As I casually wait inside “The Library” in Long Beach a tall and slender Latino male walks in towards me, after an introductory exchange of greetings, we proceed to the counter to order some refreshments for our interview. Amid some preliminary conversation this interview ensues…….

 

 

 

 

What is your name?

Juan Guzman

How old are you?                                                          

27

What city do you live in?

Costa Meza

What is your hometown?

Santa Ana

How do you identify yourself?

Latino, Mexican-American, Chicano

What is your nationality/national origin?

U.S.

What is your parent’s place of birth?

Mexico

What is your gender? male

How do you sexually identify yourself? gay

What is your economic background/identity? poor/working class

Highest level of school completed?

college BA, CSUF

Did you attend school in both another country and US? Just another country? Just the U.S.? US

Are you a fan of Morrissey? yes

Are you a fan of The Smiths? yes

What are your top favorite Morrissey songs?

There’s is a light that never goes out

Shoplifters of the World Unite

Sorry

Ask

I Started Something I couldn’t Finish

Is there something about Morrissey’s persona that appeals to you? 

His ambiguousness, he is fearless, when he talks it could be offensive or not. He has a strong sense of who he is. Sexual ambiguity, it’s his personal thing which I respect

Are there reasons for which you like Morrissey’s songs?

The feelings they evoke, the music style: alternative rock, lyrics and the passion that he puts into them, every word means something, he is a lyricist a musician, a poet.

Are there specific locations where you express your appreciation of Morrissey and his music (i.e. 80’s clubs, bars, Morrissey/Smiths nights)? If yes, where? If no, why not?

Tribute nights because in OC there is not much.

There is downtown santa ana artist village where the Sweet and Tender Hooligans [Morrissey Tribute Band] have played there

Do you feel the way you dress plays a part in your liking of Morrissey? In what way?

No

Do you feel as though the O.C. does not receive enough recognition for being home to many Morrissey fans? How do you think that can be changed? Yes, there is a lot less to do with Morrissey, you would have to search LA first and then OC.

Any last words?

You have to have a certain personality to have an affinity with The Smiths/Morrissey, a certain level of connection with Morrissey and The Smiths , music is more about the passion that he has and how it translates to me, the words that he speaks is genius.

Juan talks about his finding Morrissey after high school when his uncle was playing Morrissey and it was as if a revelation had occurred. His uncle let him borrow the Viva Hate album. A connection with the music had developed upon hearing Morrissey, it was his voice, his passion that led his favorite song to be Break up the Family. Juan talks about the fans and refers to it like a cult; he says there is a brotherhood of fans because of the connection to Morrissey that exists between them.

After my interview with Juan I quickly realized the commonalities we share as Latinos, as students, as soul searchers, and as fans of Morrissey. There was a definite connection that we shared with regards to our many identities and life experiences. He is very adamant in his affinity for Morrissey, where he even stated that he defends his fandom against the judgmental by saying something along the lines of “I am a Morrissey fan, what’s it to you?

Now let’s hear Juan’s favorite song….

 

 

{Moz be with you}

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About ocbarrios

Professor for Cal State Fullerton's Barrio Studies class for Fall 2011 semester

2 responses »

  1. Damiancito says:

    wow. that is a racy cover album… good interview. ask deeper questions. bring that shit home to the OC hermano…we Morrisey fans are here and have lots to say about “this charming man”!!!

  2. […] Why are so many Latinos Morrissey fans? Juan Guzman on the Barrios of Orange County blog offers his thoughts. […]

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