Thursday, June 29, 2017

Unite and Take Over

There's a new radio station in town. Well, it isn't exactly new but it's new if you are a Breakfast Champion. 

Okay, let me correct you again. It's been new for us for a few months now. But boy, did we score!

What's a Breakfast Champion? You may ask. It's a person who regularly listens to a radio show called Breakfast With the Smiths the World of Morrissey. The beloved show was on a radio station called Indie1031 but when the radio station folded a few months ago, the show had no home.

We were pretty sad when our favorite radio show was off and had no home.

We were pretty heartbroken at first. The thing is, the radio show is about more than just the music. It's actually the music that speaks to us as a community and it bonds us together once a week. We foster the relationships on social media such as Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Many of us also meet up once a year in Manchester for the Mozarmy meet up.

Furthermore, many of us meet up in Los Angeles (Moz Angeles) for the Moz Disco, Morrissey Smiths Nights or at Sweet and Tender Hooligan shows.

Its such a great show, however, that it was swooped up by an internet radio station called The Independent FM. The thing is, we lucked out because the music on this station is excellent. Also, in addition to our favorite radio show, there are more awesome shows to listen to. 

It's great for young AND old and I say this because I'm on the older end of the spectrum. There are some great oldies from the 80s that are played regularly, but I also like it because they play newer music as well and I like being introduced to new music because I enjoy it and if for no other reason, so that I am aware of what is current. So, for example, I may hear a tune by The Cure followed by bands like The Flaming Lips or The Drums or Cage the Elephant. 

If you are young, you can hear all the latest as well as hear some great tunes from the past and get to know them so you can carry on an educated discussion about music and even know the difference between The Ramones, The Buzzcocks and The Sex Pistols.

There is another feature that I really enjoy using as well. If you listen to the radio show via the Tune In app, when you want to share what you are listening to on Twitter you can, and you can also learn what other Breakfast Champions like as well. I guess I like it because it kind of bonds you together in the same way that FM radio used to do. I mean, everyone pretty much listened to KROQ in Los Angeles, so we all felt connected in some way. And I think listening to Breakfast With the Smiths and The Independent FM also bonds us together.

If you want to join the party, you should be sure to listen to The Independent FM on your computer but if you are using a cell device or a tablet, I suggest getting the Tune In app. Its free, but if you get the pro version (not free) you can record the show and listen at your convenience.

The radio show is on Wednesdays at 8 AM Pacific time,Fridays at 12 AM or 5 PM if you live across the pond, and Sundays at 9 AM. 

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Everyday Is Like Sunday (Behind the Orange Curtain)

Looking very Morrissey-esque in the OC

Just when I had just about lost all hope of there being a decent Moz event in the OC, something happened. People who live in LA (Angelinos as they are sometimes called), probably don't realize that there IS an Orange County Morrissey fan base. In fact, people who LIVE in Orange County probably don't realize there is a fan base here. Compared to our big city neighbors, the "country bumpkins" living 30 or so miles south, we have less of a centralized market for such an event. We like our 80s themed bars and cover bands, but no one has really tapped into the "Moz market." Until recently.

To be fair, we did have a Moz Disco at Original Mikes a few months back. And it seemed to be successful. But it did not become a regular thing. And the venue was so big, with so many different events held in its many rooms, that it was hard to tell if the crowd was there for the Moz event or did they just stumble upon the "Morrissey room."

Lucky for me, I got to take an Uber from my home and as I'm trying to practice some camera skills for the upcoming Mozarmy Meet Up later this month, I brought a camera to take some photos. 

A decent photographer, I think, has to decide how much they are a part of the events they are recording. And the decision SHOULD be that they are not a part of it. Merely recording the events before them. On the other hand, your passion for your subject matter may make a difference in the quality shots you take. Maybe.

Maya met me at the venue, Diego's Rock ,n, Roll Bar. But other Breakfast Champions were already there, including Nancy Q and her husband . So we had the chance to chat for awhile. 

