Everybody knows that Jerry Lewis is more popular/respected in France than in America. Another example of this phenomenon is the popularity of Morrissey, formerly lead singer of the English 1980s art mope band The Smiths, among East L.A. Chicanos.
Morrissey is #3 on Stuff Chicanos Like, ahead of the Dodgers and Pretending to Hate Thanksgiving, and behind only the Virgin Mary and Art Laboe. Art is an octogenarian Armenian disk jockey who may have invented the phrase “oldies but goodies.” Chicanos traditionally love pre-British Invasion r&b and rock ‘n’ roll, especially doo-wop.
“Doo-wop”? Wow, must be that “traditional, conservative Latino culture” Karl Rove insisted really existed!
Ooops, no: keep reading — those doo-wop fans are calling the radio station… from prison.
(Yes, they have phones AND radios in prison, you stupid.)
Rather than weigh in on the 100+ comments, I sent him this email:
I read about that Morrisey thing years ago but nobody believed me!
I have a similar one which I swear is true but also can’t prove, because I don’t have the source anymore.
When I was in high school in the 1980s (in Canada), I was a punk. Every week we’d go to the ‘cool’ record store and pick up the new music papers from England: NME, Melody Maker and Sounds.
We were all mimicking UK punks of course. We even watched Coronation Street and drank tea.
(I could never quite get the hang of holding my cigarettes the “English” way, though…)
I swear I read an article at the time, probably in Sounds, about Rush (the band) fans in the UK.
They had long hair and wore… Kodiak boots and “Sudbury dinner jackets” ie plaid flannel shirts.
In other words: they dressed like the horrible backward “inspiration for Wayne’s World” “headbangers” who surrounded us punks in my Canadian home town!!
One of the UK kids at the Rush concert told the reporter something like,
“It’s my dream to go to Canada and visit places like… Scarborough.”
Which we call Scarberia — a suburban strip mall hell.
God, I wish I could confirm that. I wasn’t THAT drunk at the time…