Morrissey Has Killed Me

Of course he has, the dirty terrorist. The first single from his new album, Ringleader of the Tormentors, due out April 4, is called “You Have Killed Me.” I just listened to it and watched the video (true to form, it sucks; it wouldn’t be a Morrissey video if it didn’t), and now I’m basking in the jittery, giddy glow that ever accompanies hearing the first notes of a new Moz album. April 4 cannot come soon enough.

As I live and breath, you have killed me. Yes, I walk around somehow, but you have killed me…

The album “review” put out by the label is, as they always are, hilarious.

Ringleader of the Tormentors – which those who have heard it are identifying as one of his greatest recording achievements - is a record of a different complexion than all previous Morrissey records. It seems somehow suffused with a new confidence and, dare one venture, happiness?
Every Morrissey album has been his greatest recording achievement yet, and every one has signaled a new happiness, if you go by the label announcements. According to them, he’s been on a steady incline toward euphoria since The Smiths’ Meat is Murder.

Recorded at Forum Music Village in Rome with long-term hero Tony Visconti (who produced favorite records for T-Rex and David Bowie, during their most creative periods of the 60’s and 70s), the album positively crackles with fire.
That’s quite cool, actually. (Pic of Moz with Visconti here.) Cool enough, in fact, that it doesn’t need to include a repulsive turn of phrase like “the album positively crackles with fire.”

‘To Me You Are a Work of Art’ may contain the classic Morrissey couplet, “I see the world, it makes me puke.”

‘Dear God Please Help Me’. Orchestrated by Ennio Morricone (who has over the years made much of his significant work at Forum Music Village), this beautiful song, which for the most part simply describes walking through Rome with an unfettered heart, is almost sanctified in its atmosphere. Yes, the lyrical content is frank-bordering-on-prurient, and yet over its six rousing minutes the song swells to almost hymnal proportions, until you feel that, for all his supposed remove from the human race, few people can deliver a universal emotional message with more power than Morrissey.
Sounds great. Let’s get this album in my grubby little hands ASAP!

As I’ve mentioned before, aside from relatives and my lovely, twisted, and immeasurably valuable friendship with Mr. Furious, the longest relationship with a man in my life is with Morrissey, and I have spent countless hours in his presence, mostly at concerts, but there have been a few occasions when I’ve met him as well. I have a little photo album somewhere of all my pictures of me with him, his arm slung across my shoulders, but it’s packed away somewhere and I’ll be darned if I can find it. So these second-tier images will have to suffice in fulfillment of my promise (or threat, depending on one’s perspective) to post some pics of said occasions.

Harold Washington Library, Chicago
Release Party: Your Arsenal

Shakes with Morrissey as he signs a postcard for her, and she tells him it’s a pleasure to meet him, and he responds, more genuinely than she would have expected and looking at her dead in the eyes, “The pleasure is mine, my love,” from which she has never recovered.

Mr. Furious with Morrissey. I won tickets to the listening party by sending in a postcard to a contest held by Chicago radio station XRT. I got to bring one friend, and there was no chance it was going to be anyone but Mr. F. A few weeks later, we were at Mr. F.'s house late one Saturday night when his stepdad called through, "Melissa's on TV!" JBTV, a Chicago music show and staple of the local alternative music scene, had filmed the Your Arsenal party, and was rebroadcasting it. So we got to watch ourselves meeting Morrissey in slack-jawed awe, failing completely to put in a videotape.

Kingston Mines, Chicago
Video Shoot: “Glamorous Glue”

The Mission: Show up clad in black at the Chicago blues club Kingston Mines and the first 100 in line will be permitted to enter and appear as the audience in Morrissey’s video for the single “Glamorous Glue” from Your Arsenal.

We got there early and got in. They told we lucky hundred sods not to take any pictures or rush the stage. It was hopeless. Flashbulbs went off like it was a press junket and fans completely ignored the tables at which we were meant to sit quietly, instead rushing the stage and clamoring for the man. They finally just let us all get things signed, touch the messiah, speak with him, and then we were ushered out. In the end, the video was shot with a single audience member—an elderly black man who had probably never heard of Morrissey, and hasn’t again since.

Tower Records, Chicago
Album Signing: Vauxhall and I

We wait patiently for our turn with Moz. There were literally thousands and thousands of people who waited to see him. Luckily, we were toward the front of the line. He seemed in no huge hurry, and spent time speaking with each of us and taking pictures with us and generally being his amiable and accommodating self.

Then-boyfriend speaks with Moz while he signs the album cover. When I stood with him to have my picture taken, he turned to look over our shoulders out the window, where waiting fans were lined up for blocks. “So many people who want to see you,” I said. “I’ll never get over it,” he replied.

(Related: The Songs That Saved Your Life, or intro to my adoration for Moz.)

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