18 December 1999|
Majestic Ventura Theatre, Ventura, CA
You're Gonna Need Someone On Your SideAs on other California dates on this stretch of the tour the Ventura fans were very receptive, but first and foremost they were wild and rowdy. There were countless attempts to get on stage, and quite a few were successful despite the heavy security. It even got to the point where a song was interrupted because a fan trying to grab Alain's microphone accidently unplugged his guitar (read further). Of course Morrissey fed off this sort of energy and he was in excellent spirits. There was no change in the setlist.
Entering stage Morrissey announced "It's Morrissey karaoke! Jesus help us!... Ha ha ha ha ha ha..." then shouted "Amigos!" before going into set opener "You're Gonna Need Someone On Your Side". After "The Boy Racer" he delivered the second part of his greeting: "Morrissey couldn't be here tonight so I hope you don't mind having me instead... please, please have me!" Over the opening bars of "Alma Matters" he exclaimed "max heading!" After that song came the night's real greeting, and it also served as an introduction to "Reader Meet Author": "Welcome to our quiet little show... poetic English songs... all very heart-rendering, apart from this one..."
"Is It Really So Strange?" was introduced with the line "As some of you know, I used to be the singer in the Cure... and to prove it..." In recent live performance of that song Morrissey used to change a line to "Oh yes you can chin me, and you can shin me, and you can dislocate my shoulder blade" or "...and you can break my teeth". However on this date he sang "...and you can even skin me". After the song he added to the earlier joke: "Thank you Cure fans... as you can see I've slimmed down considerably since the eighties... that was nasty... true though!".
Two thirds into "Hairdresser On Fire" someone tried to make it on stage but failed despite being helped by Morrissey so the singer said "I tried, I tried, it's too late! (...) Your arms are strong!" After the song he declared "Some people just don't take yes for an answer." Besides changing most of the chorus in "A Swallow On My Neck" as he did at the time, he also replaced "same old patter" with "same old chatter". After the song he said "You realise I'm old enough to be your next door neighbour..."
Halfway into "Half A Person" a fan made it on stage and as he tried to grab Alain's microphone - perhaps to shout something to the audience - he accidentally unplugged his guitar. The whole band stopped playing and Morrissey apologised "sorry, Alain's been unplugged". While Alain was getting everything back in working order the audience started to boo the offender and Morrissey jokingly asked "Is this for me? Are you sure? Are you sure I deserve it?", which turned the boos into cheers. He then said "But we're actually going to start that song again because... because we quite like it... as soon as Alain gets his erm..." Following this announcement he started a chant of "Mexico! Mexico!" and as it grew louder and louder in the audience he then teased "but you don't live there... you don't live there, you live here!" Finally as the song was ready to be started again he told someone "What does it mean though? Oh that's beautiful, that's absolutely beautiful... I should have known that..."
Halfway into "Break Up The Family" the banana Morrissey had thrown into the crowd after dangling it at crotch level during "The Boy Racer" made its way back on stage. Picking it up Morrissey threw it back and said "Take your banana back!" After the song he declared "You keep whooping and when you whoop it reminds me of the Ricki Lake show... which is quite nice because I like Ricki Lake..." Then after a short pause he shouted "Yes! It's true! I know! I was there! I was there!" in the voice of an excited girl.
As the opening notes of "Lost" were heard Morrissey asked someone "Can I have the ? shirt? The ? shirt? Yeah, can I have it?" After "Lost" he took another funny voice to say "My name is Esteban... but thank you anyway..." Then after "The Teachers Are Afraid Of The Pupils" he took a pirate's voice and mocked someone in the audience who kept requesting "Suedehead": "Suedehead? What suedehead?"
After "Meat Is Murder" Morrissey commented "So of course, the message of tonight is, next time somebody waves a chili dog at you: just say NO!" He returned to the stage for the encore dressed in a sailor suit and announced "You realise it's hug-a-sailor night in Ventura! Hug! Hug! Hug-a-sailor night!" Then to some comment shouted to him he apologetically said "I'm English..." just as "Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me" was being started.
There is a second audience recording out there, it is of unknown quality and has yet to make it to common circulation and on the internet.
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