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Morrissey Flips His Veggie Beef on Paul McCartney as L.A. Show Looms


It’s Morrissey week! Which is kind of like Shark Week. Except with a whole lot less meat-eating.

To recap: Yes, Morrissey has said his sold-out show at Los Angeles’ Staples Center on Friday night will be meat-free. Yes, the venue itself has begged to differ. Yes, Morrissey canceled a performance on Jimmy Kimmel Live! because he’d be appearing alongside the cast of a hunting-based reality TV show called Duck Dynasty, and then Kimmel aired dumb jokes about guns and how vegetables are “yuppie food,” and then Morrissey pwned Kimmel on all fronts (mental health, obesity, Sandy Hook, Kimmel, “intellectual fog”). Yes, Moz told teenage girls that only heterosexual men kill people.

You might think all of that might be enough extra-musical controversy for the 53-year-old former Smiths singer. But Morrissey is nothing if not a master of wryly inflammatory, theatrically over-the-top quotes. And this is his week. In a new interview with the Hollywood Reporter, Moz stepped up his past criticisms of no less a pop icon than Paul McCartney.

Sure, Morrissey’s press release announcing the alleged meat-free Staples gig already bragged that he was going where his fellow famous musical vegetarian had failed to go before. And Morrissey has been quoted before as slamming Sir Paul for accepting a knighthood — an honor David Bowie, Moz noted at the time, admirably rejected. But this time, maybe it’s personal? Moz told THR: “I was amused to hear that Sir Paul McCartload was very angry that Staples had said yes to me but no to him, when really, he should be happy for any victory on behalf of the animals.” A good point! If the part about Staples saying yes to Morrissey is true. And if the part about McCartney being angry is true. At least half of which we’ll find out tomorrow night.

Moving on. Morrissey also reiterated his argument that McCartney should give up his knighthood. “I know he works tirelessly for the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals [PETA], but he also loves the British royals, whose treatment of animals is abysmal,” Moz said of Macca. “The Queen herself wears enough fur to blanket most of Russia. He also once sang ‘Give Ireland Back to the Irish,’ which was directed at the Queen. Well, she refused, and she still refuses, yet Sir Paul gives her the thumbs up! If he cared passionately about animals, he’d return his knighthood. He doesn’t need the Queen’s approval. He’s given more pleasure to people worldwide than she could ever dream of.”

Speaking of people who’ve given so much pleasure they probably don’t need knighthood: Jimmy Kimmel. After Moz’s stinging rebuke, Kimmel belatedly acknowledged a photo exists of Morrissey holding a gun, tweeting the cover art from 2004’s You Are the Quarry with the words, “note to Morrissey – if you have more dumb statements to make, I invite you to make them where I do, on my show.” As THR reports, in Kimmel’s opening monologue last night, he struck a slightly more conciliatory tone, saying that while Moz’s statement was “ridiculous,” Kimmel respects vegetarians and would like to discuss the matter on his show. Then Kimmel went on to make jokes about Lindsay Lohan and interview the Michigan man who claims he was robbed of $7,500 worth of porn.