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Fame is an arrival hall in which you give up your life

I saw a photograph the other day of Morrissey arriving in a Mexican airport. It suddenly struck me that this was the measure of fame itself outrunning that which you are famous for doing. You are captured in an airport just for being famous – nothing more – and I can only imagine that as being the most uncomfortable thing to live with.
listen I’ll tell you a story.
It was a few years back. Morrissey was at the beginning of that ill fated tour with Bowie. Early Sunday morning. Dublin airport. I backed out of a cab, dragging my case off the seat and bumped into someone walking past. I turned to apologize just as this chap did – and it was Morrissey.
If that wasn’t surreal enough the morning got a notch more weird when I checked in and went upstairs. Andy Bell and Vince Whatsit from Erasure were there in the Doc Martin shop, looking at red and yellow boots.
A little while later I chuckled as I saw Morrissey walking towards where I was sitting just as Erasure came out of the shop. He clocked them, looked aghast and changed direction, hopping off down an escalator.
Later still, I looked up from my magazine and saw Morrissey across the way looking at me. He looked off as I raised my head and I found myself really thinking what a curious, isolated, sad and gentle looking man he really is. I found myself wondering why he wasn’t in a business lounge, and how touring must be so cruel to force such regular early morning hours in airports – where a minute can last a day – where ones eyes being to blur and fade in the vague white light – where humanity has already been stripped by security and where anxiety (certainly for me) underpins every moment on the approach to take off.
Of course, I had to go across and say hello… And yes he was instantly likeable. Quiet, considered – and with a very well measured and controlled stillness. He was off down to Exeter. The band had left the night before but he had remained for the Cornelius Carr v (if memory serves) Michael Collins boxing match.
I think it was after the Exeter show that he bailed on the tour – but I can’t be sure.
I just find a kind of sadness in juxtaposing these two situations. The early hours of Dublin, free to wander and sit alone and be accosted by little more than a Scots boy – then Mexico: Photographers waiting at what can only be the worst of times.
If you take it that far – you really lose everything. You give up your life.