On September 30th 2019 Morrissey played a gig in Portland Oregon. Two protesters held up signs, one with the logo of UK political party For Britain under a stop sign (giving them yet more publicity – Morrissey stopped supporting them in May 2019, four months previously), and one saying ‘Bigmouth Indeed’.
The press had been following Morrissey’s North American tour to report low sales (they exaggerated, it did ok) and listen out for problematic stage “outbursts” (they got nothing but a fleeting reference to Faith Goldy and a Fuck The Guardian t-shirt).
Morrissey made the protesters leave the gig and a flurry of articles condemned him for being anti anti-racism and waxed lyrical about his supposed new far right political direction (he didn’t believe the party was far right, he thought their vegan leader was being lied about) or dipped into the list of distorted quotes pioneered by the NME in their homophobic hit piece in 1992, to prove that: He Has Always Been Like This (he wasn’t, he isn’t).
In fact, he’s sensitive about hecklers, throwing out particularly distracting ones, or walking off-stage if he smells a burger.
The smell of burning animals is making me sick. I just couldn’t bear it. (Morrissey, returning to the stage at Coachella, April 17th 2009)
I didn’t want to return to Brisbane because I’ve played there twice and on both nights I was heckled, which doesn’t bother me that much, but even if I reply with something snazzy, the heckler always wins because the night has been soured and we no longer feel welcome. That’s life. (Morrissey, news.com.au, August 2016)
A further scandal occurred when his nephew posted a picture of an audience in San Diego with the text:
… no ‘politically offended protestors’ (as paid for and planted in the crowd by the British press) in sight … (Sam Esty Rayner, Morrissey Central, October 2019)
It was reported as a statement by Morrissey, though he tends to have his name attached. Whether he believed it was a stunt or not is unknown.
Side Note : In my notebook I’ve jotted ‘viva love crap from Dave’. Make of that what you will.