Morrissey has been hospitalised with a bleeding ulcer, and I am one of just thousands I should imagine who wish him a speedy recovery.
Moz is what true England used to be all about when we were growing up--before outsiders began stripping away our identity. Like myself, he's the product of immigrants, like myself he bemoans the state this country is in today.
Moz is one of a handful of people who taught me that it's best to always say what you're thinking, instead of keeping it to yourself. You call a spade a spade, and be done with it. You take shit from absolutely no one. I learned that lesson a long time ago.
I remember him saying back in the Eighties, very publicly, that he would marry whoever bumped off our then much-hated prime minister, whether that person was male or female. He was castigated by the very people who shared exactly the same view. He said of his first biographer, Johnny Rogan, that he hoped he would die in a smash on the M6--and when he found out that Rogan didn't drive, he said a hotel fire would suffice. On the other hand, he said he wanted to dust down little old me and stand me on his mantelpiece! I see no wrong in expressing such an opinion--he's not making any threats, just expressing what he wishes for. I see no wrong, either, in wishing people dead if they're causing me pain--doesn't mean I want to bump them off personally, it just means that from my point of view, they'd be better off dead and I'd be that much happier knowing they won't bother me any more. They're certainly thinking the same thing about me. Moz even criticised Princess Diana, who I was very fond of--he read in the paper of a lady who once lived near him: she had killed herself because the government had cut her benefits and she couldn't afford to pay her heating bill, while in the same paper it announced that Diana had just spent £600 on a dress she would only wear once. His dislikes the royal family intensely. I don't, but I never criticise him because he's entitled to his opinion.
And of course, Moz is a musical icon and has been for thirty years. I cannot think of many English singer-songwriters possessed of the same calibre. This morning, one paper compares him with Valentino--the idolatry, and the bleeding ulcers. Good comparison, I guess. When I was working on my two Morrissey books, I came across some very nice people, but there were also a few lunatics--one had tried to kill himself when The Smiths split, and another pulled a knife on me while a third was arrested in the theatre, also with a knife in her handbag. So, like me, Moz has had his fair share of loonies.
So, get well, Morrissey--we need you to keep entertaining us with your beautiful songs and biting words of wisdom!