HOW I GOT TO HUG MORRISSEY
Long list, thanks for humoring me
- •It was the summer of 1992, between my freshman and sophomore years of college
- •for various reasons I had to take summer school in Houston
- •I got to hang out a lot with one of my best friends, Nicole. (To this day we live within a few miles of each other, now in Oregon.)
- •There was no internet to speak of then, so when we heard that Morrissey was coming to play Houston, it was via radio - 104 KRBE.
- •Not only was he playing a concert, but he would also be appearing in-store to sign autographs at the Record Rack on S. Shepherd Drive. Woohoo!
- •Nicole and I noted the date, and the night before, she picked me up (I did not own a car or even drive until I was 21) and we drove from Baytown into Houston.
- •We joined a huge crowd that was starting to line up in the parking lot around nightfall.
- •I packed corn chips and peppermint schnapps. (I know, totally disgusting) Also illegal since I was only 18 (I have a November birthday and started KG when I was 4, do the math).
- •My high school crush also showed up a bit further down the line and I pretended to ignore him while doing shots of schnapps out of an empty Advil bottle. SO EMO
- •Somehow we spent a sweaty night in a Houston parking lot amongst hundreds of other sweaty Smiths/Morrissey fans.
- •If we needed to pee we went to the Chevron station across the street.
- •The next day we anxiously awaited the arrival of our icon. Security folks came and went and organized us into a better line with crowd barriers.
- •The local paper, Houston Chronicle, showed up and snapped pictures. A TV crew also came and reported. I overheard some of the questions asked, and it was very clear the reporter was not familiar with Morrissey's oeuvre.
- •Finally, the man himself! A demure town car delivered him in front of the Record Rack. Screaming, pandemonium, gladioli everywhere.
- •And then quiet again, as we politely organized into a line to enter the store and present one item each to be signed.
- •I had him sign my diary.
- •And somehow, after that moment, I was reaching across the table, Morrissey reached for me, and Nicole snapped the photo on her 35mm film camera.