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Morrissey's first solo tour of the United States saw record-breaking ticket sales all across the country. The Los Angeles date sold out in a record 14 minutes! Fan reception was overwhelming on most dates. Many American fans who had missed the Smiths were finally able to see their idol on stage. Many of these concerts were very chaotic, ending with massive stage invasions.
The 1992 book "Morrissey Shot" by Morrissey friend Linder Sterling is a fantastic visual document of the Kill Uncle tour. She followed Morrissey on key moments, taking photographs on and off stage. In the USA, she was on board for the California dates at the beginning of the tour and the last three dates around New York.
The older tradition of littering the stage with flowers and the newer one of throwing cigarettes during "Our Frank" held strong throughout this American leg of the Kill Uncle tour.
The personnel was Boz Boorer (guitars), Alain Whyte (guitars), Gary Day (bass) and Spencer Cobrin (drums).
As in Europe before this, the "Kill Uncle" album was mainly represented by its A-side, "Our Frank", "Asian Rut", "Sing Your Life", "Mute Witness" and "King Leer" were regulars. "(I'm) The End Of The Family Line" which had only been played once on the previous leg, was performed for the first six dates of this portion, then dropped. A rocking version of "There's A Place In Hell For Me And My Friends" was added to the setlist on the first date of this section and performed for the entire leg. The latter had never been played in front of an audience before.
Older singles and b-sides "Interesting Drug", "The Last Of The Famous International Playboys", "November Spawned A Monster", "Will Never Marry", "That's Entertainment", "Everyday Is Like Sunday", "Piccadilly Palare", "Suedehead" and "Disappointed" made up the rest of the regular setlist, along with the cover of the New York Dolls' "Trash".
"Cosmic Dancer", which was performed mostly as an encore with "Disappointed" on early dates, was soon dropped and replaced in the setlist by "Angel, Angel, Down We Go Together" which had never been performed on stage before. The yet unreleased "Pregnant For The Last Time" was also introduced to the American fans on the same night as the latter, but the song was not to be released in the USA so it was dropped after just one performance. It would return on the following first British leg of the tour.
"The Loop" was introduced in Boston, extending the setlist back to 18 songs. It was replaced after just one night with "Yes I Am Blind" which would be played for the remainder of this leg. On the final date in New York "Alsatian Cousin" was debuted, bringing the setlist length up to 19 songs.
Here is the number of times each song was performed on this leg, in descending order of frequency. This is based on 21 concerts for which the setlist is known, plus one for which it is partially known.
Our Frank - 22
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In "The Last Of The Famous International Playboys", Morrissey almost always sang "just to make myself attracted to you" and after a few dates, occasionally reversed Reggie and Ronnie Kray's names. In "Sing Your Life", he usually changed a few lines to the more personal "I have a lovely singing voice" and "They stole the notion from me" as he did earlier, and sang "All the things you love, all the things you don't love" instead of "All the things you love, all the things you loathe". In "Everyday Is Like Sunday", he made quite a few lyric modifications. He often sang "back down to the bench where your clothes were stolen / I do believe this is the coastal town" and always "scratch on a postcard" and "please come, please come nuclear bomb".
While "Cosmic Dancer" was still in the set, it usually segued into "Disappointed". In the latter song, Morrissey usually changed the line "Young girl one day you will be old" to "Young girl one day I really will be old" and finished that song by repeating "yes! yes! yes! yes!" instead of singing "No I've changed my mind again". He also sometimes sang "Young boy please believe I wanna help you".
"Yes I Am Blind" was a much more minimal affair than the studio version. Morrissey didn't sing the two occurrences of "God come down if you're really there, well you're the one who claims to care". Instead the song stopped and restarted. On the first occurrence of this he sometimes started "there must be something horribly wrong..." and held back finishing "...with me?", teasing the audience into singing along. He sang "Little lamb on a hill, run fast if you will" to make it rhyme with the previous line.
The audio for "Cosmic Dancer" from Costa Mesa was released in 1998 on the "My Early Burglary Years" collection of oddities, while "Trash" was released on the 2010 reissue of "Everyday Is Like Sunday".
Fan filmed video footage of the full Long Island, Jones Beach set minus one song and a half is scarcely circulated among collectors. It was filmed from the right balcony and the quality is subpar, with lots of obstruction. It is often miscredited as St. Louis 1991, but Morrissey never played St. Louis that year. A nine-song edited and resequenced version of this set is more commonly found on bootleg DVDs. It features the songs "Will Never Marry", "There's A Place In Hell For Me And My Friends", "That's Entertainment", "Our Frank", "Suedehead", "Piccadilly Palare", "Sing Your Life", "King Leer" and "Mute Witness" and most of the banter was edited out. The Santa Barbara show is available on VHS but this is scarcely found on DVD at this point in time. The recording is from a raised position in the audience. The footage is of reasonable quality and steady. The whole concert is featured except for the second half of "Trash" and the intro to "That's Entertainment".
Three songs from Costa Mesa were presented on American television programme "In Concert '91". The whole concert was filmed but never broadcast in its entirety. The three tracks ("Sing Your Life", "Mute Witness" and "Will Never Marry") are commonly found on VHS and DVD bootlegs of various television appearances.
The sound quality is also excellent on audio bootlegs produced from the official live video "Live in Dallas". But collectors should purchase this great video instead of the bootleg. For more or less the same price they will get the image as well as the sound.
Most other bootlegs in circulation on fanmade cds or on the internet for this leg, at this point in time, are of very poor or at best average quality. The next decision criteria for collectors interested in exploring further should therefore be content.
The Boston gig is relatively easy to find on a bootleg titled "Beautiful Liar". It features the only performance of "The Loop" on this leg of the Kill Uncle tour, though it lacks "Disappointed". Bootlegs of the Sacramento date are interesting for the only live performance of "Pregnant For The Last Time" in this section. The final date in New York features the only time "Alsatian Cousin" was performed on this leg. The latter show also features "Yes I Am Blind" which is otherwise only available from the Toronto and Long Island recordings.
The above are all available on the internet as well as on bootleg cds from traders. At this point in time, other concerts from this leg available to completists on cds or digitally are the following: San Diego, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Berkeley, Phoenix, Salt Lake City, Houston, Chicago, Detroit, Toronto and Long Island.