And Finally Artist News Beef Of The Week

CMU Beef Of The Week #210: Morrissey v Cliff Richard

By | Published on Friday 13 June 2014


Earlier this week, as you no doubt heard, Morrissey cancelled the remaining nine dates on his US tour, which includes the first two dates he announced, one featuring support from Tom Jones and the other Cliff Richard. Ill health was the stated reason for the cancellation, but could it be that Morrissey has been looking for a way out of performing with Cliff for months.

“What could he be afraid of?” you might ask. Well, there’s the fear of being upstaged by a consummate professional, that’s a given. But there was also Richard’s statement back in February that he hoped that Morrissey “might eat some meat” before their show together, to celebrate his special guest’s arrival at the venue.

Now Morrissey, you might have noticed, is rather outspoken on the subject of meat and not thinking that people should eat it. Indeed earlier this year he likened meat eaters to paedophiles. Strong words indeed, but it’s one thing to say that in an online Q&A with fans, and quite another to have to say it right into the face of Cliff Richard just as he walks through the door.

So, there you have it. It’s an open and shut case. The body of evidence is too strong to deny. Morrissey cancelled his US tour as a result of a long-brewing meat dispute with Cliff. Well, there’s beef in all this somewhere.

Richard, meanwhile, issued a statement saying that he was “very disappointed” that Morrissey had turned down the offer to share some meat with him. Well, OK, he said that he was “very disappointed to confirm that Morrissey has just cancelled the remaining dates on his tour”, but we call know what he was thinking.

He did then wish Morrissey “a full and speedy recovery”, but, erm, you know, tensions, burgers, fall outs. OK, so, you might be thinking this beef is a little made up. And you’d be right. But I already invented a new buddy-cop TV show for Morrissey and Paul McCartney this week, so I figured while I was on a role, I might as well channel these incredible creative powers of mine.

Actually, while I’ve been banging on about Cliff, there has been an actual dispute related to this show, and a fake illness to talk about too. Not Morrissey’s illness, no. Stop that. The illness of the support act who was joining him for the entire tour, Kristeen Young.

The True To You website said that Morrissey had collapsed after his Boston show on 7 Jun, and was diagnosed with an “acute fever”. However, the makings of this fever dated back to 31 May in Miami, where Young had, the site said, “confessed to ‘a horrendous cold’, the symptoms of which were passed on to Morrissey”.

“For the good of all, Kristeen was asked to step down from the immediate upcoming shows”, the statement continued. “But instead she decided to leave the tour entirely. Morrissey and the band wish her well and hope she is now in good health”.

So, there you have it. It’s an open and shut case. The body of evidence is too strong to deny.

Except that Young’s story is slightly different.

Writing on Facebook, she said: “Regarding the recent True To You statement from Morrissey: I did not ‘confess to a horrendous cold’. On Monday, 2 Jun, I had an allergy attack that was over within sixteen hours. I went to a doctor (on Monday, 2 Jun), an allergy specialist, who gave me drugs for allergies… and they worked. I explained this (early on Tuesday, 3 Jun) and offered this doctor’s phone number to Morrissey personally, via email, and the tour manager, Donnie Knutson (for proof, since they seemed to doubt me). But, they NEVER followed up with me or said doctor”.

She continued: “Also, it is incorrect that I ‘decided to leave the tour completely’. I was asked to leave. Was called (in the presence of my band as witnesses) by Morrissey’s booking agent, Dave Tamaroff, and told that there would be a new support band in Boston. I am very sorry that Morrissey is not feeling well. But I will not tolerate these lies… particularly about my health. This is really too much and bizarre”.

Oh, well that complicates things. Bizarre is right though. And what with the false announcement of his publishing deal lapsing, the fake Twitter account, and trying to force another band to cancel their show in a neighbouring venue, it’s just the latest bizarre thing to occur in the Morrissey domain in recent weeks.

Cancelling tour dates due to illness though, that’s not a bizarre thing in the world of Morrissey at all, as this definitive list of the many times he’s pulled out of shows and his reasons for doing so attests.