( Mike V. arriving in New Orleans with Tommy Guerrero and Rodney Mullen, 1988.)
(Ollie Mute 1 Foot on a Barnyard Prototype 1989, Kendall Park, NJ.)
MORRISSEY, October 5th, 2011
First there was Elvis.
Then there was punk rock.
Then there was Morrissey.
Like a ten-ton-truck Morrissey came crashing
into my life in 1987.
The first Smith’s song I ever heard was
There Is A Light That Never Goes Out…
– Please don’t drop me home
because I haven’t got one… anymore. –
This was how I felt.
I was 17 years old and completely
alone in the world.
I fucking hated jocks — Frat boys —
Groups of people with their group identities.
Assholes — All of them.
I never belonged in a locker room.
I never trusted people who needed a crowd –
A social justification — The need to be a part
– Hoist me from the herd –
I left team sports behind for skateboarding and punk rock music.
I left skateboarding and punk rock music behind
for MY skateboarding and Morrissey.
I didn’t want to eat what THEY told me to eat.
I didn’t want to drink what THEY told me to drink.
I didn’t want to do THEIR drugs.
I didn’t want to dehumanize woman like THEY did.
I didn’t want my life interpreted for me by others
or defined by any standards but my own.
My social awkwardness, my shyness, my sensitivity and
my struggles as a young professional skater…
– Tortured by my art (my very reason for living)
colliding with commerce —
…It all found a champion and a defender in Morrissey.
Heaven Knows I was miserable… And it felt good.
Better than being one of THEM.
Meat was murder, pretty girls made graves and
that joke wasn’t funny anymore.
Morrissey’s solo record Viva Hate landed
in 1988 at the toughest time in my young life —
And in some sick and twisted way it helped
Every day was like Sunday and
every night I fell asleep to
Viva Hate in my headphones.
When KIll Uncle came out in 1991 I was nearly
21 years old.
I went on a cross-country drive alone
with just this one cassette tape in my
Ford Bronco II.
From California to New Jersey, across the US on
Interstate 40 and back across on Interstate
70, I rode with Morrissey.
Through the desert, to the Grand Canyon,
through Oklahoma City, Fort Smith,
West Memphis and the Great Smokey Mountains.
Up the coast, to my hometown.
– I was born here
And I was raised here
And I took some stick here –
Into Pennsylvania, through Columbus
and Indianapolis, across Missouri and Kansas
into the Rocky Mountains and across the
It was just me, my Bronco II
and Kill Uncle…
— Sing Your Life… Sing Your Life…
Step right up to the microphone and
All the things you love
All the things you loathe. –
The sun would rise and the sun would set
and I would drive on.
Soon marriage, kids and bouts
of maturity would come crashing in like
a double-decker-bus and Morrissey and his
music slowly faded into the background.
I had my own poetry to write.
And the years rolled on.
And though perhaps it would seem that
Morrissey and his music couldn’t last…
I can tell you now, truly…
There is a light and it never goes out.
Mike V and Morrissey.