What is it about the songs of Brit pop singer Morrissey and his former band, The Smiths, that keeps faithful listeners in peculiar states of fan worship?
Could it be just the music — a mix of pop, folk, rock and country with humorously dramatic lyrics about depression, doomed relationships, and the pain of home life? Or maybe it’s the dark baritone and romantic falsetto of dapper singer Morrissey, who returns to Rabobank Theater on Friday, May 25. When it comes to extreme fandom, few are as daring as Noelia Citialin, who, during Morrissey’s last Bakersfield appearance in 2007, went to great lengths to get up close and personal with her idol, onstage.
“In his videos there is always someone jumping up onstage giving him flowers and hugs. When I found out he was coming to my town, right then I had it set in my mind I was going to do the same.”
Above: Morrissey fan Noelia Citialin of Bakersfield poses with some memorabilia. Photo by Jose Citialin
The pint-sized Citialin, 37, recruited the help of her then-boyfriend to play a key role in helping to execute her amorous attack, from her seat at the far reaches of the venue.
“I gave my purse to my friends, and told Jose it was time. He said, ‘OK, let’s go,’ she recalled. “I figured we’d better try towards the end of the show, just in case. He was the decoy for security, but there was only so far he could go. I kept moving closer. When I got near the stage, I told some random guy what I wanted to do and if he could please give me a push when I said go. You have to have some serious adrenaline, because you don’t know what’s gonna happen. I ran over and got to hug Morrissey. I had no intention of kissing him, I just wanted to give him a hug. I was surprised security just put me back out in the audience.”
That precious moment for Citialin is literally unforgettable, considering she and the rest of the world can relive it on YouTube.
For local fan Marisol Arias, 38, Morrissey’s music offers an opportunity to recall simpler times.
“Listening to The Smiths and Morrissey just brings back memories of hanging out with my friends from high school in the ’90s. We didn’t have a lot of money, but we used to go to house parties all the time wearing our Dickies, halter tops, and Doc Martens. Their music was always playing. For us it was a different sound than what many of our parents were listening to, which was a lot of Spanish music. They used to think it was weird.”
Above: Marisol Arias of Bakersfield
This will be Arias’ second time catching the singer live and, believe it or not, only her third major concert. Like so many other hardcore fans, she personalizes her admiration for the singer through fashion accessories, including her homemade Morrissey hair clips, which she sells through her online store, High Drama Boutique.
“I never get tired of his music, but my husband is. My kids always say, ‘Do you have to put Morrissey on again?’ My favorite songs are ‘Suedehead,’ ‘Big Mouth Strikes Again’ and ‘There Is a Light That Never Goes Out.’ I’ll be taking a friend who couldn’t make it to the last show I went to in November.”
Citialin has been to several Morrissey shows, though it’s the one she missed that still haunts her.
“I’ve been a fan since 1987, when they were just about to end. I’ve seen him six times on solo tours. It should have been seven times, but my mom grounded me once, even after my friends drove all the way from Los Angeles to pick me up. Worse grounding ever,” said Citialin, who boasts a large collection of memorabilia and hard-to-find import releases by the singer.
On Friday she plans on attending the concert once again with Jose, who’s now her husband.
So, can we expect to see Citialin fly across the stage?
“I have every intention of trying again. Hopefully someone won’t beat me this time and ruin it,” she laughed.
When: 8 p.m. Friday, May 25, 2012
Where: Rabobank Theater, 1001 Truxtun Ave.
Admission: $64.50 to $79.50
Information: 661-852-7777 or Ticketmaster.com
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