LA Flashback: June, 1991, When Mozmania Swept the Southland

Request Video

Morrissey Soundcheck Pacific Amphitheatre, June 1, 1991

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(music starts near the 4:30 mark)

Request Video

Morrissey Soundcheck Pacific Amphitheatre, June 1, 1991

It was June of 1991 when Mozmania swept through the Los Angeles area. Kill Uncle had recently been released and while that particular album may not be remembered as one of Morrissey's most acclaimed, it was the first solo effort for which he toured the States. His shows at Pacific Amphitheatre and The Forum sold out in little over ten minutes. He followed this with an exclusive live session for KROQ that was released later that year and an engagement with The Tonight Show that left Johnny Carson and guest Bill Cosby looking on in a state of wonder. After all, this was a guy who may have been an icon in his native UK, but had no chart hits in the US, didn't even have his videos played during the regular rotation on MTV, and yet the kids were fanatic.

The clips above were culled from Request Video, the KDOC 56 show that was required viewing for the budding music geeks of the late 1980s and early 1990s. The footage was taken from Morrissey's soundcheck at the June 1 Pacific Amp show. I was lucky enough to attend that show as my first concert and can still remember the ear piercing cloud of screams, the gladioli waving above heads and the rush of people clamoring to jump on stage with this thin, pompadour-sporting Englishman who had become a god to us. It remains the pinnacle music moment of my life, the single event that sparked a lifetime of obsession with sounds and performance.

Below is The Tonight Show clip, plus a piece from KNBC's June 14, 2001 newscast that asks the questions, who is Morrissey and why are all his fans going crazy outside the building?

KNBC Broadcast, June 14, 1991

Morrissey on The Tonight Show, June 14, 1991


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