Here’s a little word of advice for any burgeoning Morrissey fans: don’t. Just don’t go there. By all means, listen to the man’s music, dance around to “How Soon is Now?”, court the opposite sex (or same, if that’s your thing) to Smiths albums, ponder and mull (thoughts, not wine) and reflect alone with Moz as your soundtrack, but don’t ever EVER refer to yourself as a ‘Morrissey fan.’ The Moz police really, really hate that.
Indeed, they hate it so much, that Moz superfan David Tseng, who runs the fansite Morrissey-solo.com, having travelled more than 5,000 miles to attend a concert in Copenhagen, found himself surrounded by security guards, thrown out without financial recompense, and being told “You know what you did.” A bewildered Tseng responded with “Er, I don’t.”
Now, Morrissey’s animosity towards him can’t have come as a massive surprise to Tseng, given that just recently, Moz took to the stage wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with “F–K MORRISSEY-SOLO.COM”, but that said, holding one person responsible for the actions of many does seem a little…well, bats#@t crazy.
According to a public statement, “Mr Tseng, via his poisonous website, has caused so much intentional distress to Morrissey and Morrissey’s band over the years that Mr Tseng is not welcome at any Morrissey shows.”
Perplexed Tseng told The Guardian UK, “I’ve never intended to cause distress to Morrissey or his band. I post little commentary on the site, preferring to leave the discussion to site users – he seems to blame me for his fans’ opinions. I don’t agree with every post on there but I believe in free speech – I don’t like to censor, which is something he is supposedly against.”.
“It’s a control thing. If he doesn’t have control of the site then he doesn’t like it – he wants to knock it down. I think it’s because he’s having trouble getting a record deal so he’s looking for someone to blame. He’s frustrated.”
Tseng claims that this has probably come about as a result of certain discussion threads commenting on what Tseng calls Morrissey’s “stagnant” new material, and criticism of Moz’s current touring backing band, but a few discussion threads on the site do seem to tell a slightly different story, with many pointing out that up until sometime in the late 2000s, Morrissey’s relationship with Morrissey-solo.com had been, by all accounts, a positive one, with Morrissey even crediting the site on one of his compilations.
General consensus seems to suggest that the relationship turned sour when Tseng published a rumor that Moz had failed to pay people in his touring party, leading the ex-Smiths frontman to threaten Tseng with legal action. So Tseng does seem to be claiming more ignorance than he has any right to, but it is difficult to look at this falling out in an isolated context. Indeed, Moz has a long history of falling out with individuals, many of whom had been very close to him at one point in Moz’s life. That being said, inflicting scathing criticism on his fans does feel a little like the final domino as finally fallen.
Who was it who said that you should never meet your heroes? Yeah, that person was onto something there.