Perhaps, as Morrissey once sang, "Sorry Doesn't Help" -- but the singer is going to try anyway. Acknowledging for the first time the six Bay Area concerts he's cancelled in a row, Morrissey today announced plans for a month-long live residency in San Francisco this summer.
"Dear San Francisco, I'm sorry ... I'm feeling better, and I'll do my best to play for you this time," the England-born, Los Angeles-based former Smiths singer said in a statement, alluding to his recent health problems. "We shall be together for a whole month -- as long as you keep the smell of burning animals away."
Apparently the presence of meat in San Francisco has been a problem for the outspoken vegetarian. After his last-minute cancellation on March 9, Reports circulated that Morrissey was abruptly hospitalized in San Francisco with double pneumonia. However, these accounts were later contradicted by Morrissey's spokesperson.
One member of the singer's publicity team, who asked not to be named, tells SF Weekly that on the morning of the March 9 gig, the singer was visiting Blue Bottle Coffee in the Ferry Building when he passed by the Boccalone meats storefront (slogan: "Tasty salted pig parts") -- and abruptly fainted.
"He was simply overcome by the zealous display of animal flesh, and after briefly losing consciousness, felt he was no longer able to perform," the person said.
Morrissey, 53, has also suffered recently from a bleeding ulcer and Barrett's esophagus. These, however, did not keep him from performing at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on March 1, or planning a major tour of Mexico and South America in June.
Meanwhile, the singer has not performed a scheduled concert in the Bay Area since 2009. But he plans to play "several shows per week" in San Francisco in July, at venues "large and small, including some of my longtime favorites," according to today's announcement. Rather strangely, the specific locations were not named. One seemingly likely host is DNA Lounge, where Morrissey was spotted hanging out on the very same night he declared himself too ill to perform a scheduled show at Oakland's Paramount Theatre in 2009.
In the unusually personal and florid statement, the singer admitted that he's concerned about disgruntlement and skepticism among Bay Area fans. Ticket prices for the July residency will run from $49 to $99, plus fees, depending on the venue. But, unusually, they come with a kind of insurance: If any of the announced gigs are cancelled fewer than 48 hours in advance, the price will be refunded with an additional 25 percent added.
"If I break your hearts again, dear Bay Area fans, I shall pay dearly for it," Morrissey said in the statement.
The singer also appeared to allude to the "Fuck Moz" stickers that local shop SubliminalSF began selling last month in reaction to his cancelled shows.
"The dullards of San Francisco will have no further excuses to massacre trees for any more nauseating, meaningless decals," Morrissey was quoted as saying.
HAPPY APRIL 1 -- @iPORT