Orale Morrissey!

 “I wish I was born Mexican. I really like Mexican people. I find them so terribly nice. And they have fantastic hair, and fantastic skin, and usually really good teeth.” — Morrissey

“I wish I was born Mexican. I really like Mexican people. I find them so terribly nice. And they have fantastic hair, and fantastic skin, and usually really good teeth.” — Morrissey

One of the oddest observations for me when I moved to LA in the mid-90’s, was how many in the Mexican-American community were totally bonkers for Morrissey. At first, I couldn’t think of what connection a kid from Montebello could possibly have with a (now) middle-aged man from Manchester, but as always, angst, alienation, unrequited love and an appreciation of beautiful words are universal.

If you want to get all sociopolitical, people have compared his immigrant status (he being Irish, raised in England, now living in the US) to that of Mexican immigrants in America. I relate to that on an intellectual level (I also grew up a bit of trans-continental doing a global loop that included Sweden, Australia, the U.K., and finally the U.S.) but on an emotional level his razor sharp wit coupled with a melancholy, observational outlook summed up my feelings of the teenage sads better than anybody else (#notwinninginhighschool). That never goes out of style.

 Lyrics from "Unloveable" ON the  Louder than Bombs  album, coupled with Dia de los Muertos skull artwork. The album came out in 1987 when I spent a lot of time in my room wearing lots of black.

Lyrics from "Unloveable" ON the Louder than Bombs album, coupled with Dia de los Muertos skull artwork. The album came out in 1987 when I spent a lot of time in my room wearing lots of black.

For your viewing pleasure, here’s some of LA’s best Eastside Morrissey madness.

1.) El Mariachi Manchester: The sad, traditional guitar and trumpets of this mariachi band are an odd and happy marriage with Smiths songs. We also think Moz would approve of the outfits. Check out their version of "Everyday is Like Sunday"

2) Echo Park Surf Squad Morrissey T: Made in Echo Park by a gaggle of graphic designers (their sweatshirts are THE BEST) they call it "Ice Mozz" and we call it awesome. Check it out!

3) Eastside Luv: a self-described “bar in the barrio” just east of downtown in Boyle Heights, has MorrisseyOKE the first Thursday of every month. The DJ plays original Smiths or Morrissey songs with the vocals turned down so it becomes a massive sing-along…the only place to see an OG crooning the words “...you’re the one for me, fatty….”

 A plate of pan dulce and with a side of acerbic wit please!

A plate of pan dulce and with a side of acerbic wit please!