moz-naked

Morrissey’s 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 AN’ ALL’ scrawled across it in Magic Marker  (with the apostrophe in ‘AN’ ALL’ aimed at Moz’s fundament) appeared in a booklet for his Greatest Hits collection: ‘So gross! This must mean he’s, like, totally gay!’

morrissey-cheeky

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.)

handinthe-smiths-cover

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.

bestofmoz_suedhead

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.

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.

15 thoughts on “Morrissey’s Seven Inch Plastic Strap-On

  1. No qualifiers necessary are necessary – he doesn’t look hot “for a 50 year old”, he isn’t “not bad”… MOZ is HOT. Period!

  2. I’ve seen far worse 50 year old carcasses. I actually imagine that he imagines, rightly, he should be given credit for not looking too bad at all. I think the tan shocks me more than anything!

  3. it’s a provocative shot, partly b/c he is saying ‘yes, here’s my 50-year-old body (and my pubes) – deal with it’. which yes, is a bit adolescent perhaps, but kinda refreshing in its odd glory. not playing by the rules. morrissey is actually fairly punk rock.

  4. Simply an overreaction to feminism’s objection to women being objectified. Males have become very narcisistic, e.g. note the surfeit of straight exerecise & body building periodicals featuring male musculature. The one place where female bodies are ok is in the sale of sanitary products and similar health aids.
    It is true in this context that some Americans would be so abtuse as to consider that a picture of Mos’s humble hairy arse was gay. But then they have an odd take on art all around.

  5. If that is your assessment of popular media, then you are not seeing things objectively. Take any male body part and compare its treatment with the corresponding female body part and the latter will always be met with more controversy and moral outrage. Let’s go down the list:

    Chests: Male chests are not considered nudity and are shown everywhere. Bare female chests are only shown in restricted media. A woman wearing a tightly fitting top is more scandalous than a topless man.

    Butts: Male butts are shown on basic cable, rated-PG movies, billboards and magazine ads. Female butts are mostly relegated to R-rated movies.

    Genitals: Male genitalia can be shown in rated-R movies, cable, videogames, and educational programs. Female genitalia is shown only, with very few exceptions, in porn.

    “madonna, kylie minogue to name two frequently flash their aging bodies to sell records..”

    Show me promotional ads that either of these women have done in the last ten years that show bare tits and bush.

    “not to mention the stream of female nudity in many music videos at the moment.. x”

    Music videos don’t show female nudity; they show females in skimpy clothing with their private areas covered. Men don’t wear skimpy clothing in videos, not because it’s taboo or considered shocking, but because they know people will think they look moronic.

  6. noo who told you that. in television alone unclothed women are far more acceptable than naked men.. penises in particular are frowned upon.

    madonna, kylie minogue to name two frequently flash their aging bodies to sell records.. not to mention the stream of female nudity in many music videos at the moment.. x

  7. “were this literally any female artist it would be considered a requirement not a note of contention.”

    This makes no sense considering that female nudity is generally far more controversial than male nudity. When’s the last time a popular, especially older, female artist showed her tits and bush in a promotional ad?

  8. If that’s all that Mr Flynn can descern as the “latest sign of artistic decline” in the western world we are in sinnificantly better shape than real diagnostic measures would seem to indicate. He could stand a read of Paglia’s ‘Sexual Personae”, and then comment.

  9. I don’t see so much pathological exhibitionism present as, just boyish defiance–so much a necessity to his personae. The obsession with his hair is even more endearing in the Cellini-like shot-so strangely self concious- like he had a bird there.

    As T.S. Eliot (?) said ‘art should not mean but be”: here’s the personification of himself–MOZ could be offending people as much as giving them a laugh and certainly representing hims.
    the image of ‘hand in glove’ is too much. . . ‘erotic terrorism’ no doubt today in gay America (would they get it though?)

  10. you’ll all see when you get older. bit tired here of the constant nagging of 20-something year olds demanding that 50-something year olds look like them. piss off. while i never cared in the fanatical way many do for his music, morrissey look pretty damn hot to me – more like a man than he did in the 80s and i wouldn’t kick him out of bed for eating crackers. so says this 30 year old.

  11. I wonder if we will ever find out if there is significance to the singles they chose to cover themselves with. Yay Moz!

  12. Continental 7inch vinyl singles used to have these really large holes in the middle, unlike British singles.
    Much more fun could be had with those (unless there is comment about British endowment in there somewhere).

Comments are closed.