Why Morrissey Fans Are Unlike Any Other Music Fans

Why Morrissey Fans Are Unlike Any Other Music Fans

Sure, people swooned over the likes of Madonna, The Beatles and Elvis, but Morrissey fans are in a league of their own.
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The phenomenon of popular musicians having very fanatical fans probably first began with singers like Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra, and those "fandoms" were soon succeeded and topped by the likes of Elvis Presley and The Beatles. Crazy, hysterical female fans of popular musicians were given tags throughout the years like "bobby soxers" then "teenyboppers," and now there's a current term, "fangirls," but there was one constant among all these tags. These groups consisted of young women between the ages of 12 and 25 with an unhealthy obsession with these musicians and all of them had a distinctive shriek that could make any mirror shatter. They formed fan clubs, they wrote adoring letters, they tried to break into dressing rooms, and they would even stage invade during a show just in an effort to touch their beloved idols, even if it meant they would get thrown out.

We still see this type of fandom today with the likes of One Direction or Justin Bieber where girls come to their shows and scream so loud that it would be actually difficult to enjoy and hear the concert (though I'm not sure a sensible person is capable of doing this, if you know what I mean), something that The Beatles were definitely accustomed to. In fact, The Beatles actually made a decision to stop playing live altogether, partially due to the fact that they became so annoyed at all the screaming and they often couldn't actually hear themselves playing over all the loud fans (and you also have to remember that the PA systems weren't very advanced at that time either).

So, there were male singers and bands like Frank Sinatra and The Beatles from every decade and genre that made female fans swoon. There were male and female pop stars like Madonna, Lady Gaga, George Michael and Justin Timberlake who made female and homosexual fans swoon. But, what about a musician or band that made every demographic -- young or old, male or female, gay or straight -- lose their minds? No one else comes to mind, except a man by the name of Steven Patrick Morrissey, or as you probably know him, Morrissey.

Morrissey first rose to fame as the lead singer of Manchester rock band The Smiths in the '80s. As frontman of The Smiths, he became known for his distinctive, tall, brown quiff, his unbuttoned, borderline-feminine shirts, his oversized NHS spectacles, and his regular stage prop: a handful of flowers. Now, due to that description and due to the fact that he was a particular admirer of people like James Dean and Marlon Brando, one would think that he was surely a homosexual. Quite the opposite. He actually spoke publicly about his asexuality. It was so strange for someone to visually and lyrically present himself in such a way that oozed of sexuality, but who actually was open about the fact that he never truly desired a physical relationship and to some extent, saw himself as above or beyond the idea of sex.

It was quite odd for a lead singer to flamboyantly rip off his shirt at nearly all his shows and sing about things like "a murderous desire for love" and whether "nature will make a man of me yet," but actually declare himself to be celibate. Throughout his career with The Smiths and still till this day as a solo artist, his lyrics were filled with sexual innuendos, sexual ambiguity and themes of physical intimacy, but it was as if he was untouchable. He presented himself with this "look, but don't touch" mentality, which only made people want him more. Morrissey was viewed as this "sweet and tender" man who sang of sexual confusion and sang with so much honest emotion that he claimed that he has never "performed" onstage, it was all 100 percent true emotion. His lyrics spoke to teenagers of both genders and all sexualities who also shared his interest in sex and maybe even similar feelings of sexual frustration. Though he was openly asexual, he actually became a sex symbol, which seems backwards, but he truly was (and is) a sex symbol in every sense of the term.

At his shows with The Smiths and his solo shows, stage invasions were not unusual. In fact, it happened all the time in the '80s and '90s, probably at every show, and it still happens to this day. Male and female fans would rush on stage in hopes of hugging Morrissey, this godlike figure who sang of the struggles of being a teenager and who spoke of love and sex in a way that was so poetic and beautiful. However, what is truly unmatched by any other musician is the fact that he made heterosexual men go just as crazy as his homosexual fans or female fans. Male, teenage, heterosexual fans of The Smiths and Morrissey (of which there were many) had a very distinct uniform.

