The Morrissey Cult in the Chicano Community is a Beautiful and Spiritual Thing

I am an unabashed anglophile; I love all things British (maybe not the food), the slang, the history, and especially the music.

I was born in 1957, and when the British Invasion hit the states in the mid-60`s I was grooving to The Beatles, The Kinks, The Rolling Stones, and the The Animals on my transistor radio. In the mid-70`s I was banging to the primal beat of English New Wave/Punk acts like The Sex Pistols and The Clash. To this day I am enamored of English artists like Amy Winehouse and Adele.

I fell in love with The Smiths and their front man, Morrissey, from the first them I heard them in the early 80`s. I have followed Morrissey`s career religiously since he launched his solo career in 1987. I have an eclectic taste in music, and I have hundreds of CD`s from every genre from classical to country, R & B to Rock, and old school hip hop to alternative, but my favorite albums are, you guessed it, by Morrissey.

Why do I love the music of Morrissey so much? Listening to music is such a spiritual experience that it`s hard to put it into words. As a writer I admire him as one of the greatest lyricists in British history – his emotional songs touch my heart.

I am not so thrilled with Morrissey the man, there is too much of the poseur in his persona of an asexual social outsider with an effete aesthetic. But when I`m listening to his music it`s his words and his powerful voice that touches me, not his personality.

As you have divined from my byline I`m Hispanic of Mexican and Venezuelan descent, but I don`t listen to any genre of Latin music. Reggaeton, Salsa, Merengue and Mexican Ranchera music leaves me cold, making me feel somewhat estranged from my own community.

I was delighted when I discovered a couple of years ago that Morrissey has a fanatical following in the Chicano community. In Los Angeles many Hispanic bars have Morrissey Karaoke night on a regular basis, and there are a handful of successful Morrissey tribute acts. In East Los Angeles Morrissey is as much of the social fabric as Taco Trucks, the Virgin Mary and the Catholic Church.

There are many theories as to why Morrissey has such a hold on the Chicano community, and I`m not going to delve into them. It` difficult to articulate why an artist resonates with a specific community, suffice to say the relationship between Morrissey and the Chicano community is a beautiful and spiritual matter.

The fact that Mexican-Americans are enthralled with Morrissey makes me feel an affinity for my own people.

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