The venue seemed a cross between Mal's Bar (location of the Moz Disco) and La Cita in downtown LA. A bit newer than both and with  a hipster feel to it. Their vegan menu included potato tacos and fresh fruit. I did not try the food this time. I tend to devour food once I get home or else make a late night pit stop at Del Taco with Maya. 

They promoted the event well in advance on social media and they even had a special backdrop of Salford Lads Club which allowed  you to take your picture with your significant other or friends. DJs Jose Maldonado and DJ Jav made it such a great night with an incredible line up of songs

It ended up with a pretty nice crowd.Even for a Sunday night.

 I took tons of pictures, danced a lot holding my camera, took people's pictures in front of the Salford Lads backdrop and sang until my voice was hoarse. 

All in all, it was a success because they have decided to make it a regular thing now and I will probably be continuing to take photos as well. 

Everyday Is Like Sunday will take place again 9 PM on May 1 at Diego's Rock 'n' Roll Bar located at 220 E. 3rd Street, in Santa Ana 92701. 

Sunday, March 27, 2016

I Can Have Both

Johnny Marr at the El Rey 
Sometimes I just can't escape Morrissey. Not that I'd ever WANT to. I mean, I just doubt that there are as many events for other artists out there.

For example, there was a book release party for To Me You Are A Work of Art-a photographic book depicting  Morrissey related tattoos on February 28. This was in Los Angeles at Lethal Amounts which is a small studio. There was a DJ playing Morrissey music and on the wall there were photographs of various Moz fans sporting their Morrissey tattoos. I met up there with Vanessa and we ran into Jose Maldonado.

So Jesse Tobias walked in and while I am virtually nobody, he said hi to Vanessa and Jose as we were talking  (at least my friends are famous). I seriously could have said I discovered a cure for cancer when Jose and Vanessa introduced me to him and I doubt that he would have been impressed;  at least I got to shake his hand. Furthermore, I am pretty shy and I didn't really know what to say to him. I think he's a great guitar player? Duh!
Jose kindly posing beneath a photo of a fan from Tustin 

 I have come to the conclusion that its okay not to say much but just be happy to shake someone's hand. I feel like if I can't make a lasting GOOD impression, its best to just shut up and let others do the talking, which worked out just fine.

It worked just as well when they also introduced me to Mando Lopez and his wife that night. Its quite exciting to meet them and to tell you I met them. For, how many get the opportunity?

Mando and Jose in conversation
In addition to meeting Morrissey's band mates, I also was fortunate enough to get to meet the two collaborators and authors of the book, Anthony Amor and Julian Chavez. Both of them were lovely human beings and very pleased that Morrissey wrote the forward to the book. I don't think you can top that!

There were quite a number of fans who are featured in the book there as well. It was awesome to realize that I actually know quite a number of them. I think you can learn a lot about a person from what they choose to put on themselves permanently. You learn even more about them from which line from a particular song they chose. And if you know Morrissey's lyrics, you probably realize the impact of those lines more than most.

Vanessa posing with the book
The following weekend was a Johnny Marr gig at the El Rey. It seemed it was a pretty short tour for Johnny but we were lucky to have him here in California. In addition to the show in Los Angeles, he played in Pomona, San Diego and further north in Sacramento and Fresno.

Roland came along with me this time which was great. We ran into a couple of Breakfast Champions, Ed Navarro and his girlfriend as well as Officer Mike. Vanessa, and others were there up near the stage but we didn't meet up since Roland and I were further back.

There is just something you can't explain about hearing a Smiths song played by the original guitar player and songwriter. Its like he had this special touch that NO ONE can recreate. It's widely known that Johnny Marr is one of the best guitar players of our time, but to actually SEE him was quite special. He sang and played probably about six Smths songs: Still Ill, The Headmaster Ritual, Bigmouth Strikes Again, There Is A Light That Never Goes Out, You Just Haven't Earned It Yet, Baby, and of course, How Soon Is Now?