They would wear white T-shirts, which displayed either Smiths album covers (all of which were designed by Morrissey) or photos of Morrissey. They wore blue denim jeans and and many of them even tried to mimic Morrissey's iconic quiff. They wanted to hug the man who spoke to them like no one had ever spoken to them before. They saw themselves as outsiders and Morrissey was someone who made them feel understood and who made them feel like they weren't alone. He was the one who made people feel that being awkward, reclusive or intelligent weren't undesirable characteristics, especially when it came to rock and roll, which is often associated with being extroverted and macho.

Morrissey definitely had his fair share of female and homosexual admirers as well, many of whom would throw flowers and underwear at him at shows and stage invade, but what really sets him apart is that his straight, male fans would do all of those things as well in equal measure, perhaps minus the underwear throwing. I mean this characteristic is really unprecedented in music. I'd be damned if I could think of another example of worship on this level from all different demographics of music fans. In regards to this phenomenon, Morrissey acknowledged it in an interview by saying, "a lot of my male followers have very anguished and rabid desires in my direction. And I find that quite historic." After Morrissey would rip off his shirt at his concerts, he would throw it into the crowd, where fans tried to get at least a small piece to take home and cherish before it was inevitably ripped to shreds.

Another thing that was distinctive when it came to Morrissey fans was that they wrote so many letters and tried to give him so many gifts (before, during and after his shows) that it was getting out of control. Eventually, his management started putting boxes outside of venues before his shows that read "gifts for Morrissey" for fans to present Morrissey with whatever they desired. What's also unique about Morrissey was that he welcomed stage invasions and he hugged fans back and shook their hands as they tried to kiss and hug him in mid-song, which, of course, only lead to more stage invasions. When asked about all the love he receives from his fans, Morrissey once said, "Can you imagine being kissed by hundreds of people? It was immensely uplifting."

What's truly remarkable is that these stage invasions still happen today. People of all ages show up to Morrissey gigs with flowers, handwritten letters and a hope of giving the man they love a hug. Morrissey is so beloved that for many people, going to one of his concerts is a religious experience. He's the preacher and the crowd are the loving, faithful followers. Morrissey's intelligent lyrics were a huge reason that people loved him so much (so much so that they read his lyrics like Bible verses). He sang about things that hadn't been discussed in rock or pop music before. He sang about his favorite poets -- John Keats, W.B. Yeats and Oscar Wilde -- but his wisdom didn't stop there. Sure, others sang about their hatred of the British monarchy like he did in "The Queen Is Dead," but he also sang about things like the National Front ("The National Front Disco"), the Kray twins ("The Last Of The Famous International Playboys"), the plight of the disabled ("November Spawned A Monster"), the ineffective Manchester school system ("The Headmaster Ritual"), police brutality ("Ganglord"), the greed and ego of the music industry ("Paint A Vulgar Picture"), black humor ("Girlfriend In A Coma"), and most notably, vegetarianism ("Meat Is Murder").

Morrissey was and still is one of the faces of vegetarianism, all because of The Smiths' second album, fittingly-titled "Meat Is Murder," which contained a song of the same name. Morrissey probably single-handedly converted more people to vegetarianism than any other one person. He was one of the people who brought this issue to the mainstream, and he wore this cause on his shoulder like no other. Many fans, after hearing that album, gave up meat for life and that's pretty amazing when you think about it. A pop-rock song about vegetarianism is something that no record company would ever push for, especially when the live version of the song was accompanied by a video backdrop of animals being slaughtered and abused.

All the venues at Morrissey shows have to go vegan or else he'll pull out of the show. In fact, there was one time where Morrissey was due to appear on a U.S. late-night talk show, but he pulled out after finding that one of the guests was going to be a cast member from the show "Duck Dynasty," a reality show about duck hunters. The animal rights organization, PETA, campaigns at all of Morrissey's shows because his fans are so dedicated to this cause, just like their idol. After The Smiths' song, "Meat Is Murder," Morrissey continued to address animal rights throughout his solo career as well with songs like "The Bullfighter Dies," which contains lyrics like "hooray, hooray / the bullfighter dies / and nobody cries."

