The artist’s Web site posted a Feb. 27 announcement that, “Regrettably, the first four shows of Morrissey’s impending US tour have had to be cancelled due to illness.” Then, last Friday, from the man himself: “I have survived the interrogation of Atlanta’s Immigration officials and Myrtle Beach shall have me tonite (Friday), and the world from then onwards … if the world can take it.” His words did not prove prophetic.
“He’s had illness,” explains the Orange Peel’s owner, Pat Whalen. “I think he’s going night by night, seeing if he can be well enough to play the show.”
It does seem that Morrissey, who rose to prominence during his tenure fronting The Smiths during the 1980s, has bad tour mojo. Just this past fall, two of his nine Los Angeles dates were nixed due to a ruptured water main. His February date in Florida was not only meant as the start of his tour in support of Years of Refusal (released Feb. 19), but also a rescheduling of a South Florida show cancelled on a 2007 U.S. tour. The Miami News Times wrote, “But, he’s cancelled … again. Again, due to “illness.” Either Moz is suffering from a long mystery disease, or he views the beginning and ends of his tour as expendable. It’s extremely disappointing and perhaps a little insulting.”
One Asheville fan, who drove to Atlanta during the ‘80s to catch a Smiths’ show only to find that concert had been cancelled, mused that Morrissey may not actually exist. So far, the singer’s March 11 show in Durham is still on.
So, what does this mean for local fans? “Of course we refund everyone their tickets,” Liz Whalen explains. Those who purchased tickets online will automatically be refunded. Those who bought tickets from the Orange Peel box office need to come back to the box office during business hours, with the credit card they used for the purchase.
And what does this mean for the Orange Peel? “We don’t have to pay the artist, so we’re not out that money, but now we don’t have anyone to play tonight and no time to schedule someone,” says Liz Whalen.
Pat Whalen adds, “We hope the show will be rescheduled, but we can’t promise that.”
—Alli Marshall, A&E reporter