There were moments when I was watching him play and I thought to myself, "This is THE guy who walked up to Morrissey's door on King's Road and asked him to be in a band with him. He saw it all happen. Everything."
Another shot of Johnny at the El Rey
So, in addition to seeing such a phenomenal guitar player, I was seeing a bit of history in an intimate venue. It felt unique.

To be fair, I have seen him play before. But I suppose what made it different this time was the band he's been with now for a few years seems a bit tighter, he seemed to play more Smiths songs and more importantly, seeing him in the more intimate venue with my friends who I KNOW appreciated the moment as much as I did made it better.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Why Is the Last Mile the Hardest Mile?

Me after completing my 3rd LA Marathon

So I'm sitting in a Starbuck's across the street from El Modena High School writing this to you. Amid sweaty high school kids after school who come here because they have no better place to go. Somewhere to be with their increasingly important friends talking and studying after being dismissed from their sports practices.

All the while I'm wondering why the hell I ALWAYS drag my feet in writing this blog. I love writing it. Yet, I always put it off. Maybe I just feel more and more overwhelmed every time that a lot of time passes because I feel like I need to share all those other things. 

In reality. I don't.

But I would be remiss in not mentioning that I was fortunate enough to see Morrissey in both Los Angeles at the Galen Center on New Year's Eve as well as shortly after that in Las Vegas on January 2nd at The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel. Both shows were amazing and I was able to go with both friends and family to these two shows. 
Family at Hoover Dam while in Las Vegas

Many were theorizing that Las Vegas might be Morrissey's last show, but he, of course, has been working to finalize some more shows in other parts of the globe.

Moz Las Vegas
Meanwhile, I had been training rather hard for my third Los Angeles Marathon which was scheduled for Valentine's Day. 

I struggled through two of my longer runs. I was fighting a cold during my eighteen mile run and it was raining. I pulled a muscle on mile two of my twenty mile run and ran the rest of the eighteen miles with a pulled muscle. Yes, I felt pretty bad ass, but I was also pretty stupid because that pulled muscle led to another injury.

It led to a shin splint on my left leg-probably from overcompensating for the other injured leg. In a word, I was a bit of a mess. I had two weeks to recover from these injuries before the marathon.

It just simply was not enough time.

I iced it, massaged it, prayed upon it, and even considered voodoo but didn't go quite that far. The only realistic maneuver was to stop running until the day of the race and do whatever I could when I had to run.

So when it was time to run. I ran. And it felt a little uncomfortable. I won't bore you with describing the pain of shin splints. But chances are you have had them yourself or else know someone who has. So it will be no surprise that it hurt and it will be no surprise that with every mile the pain got slightly more intense.

I had wisely packed some ibuprofen and Tylenol to take as needed for my marathon. I told myself to wait until mile seven. But when I opened my pack, I could not find any meds. I realized then that when I had put everything in my gear bag while I was warming up before the race, I had also put in my water bottle and it leaked all over the bag. My pills were either decomposed or decomposing gels. I desperately licked up what was left of them in hopes that it would sustain me until the end. 

Sadly, I also didn't have any music because my phone charger decided to stop working the night before. I had 20% battery power at the start of the race. So I turned off my phone and ate up whatever music, entertainment and distraction I could until I was desperate. It gave me about an hour of Breakfast with the Smiths. 

At mile seventeen I decided to get ice at the medical tent. Mind you, I had been considering what to do up until this point. I was not sure if I was going to make it to the end. But it WAS mile seventeen. And that was a big investment. When the medical volunteer asked the runners there if we wanted the shuttle to the finish line, a few people said yes, but the young woman sitting next to me icing her leg, said, "No. I'm going to finish. Aren't you?" 

"Yes," I said, "Yes. I'm going to finish!"

So, I walked the rest. Ideally, it would have been nice to run to mile twenty at least. But the pain was bad and I wanted to finish. The only way to finish was to walk. Not very quickly either.

It took me nearly eight hours. But, I finished and I am proud of that. 

Roland and Oliver walked with me my last quarter mile. 

