Morrissey Loses Voice, Fan Emotions Pour Forth

By Peter Kimmich 2008-01-28 01:41:30
Morrissey, former Smiths front man and center of the universe for 7.8% percent of humans, walked off the stage of a London performance after his pipes gave out on him, prompting not scorn, but well-wishing from fans, NME reported Saturday.

After struggling through the beginning of his set Friday night, the iconic 48-year-old British singer gave up midway through the fourth song, turned and stood with his back to the crowd while the band finished playing “I Just Want to See the Boy Happy.” He then left the stage with band in tow, according to fan site posts. Morrissey, whose fan base would raze a daycare if he so ordered, had been touring tirelessly for over two years, possibly overstraining his voice, one fan speculated.

This was the fourth of six sold-out shows at London’s historical Roundhouse music venue, with nearly 5,000 people in attendance. At first fans were not happy, launching beer and water bottles at comedians Russell Brand and David Walliams and TV presenter Jonathan Ross, who were tasked with announcing to the crowd that the singer would not be returning to the stage. A handful of YouTube videos capture the crowd’s malcontent – and Russell Brand’s infuriating stage presence, clearing up some of why people felt it necessary to throw things.

Then a surprising thing happened. Everyone went home, popped onto their favorite fan sites, and wrote encouraging comments, wishing Morrissey the best and hoping to see him again soon. “Don’t let the bastards … grind you down, Mozstar!,” wrote one; another wrote, “I’d happily pay double the ticket price for a four-song performance from Morrissey any day.”

It’s almost baffling that disappointed music fans could be so understanding, considering similar instances from other bands have resulted in riots and property damage. But just like it’s hard to stay mad at a kid who drops daddy’s cell phone in the toilet, I guess it’s not easy to carry a grudge against a songwriter whose entire catalogue documents how miserable they are. Whereas seeing Axl Rose break a nail and huff offstage would make most people want to burn a city down, the thought of hearing the voice responsible for the soft, mournful whispers of “Well I Wonder” deteriorate in front of a sold-out crowd almost brings me to tears. Well, maybe I’m exaggerating, but it certainly makes me want to give the poor guy a hug.

Morrisey’s people have since announced that the remaining shows will be rescheduled, the dates to be announced next week, while his January 30th and February 1st and 2nd shows are still scheduled.
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