Morrissey’s Seven Inch Plastic Strap-On

grey Morrisseys Seven Inch Plastic Strap On

There’s a naked man stand­ing laugh­ing in your dreams.
You know who it is, but you don’t like what it means.

 

A num­ber of people have for­war­ded Morrissey’s pubes to me. (For which, many thanks.)

I thought I could get away with not dis­cuss­ing the Moz minge, but this Red Hot Chili Peppers pas­tiche, nos­tal­gic vinyl tak­ing the place of stuffed socks, which appears on the inside sleeve of Morrissey’s new single ‘Throwing My Arms Around Paris’ has gen­er­ated a lot of com­ment­ary, some amused, some not, and some, such as Paul Flynn in the Guardian, cit­ing it as ‘the latest sign of artistic decline’.

But all of it sug­gest­ing Morrissey’s cur­lies can­not be ignored.

It’s funny how Morrissey man­ages to repeatedly sur­prise people with his con­sist­ent, insist­ent coquet­tish­ness. Only last year, legions were scan­dal­ized when that pic­ture taken in the early 90s of His Mozness’ naked hairy arse with ‘YOUR ARSE ANALL’ scrawled across it in Magic Marker  (with the apo­strophe in ‘ANALL’ aimed at Moz’s fun­da­ment) appeared in a book­let for his Greatest Hits col­lec­tion: ‘So gross! This must mean he’s, like, totally gay!’

grey Morrisseys Seven Inch Plastic Strap On

But Morrissey, odd, reclus­ive creature that he is, has never exactly been a shrink­ing violet. His work has always had a naughty, ‘cheeky’, exhib­i­tion­ist side. As he sang back in the day on the Meat is Murder track ‘Nowhere Fast’: ‘I’d like to drop my trousers to the Queen — every sens­ible child will know what this means’. His first single fea­tured a close-up of naked male gay porn star’s bubble-butt. His first album had a shot of the torso of a naked male hust­ler on it. (Like all the art­work dur­ing his Smiths period, it was all selec­ted and dir­ec­ted and prob­ably even pas­ted up by him.)

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After The Smiths split, he became his own cover star and was to be found hug­ging his top­less solo self on his 1997 ‘Best Of’ collection.

grey Morrisseys Seven Inch Plastic Strap On

And while he may have once scorned her shame­less­ness, Moz’s out­rageous ‘November Spawned a Monster’ promo in 1990 out-Madonna-ed Madonna, fea­tur­ing him writh­ing in the desert in a skimpy see-through mesh blouse that some­how keeps slip­ping off — per­haps because he appears to be being bummed by an odd-shaped boulder.

On-stage he pole-dances around his songs often end­ing on his back with his legs in the air, obli­gingly lif­ted towards the aud­it­or­ium, while yodel­ling. Even today, it’s still an abso­lute and legal require­ment of all tick­ets sales that Moz strips off his sweat-soaked shirt at least once every show and throw it into the crowd, who instantly rend it to tiny fra­grant shreds, which they then appear to eat.

If Morrissey doesn’t get his tits out for the lads and lasses you’re entitled to a full refund, I believe. It’s always been a flag­rantly, prob­ably patho­lo­gic­ally sexual thing between Moz and his fans. Though as he’s got older and thicker around the mid­riff the pole-dancing, does get a bit more, er, awkward.

Oh, and the naked Moz show­ing us his shaved armpit shot by Eamonn McCabe (which seems to be an update of the fam­ous Narcissus statue by Cellini) used on the jacket of Saint Morrissey — partly to under­mine the title  - ori­gin­ally appeared on the cover of the NME in 1988 and on a big, fold-out, blue-tac-to-your-sweaty-teen-boy-bedroom-wall poster inside.

grey Morrisseys Seven Inch Plastic Strap Ongrey Morrisseys Seven Inch Plastic Strap On

Today’s naked Moz looks very dif­fer­ent. Which is only nat­ural since he’s now nearly 50 — though of course age­ing nat­ur­ally is the height of unnat­ur­al­ness these days. But the boy­ish exhib­i­tion­ism is largely unchanged. Yes, he has the body of a middle-aged male celebrity who scan­dal­ously refuses to hire a per­sonal fit­ness trainer (even if one or two of the chaps in his employ look as if they’d rather be on a ten mile run).

But he’s also show­ing us that inside the body of a pub land­lord from County Mayo is still a skinny lonely boy from Stretford, nakedly demand­ing our love. With a seven inch pop single where his man­hood should be. That’s how people don’t grow up.

If you look closely — and clearly I have — this jokey pic isn’t really very funny. Like ‘Throwing My Arms Around Paris’, it’s sadly, proudly defi­ant. It’s Morrissey’s fam­ily por­trait. This is what his love-life looks like. It’s all here: Pop music. His band-mates. His fans (we’re look­ing at him again — he’s that naked man laugh­ing and cry­ing in our dreams).

And, centre of shot, per­haps his most endur­ing rela­tion­ship of all: the one he has with his hair.

Both ends.

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