What do you say to your idol? In your head you’ve probably played out the scenario numerous times. A chance meeting is promptly followed by several witty quips and a ‘jolly-good hugs all round’ sort of conversation. You’ve developed some intelligent way to distil your fanaticism to around 8.2 seconds worth, leaving said idol floored with your intelligence and succinctness, which surely sets you apart from all the other rambling fools they no doubt encounter. It sounds perfect doesn’t it? Sadly, in reality you’ll be lucky to mumble a few words of thanks before you stumble away flabbergasted, being left to rue your ill-timed discombobulation for 90% of the rest of your life. Ether that or your ‘inner fan’ will take over wherein you’ll proceed to douse them in a relentless shower of compliments – all of which they’ve heard before – leaving you bemused and hurt as to why they’re not bowled over by your inane, sycophantic ramblings.
Last night I met Morrissey and to be honest, I fell somewhere in between. It was in the Workman’s Club on the Quay’s in Dublin, a lovely little venue where local trio Croupier, Squarehead and Spies were playing. I grew up listening to the music of The Smiths and Morrissey. In a house with two older brothers I was never short of music recommendations and amid notable stints of Portishead, Suede, Blur et al I distinctly remember being sat down by one of my brothers and being told to listen to Morrissey. Brainwashing? Maybe. But I was always thankful and when I saw him live at the Ambassador in October 2002, I knew the words to virtually every song despite being 13 and despite not being able to see the stage.
Hence, meeting the great man meant a great deal to me and it went pretty much as I had expected it to. Looking dapper in a pin-stripe suit and light pink open-collar shirt, he was polite and friendly taking the time to pose for photographs with many at the back of the venue while flanked by two friends, one male and one blond-haired female. He was far more robust and stocky looking than I had imagined – tall, with a healthy glow and an almost boxer-like physique. After the picture I proceeded to spew my words of devotion before nipping it in the bud with a simple ‘anyway I’m sure you’ve heard it all before – thanks for the music’. He nodded and said thanks without really saying anything and that was it, the meeting was over.
According to reports he stuck around for all of Squarehead, praising them for their melodies when he later met them. They gave him an EP with a contact number and Moz later departed one song into Spies‘ set, which is a shame as there’s much resemblance between the lyrical quality of the young Dublin five-piece and that of Moz himself.
So there we have it. It could have been worse, it could have been better but overall, I’m just delighted to have met the man whose words I have spent much of my life singing.
Who better to sum it up than the man himself with his ode to the importance of music and words – Rubber Ring.
“Don’t forget the songs that made you smile, and the songs that made you cry…”