So, not only did Morrissey attract an army of adoring fans from the '80s to the present, but he attracted fans of every demographic. Sure, Elvis and The Beatles had plenty of male, heterosexual fans, but those fans wanted to be like Elvis, Lennon or McCartney, none of them wanted to kiss or hug them like they did with Morrissey. Morrissey attracted fans who would do anything for him. They would (and still do) stage invade, they wore oversized glasses, they adopted his signature hairdo, they waved flowers at his shows, they despised the British royals like he did, they wrote letters to him, they got Morrissey tattoos and they kissed the ground he walked on. Sure, all those things are nothing new, but the fact that he converted so many people to vegetarianism is a pretty remarkable accomplishment, especially for an entertainer.

I hope one day that I, too, will be able to give the man that I listen to religiously a huge hug and a thank you. I may not be a vegetarian, but, thanks to him, I definitely look at eating meat in a different way and I've always been a huge proponent of animal rights, being equally disgusted at things like rodeos, horse racing, zoos and bullfighting. I also can thank him for making it acceptable and cool for rock bands to not have to look and act overtly-macho, but they also don't necessarily have to look androgynous either. He's a true, godlike revolutionary whose fans are unmatched by any other group of music fans. I mean, look at these pictures, and still try to tell me that you don't want to give him a bear hug.

Cover Image Credit: Kevin Cummins

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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The Football World Loses One Of Its Finest Players

Bart Starr passed away and NFL players, coaches, and fans all mourn the loss of the Packer legend, but his life and career will live on in hearts of Packer nation forever.

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Bart Starr passed away at the age of 85 in Birmingham, Alabama. The NFL lost a great player. The Green Bay Packers lost a hero. And, the world lost a true gentleman. Starr's legacy has surpassed his accomplishments on the gridiron. He inspired not only his peers but the generations that have come after him. He is — and always — will be remembered as a Hall of Famer, a champion, and a Packer.


Bart Starr was a Packers legend. Starr led Green Bay to six division titles and five world championships. As the quarterback of Vince Lombardi's offense, he kept the machine going and executed the plays like no other. His mastery of the position was a large part of the Packers success in the 1960s. Starr was also the perfect teammate for the perfect team. His leadership put him in command of the Packers. Starr's time in Green Bay will not be forgotten by former players, coaches, and the fans.

Bart Starr's resume is rivaled by few in NFL history. He played in 10 postseason games and won 9 of them. He led the Packers to victory in Super Bowls I and II and won the MVP award in both games. He was the MVP of the league in 1966 and was named to the NFL All-Decade Team of the 1960s. The Packers retired his number 15 and Starr has been inducted into the Packers and Pro Football Hall of Fame.


After his playing days, Starr would become the head coach of the Packers. He could not repeat the success he had on the field from the 1960s teams. His coaching years do not take away from his legacy as one of the all-time great Packers. Starr was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1977.

One of Starr's last visits to Lambeau field was on a cold November night in 2015. Starr and his wife attended a ceremony in which the Packers retired Brett Favre's jersey number. Starr was the perfect personification of what it meant to be a Packer. His most heroic moment came in the 1967 NFL Championship Game. The Ice Bowl came down to a third and goal in Lambeau Field's south endzone against the Dallas Cowboys. Starr came to the sidelines and bravely told Vince Lombardi that he can sneak it in for a game-winning touchdown. Lombardi then replied, "Run it, and let's get the hell out of here." Starr ran a quarterback sneak for the game-winner and the Packers were off to Super Bowl II. Without Starr, Green Bay would not have won a second straight Super Bowl. His leadership in big game moments will live with Packers fans for a lifetime.

Vince Lombardi: A Football Life - The Ice Bowl

Starr leaves behind his wife Cherry, his son, and three granddaughters. Packers fans will have a tight grip on the memories Bart Starr and the 60s teams created. Starr left behind a template for being a Green Bay Packer. He also left a template for being a good man and a gentleman of the game of football. He was a competitor and a leader. Packer nation mourns for the loss of one of the finest human beings the game has seen.

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