surinenglish

This alarming man

There are various categories which musicians fall into: the brilliant arrogant ones, the brilliant humble ones, the half-decent arrogant ones, the half-decent humble ones, the rubbish arrogant ones (usually found singing in bars unable to comprehend why they aren't megastars) and the rubbish humble ones. And then there's our old mate Morrissey in a category all of his own - the quirky delusional one.

His musical output is a parson's egg if ever there was one - good in parts and bewilderingly poor in others. Years ago, I saw him up at Fuengirola castle where I went to do some festival interviews at a time when I worked on the radio. He bowled up in a big limousine and nobody was allowed within a certain number of metres of him (I was told it was a clause written into his contract). A couple of massive blokes were there to enforce the rule but they needn't have bothered, no-one batted an eyelid, let alone ran towards the vehicle. Poor bloke had forgotten it wasn't nineteen eighty-six. Anyway, to give him his due, he performed and sang very well, over-indulging in that whiplash microphone cable technique thing he so loves, but it was a very good show nonetheless. Plus, I got to go home happy because he sang his best song The More You Ignore Me The Closer I Get which includes the magnificent rhyming couplet 'I bear more grudges than lonely high court judges.'

Morrissey's former group, The Smiths, are a sacred cow for many; there are people who simply can't comprehend why anyone wouldn't like them. I'm not much of fan, but Johnny Marr's guitar jingly jangles can be exquisite sometimes, there's no denying that. None of this, however, is generally what gets people talking about Morrissey these days; it's more the utter nonsense he spouts in interviews or on social media which leaves people sporting the kind of incredulous expression normally only associated with those who've just witnessed a Spanish politician resigning after being caught banged to rights over some misdemeanour or other. Oh, sorry, bad example - that never happens, obviously.

Lately, Mozza's come out with a couple of corkers, most notably the totally baffling 'Brexit did not happen'. Once someone has become that detached from reality, it's difficult to see a way back for them, although if he caught the bus to his next gig, it might help.