERYTHING they have. They’ve rinsed their bank accounts to just see him live. They’ve declined sleep to travel to see him. His music is our life, and I doubt we’d have it any other way. Many of course will continue to slag off Morrissey, but he’s still around. He’s lasted longer than most, and his words are the lifeline for so many. He is someone who you don’t just play in the background and carry on with whatever you’re doing. You play his music daily and you feel every word deeper than you did the time before, and the time before that. Your love and respect just grows.
Music is a massive part of my life, and I’ll always stand by that Morrissey’s words are why lyrics mean the most to me. Seeing songs like Speedway live was like a healing process of sorts. Seeing I Know It’s Over live was something I’ll just never forget- the words went deeper that time, for obvious reasons. It’ll always be my favourite song by The Smiths. I do believe that no one but Morrissey should sing his songs/ The Smiths songs, but Dum Dum Girls cover of There Is A Light is my only exception. Always. His words may be delicate at times, but he gives you strength. Feel alone, feel weak, cry- whatever. It doesn’t matter, and you shouldn’t be ashamed of having those feelings. He was the only one to have taught me this, and I’ll carry it around with me for the rest of my life. The songs that really did, save my life.