Morrissey has released a statement over the sudden and unexpected death of longtime fan Melinda Hsu, who passed away on April 12. Hsu, a California native, was a frequent presence at Morrissey concerts and a well-known personality on Morrissey fan sites.
Morrissey, who singled Hsu out at many concerts, often handing her the microphone, published a touching tribute to Hsu via the Morrissey zine True to You.
“Mel was a smiling face who lent strength to every single concert, even when events were going somewhat pear-shaped,” the former Smiths lead singer wrote. “I felt as if I knew Mel because she was always there — regardless of wherever ‘there’ happened to be; no snowbound landscape too far, no off-the-beaten track too untrekkable.”
Morrissey echoed what many other fellow fans emphasized in their memorials of Hsu. A moderator on the site Morrissey Solo expressed his amazement that she was able to make it to so many far-flung shows: “I remember Melinda for her dedication … so many times I would hear her report on a Morrissey show and think, ‘[H]ow in the world did she make it there?’ There was never a Morrissey show too far.”
But Morrissey turned modest in recognizing Hsu’s and other fan’s dedication to his shows. “Those who travel from concert to concert as Mel did possibly don’t realize the contribution they make,” he said. “They are as much a part of the night as I am, but I sometimes feel embarrassed because I think they are asking for more than there is, and, mustily, I can’t give it.”
“The goat-like vocals and the tipsy monologues are all that I am,” he added.
Calling death an “unbreakable appointment,” Morrissey was ever the brooding poet in his tribute to Hsu. “Life’s only promise is its final deadline. When Mel, and others who are dear to us, depart, we should at least realize as we shuffle along living our small and persecuted lives, how absolutely ridiculous it is to be afraid of anything or anyone on this unhappy planet.”