I meant to write about my weekend earlier but napping got in my way!
A couple of weeks ago my long-time friend Carol told me that she and her husband (Dave) were going to see Morrissey in Myrtle Beach and that I should come along. I was apprehensive about spending the extra money since I wasn't working but after thinking about it decided that it would be a much needed break from "Probate World" so I went to the Ticketmaster counter at Publix and bought a ticket.
Remind me to write a blog rant one day about the outrageous "convenience" fee's and service charges when you purchase a concert ticket! It's a total rip-off!
Carol called me the week before the concert and asked if I would mind staying the night in Myrtle Beach. She went on to explain that the last time they went to a concert they were so tired afterward that they didn't feel like driving home so they looked for a hotel room. Of course, being that they were in The Redneck Riviera Vacationland (aka Myrtle Beach) all the hotels were super expensive, or booked (probably by Ohioans!)
Initially I thought the idea of sleeping in a hotel with Carol and Dave might be a bit weird so I told her that I would drive separately. It wasn't just the idea of sleeping in the same room with a couple, it was also the fact that I really haven't slept well in over a month and I certainly didn't want to keep anyone up. Once I thought about it and the fact that I could just take a sleeping pill or listen to my iPod in an emergency sleep situation I decided it wouldn't be a big deal. Friday afternoon I picked Carol and Dave up at their house and we were on our way. The plan was to check into the hotel and then head over to the House of Blues for dinner.
The House of Blues has this thing where if you eat dinner there you can "pass the line" with your receipt. When we arrived we drove around the venue and I noticed the entire bus area was blocked off with tape. You couldn't get within 100 feet of the nearest bus. I knew that Morrissey was difficult to meet, but the House of Blues roping system would make it near impossible!
We parked and noticed there was a bit of a line so we went in to eat. I had never been to the House of Blues and just as I had imagined, like Planet Hollywood and The Hard Rock Cafe, the prices were outrageous for normal food. Carol and I ended up getting the chicken fingers and fries and I think that dish was around $13. I also ordered two cocktails which I learned later were $6 each. That is just crazy! The vodka probably wasn't even Absolut!
The main conversation of the day was regarding how to sneak a camera into the venue. The House of Blues is notorious for their security. I thought that I could possibly put my camera in my boot or bra but was worried about the possibility of them using the metal detector wand thingy. We asked the server about the camera policy and she said they are really strict about not allowing in cameras. She went on to say that if you are caught with one they will kick you out. That was the deal breaker for me. I definitely didn't think it was worth all of that to get a picture of Morrissey. What I don't understand is that they will allow you to bring in a cell phone camera. I am sure the iPhone's probably take better pictures than most camera's so why not just allow them?? I think I might write an email asking them to explain that.
After walking to the car to drop off purses and cameras we learned that is wasn't even necessary to eat the crappy and tasteless food at the House of Blues to obtain the "pass the line" pass because there was no line! We walked right in after being frisked and, yes, wanded!
We stood to the right of the stage and the opening band, Red Cortez, started at 8:00 on the dot. I didn't know anything about them but they wore skinny jeans, had an 80's influence to their music and and what seemed to be a put-on British accent. I was half interested because I was counting down the minutes until Morrissey came onstage! We were all concerned since he had cancelled the first week of the tour due to illness and the Myrtle Beach was to be the opening night of the tour. No one was sure if he would even perform that evening!
When he did come out it was almost surreal. Here was this man that I have adored for almost 25 years standing right in front of me. I was trying to contain my emotions and initially did a pretty good job of it. He seemed a bit moody to me but since I had nothing to compare it to I didn't know if he was having a good show or a bad show. At one point he did walk off the stage for a few minutes only to come back to say the sound was too loud. During the show Morrissey didn't speak much and said just a few things; when he he first came on stage he said "Nothing could be finer..." and then said (of his illness and cancelled dates) "reports of my death are obviously untrue, sadly" and then later he said things like "How do you like your new President?" - after the crowd cheered he said "Good!" Before singing "Best Friend on the Payroll" he said "we all have filthy pasts!"
The set list was as follows:
Something Is Squeezing My Skull
Mama Lay Softly On The Riverbed
This Charming Man
Best Friend On The Payroll
First Of The Gang To Die
I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris
How Can Anybody Possibly Know How I Feel?
Seasick, Yet Still Docked
Sister, I'm A Poet
All You Need Is Me
I Keep Mine Hidden
The World Is Full Of Crashing Bores
Life Is A Pigsty
How Soon Is Now?
After "Life is a Pigsty" they immediately went into "How Soon Is Now?" and I literally got weak in the knees. When I first heard the infamous guitar chords of the song I closed my eyes. I was standing right next to the speakers and could feel the vibration of the song all around me. For a brief moment it was 1986 and I was 16 again... back in the unfinished room over the garage that I called my bedroom. I didn't have a fancy stereo, just a simple record player that I repeatedly played "Hatful of Hollow" on. My room was decorated with posters of my favorite 80's goth bands and James Dean. The lights were usually off and candles lit the room... it was usually me, some friends, sometimes smuggled alcohol or pot and the sounds of The Cure, Siouxsie or The Smiths filling the room. It was always perfect until my Mom would come up and yell that the music was too loud!
Over the years I have been in several clubs that played "How Soon Is Now?" and always enjoyed being loudly surrounded by the perfection of what was Morrissey and Johnny Marr. "How Soon Is Now?" was the anthem of my youthful angst and I thought at one time that only Morrissey truly understood my feelings as a teenager.
That night at the House of Blues, hearing one of my idols sing one of my all-time favorite songs put me in a state of sensory overload. Hearing that song on such a loud level enveloped my entire being and I soon found that I was holding back tears in a nightclub and hoping no one would notice. I was verklempt. I have always loved them, but until that moment I never realized the impact that Morrissey and The Smiths had on me as a teenager.
They ended the show abruptly with "How Soon Is Now?" and I know that some people were ticked that there was no encore, but to me, it could not have ended more perfectly.
I did manage to find some photos that someone took that night in Myrtle Beach...
Still as beautiful as ever!
After the show Carol, Dave and I roamed around taking photos...
... and then headed to Krispy Kreme for a late night snack!
After getting our "Hot Donuts Now!" sugar overload we headed back to the hotel. Just in case, I took an Ambien and was sufficiently knocked out within minutes. I probably snored the whole night through so remind me to apologize to Dave and Carol!
The next morning, after stopping for breakfast at Chick-fil-A, we headed back home. I arrived just in time to return a couple of phone calls and to take a disco nap before the Olivia Newton-John concert on Saturday night!