Reprinted from True To You, Issue 15
I have been listening to Morrissey since the early days of The Smiths. Through the years, he has influenced my life more and more.
With Morrissey, there is no hidden agenda. He does not become a different person at 5:00 p.m. every day. The personality of the man is there for all to see in his songs. He really does as he sings in "Sing Your Life."
I have so many similarities with Morrissey. I was born to Irish parents and brought up in an industrial northern town in Britain. I experienced the Catholic education system, poverty, and what the Tory Party did to Britain in the 1980s.
When I was growing up, books and records had always been my refuge, and again I shared this in common with Morrissey. And, through the years, he has encouraged me to read so many writers whose work I now love and admire, such as Oscar Wilde and A. E. Housman.
As a teenager, I had felt at times that I was plowing a lonely furrow, but Morrissey's music became my constant companion.
One of the main ways that Morrissey has helped me is that he has talked about and sung about loneliness. He has brought the subject into the open. His words on the subject are clarion calls to everyone who has felt isolated and alone.
Many times, when I am listening to Morrissey singing about the subject of loneliness, I experience his words as though he is singing them specifically to me. It is as though he is saying to me that it is OK, and that he feels like that at times, too.
What has sealed my love and admiration for Morrissey is that he is a vegetarian. And I am sure that "Meat Is Murder" has converted thousands to the cause of vegetarianism.
One of the most beautiful and profound experiences I have ever had was when I first listened to "I Know It's Over," and heard Morrissey singing the words "It's so easy to laugh/it's so easy to hate/it takes guts to be gentle and kind."
Morrissey has helped me to feel that I can be myself, and to feel confident in the knowledge that being myself is just fine.
For this, I give him my greatest tribute and thanks.
20 January 2004