There’s an old bit of rock apocrypha — since refuted — that goes a little something like this: On the eve of the two-and-a-half-year Use Your Illusion tour in 1991, Axl Rose gathered the other members of Guns N’ Roses, and threatened to quit the band if they didn’t sign over to him all rights to the GNR name … which, of course, they were forced to do, lest they lose everything altogether. Let’s assume for a second that’s stone-cold fact: That tour may have — arguably! — kicked off with more turbulence than the one upon which Morrissey is set to embark.
To recap: First Moz canceled a bunch of tour dates due to a bleeding ulcer. Then, he got into an insane (and STILL unresolved) battle of wills with L.A.’s Staples Center regarding the venue’s alleged agreement/lack thereof to go vegetarian for his 3/1 performance. Then he issued a public ultimatum to Jimmy Kimmel, announcing that he would not appear on Kimmel’s show if another scheduled guest, the animal-slaughtering cast of Duck Dynasty, were also to appear. (Somewhere in here, too, he managed to do an interview with Rookie that made Schopenhauer look like Regis Philbin by comparison.) So Kimmel called Moz’s bluff, went with Duck Dynasty over the former Smiths frontman. Fair play, Kimmel! I wasn’t going to watch either way! But then, to stir the pot a bit, Kimmel decided to spend generous portions of his broadcast mocking Morrissey, and — by extension — depression, animal-rights activists, animals, and vegetarians. Among other things, Kimmel said that he chose Duck Dynasty over Morrissey because “they have guns and Morrissey doesn’t.” Ha! Stinging barb, Kimmel! Except, of course, Morrissey is wielding a handsome tommy gun on the cover of You Are The Quarry. Maybe you should have said, “We went with Duck Dynasty because they have beards and Morrissey doesn’t.” Or — and I’m just spitballing here, feel free to massage this one till the language is just right — “We went with Duck Dynasty because they have 6.5 million viewers and Morrissey doesn’t have a record deal.” Whatever! Next time!
Anyway, the barrage of jabs proved too much for Morrissey, who was forced to exit his cone of silence and make a statement in response. Said Moz:
I was disappointed with last night’s Jimmy Kimmel Show wherein our smiling host managed to ridicule depression (70% of Americans suffer from depression according to the National Institute of Mental Health). He then found time to ridicule healthy eating (the obesity epidemic in the U.S. costs $147 billion per year in medical expenditure), and he also ridiculed the notion that animals should be entitled to the possession of their own lives. Furthermore, he found time to jokingly promote gun-ownership — hugely amusing for the parents at Sandy Hook, no doubt. He also promoted his special guests Duck Dynasty — who kill beings for fun. None of the above issues are, of course, as important as Jimmy Kimmel himself, who has finally revealed his show to have an overwhelming loss of meaning. Tune in and relive the intellectual fog of the 1950s.
Where’s the beef? It’s right here, and it is H-O-T hot! Except it’s tofu, kid. Dee-lish.
Watch Kimmel and the Duck Dynasty gang mock Morrissey below.
UPDATE: Kimmel addressed the drama in Wednesday night’s monologue:
“This has nothing to do with people who eat meat versus people who don’t. I’m completely respectful of people who do not eat meat, but the statement he made is ridiculous. I’d like to invite him to join the show to discuss. I’m an open, even-handed person, and I consider all points of view. … If I keep saying it, maybe it will be true. I’ve invited him to talk this out, and perhaps we will both be better men for it, but probably not.”