Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Last of the Famous International Playboys by Morrissey

I never wanted to kill
I am not naturally evil
Such things I do
Just to make myself 
More attractive to you
Have I failed? 

Ryan Dellwood is one of my closest friends and I've known him since high school. We didn't really hang out or talk much until our junior year. I don't know why, but that is the way our friendship developed. 

It must have been the Bad Company lyrics scribbled on the back of my notebooks that irked Dellwood. My high school experience was from 1988 to 1992 and the artists on my heavy rotation list were Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Aerosmith, The Who, Yes, Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Eagles, Bad Company, Cream, and a anything under the classic rock umbrella. Dellwood's taste in music was much different. He was a huge fan of The Cure, The Smiths, and The Cocteau Twins. I referred to his music as "Whinny English bullshit" because I felt Robert Smith, lead singer of The Cure, and Morrissey, lead singer of The Smiths, did nothing but bitch and moan.

Dellwood refused to give up on me and my love of classic rock. He loved The Beatles, Stones, and The Who, but despised the album oriented rock bands that I liked such as Kansas, Foreigner, and Boston. He wanted me to get away from that and go towards something better. We were in the same homeroom during our senior year of high school and one day he handed me a cassette of Rank by The Smiths. If you're not familiar with this album, it is a live Smith's show from 1986.Poor Dellwood must have spent ten minutes explaining the best tracks to me, but I have this tendency to zone out when people are talking to me, and that is what happened that day in homeroom. That is not the first nor the last time that will happen to him.

I had the tape for maybe a week and never listened to one single song. Why? It must have been the fact that he gave me the tape because it was his way of saying "Your taste in music totally sucks". When I returned the tape to Dellwood, he wanted to know my favorite songs, so I ended up giving him a total bullshit review. He may have picked up on the fact that I didn't listen to the tape, but he didn't give up on me. 

It might have been a year after graduating from high school when I was watching 120 Minutes on MTV. Despite my love for classic rock, I did occasionally watch the show. I was a fan of some college bands like They Might Be Giants and Too Much Joy. Anyway, they played the video for Last of the Famous International Playboys by Morrissey. Something clicked. The song was awesome. I had to hear it again.

I called Dellwood a day or two after the 120 Minutes experience and he was pleased. Dellwood had moved to Cincinnati to attend college and when I went to visit him a month later, we met up with another friend from high school. Our friend was living in an off-campus house with four girls. If I had a Hollywood link, I'd create s how like that for HBO or Showtime. Let me get back on track. Our friend had a stack of CDs and on top was The Queen is Dead by The Smiths. We listened to the opening track and I was hooked. My musical change was complete. I had fully embraced Morrissey and "Whinny English bullshit." I loved it then and still love it to this very day.

'Last of the Famous International Playboys' is my favorite track by Morrissey as a solo artist. If you add his material with The Smiths, I'd place it in my top five. The song is about the infamous Kray brothers who terrorized the East End of London during the 1950s and 1960s. The video is below and enjoy.  

Buy 'Last of The Famous International Playboys' at Amazon. Click here.

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