And  I got my medal. Finally.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Mozter Mash 2015

For weeks I'd been planning Moz-themed costume for the Mozter Mash-a show featuring The Sweet and Tender Hooligans at the Alpine Village in Torrance. We were encouraged to come up with something Morrissey/Smiths related to wear because it was on Halloween. My default costume was simply to wear a head lamp and turn it on, claiming to be A Light That Never Goes Out, but I worried (and rightly) that the light would really annoy people. So I was determined to come up with something better.

I DID finally come up with an idea. And then once I got everything I needed I thought of all these other ideas. For example, I thought if I had some buxom friends they could be "some girls" and for obvious reasons, I could be "others." My other ideas were perfect for a guy: a blushing Caligula, an 18th pale descendant, etc. 

It's true I WAS looking forward to dressing up, but also I was looking forward to a great show with the Hooligans and hanging out with my fellow Breakfast Champions and seeing what costume ideas they came up with.

I went with Maya this time. She was dressed as the gypsy palm reader from Ouija Board, Vanessa was a girl racer, Conor was a young Moz, Chris was a Rusholme Ruffian and his girlfriend, Laura, was Black Eyed Susan.  Oh yeah, and I was my own creation-Wonderful Woman. Basically, a wonder woman with Wonderful Woman on my cape. 
Vanessa, Connor, Me and Maya

Chris and Laura
The thing that disappointed me was the lack of community spirit in dressing in a Moz-themed costume by most of the crowd. It was like they just slapped on any old thing because it was a costume. No thought behind it to make it more interesting in a Morrissey way. Which made me kind of sad. Here I was all into it and it was just our little group. Okay, the coolest group around but yeah, just our group.

There WERE other Breakfast Champions there in costume and they looked fantastic, but they were not dressed in a Moz theme.

But I speak too much of aesthetics! What about the show? Well, may I say that the set list was to die for? Not only was it to die for, but there was a Souxie and the Banshees tribute band that opened and Jose sang Interlude with the lead singer from Happy Haus, Rose. By the way, they were fantastic! Highly recommended.

Click link below to see video of "Interlude" duet.

1. Suedehead
2. Maladjusted
3. You're the One for Me, Fatty
4. Boxers
5. Jack the Ripper
6. Irish Blood, English Heart
7. First of the Gang to Die
8. I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris
9. Still Ill
10. Kiss Me  A Lot
11. Cemetry Gates
12. Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others
13. I Want the One I Can't Have
14. Hairdresser on Fire
15. Paint a Vulgar Picture
16. A Rush and a Push and the Land is Ours
17. November Spawned a Monster
18. This Charming Man
19. Jeane
20. The Boy with a Thorn in His Side
21. Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before
22. Everyday Is Like Sunday
23. Sweet and Tender Hooligan
24. Sunny
25. Bigmouth Strikes Again
Encore: There Is a Light That Never Goes Out

Seriously, could there be a more comprehensive set list in existence? 

If you click the link below you can see video of Jose singing "Kiss Me A Lot" in Spanish, which I think, is quite natural for this song. 

"Kiss Me A Lot" Spanish

If you read my blog regularly, then you KNOW how much I love to see The Sweet and Tender Hooligans. I can't say enough about how much fun it is to see them.

Hey, there are a few shows coming up:

Romanos Concert Lounge in Riverside, CA, December 5
Anaheim House of Blues, Anaheim, CA, January 9, 2016
The Casbah, San Diego, CA, January 16, 2016

So if you are in the area, you really need to go!

The Halloween show was so much fun, just sharing the time with good friends and singing along is so memorable. But The Hooligans are extra special and I look forward to next year's Mozter Mash.  I already know what I am  going to be -if it happens!!

Saturday, September 12, 2015

The Moz Olympics

Maya, Mason, Me at FYF featuring the Great Moz
There is something undeniably special about being in the same room with him. Sharing the same space with Morrissey that makes you grateful to be alive at this moment in time. Not that you wish you lived in a different era, but watching him perform, sing, you KNOW you are somewhere special-you are living in a special time.

