Morrissey, talking to Billboard on February 27, 2014, said this of his famous support acts:
On your next tour, you've asked Tom Jones and Sir Cliff Richard to open for you in L.A. and New York respectively. What impresses you most about these veteran frontmen?
Veteran is a gentle way of saying “old,” isn't it? Well, it's only my view of course, but everything is a question of style, and Tom and Cliff qualify greatly in the style department, and age has nothing to do with it. There are millions of obese 19-year olds who only buy clothes that blend in with the couch.
Also, on being asked to support Morrissey, Cliff gave an interview to Colin Paterson at the BBC (BBC Entertainment, February 13, 2014):
Q. How did this come about?
A. About a month ago my manager rang me and said: "I'm going to throw a curveball at you. Morrissey wants you in New York with him."
I said, "My initial answer is yes but can you check it's not a joke? Is there an ulterior motive?" He got hold of Morrissey's management and he said: "No, Morrissey's a fan and he'd like you to be there."
So I said: "Yes, please." The chances of me singing for 15,000 people in New York are pretty well nil for me at the moment anyway. So I thought it would be great.
I checked on the internet and saw a couple of shots of him live, and his audiences look really - I don't know how to say this - they look really nice. They were swaying in the crowd and mouthing lyrics and I was thinking: "Oh, my audiences do that." So maybe his audience will be kind to me.
Q. How aware of his music have you been over the years?
A. I knew of him, even when he was lead singer of The J… The Smiths. I can't say that I've followed his musical career but I've followed the success. I've Googled him a couple of times now and I'm thinking, I could be a fan.
Q. What songs do you like?
A. I don't know, I couldn't tell you the titles. I've just Googled him to see what kinds of crowds he plays to and what sort of show he did. I'm thinking, OK, it looks like a pop-rock show.
I know he's very political with his lyrics, which is fine by me. I must have made a couple of statements in my time but tend to be a much more middle-of-the-road kind of singer. I'm going to enjoy it, that's for certain.
Q. He's no fan of the Royal Family, whereas you played the Queen's Jubilee. I imagine you could have some interesting conversations with him.
A. We could. I have interesting conversations with most of my friends. I have a circle of friends and sometimes I find we're poles apart politically and in many areas. That's life, so it doesn't surprise me that he has a different viewpoint of monarchy than I do.
Q. He also has very strict vegetarian rules surrounding the gigs - will you be going vegetarian for the day?
A. Certainly not. No, of course not. I like to think he might eat some meat when I arrive, but I wouldn't expect him to. So I don't think he'd expect me to be vegetarian. If I found he was offended by people eating meat then I won't eat it in front of him. But I'll have a chicken curry afterwards.
Q. Will you be tailoring your set list for this gig?
A. People who are aware of pop-rock in all its forms, that same audience will go to other concerts by other people who might have other philosophies and different styles of music. So you have to be the best at what you do.
I've always been a pop-rock singer. I like to move and shake and leap around the stage and sing a variety of pop-rock songs like Ocean Deep and Miss You Nights. Of course I'm going to do them. Unless I'm despicably bad that night... they don't have to love me, but they might think I'm OK.
Q. Will you be more nervous than usual?
A. I don't think so. I'm going to cut my show down to the best one-hour segment I can make it.
I've had hits in the States. I did have two songs in the top 10 - Devil Woman and We Don't Talk Any More. They will have heard of Wired For Sound. They know Suddenly, which I sang with Olivia Newton-John. I'm just going to make it really difficult for Morrissey to follow me.
Q. You've had 14 number one singles. Morrissey's not had any. Do you not feel he should be supporting you?
A. Not at all. People don't know me in America. That's why I had no problem saying yes. If Morrissey asked me to support him in England, I'd question it greatly. I'd say: "You can have the first half and I'll have the second half."
