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Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Morrissey Pays Tribute To California Superfan Who Died

Posted By on Tue, May 4, 2010 at 8:46 AM

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Morrissey has no lack of loyal fans in California who'll follow him anywhere, but the melancholy crooner took a moment to pay tribute to a "front row fixture" from the Golden State who died in April--Melinda Hsu, aka Mel Torment. After learning of her sudden death, Moz wrote a heartfelt letter about Hsu, one where, despite not knowing her personally, he still remembered passing her the mic from the stage, and the fact that she was once booed for her banter with the crowd in Killarney, or that "her self-made calendars and t-shirts were always very funny." They're surprisingly personal anecdotes, given the sheer volume of praise-gushing audience members the guy must face at every tour stop. Here he remembers the little details of a very dedicated fan. 

His letter was posted to Morrissey zine True To You, and is worth the read regardless of whether you know the woman he's eulogizing. It contains such self-effacing gems as "The goat-like vocals and the tipsy monologues are all that I am," and his wry assessment of death: "Life's only promise is its final deadline." Overall, it's a pretty gracious--and witty--note. 

Hsu's death has also caused her fans to flood Morrissey message boards, as Moz disciples in Portland, Milwaukee, Ventura, and Los Angeles chime in with their memories of meeting her at various gigs. One Morrissey Solo commenter named Sus recalled that Hsu "stood her ground in queue and she earned her spot at the barricade every show. I remember right after a San Francisco Fillmore show in 2007 she left the venue to get right back in queue for the next night. Same after the Palladium shows. THAT is dedication." 

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Ian S. Port

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