San Diego, August 20
Before we went to the San Diego show, my husband, Roland, looked at some reviews of the venue-The Observatory North Park. He mentioned that it had some pretty bad reviews regarding the staff and the sound. Now, Roland is particularly interested in the sound as he has experience in the field of sound engineering and he teaches a high school course on music production. So we were concerned but hopeful.

We arrived in San Diego and parked across the street from the venue. I always feel this pang in my stomach when I see a line. Like maybe I should be in line, but I decided to just focus on food and then we ran into Stephanie. We found a vegan Mexican place just around the corner called Ranchos Cocina so we had a meal and some margaritas. It was good but I had trouble relaxing. I guess I wanted to get to the show. We were probably secretly hoping Morrissey would be in there for his pre-show meal. 

We arrived at the venue at 7 and they had opened the doors. Roland bee-lined it for a spot behind the sound man. Hot tip: that's the BEST place to hear. Lucky for us, it also had the best view. 

Stephanie and Roland didn't seem bothered about not having a beer but I wanted to have a beer. The bar is connected to the venue but you are not allowed INTO the venue with alcohol. I did not realize this and I had the biggest can of Modelo and I didn't really want ALL of it for fear I'd have to miss part of the show to use the restroom. So I guzzled as much as I could and then I ran into Jose and Christine. Then we ran into Jenevieve and her friend, Monica. So I had help drinking my beer. 

Jose, Me, Christine and Jenevieve
We had such a great view of Morrissey and I can say with honesty that it did not matter where you stood in line, you still would have had a chance to get up front. We were happy where we were. And I guess apart from our view, the thing that really struck me about that night was the set list. 

Here it is: 

  1. Suedehead
  2. Alma Matters
  3. Staircase at the University
  4. Ganglord
  5. Speedway
  6. Kiss Me A Lot
  7. World Peace is None of Your Business
  8. Let The Right One Slip In (Last performed live in 19912)
  9. Stop Me If You've Heard This One Before
  10. What She Said
  11. The Bullfighter Dies
  12. Now My Heart Is Full
  13. Will Never Marry
  14. I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris
  15. Istanbul
  16. I Will See You In Far Off Places
  17. Meat Is Murder
  18. Encore: Everyday Is Like Sunday
The video accompanying "Ganglord" was quite violent and shocking. However, abuse of authority is an important theme to Morrissey and this was made evident. I could not watch all of it, especially violence committed against animals,  but from what I did see, it left a powerful impression.

Christine and I were a bit shocked at the audience's subdued reaction to "Let The Right One Slip In" (last performed live in 1992). Morrissey even seemed perhaps surprised when he said it was a hit in Sweden. Our guess was that it was a younger crowd closer to the front. The crowd around us was a little uptight too.  

I think our little group, Jenevieve, her friend, Veronica, Stephanie, Jose, Chrsitine, Mason, me, and Roland were more animated than the crowd at the front. Part of it may also be that people like to take video which makes them stand more still for recording purposes. When you are behind the camera, you are not as able to be fully in the moment. There is literally a barrier between you and the performer. 

The reviews about the sound and the staff at The Observatory North Park were wrong. I can only say from our vantage point the sound was great. Also, the staff was polite butI was not one of the people perhaps trying to get on the stage.

FYF Fest, Los Angeles, August 23
I really don't like festivals that much but when I was offered a ticket to FYF Festival I did not turn it down. It was VERY last minute but after the San Diego show, I REALLY was addicted again and was happy to go.

As much as I love Morrissey, I just did NOT want to wait in front of the main stage for hours to see him up close. I had just seen him in San Diego and had a perfect view so I wasn't bothered. I basically drove there, parked and walked to the main stage (which was far, let me tell you). 

I ran into breakfast champions, Maya, Mason, Keith and Jen. Maya and I tried to be brave enough to deal with being in the thick of the crowd but the smell of people who had been sweating all day and drinking all day in the hot sun was more than we could bear. We ended up standing on the side and we ran into Danica and her friends there.

