Eva Bradley: Drama queen reigns after teen angst

By Eva Bradley

Dear God, please help me. I just bought tickets to see my lifelong musical hero perform live. I knew it was gonna happen someday. He knows I'd love to see him. My dearest love, to me you are a work of art. How can anyone possibly know how I feel? Now my heart is full.

This might all seem a little overblown to many, and perhaps even lacking in sense. But to anyone who has ever had even half a heart beating in time to the doleful melodies of ageing British alternative pop drama queen Morrissey, my opening paragraph will instead be recognised for what it is - a list of some of the greatest song titles from one of the most enduring songwriters of a generation - and what a dark and melancholic generation it was.

Ever since teenage hormones kicked in and I discovered black hair dye and Doc Martins, Morrissey and his former band The Smiths have held a permanent place in my affections.

Able to produce broody ballads with the same easy proliferation that his early fan base of angry adolescents produced facial acne, Morrissey has a way with lyrics that has seen him stay wedged firmly in the playlist long after his target market have grown up and got over themselves.

It is a knack that has seen loyal listeners such as myself continue to add his latest offerings to their collections even though, secretly, I just want to see the guy happy.

But Morrissey without the mooching is a little like a king without a crown - they just become ordinary boys.

And so it is that in mid-December I will join thousands of like-minded fans at Vector arena to pay homage to a hero and let the tunes of my wrist-slashing youth wash over me and carry me gently down memory lane in a way that only music can do.

Regardless of our age and inclinations, all of us have a few favourite songs that we keep locked in the Pandora's box of the past, letting them out occasionally to give us an instant recall of times good, bad and ugly.

I need hear only the first few bars of Morrissey's I Know It's Over to instantly find myself back in my childhood bedroom, bent over the tape recorder, continually rewinding and replaying the disconsolate song about love lost and a life no longer worth enduring.

When you're 15 and a spoilt teenager with all the trappings of the first world, you can seriously relate, right?

Well that's certainly what I thought. Time and the school of hard knocks have since taught me that real life can indeed get a little worse than having a curfew an hour earlier than all of your friends and a boyfriend who sends the same extract from Romeo and Juliet to you and your best friend at the same time.

Of course, when you're a dramatic teenager it doesn't seem that it can possibly get any worse, and of course absolutely NO ONE can understand ... except, perhaps, Morrissey.

Years after I recovered from the unfortunate Romeo and Juliet incident, I came across a letter I had written to Morrissey at the time and never sent. Covered in what appeared to be ancient tear stains, it waxed lyrical about the agonies of the everyday and how no one "got it" but him.

Against the grain, he once wrote a song called In The Future When All's Well and years later, despite my best youthful predictions, it's the only one that has proved in the least prophetic.


- Northern Advocate

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