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Moz the Cat 

In which Steven Patrick Morrissey speaks of ghosts, glam rock, Obama... and why squirrels like him

Wednesday, Jan 31 2007
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Page 3 of 9

And suddenly, as we turned onto a side road, from the side of the road, from the heather, somebody pleaded to the car [throws arms wide, leaning forward, blue eyes wide, but blank — desperate, almost like a suffering saint].

It was a boy of maybe 18 years, and he was totally gray, and he had long hair in a sort of 1970s style, one of those strange feather cuts, and he wore a very small anorak and nothing else; he was completely naked. He just emerged from the heather and pleaded to the lights, and we drove past because we all instinctively knew that this was a spirit.

So, we went to the nearest phone box in the nearest village, and we called the police, and we said, “We have just driven down the Wessenden Road on Saddleworth Moor, and somebody has emerged from the side of the road and pleaded to the car.” The police said, “Keep an open mind [mimes hanging up a phone].” So, the next day we drove back to the spot where we had seen the figure, and in daylight we could see that there wasn’t a building, not a hut . . .

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Oh my god.

. . . Nothing for 100 miles. So, who was this person? Was it somebody trying to ambush the car, so therefore we’d stop to help and then suddenly a gang would emerge and take everything from us? Or was it somebody who was being chased? Or was it somebody — was it the specter of somebody who had been dumped on the moors, on Saddleworth Moor, many years ago? What would you have done?

I don’t know what I would have done.

Yes, but it’s a split second. You have to know. Because it had a history of being a place where so many bodies have been dumped and buried, and it’s not really a kind of place you hang around. This person is not human, and it was very, very frightening, and we were all very intelligent beings, and we simply all together went, Ahhhhgh! Go go go! And because his skin, his body, his face, his hair and his small jacket were all gray, it wasn’t just that he seemed visually like an ordinary person, he didn’t. He seemed like something from beyond.

Have you ever thought about where you would you be happiest if you were going to be a spirit?

I never have, I never have. But certainly, I would like to — there are a few people I’d like to . . . unsettle, shall we say. Certainly. And it would be fascinating if one could be a spirit and observe everything . . . Have you actually ever seen a ghost?

No, but when I went to Ireland, we stayed in a converted monastery, and that place really felt haunted.

Yes, yes. Well, the history of Ireland is so unhappy and so bitter, and so there are so many buildings, castles and so forth which are certainly haunted. It’s rich with haunted castles, and I wouldn’t think twice about spending a weekend in a haunted castle, with no electricity, no lights, no air. I’d be very happy to do that. Doesn’t it all depend upon how receptive the brain is, how open the brain is?

I think so.

Mine is very open, and I can sense that yours is too.

Yeah, and I don’t think it’s just the brain, I think it’s some other part . . .

Yes, but certainly not the feet.

Okay, well, as long as we’re on this sort of morbid topic, I loved those pictures of you in Mojo at Keats’ grave. They’re really beautiful, and that made me wonder if you have thought about your epitaph.

Home at last. No, that’s been used by, I think, Bela Lugosi. I think his stone says, “Home at last.” I always felt that I wanted nothing other than name, birth date, death date, nothing else.

Your full name?

Yes, I think so. All three names, Steven Patrick Morrissey.

Do you know where you’d like to be buried?

I’ve seen a couple of places that look very attractive. And one of them is here. Two of them are in other countries. But mostly people would say, what the hell does it matter, how do you know where you’re lying?

Where in L.A.?

Well, there’s one place I quite like.

Can you imagine yourgrave?

Yes, something very modest, I’d say. But when you see Victorian stones, Victorian headstones, they’re very dramatic, and they’re reaching to you, and they’re full of demonic spirits as much as anything else. And I like that, I like that. I mean, death is a serious thing, certainly not to be sneezed at.

I’m sorry, I interrupted you, where is it in L.A.?

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