Back in Blighty, Morrissey may represent the maligned of middle England, a mass of disenchanted palefaces of whom some colour-supplement may have pigeonholed as “upper-working class (with books)”, though don’t quote me on that.*
Ian Aitch in fact stated in the Guardian that “this side of heavy metal, there is nothing so pale as a gathering of bequiffed Smiths fans in floral shirts having their picture taken outside Salford Lads’ Club”. I even discovered in my teens that attempting to play The Smiths’ Strangeways Here We Come amongst an ethnically diverse group of friends at college was met with sheer disdain. One Nigerian girl actually took me aside and asked me how I could play “this horrible music” considering I just played something off the London Posse album.
I must’ve heard some kind of correlation though, maybe down to the delivery, or the lyrical content, or the fact that Strangeways opens with a reggae track. Yes, despite Morrissey’s earlier claims that “reggae is vile”, something which he retracted later claiming it as an attempt to wind up the NME, Strangeways’ opener A Rush And A Push And The Land Is Ours is a fine slice of quasi-reggae, too jangly to be punk, too cool to be cod, you may not like it but I do…
And no doubt doing nothing for his PR, here Morrissey explains exactly why he loves his Mexican following.
*Around ten years ago I remember sitting having a Sunday roast with my sister discussing an article in what was probably The Observer Magazine which redefined class, outlining the grey areas between the outdated working, middle and upper classes. We settled on “lower middle class (with books)” as we sat there enjoying our vegetarian roast in a pub in Wimbledon Village.