But this is a different world. I've had nine top 30 hit singles [in the US] but I have no identification out there. All I can say is "Thank you Patrick, or Morrissey" - I'm not quite sure how to refer to him - and I'm so grateful that he's thought of having me on the show. I'd love to play to 15,000 people in the States and now I will.
Q. Did he explain why he picked you?
A. No, I've only heard that he likes me. The words were "he's a fan of yours" and that's enough for me to hear. It's a great honour for me to be asked by someone like him because no-one would expect him to ask me, and that's what I like about it.
Cliff organised a concert for "disappointed Morrissey fans" when the 2014 show he was meant to support was cancelled.
Born October 14, 1940, Lucknow, India to British parents.
Britain's most successful home-grown pop star, he has had more than 130 singles, albums and EP's make the UK Top 20, more than any other artist. He has achieved 14 UK number one singles (or 18, depending on the counting methodology). He holds the record (with Elvis Presley) as the only act to make the UK singles charts in all of its first six decades (1950's–2000's).
He was backed in the 1950's by The Drifters (2), who later changed their name to The Shadows.
Richard first came to fame in 1958 with his debut disc "Move It", a rock 'n' roll number in the Elvis Presley mould. However, like Elvis himself, Cliff's output quickly settled down into a string of inoffensive, largely middle-of-the-road recordings, while his squeaky clean, teen-heart-throb image was put to use in a series of exuberant, innocent, and thinly-plotted film musicals including "The Young Ones" (1962) and "Summer Holiday" (1963).
The late 1970's saw him surprisingly re-invented as a mildly-heavy rocker, and he finally achieved the US recognition that had eluded him for so long when "Devil Woman" reached the top ten there. In 1979 he released "We Don't Talk Anymore", which became his biggest-selling single worldwide, and more hits followed. In 1983, he marked his 25th anniversary in the business with a retrospective album "Silver" and new material in unusual styles. In late 2013, he released his 100th album, "The Fabulous Rock 'N' Roll Songbook".
Sir Cliff Richard (born Harry Rodger Webb; 14 October 1940) is an English singer who holds both British and Barbadian citizenship. He has total sales of over 21.5 million singles in the United Kingdom and is the third-top-selling artist in UK Singles Chart history, behind the Beatles and Elvis Presley.Richard was originally marketed as a rebellious rock and roll singer in the style of Presley and Little Richard. With his backing group, the Shadows, he dominated the British popular music scene in the pre-Beatles period of the late 1950s to early 1960s. His 1958 hit single "Move It" is often described as Britain's first authentic rock and roll song. In the early 1960s, he had a prosperous screen career with films including The Young Ones, Summer Holiday and Wonderful Life and his own television show at the BBC. Increased focus on his Christian faith and subsequent softening of his music led to a more middle-of-the-road image, and he sometimes ventured into contemporary Christian music. In a career spanning nearly 65 years, Richard has amassed several gold and platinum discs and awards, including two Ivor Novello Awards and three Brit Awards. More than 130 of his singles, albums, and EPs have reached the UK Top 20, more than any other artist. Richard has had 67 UK top ten singles, the second highest total for an artist (behind Presley). He holds the record, with Presley, as the only act to make the UK singles charts in all of its first six decades (1950s–2000s). He has achieved 14 UK No. 1 singles, and is the only singer to have had a No. 1 single in the UK in each of five consecutive decades. He also had four UK Christmas No. 1 singles, two of which were as a solo artist; "Mistletoe and Wine" and "Saviour's Day". Richard has sold more than 250 million records worldwide, making him one of the best-selling music artists of all time. He has never achieved the same popularity in the United States despite eight US Top 40 singles, including the million-selling "Devil Woman" and "We Don't Talk Anymore". In Canada, he had a successful period in the early 1960s, the late 1970s and early 1980s, with some releases certified gold and platinum. He has remained a popular music, film, and television personality at home in the UK as well as Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Northern Europe and Asia, and retains a following in other countries. When not touring, he divides his time between Barbados and Portugal. In 2019, he relocated to New York.
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