There was wild speculation about the true reason for the cancellation. Morrissey endured a fate worse than sex with Madonna while playing Coachella on Friday -- the smell of grilling meats from the concession stands drifted across the stage during his set. It prompted the middle-aged vegetarian to announce "I can smell burning flesh and I hope to God it's human." Apparently after discovering that human sacrifices are only enacted at Burning Man, Morrissey walked off the stage in mid-lyric during "Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others." Meat is murder, after all. "The smell of burning animals is making me sick. I just couldn't bear it," he explained when he returned to finish a lackluster show plagued by sound problems.
Hey, fair enough. A really bad smell that violates your personal and artistic integrity could render someone "Still Ill" the next day. (I, too, can skillfully weave Smiths song titles into my writing.) And Morrissey fans are a forgiving lot, as evidenced by their willingness to part with $85 to experience one of their hero's notoriously short concerts. (Disclosure: I've seen The Smiths/Morrissey ten times dating back to 1985, and I own every Smiths 12" ever released on Rough Trade.) But it's a bit hard to take when the man who put the "M" in Manchester showed up Saturday night at DNA Lounge to catch a show by Kristeen Young -- a former warm-up act who got the boot from his 2007 tour after she jokingly mentioned Morrissey and oral sex in the same sentence on stage.
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Morrissey photo courtesy of Christopher Victorio via sfweekly.com