Sunday, May 13, 2007

To Whom It May Interest #8:
Struggling To Understand The Smiths – Part 1: An Introduction

To Whom It May Interest,

The Smiths: consider this a big step for me…because it is.

As long as I’ve been aware of Morrissey, (most notably as long as I’ve remembered watching his lame, asexual ass posing Christ-like with his shirt blowing open in the wind to reveal a Band-Aid affixed over his fucking nipple), I’ve wished him ill. I’ve wished him very ill as a matter of fact. For me, Morrissey has lived as an example of what happens when you neuter rock music. His very being completely hikes the sack up before snipping it off with a pair of dull scissors, hence the pain that always seems to exude from his “oh so sad” exterior. Even his pompa-dou weeps.

If you’re me, your reaction is “fuck that guy!”

I will admit that this blinding hatred (okay, serious dislike) has probably led to some unfair perceptions regarding Mr. Morrissey. Most notably, I never really gave The Smiths a chance. I’ve heard some of their songs over the years and completely dismissed them as wimpy swill to spoon-feed to all the pussies in Pussyville. It’s a bitter and probably prejudiced conclusion, but there are some reasons for that. First off, a lot of this stuff at first listen really DOES sound like wimpy swill to spoon-feed to all the pussies in Pussyville. (Yeah, I know I’m refraining; shut up.) Secondly, admitting that you like The Smiths automatically requires that give up all your Sabbath and Rollins Band records. Anything loud and obnoxious that got you through every horrible part of your life and made you flip off your parents no longer belongs to you. The Clash? No. Dead Kennedys? Forget it: it’s gone–all gone–and all because you let The Smiths take up residence in your otherwise testosterone-soaked and violently furious music collection. For this alone, I didn’t want to ever, EVER, consider that I might like The Smiths. So, admittedly, I kept myself shut off from the experience.

But, after years of Smiths/Morrissey hatred, you start to question the validity of your previous assessment, especially when confronted with a rather massive legion of fans that swear The Smiths are the best thing that ever happened to music. My wife, a member of that crowd, has been preaching the Smith gospel to me for years and I never backed down. I would not be swayed. However, over the past week or so, I wondered if it would benefit me to reexamine my stance.

So, with as open a mind as I can possibly muster, risking of course the worthiness to own Damaged or Seasons In The Abyss, I am letting my ears be host to a couple Smiths records. During the week, I will be analyzing and describing the process as I struggle to realize what many seem to understand already.

Hope you enjoy.

Letters From A Tapehead
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