I will tell you: I am a passionate admirer of your songwriting, your singing and your recordings.
I’ve bought tickets to see you lots of times. You shaped my head and my heart as a teenager, and to this day continue to impact my various artistic forays.
You helped open me, you taught me that I could be brutally honest in my songs and that I didn’t need to wait for anyone’s permission.
You helped teach me that I could sing about anything I wanted to. So, no matter what you are, what you do or what you become, I’ll feel forever indebted to you for your gifts to me.
I once had the chance to meet you. My band, The Dresden Dolls, were playing at a festival in Germany about eight years ago and you were in the dressing room next to us. Your keyboardist sat next to me and we started chatting over the very terrible backstage sandwich buffet. I told him how much I loved you, and he offered to take me back to your dressing room so that we could say hello to each other.
This is how much you mean to me: I couldn’t stomach the idea of Morrissey meeting me and not liking me, even if the chances were small. In a move that shocked myself, I shook my head and declined the invitation. (I’ll never know if I did the right thing…late at night, I have regrets.)
So first of all: How dare you have such power over me?
And second: I am really sorry to hear that you are ill; I just read about your tour cancellation in the paper. I hope that you get better soon, and I hope you’re kind to yourself. I have been sick on the road, I’ve had vocal surgery, I’ve canceled tours…it blows for so many reasons.
There was something else that I read in the article that made me stop and think. The article said you’ve been told by doctors not to tour, and you were quoted saying that you wanted to make music, but you cannot find a label.
I thought about that, and then I did an experiment.
I know you don’t use Twitter, but I’m sure you probably understand the basics of how it works. I tweeted a link to the article about your canceled tour, and then asked this simple question of my followers (I have about 850,000 of them): “How many people out there would pay $5 to crowdfund/pre-order a digital-only Morrissey album?”
There were many, many answers. You were discussed, anecdotes were shared….and I said very little. People, not surprisingly, said both super-worshipful and super-critical things about you, as you’d expect.
But the point is, after a few hours, somewhere upwards of 1,400 tweets came in saying that they’d gladly pay $5 to fund a digital album.