Sunday, March 10, 2013

Always True Part 2: Hollywood High School

Morrissey in the shadows of Hollywood High
Something unusual happened to me Saturday morning. I can only compare the feeling to that which you might feel after you've gone out on a date and you had such a good time you KNOW you are going out again. And you can't wait. You wake up smiling, eager for what the day will bring. In my case I KNEW I was going to see Morrissey again.

The sun was shining quite literally, and figuratively.

I just felt like crap. 

Perhaps it was excitement from the night before, perhaps it was dehydration, perhaps there was something extra in the beer I had at The Staples Center. Perhaps it was because I'm approaching fifty. I don't know but it was tough to get out of bed. 

My mom babysat for us since Roland was coming to this gig. He is not as big a fan but he knew this was going to be a great show and he was excited as well. Besides, we got to go out together which isn't so common. Before we left he said, "You are in charge since you seem to know how to have more fun than I've ever had at a concert." I have said in the past that Roland is much nicer than I am. He is a perpetual rule follower. In pop music terms he is the Paul McCartney and I am the John Lennon in the relationship. So that was a big step for him.

Luckily, Jasmine (@Morrizzy) and Johnny (@johnnyinacoma) arrived at Hollywood High early since the seating was either orchestra (pit) or balcony (upstairs). Other than that, there was no assigned seating so it was important to get a good spot in line, therefore a good seat in the venue. They held us a place in line with Angie (@vulgermkala) and @jimi_james and his nine year old son, Devan. 

The drive to Hollywood was far less crazy than I thought it would be, so we arrived around 5:45. We thought that the earliest we would be able to get our tickets from Will Call would be 6. But such was not the case. We were in line for a few hours. It was in line we discovered that the event was being shot for a DVD release possibly. 

We entertained ourselves in line with our enthusiasm. Of course, this was the first time I had met Angie or @jim_james. I felt a little shy as I always do when I first meet people but both Angie and @jimi_james were fun and easy to talk to, as you may recall, Angie was the one who gave Moz the ring from The Blue Rose Society. She also has a lot of Morrissey tattoos and whenever a photographer came by she said, "Morrissey tattoos right here." So, as you could imagine, Angie was not hard to talk to. She is what they call the life of the party. Devan (nine year old) was extremely excited since he had been at the Staples Center on Friday and was eager to see Morrissey yet again-this time he knew he'd be closer.

After a quick pizza at a nearby pizza place, the line began to move. The line outside Hollywood High now stretched at least three blocks. Here is a picture of us with a balloon we wrote on as members of the Blue Rose Society. 

While in line, we saw a young girl who was about sixteen but she was as tall as my nine-year old son, Oliver. She was carrying a portrait of Morrissey she had drawn herself and wanted desperately to give it to him. She had been waiting in line since noon but security would not let her in because her grandfather had purchased her ticket and you could not get in if you did not have the ID and credit card that was used to purchase tickets. This poor girl was crying so sadly trying to get her grandfather to come and help her out. I felt so badly and could not think of any way I could have helped her. Perhaps I could have given her my ticket, but she ended up getting in after her grandfather came to clear the ticket with will call.
Me, Jasmine, Angie, James and Devan

I had decided to try and bring my digital SLR camera into the show. I had wrapped it into my sweater and put it in my bag along with two lenses. The one on the camera was a telephoto lens. I figured the worse that could happen would be that I would have to walk the camera back into the car which was parked nearby. 

When we got to the bag check I ended up having to come clean with security after she asked me to shake my sweater out. I just said, "I can't do that because it will break my camera. I was just trying to keep it safe here."

She said, "It isn't exactly a point and shoot camera."

They ended up letting me take the camera in after all though since I think they just couldn't be bothered trying to figure out how to get me back in with a huge line and some anxious people. "Just don't take it out," they said. Sorry but asking me not to take pictures of Morrissey is like asking a fat kid with a jar of cookies not to have any.

Jasmine and Angie were working on getting into the orchestra section even though they had balcony like me. I know they would have taken me with them in but Roland was in the balcony and the last time he went with me in San Diego I basically left him on his own while I got into the pit. I just thought it might be bad form to just invite him along and leave him, plus I had my camera and I wanted to take pictures since I had such a great view from my balcony seat.

