There are so many levels to “Autobiography” by Morrissey, I don’t even know where to begin. I guess I could start by saying this is one of the most poetically written books I’ve ever read (volumes of actual poetry included). Stephen Patrick Morrissey’s 450 page account of his own life sometimes makes you laugh, sometimes makes you want to become a poet and sometimes makes you want to hunt him down and smack the shit out of him.
It’s well over 100 pages before he even starts to talk about his own music career, opting instead to tell you about why Lou Reed and David Bowie are geniuses (no shit, Sherlock!). He also spends a great deal of those 100 plus pages (a trend that runs throughout the book) complaining about how life has wronged him and how none of it is his fault. In those rare moments where Morrissey drops a story such as one where he waited at a hotel to meet a band in his adolescence, talking about hanging out with rockers such as Chrissie Hynde, Nancy Sinatra or Bowie, you want to take Morrissey home with you and embrace him forever. When he (poetically) talks about his old teachers, the venom and bitterness he still feels towards them all these years later makes you just want to shout at your book – GET THE FUCK OVER IT!!!!
You almost never get the story behind the songs or music and instead, you learn of every single bad review, bad interview, bad business deal and bad manager Morrissey has had – and sadly, there are a lot. When he talks about his former Smiths band member Mike Joyce (drums) suing Morrissey and Johnny Marr for royalties, you feel sympathy at first because in reality, this case should have been thrown out immediately, but instead, the court case drags on and he punishes the reader for over 40 pages whereby you start to think that it is you who are actually on trial.
Despite never achieving Beatles-level success, The Smiths have firmly carved out their place in rock and roll history, yet that doesn’t seem to be good enough for the Moz who only mentions many of his solo or Smiths songs just to let you know that despite being pegged to debut at number one during their week of release, somehow they did not. He lets the reader know that he is ultra-sensitive and cries a lot, but doesn’t ever seem to realize a basic spiritual principle that we create our own destiny. He fails to recognize that maybe, just maybe he has caused these bad things to happen in his life. He rarely shows gratitude and wherever possible, he picks apart even the best of circumstances. Even towards the end of the book, he talks about the love that audiences shower him with nightly and not only is it not enough but it makes him look away.
If you’ve ever met Morrissey in person, you know in advance that you are almost guaranteed to have a bad experience (in many times of seeing him in the flesh, one of those many was positive for me) and as you read this book, it’s no wonder – he’s quite a miserable curmudgeon who seems impossible to please. With such a great gift to bestow upon the world, I find it really sad that he chooses to live his life so negatively. It’s also kind of shocking that after spilling the words out onto these pages, he never once has the epiphany that maybe it is HE who should change. After a lifetime of unsuccessfully playing and losing at the blame game, perhaps it is finally time Morrissey take responsibility for his own actions.
But for better or for worse this is who Morrissey is and his words, whether sung or written, are essential.
I went to see The Eagles on November 8, 2013 at Madison Square Garden in New York for the first of 3 sold out shows. Here are 10 insights I gleaned from watching the show.
1. Eagles fans have not aged well. There were not many young people at the show and it was sort of depressing to see so many obese fans with canes trying to squeeze into the seats.
2. The Eagles have a lot of good songs. They played a lot of them too including Tequila Sunrise, Witchy Woman, Lyin Eyes, Those Shoes, Hotel California, In The City, Take It To The Limit, Life In The Fast Lane, Desperado.
3. Having met Don Henley and Glenn Frey and knowing what motherfucking horrible miserable bastard assholes they are towards fans, every time they tried to say “Thanks” or show gratitude at the show, I knew 100% they were lying and I hoped a lighting rig would fall on them.
4. Joe Walsh was the highlight of the show. He played a few scorching guitar solos that brought smiles to my face.
5. Pre-recorded video messages by Henley and Frey to introduce certain songs were horrifyingly cheesy.
6. The loudest applause of the entire night was when Madison Square Garden got the video screens in the cheap seats to work about 7 songs into the concert.
7. After this show, there are very few living legends I have not seen in concert.
8. Despite looking a little worse for wear, the Eagles still sounded great.
9. The show should have been called the “We Want Your Cash Tour.”
10. While happy that I saw the Eagles to “cross them off my list of experiences I want to have in this life,” I will never see them again.
