Why Morrissey Is So Important To Me

The fact that Morrissey is coming to Singapore, thanks to LAMC Productions is still surreal to me. May 8th is just around the corner and if you haven’t made a date with him – what is wrong with you?

This may read like a juvenile essay or a sentimental Friendster testimonial. Remember Friendster? Of course not. But I am allowed to. Because I am old. So to celebrate my ancient-ness, I will tell you how Morrissey has been so relevant in my life.

When I was 15 I bought The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Honestly though, I bought it because it had a nice cover and was published by MTV Books. And then now the book is going to be a film starring Emma Watson.

Not long after I finished the hipster-bait fiction, I made another trip to HMV to get a Smiths album and thank you Morrissey and friends, it prepped me up for life. I had a different favourite Morrissey/The Smiths song at different points in my life. It’s ‘I Don’t Mind If You Forget Me’ now but I shan’t elaborate.

Although he may have formed one of the greatest bands in history, like most of the greatest personalities, he has had his share of controversy. I went through a Morrissey ban (it lasted a week and I caved in) when he made comments that passed as racist, twice. But beyond the douchebaggery, is his ability to communicate in his lyrics on bleakness, complicated and short-lived happiness, bitterness, and most importantly, the humour in it all. Of course with The Smiths, the lyrical genius was complemented by Johnny Marr, the one responsible for the catchy hooks. But this partnership ended unfortunately. Bummer.

I went into uni with the song ‘This Charming Man’ because I believed I was the jumped-up pantry boy, going into law school abroad with really good-looking and smart people who seemed to know what they were doing. Yay motivation.

After that, life seemed to go on autopilot accompanied by The Smiths and/or Morrissey, ‘Ask’ for my awkwardness (Shyness is nice/Shyness can stop you from doing all the things in life you like to), ‘First Of The Gang To Die’ when I liked a boy – there was two songs for this one: ‘The Boy With The Thorn In His Side’, ‘Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want’ for those nights I was studying so hard, and ‘Why Don’t You Find Out For Yourself’ when I was done with law school forever. There was also ‘There Is A Light That Never Goes Out’ for Saturday nights alone (and my inability to sleep with the lights off) and all time apropos ‘Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now’ for whinge binge sessions with my best friends – hours of “yeah we have a life/job now but oh my god it makes me sad”.

Why has this band from Manchester become so pivotal to my life? While I think it may be possible for me to construct a chart on the songs of Morrissey and my mediocre life, it is quite simple why I find the music so important. Like what Sixteen Candles and Rick Astley was to my mother, Morrissey; his lyrics and his baritone has been my guidebook to my coming-of-age. Through homework and crushes and uni activism and my ugly shirts phase, Morrissey has been there. Also, that person who still has my copy of The Perks Of Being A Wallflower, MTV Books edition, please give it back to me.

Tickets are available at SISTIC: Morrissey Live In Singapore, 8 May 2012, 8pm, Fort Canning Park