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Morrissey: Portrait of the Artist as a Consumer, 1983


Happy Birthday, Morrissey, 54 years young today. I’m not typically in the habit of giving birthday shout-outs (e.g., a belated best wishes to Mr. Pete Townshend, 68 last Sunday), but this particular anniversary is much on my mind as I will be reading at the Bell House in Brooklyn tonight as part of At Last I Am Born: A Morrissey Birthday Celebration. Headlining is (are?) New York City’s Smiths/Morrissey tribute band The Sons and Heirs, along with DJ Matt Heart Spade and a Smiths-inspired congregation of vegetarian food and fashion! For my part, I have lined up four short sections about Morrissey’s birth and childhood, to be interspersed with relevant music. Admission is $12; I regret that it’s 21+. (The Smiths would never have happened if British venues were 21+.)

On the subject of which, while researching A Light That Never Goes Out: The Enduring Saga of the Smiths, I took full advantage of this Interwebs thingy and put together a YouTube playlist of Morrissey Faves, culled primarily from his Portrait of the Artist as a Consumer in the NME, 1983. The only song from that Playlist that I couldn’t find on YouTube is Cilla Black’s ‘The Right One Is Left,’ and so I added the two cover versions the Smiths recorded in the studio, ‘Golden Lights’ by Twinkle and, of course, Black’s ‘Work Is A Four-Letter Word.’ Today I make that Playlist list public. Happy Birthday, Moz. See some of you tonight.

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