They changed up the rhythm to "First of the Gang" so it sounded kind of country. This inspired Danica and I to do the doe-see-doe square dance style. I guess the good thing about a festival is there are so many weirdos its unlikely anyone will call you out if you act like a complete nut job.

Breakfast champs at FYF
Visalia Fox Theater, August 29
It's a 4 hour drive from the OC to Visalia. Four hours of driving on a very boring highway. Just fields and fields. But I knew the drive was going to be worth it. This was the final show on Morrissey's brief Southern/Northern California mini tour.

All the people I know had General Admission seats that basically meant they were standing near the stage. My seat was in the next section. So, when the security guy was helping someone find their seat, I just walked past him and made it to where Mason, Keith, Jen, Rodney and the Battis sisters were. It was the right side of the stage where Jesse Tobias and Gustavo are situated on the stage.

Marquee in Visalia
In all my experiences sneaking up to the front, this was the closest I ever got to Morrissey. And I guess even better than just being at the front was it was the very first time I was surrounded by my friends. I don't think I had too many Moz friends a few years ago.

When Moz was singing and came close to the audience, we held out our hands and he touched Rodney and his wife's hands. I was next to them. It could have been me but it was not to be. Yet, when he was singing "Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before" and he looked down, I think we looked each other in the eye for a brief moment as we sang the words, "I still love you, only slightly, only slightly less than I used to, my love." Only, Morrissey sang, "Only slightly MORE than I used to.". I'm sure for him, it was nothing, utterly forgettable, but for me it was something.

Lucky to have such a great view
Still, he sings "Meat Is Murder" at nearly every concert (although he did not on the 2nd San Diego show), and although people often avoided looking at the video of animals losing their lives in slaughter houses projected on the backdrop, he did not give up because it is his passion, his cause. When he sang, "Do you care?" in the middle of that song, I found it very moving because I could sense that although he has sung this countless times and he can see an element of disinterest, he perseveres. 

The evening ended with a gathering of Breakfast Champions at a small bar down the street from the Visalia Fox Theater. Vanessa, Mel, Stacy, Stephanie (from San Jose), Mason, Amy Battis, Rodney and Belinda (from LA). We pretty much took over the bar with our Morrissey and Smiths music and danced the rest of the night away. People stared and we let them stare because it's not like any other love.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

An Interesting Drug (or How We Celebrate Morrissey's Birthday in Southern California)

Friday's arrival was welcome. Very welcome. Morrissey's birthday is a holiday to a solid Moz fan.

For whatever reason, my last class of the day turned out to be the longest. It was probably because it was something I had been anticipating all week long and now that it was dangerously close to being the time when I could actually celebrate, it just seemed to be forever until the bell would ring.

That. And the disciplinary problems I NEVER have were making it longer than ever.

Obviously,  the bell finally rang and I drove home, quickly took a shower and put on my new dress. And then hopped in the car towing my make up to my friend, Angela's salon in Newport Beach. 

I just needed her to blow my hair straight because my hair is actually wavy (and occasionally troublesome, you may recall) and it just looks better (I think) when it is blown straight. And what the hell? It was Morrissey's birthday. I needed to look good even if he was all the way in Australia and couldn't see me.

She did a great job as usual and I had decided to put my make up on at her salon so I wouldn't have to think about it later and could just focus on my friends who came to my house. So I did my make up but goofed on the eye liner so Angela asked Steven, who is a hairdresser at another salon in her complex and a great make up artist, if he could fix my mistake.

"Honey, you've got blue eye shadow all over your NOSE! Just sit down and let me fix it."

The thing about Steven is he makes it sound like you are useless but he secretly enjoys transforming you. So, I let him go to town.

Once I made it home, (Breakfast Champion) Chris and Stephanie were waiting and we hung out for awhile before we took an Uber cab to Anaheim House of Blues to see The Sweet and Tender Hooligans.

