Thursday, September 27, 2007

Portrait Of A crappy Artist As Morrissey Fan

My friend Vi and I arrived a little after 6pm. There was already a line of fifty people when we got to the area outside of the Fillmore. We all stood a bit behind the venue entrance near the post office. A slightly bearded guy walked up and down the line nervously looking at the those who had tickets already.

"Tickets? Anyone got extra tickets? Tickets?" he said non stop.
"I have an extra one," said a guy in front of us.
"How much?"
"One hundred," the ticket holder replied.
"Shit. I don't have that much. I have to buy four tickets. I lost them... The show hasn't even sold out," the buyer said with anxiety in his eyes.
"Sorry but its a hundred dollars."

A few minutes later another person came by and the ticket holder got his hundred dollars. The guy in front of Vi and I went and got a taco, we held his place in line.

"Ah ha! One step closer to Morrissey," I exclaimed as he walked away. "Sucker." When he came back we let him back in line.

The minutes passed slowly as Vi and I talked about the upcoming K-1 Max (a world muay thai tournament). When the conversation petered out we quizzed each other, impressing each other with our Morrissey factoids. My ability to keep track of these things isn't that good. The only thing I remembered was that the guitarist was in the polecats (but that was only because Vi talked about it on Monday night).

We were let in at 7 o'clock and we quickly made our way to the front of the stage. Facing the stage itself we were one person behind the security gate on the left. Certainly a modest position but one we had to guard through out Kristeen Young's set. The crowd for the most part was pretty mellow and surprisingly I wasn't tossed about or smashed up against the gate. Then again Morrissey isn't “System of a Down,” or “Rage against the Machine.” The violence he invokes is a bit more sophisticated.

Kristeen Young musically is a cross between Bjork and Tori Amos. Like Bjork she has a penchant for unusual wardrobe. Last night she wore a dress that looked like it was made of paper dollies. Streaking down the right side was red ribbon with a small heart pinned on her chest. Her upper left shoulder was covered in plastic and her left hand looked like it was wrapped in medical tape. She's a talented musician but most people seemed to find her music vaguely irritating. When the crowd doesn't show proper enthusiasm she's prone to state clever witticisms or sarcastic comments. Its an admirable trait. Her set lasted about forty minutes.

After the stage was cleared the prelude videos came on. The videos began with a pompous French gent wooing women from around the world. The New York dolls were shown playing “Just looking for a kiss” and we got to see David Johansen's bare midriff as he bounced with punkish enthusiasm.

“Are you excited?” asked a young woman standing next to us.
“Yeah.” I replied.
“Me too. I am soooo excited.”

Morrissey came on stage around nine o'clock and immediately went into his set. I enjoyed the show last night much more than on Monday. The set list was better and the visceral experience of being right up front made things more exciting.

Towards the end of the show Morrissey came over and asked a couple skin heads how they afforded coming out to see him so often.
“I really can't say,” the skinhead replied with his cockney accent.
I thought it was silly that they couldn't just admit that they were drug dealers, or petty thugs. I could imagine them lurking in a dark alleyway across the street from an atm machine.
“One more mate and we can buy the tickets to see Morrissey,” the one in the polo would say.
“This cunt better have taken out more than a bill. I'd like to pick up that Cocksparrer album that that whore stole from me too when she left me. Ah fuck it, as long as we get to see Morrissey croon to us,” the other skin head thug would reply.

I'd brought a small stenciled portrait of Morrissey and attempted to give it to him through out the evening. I spent a fair amount of my time during the show attempting to bestow my gift to Morrissey yet I was denied. I imagine it can be quite taxing to have all these people giving you various rubbish. Early in the show he received an Oscar Wilde action figure. My jealousy smoldered for quite a bit. My picture was made with love and care, something you certainly can't buy for ten dollars at a comic book store. In the end my persistence paid off. He came over to stage left during 'First of the Gang to Die.' I reached out with the canvased piece of art yearning to lavish upon him my object of devotion.
“For me?” Morrissey mouthed with a respectful air.
I nodded dumbly and he took it from my hands. Morrissey looked at the stencil and then held it in front of his face as he continued to sing. After a bit he set it next to the action figure in front of the drum set. It toppled over during the song but I didn't care. The glory is in the giving, well that and having my artistic work being paraded in front of hundreds of people by a handsome devil. I was congratulated by the other fans around me for my tenacity. I smiled pensively for the rest of the show.

The show let out around 10:30 after 20 songs or so. I saw a few kids I knew from the bay area and talked to one woman about my upcoming fight. We got another copy of the Fillmore produced poster then Vi and I rode home contented.

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