27 June 1985
Palladium Theater, Los Angeles, USA
Meat Is Murder
Hand In Glove
Shakespeare's Sister
The Headmaster Ritual
Nowhere Fast
I Want The One I Can't Have
This Charming Man
That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore
Stretch Out And Wait
Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now
What She Said
Still Ill
How Soon Is Now?
/William, It Was Really Nothing
//Rusholme Ruffians
//Miserable Lie
///Barbarism Begins At Home
Setting the tone for all the Smiths' and Morrissey's later visits to Los Angeles, this show was a very wild one. There were a lot a troublemakers in the crowd and this prompted quite a few comments from Morrissey throughout the evening. There was very little change in the setlist. "Hand In Glove" switched positions with "The Headmaster Ritual" and "Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want" was dropped. The latter number would not be played again until the Smiths returned to America in 1986 to promote their album "The Queen Is Dead".

Morrissey greeted the LA fans with the words "Hello you little monsters!" before launching into the opening song, a slow but powerful version of "Meat Is Murder". After "Hand In Glove" he said "Thank you troublemakers..." After "Shakespeare's Sister" he asked "I wish people wouldn't throw things... it's not very nice..." Someone in the crowd commented about his remark and he asked "What?" As an introduction to "Stretch Out And Wait" he said "This song is for all you LA punks, it's called 'Stretch Out And Wait'."

"Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now" was also introduced, but it was not so much an introduction than Morrissey voicing his growing impatience: "This song is for all the people who are really listening to this... and as for all the fake people, we know who you are..." One verse into the song someone stole a piece of equipment (a guitar radio pack?) and the band had to stop. Someone from the venue took the microphone and asked if anyone had the piece they needed. The situation was finally resolved and when they came back on stage the Smiths started "Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now" from the beginning.

For some unknown reason Morrissey followed "What She Said" with a questioning "Strange..." Encore "Rusholme Ruffians" was introduced with the few words "This is very depressing..." After the song Morrissey corrected himself by saying "I didn't really mean it when I said it was depressing, it's not depressing..." As had become custom on this tour, "Barbarism Begins At Home" closed the show and was stretched to about 9 minutes.

The opening act was Dainty Adore O'Hara, a 300-pound drag queen in a frilly yellow dress who sang operetta. 'She' didn't get the best reception from the crowd. Males booed, screamed, threw things, and might have beaten her to death if they had been able to, but at the end of each song she would go "Thank you! Really? One more? OK!"

Thanks to Paul Sbrizzi for providing some of this information.


The complete show was recorded for eventual FM broadcast but the recording was not deemed good enough (probably because of the troublemakers) so the show was never aired. "Shakespeare's Sister" from this recording was made available on the promo version of an official compilation titled "Rarities: volume 2" released in 2004. It was intended to also appear on the version available in stores, but the song was pulled off at the last minute and is therefore only available on the promo edition. The rest of this recording has not been made officially available yet.


The recording being circulated on bootlegs seems to be the one for radio mentioned above. There are actually 2 or 3 different versions out there, of different levels of quality. Even the best of these is hissy because copies were made tape to tape. A truncated version without "Rusholme Ruffians" and "Miserable Lie" is being circulated under the title "Forever Ill".


Do you have information about this concert? Or do you own an uncirculated recording of it? If yes please contribute and get credited.