The Eagles – Timothy B Schmit, Glenn Frey, Don Henley, Joe Walsh
The set list was:
Saturday Night/ Train Leaves Here In The Morning / Peaceful Easy Feeling / Witchy Woman / Doolin’ Dalton / Tequila Sunrise / Doolin’ Dalton – Desperado (Reprise) / Already Gone / The Best of My Love / Lyin’ Eyes / One of these Nights / Take It To The Limit.
Pretty Maids All In A Row / I Can’t Tell You Why / New Kid In Town / Love Will Keep us Alive / Heartache Tonight / In The City / Life’s Been Good / The Long Run / Funk #49 / Life In The Fast Lane
On October 14, 2013 the mighty Nine Inch Nails played to a somewhat packed house at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Hitting the stage at 8:45 pm, Trent Reznor and company played for a solid two hours playing tracks that spanned NIN’s catalog from “Head Like A Hole” to songs like “Copy of A” from their latest record “Hesitation Marks.” Criminally, “Closer” and “Only,” two of my favorite Nine Inch Nails songs were absent from the set list, but the light show that accompanied every song more than made up for the set list omissions. As the show went on, each track had more intricate lighting and at times, it felt like you were flying.
I would like to point out that from my seat, I probably sat near one of the best behaved crowds I’ve ever experienced at a concert, which is strange as you would expect lots of craziness at a NIN show. I guess it just goes to show you should never judge a band by their fans. If you remotely like any songs by Nine Inch Nails, you should definitely catch them in concert as you will witness a sound and visual extravaganza. The show nearly gives Pet Shop Boys a run for their money in terms of insane visuals, but I still think the Boys win the prize for the most visually stunning concert of 2013. Nine Inch Nails are a close second though.
Below, you can see a video of their classic “Terrible Lie.” Posting this video is so awesome for me because when NIN were a new act, I could honestly say “it was not my kind of music.” I’ve grown a lot since then and have really opened my mind in hopes to experience as much as possible and judging from the photos I post on this site, I have succeeded. Apologies if the video gets blurry at times. The lighting occasionally made my camera freak out. That is not a terrible lie. This is….
The setlist was:
Copy of A / 1,000,000 / Terrible Lie / March of the Pigs / Piggy / All Time Low / Disappointed / Came Back Haunted / Find My Way / The Frail / The Wretched / Satellite / In Two / Survivalism / Running / A Warm Place / Somewhat Damaged / Wish / Burn / The Hand That Feeds / Head Like A Hole
The Day The World Went Away / Even Deeper / While I’m Still Here / Black Noise / Hurt
Hot new band alert! The UK’s The 1975 played their first of two sold out shows at Manhattan’s Bowery Ballroom on October 9, 2013. The pop/rock quartet from England have been around for 10 years and 2013 is their break out year. They hit the stage around 10 pm and for a little over an hour, they thrilled the crowd with songs such as “Chocolate,” “Sex” and “The City.” The crowd sung along to most every track and in addition to having stylish haircuts, flashing strobe lights made the show extra fun to watch.
Rather than leave the stage before the encore, lead singer Matt Healy asked the crowd if they could just play straight through and the crowd replied with thunderous applause. All of The 1975′s songs were very catchy, almost made to be placed in films and commercials, so if that appeals to you, check out their music! I spotted the one and only Lindsay Lohan at the show and if you read this blog somewhat regularly (aka, you are one of my heroes), I’m sure you know how that ended. Catch The 1975 again tonight at Bowery Ballroom. No word on if you’ll catch Miss Lindsey there too, but either way, you will have a great time! See the setlist below (featuring drummer George Daniel’s blood – he cut himself during the show, but was a real trooper and played on!)
Hot new band alert! Australia’s Jagwar Ma performed their first ever show in New York last night (actually, I think it was their first in the USA) at Mercury Lounge in Manhattan on September 30, 2013 and it was awesome! Their music is a mixture of rock, pop, shoegaze and electronica and the sold out crowd loved every second of it! They kept the lights low and flashing to provide the ultimate vibe, which was awesome for the show, but bad for taking photos (ha!), so you can see what the guys in Jagwar Ma look like after the jump when I spoke with them after the show. Their debut album is called “Howlin” and like their show, it mixes the genres I mentioned above. Their 45 minute set found them performing the majority of “Howlin” and it was great to hear songs like their chill out single “The Throw” and then moments later, hear a full on dance floor jam like “Four.” If you missed the show, they are playing at Glasslands in Brooklyn on October 1, 2013 and they’ve just announced a headlining US tour scheduled for winter 2013. If I were you, I’d definitely see them at a smaller venue because once you hear their music, you will fall in love.