I oddly did not envy Jasmine and Angie once they got in and waved from the pit up to me. I waved and just was grateful for the ability to sit in a seat and still see well. 

Kristeen Young is the opening act. I think she has an amazing voice, fashion sense and artistic integrity. I enjoyed her performance as I usually do and I think playing in a smaller venue was good for her. It felt like it was pretty supportive. You have to bear in mind the enormity of her task. She has to entertain people who are basically not there to see her. I've said before that she is kind of a cross between Kate Bush and Bjork. Very different and esoteric.

Then it was time for Morrissey-almost. Russell Brand was in charge of the introduction and eloquently said he was there for the same reason that we all were-because he is a big fan. Also he basically said that there are no stars like him. He's like a Garbo or a Bette Davis. He also referred to him as Lord Mudslide before Moz came out. 

I can't probably effectively convey the contrast between the show at The Staples Center and compare it to the intimacy of the gig at Hollywood High. It felt like we were a closer family. I felt like people were just so happy to see Morrissey and see him feeling well and happy that that happiness infected the entire audience. We knew this was a special night. 

Here is the set list: 
Alma Matters
Ouija Board, Ouija Board
Irish Blood, English Heart
You Have Killed Me
November Spawned a Monster
You're the One For Me, Fatty
Still Ill
People Are the Same Everywhere
Asleep (a capella during Speedway)
That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore
Meat is Murder
Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want
To Give (The Reason I Live)
Everyday is Like Sunday
I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris
Action Is My Middle Name
Let Me Kiss You
The Boy With the Thorn in His Side

Mic Whipping
There was not a bad seat in the house. We could all see Morrissey's expressions and the musical skills of the band. I guess you could say it was like we were at Russell's house in the living room-just a bit bigger than that and with some great lighting. You could not get such a great view in a larger venue like the Staples Center unless you were hung from the ceiling to almost eye level with the band. I would not recommend that! 

At one point he asked, "Where are we all going after this?" Someone yelled, "The Cat and Fiddle!" I know full well everyone there and their dog probably showed up there. Except Morrissey. 

He saw Devan in the audience sitting on his dad's shoulders and asked him his name. "Devan."
Security: "Devan."

I doubt I can adequately give the night justice but I can say that I was in heaven. Taking "illegal" pictures and singing along WITH Morrissey to his songs. I felt like he put his heart and soul into every line.Many people will find this hard to accept, but Morrissey exuded happiness and positivism. I know the media like to refer to him as "the pope of mope" blah blah blah, but if you are a true fan you most likely see the other side- his humor and wit.

When "Meat is Murder" came up and the video of "Meet Your Meat" I looked around to see what people were doing. A lot of people were still standing and some of course looked down. I do! I don't eat meat so I feel okay with that.
 However, I think just by looking around that some people in the audience were moved by it and were really paying attention to the suffering we put animals through. If you can't look you MUST know that there is something wrong with it. It is an incredibly powerful song that has changed many lives-mostly the lives of animals!

Meat is Murder
The encore was "The Boy With the Thorn in His Side." During this song, Morrissey picked up Devan from the crowd, took him by the hand to one end of the stage and carried him back to his dad. I think this had to be amazingly special to him and his dad, a Blue Rose Society member and big time fan. I got the impression that attending Morrissey concerts with dad was kind of a rite of passage. He looked a bit shocked and shy but happy. Of course this was amid Oohs and Aaahs from the audience. It just solidified the love between Morrissey and his fans. Again, it was this feeling that nobody understand us but we get it. We get what Morrissey is about.( Well, at least we think we do).
Moz and Devan

Just as the previous night had ended, we parted ways with our friends without too much of a good-bye and made our way to our car. No, we did not end up at the Cat and Fiddle. We hit the freeway and went back to the OC and quite eagerly tucked ourselves in bed. 

Next show: Las Vegas, April 20.

On a side note: Morrissey had to postpone a show in San Francisco due to his illness. Hoping he gets well soon! 

More Pictures from Hollywood High


  1. Saturday was amazing :-)
    and yes I would have brought you.with us :-)

    it was very nice meeting you and am looking forward to Vegas
    My bday weekend Woot Woot
    We gonna party


    great blog