Tuesday, June 30, 2009


It was a good mail day; I received the original 1987 poster for The Smiths ‘Shoplifters of the World Unite’. Ahh, Ebay.

I’ve spent an eon looking for this particular poster, difficult to find because it was produced for record store promotion only. This means that someone had to first save a flimsy, disposable item, and then part with it after 20 years.

The photo of Elvis Presley was taken by James R. Reid, his hairdresser. He’s young; not yet the cocky, confident, leather clad icon, but we recognize that uniquely handsome face.

There will always be detractors of The Smiths and Morrissey, but I’m a loyal fan. Not of just their music, but also the fine design of their album covers (the Rough Trade releases have such beautiful vintage photos and minimal typography). I went to one of their concerts in Chicago at a small venue that had no seating, just dance floor. Morrissey crooned and swayed and was drenched in sweat. The room was dark and packed and everyone was dancing. I remember afterwards riding home on the El with the window open, the wind drying my damp t-shirt.

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