Thursday, June 12, 2014

I'll never be anybody's hero now

Steven Morrissey, one-time frontman for the popular 80s band The Smiths, has either postponed or canceled dates on every one of his solo tours beginning in 1991, when the final Australian dates and eleven dates in the United States were canceled on his Kill Uncle tour. Since then, eleven subsequent tours have either been interrupted, totally canceled or aborted before the first show, including hanging David Bowie out to dry. (Tumblr user Torr chronicles the adventures of Morrissey's tours here.) Being the tour manager for Morrissey is a tough, thankless job.

Just last week, Morrissey rescheduled a date in Atlantic City, New Jersey, only to cancel the entire tour several days later. I can only imagine that, after all this time, the planning stages of a Morrissey tour go something like this...

Morrissey: I think I'd like to go on tour, y'know, to promote the new album.

Morrissey's Tour Manager: Uh, sure, Steve, I'll get on that right away.

Morrissey: I want the whole deal. Spare no expense. Full band, lighting, rigging... the works!

Morrissey's Tour Manager: You got it, Moz. I'll get on it straight away. (He does not move.)

Morrissey: Hey, shouldn't you be making phone calls or something?

Morrissey's Tour Manager: Uh, oh yeah, sure, sure. Phone calls. Right. (He picks up his desk phone and pretends to dial.) Hi, yeah. I wanna book... um, yeah.... right, right the big room with the big stage. Yeah, the one with lots of seats! Great! Thanks. (He hangs up the phone.) Alright, Moz! We're all set for the, um ...Palladium in South... I mean, West Texarkana! Two nights! June fifth... fifteen... eighteenth! Yeah, the eighteenth and the nineteenth! (He pretends to scribble on a legal pad using a drinking straw.)

Morrissey: Smashing! Um, shouldn't you be calling some musicians?

Morrissey's Tour Manager: Yeah! Musicians! Of course! Look, Moz, I'll take care of everything. Why don't you go out and protect a cat or something. I have everything under control.

(Morrissey leaves. The tour manager puts his head down on his desk and falls asleep.)

Three days later.

Morrissey: Y'know, I just sneezed twice in the last hour. We better cancel the tour.

Morrissey's Tour Manager: Yeah, sure, whatever.

Morrissey: Don't you have to make some calls to some venues?

Morrissey's Tour Manager (laying his head down on his desk): All taken care of, Moz, all taken care of.

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