When iconic British singer Morrissey landed in Southern California to resume his beleaguered U.S. tour, no one expected the tsunami of controversy that would soon follow. He’d already been forced to reschedule more than 25 shows after landing in a Michigan hospital with a bleeding ulcer this past January.
Instead of kicking of the new dates as scheduled with an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, the former Smiths frontman embarked on a campaign of scathing public statements and press wars, ultimately resulting in two triumphant Los Angeles performances. Here is a complete rundown of Moz’s dramatic “March Madness” swing through Southern California, one snarky comment at a time. With three weeks left in the month, God only knows what kind of craziness he’ll get into before April rolls around…
Moz Claims All-Veggie L.A. Concert Before even arriving in Southern California, Morrissey was igniting headlines when he announced that Los Angeles 20,000-seat Staples Center arena would be serving strictly vegetarian fare for his headlining show on March 1.
“I don’t look upon it as a victory for me but a victory for the animals,” Morrissey said, as the news broke of the veggie show (including the on-site McDonald’s being shuttered for the occasion), with the reminder that even Sir Paul McCartney had been denied the same request.
The Staples Center was quick to issue their own press release clarifying that while the venue would not be 100 percent meat-free, there would be expanded vegan and vegetarian options made available to concert-goers.
Still, Morrissey persisted, releasing yet another press statement: “Reports that the Staples Center will not be 100 percent vegetarian on March 1st are playfully untrue. Contractually, all McDonalds vendors shall be closed down, and the only thing burning shall be my heart.”
The Kimmel Kiss-Off Anticipation was high among L.A. Morrissey fans when the singer booked a performance on Jimmy Kimmel Live!
The appearance was scheduled as a “mini-concert,” where a few hundred lucky fans pack the lot behind the El Capitan Theater where Kimmel’s show is filmed and watch musical guests perform.
Instead, Morrissey released a last-minute statement canceling the appearance when it was learned he would be appearing alongside the cast of A&E reality show, Duck Dynasty.
“As far as my reputation is concerned, I can’t take the risk of being on a show alongside people who, in effect, amount to animal serial killers. If Jimmy cannot dump Duck Dynasty then we must step away,” he said.
Kimmel Strikes Back When Jimmy Kimmel Live! did go on-air the night of Morrissey’s cancellation, the singer did not come out unscathed.
“While I respect his stance on this – I really do – there’s a very good reason why I didn’t dump the Duck Dynasty guys for Morrissey,” Kimmel joked during the show. “It’s because they have guns, and Morrissey doesn’t,” adding, “he keeps finding new ways to depress us.”
The show went on to feature a mock commercial featuring the cast of Duck Dynasty hunting for vegetables.
Ironically, the Moz-generated controversy would help propel Duck Dynasty to some of the show’s highest ratings to date.