Monday, July 23, 2007

Crucial commentary: Cutting the velvet rope w/Morrissey

Posted By on Mon, Jul 23, 2007 at 6:24 PM


(Photo by Perry Julien)

When Morrissey last played the Tabernacle, he taunted the faithful. As fans would reach out to shake his hand, he would move close as if to welcome their gesture. Then at the last moment, he would forcefully withdraw the offer. At Chastain on Friday, there was no such hesitation. He realized that his fans were adrift among the Brahmins of Buckhead, and that any form of rescue would be a welcome thing.

Just before the encore, I decided to join the throng so that I too might be close enough to feel the sweat from the Prophet. Pilgrims have weathered less just to arrive at the holy of holies. In the quest, Tracy Clark of Atlanta’s the Preakness was met by the in-your-face rudeness of season Chastain subscribers. The leader of the group first blocked her from passing in front of him. She hardly had any intention of blocking his view of his fave Morrissey. But he was meant to play security. Once his group decided that they were ready to make their exit, the other male in his party kicked Tracy as he lumbered by. His female companion actually hit Tracy in the back. So much for civility in the confines of the well-to-do.

I persevered. And as Moz passed, I reached out my hand. And my reach allowed me just enough extension to make it easy for him to oblige. Immediately, I did a little dance up and down, and Morrissey seemed to react to my enthusiasm. Would that all barriers in the world could be traversed with such ease?

After the show, I clearly shouted a request for a set list to the guitar tech. He decided not to be so obliging and quite deliberately ripped the paper into a little ball and rushed offstage with it. Power kills!

The jeers from a vengeful crowd have led many an Atlanta club-goer to wax eloquently about the charms of the velvet rope. They imagine being ushered by a cooperative door person into the VIP room, well-protected from the eager masses. There, they might bask in the warmth of artificial light among other well-heeled specimens. After all, a taste in fashion has its own reward. And as the sound system plays “How Soon Is Now,” the rewarded Morrissey fan might feel that he has finally eluded his persecutors.

But it might not work out that way. The VIP room only imprisons him in his society of like-minded. And on that particular night, the doorman might not be so egalitarian and leave him to huddle outside with his true brethren.

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