Being a roadie, er, “assistant road manager” for the notoriously finicky Morrissey isn’t just about slogging gear and managing travel schedules. No, it might also include anything from hiding any traces of meat to Febreezing shirts, all the while avoiding eye contact and standing at the ready with a silk hanky to dry the singer’s chaste, foppish tears. Or something. Andrew Winters writes an account of Moz’s peculiarities while briefly in his employ. One key lesson: don’t be boring. An excerpt:
The production carries “sound-check suits”. I am informed that the band are considered “ambassadors” of the Morrissey tour and are therefore expected to be dressed in these suits for all soundchecks, all collective flights, all dinners and functions that may possibly include Morrissey – and it’s my responsibility to make sure that they are wearing them.
I am also responsible for the upkeep of the suits, their dry cleaning and steam-pressing before each show. I must iron shirts and clean shoes. I am to be valet and wardrobe mistress and possibly barber as well, although I learn later that a new hairdresser is flying in from Dublin to join Morrissey for this tour. The various eating habits of each band member, who eats what and when, is explained, as is the how and when to take food orders . . . all from vegetarian menus, of course.
During the soundcheck I am to “fragrance spray” between the front row and front of house and am informed that Morrissey’s PA will provide me with the fragrance of the day “if required”. I make a mental note to discover what fragrance spray is – unless it is a common brand of male underarm deodorant you can be sure I won’t have it.