A Look Inside Morrissey’s Mind


A little while back, during one of his U.S. tours, we had the distinct honor of attending and photographing Morrissey in concert. He played mainly solo stuff, with a few Smiths nuggets mixed in, and we expect more of the same this evening when His Mozzer performs at Radio City Music Hall. Recently, he has shared his thoughts on retirement, his forthcoming autobiography, and helping that elderly woman who collapsed next to him at the Strand bookstore last month.

Of course, we wouldn’t presume to know what Morrissey’s thinking when he’s onstage. Actually, yes, we would!

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“If you people don’t stop with the fucking Smiths reunion rumors every five minutes, I’m just going to stand here and make this face for the entire set.”

“Oh, I see you up there in the balcony, Mr. Music Critic, scribbling furiously in your little notebook that I’m ‘a bloated shell of an icon, stubbornly indulging in the subpar contents of my ever-weakening solo catalog whilst giving only perfunctory, disinterested nods to my finest songwriting glories with the Smiths.’ To quote the great ‘M.E.T.H.O.D. Man’ — I’ll fucking lay your nuts on a fucking dresser, just your nuts laying on a fucking dresser, and bang them shits with a spiked fucking bat. BLAHHHHWWW!!”

“Jesse Tobias, your guitarwork leaves me staggering in awe. I never, ever felt this way performing alongside Marr. I can’t believe the Red Hot Chili Peppers let you go!”

“For fuck’s sake, what is that horrid odor penetrating my nostrils? Hot dogs or some other sort of evil meat product wafting over from the concession stand? Perhaps someone let one of those varieties of human sub-species I’m always blathering on about into the room? Or maybe one of the royals? Mehhh, same thing.”

“Alas, my hand is not in glove at the moment, but at least the sun still shines out of my behind.”

“In the right light, people sometimes mistake me for Quentin Tarantino. Which is a shame, because who’d want to be mistaken for a washed-up hack?”

“Crap, the sweat on my palm has smeared the lyrics to ‘How Soon Is Now’ — how am I gonna convince these people this boring old tune matters to me now if I can’t even remember the words? Maybe one of my fans will run onstage and try to tackle me. That’d be good. If Ozzy can dump a bucket of water on himself to hide the fact that he’s pissed his trousers, maybe a diversion will work for me, too.”

“These people adore my David Byrne impression.”

“And people think Michael Strahan and I have absolutely nothing in common.”

“Oh, my dears, I know you all would like to marry me, but I’m afraid I must disappoint you. As Oscar Wilde once wrote, ‘By persistently remaining single, a man converts himself into a permanent public temptation. Men should be more careful; this very celibacy leads weaker vessels astray.’ I must admit, however, I’m feeling a tad weak this evening. Mr. Security Man — backstage passes for all!”

[Photos by Michael Alan Goldberg]