About the time we hit really bad traffic, I realized that I had left my ticket at home. But in the modern age, that should not be something to worry about-unless you are ME.

When we arrived and gone through security, it was apparent that the bar code was never going to upload from the email on my smart phone. I spend an agonizing 15 minutes starting to get all whiney and worried before the guy scanning tickets finally "scanned" my phone although I could not see a ticket, and he said, "Have a great time."

Me, Chris and Stephanie bee-lined it for the bar. After I downed a shot of tequila I looked down upon Downtown Disney from the upstairs bar. Happy that I was not alone and sad and stressed out that I missed the Hooligans.

We saw Mason almost immediately and had another drink before we hurried down into the pit to catch The Band That Fell to Earth-the Bowie tribute band. I followed Mason and somehow we lost Stephanie and Chris but we go there in time to hear and see the band's rendition of "Fame."

Two girls standing near me, told me, "You are too tall to stand here and we were here first." Maybe it's my age and maybe the protocol for being in the pit has changed but all these years I thought it was a matter of "survival of the fittest." If you want to be in the pit, you might get punched or kicked in the head, maybe the bass player will accidentally hit you with his bass (happened to me once), ANYTHING can happen. I was unaware that it was a "first come, first serve" situation. And I suppose if they had been nicer about it I would have politely moved a bit so they could see better. As it was I just said, "I'm not moving."


Mason, being the gentleman and trying to keep the peace said, "Come over here, its a better view." He was right, it WAS a better view a little further to the side. So I did move. However, I think THEY ended up moving after multiple drunk people made their way through through less politely spilling beer and singing loudly with uncontrolled hand gestures. 

But the band was just sooo good. I love Bowie music and they focused on the glam era of his career. Absolutely amazing and I would LOVE to see them again. I don't know if as many people around me knew Bowie music so well, but some were there just to see/hear The Smiths or Morrissey music and perhaps were not as interested in his influences.

In between bands, Breakfast Champion, Danica arrived. Another fun person to share the evening with. We also located Stephanie and Chris on the opposite side of the stage. Luckily, Chris wears his hair in a point at the front. A high point, like a unicorn. So we could easily spot him.

Then the The Sweet and Tender Hooligans came on with actor and skilled musician, Thomas Lennon (Reno 911, The Odd Couple) as their new guitarist amid cheers in the packed house. If you can envision thousands of people singing their favorite Smiths and Morrissey songs in virtual unison with Jose Maldonado as the choir director, then I guess you are partially there.

Here is the set list:


"I've Changed My Plea to Guilty" was stunningly beautiful with just Mikey Farrell (toured and collaborated with Morrissey 2004-2007) and Jose singing. I simply thought it just couldn't get any better than that.

And then "Kiss Me A Lot." Holy hell!!! It was unbelievable. Jose had the added touch of singing it in Spanish as well. It was just so wonderful! I feel like he was made to sing that song. Honestly.

I remember turning around at some point just to look at the vast number of people assembled and all their voices singing Morrissey's words. I knew in my heart that that ALONE would make Morrissey smile. It just made me that much happier.

After the show, Breakfast Champions assembled at the upstairs bar. It was there I saw Vanessa and we finally met Jenevieve-from San Diego! She was there celebrating her birthday with a group of friends. Jenevieve was right when she said, "I feel like I know you all." 

As usual, I forgot to get our picture with all the Breakfast Champions but here are a few:

Jose with Jenevieve and friends
I've stated before that seeing The Sweet and Tender Hooligans on Morrissey's birthday is kind of like the Morrissey fan's communion. Singing your favorite songs with others who "get" Morrissey-who "get" his lyrics, is simply priceless. You realize you aren't as crazy as you thought for being so wild about Morrissey and IF you are you are not alone.

In fact, being with other fans continued for Morrissey's birthday weekend. And if I can get my act together, I will write about the amazing Morrissey Smiths Night at The Echo. 

Mason, Danica, Vanessa, and me