Cliff Richard has spoken to Uncut about his forthcoming date supporting Morrissey in America.
Richard is billed as “special guest” at Morrissey’s show on June 21 at New York’s Barclays Center. Meanwhile, Tom Jones is scheduled to perform with Morrissey on May 10 at Los Angeles’ Sports Arena.
“I’m really excited,” Richard told Uncut. “Because even though I’ve had seven Top 30 successes in America, only three of them are in the Top 10, so I’m kind of unknown there, and have no identity there. So for me it’s fantastic. I shall always be grateful to him [Morrissey] for getting me a chance in New York, of all places, to be able to sing to 12,000 or more people.”
Richard revealed that he has not yet met Morrissey. “It’ll be nice to meet [him], he seems like a really controversial character, in another sphere to me. But I always find that sometimes when you meet people and you have completely different ideas of life, it’s far more interesting to be with that kind of person. So I’m really looking forward to it.”
Asked whether Morrissey had been in touch personally, Richard said, “No. I tried to originally to make sure this wasn’t a bad joke. It would have been very upsetting to me to have found out it was a joke. So I said, ‘If necessary, if you can find a number, I’ll happily call him.’ But I got a message from my manager, and he said, ‘No, I’ve talked to his management, and he wants you to be there.’ And it’s interesting to hear he wants Tom Jones with him in LA. I think he should have stuck with me [laughs]!”
“My manager said that his manager said that, ‘He’s a fan of yours,'” continued Richard. “”I hear that a lot – I think, ‘Come on, they can’t all be fans.’ I think people forget that we’re a fraternity of singers. We don’t see each other enough, or even know each other sometimes. But we respect what we do.”
Richard had also revealed what Morrissey fans can expect from his support slot. “The Morrissey group have given me an hour on-stage,” he explained. “I thought they might give me 30 minutes. I’m going to cut my two hour 20 minute show down to the absolute best bits of it. So I can’t wait. And you never know what’s going to happen. At this stage of my life I have no expectations. I certainly didn’t expect to get invited by Morrissey to sing in front of one of his crowds. I know it’s difficult to sing in front of someone else’s audience, but I think if you do your best at what you’re good at, they may not love you, they may not think you’re fantastic – but you might surprise them. So I’m hoping to surprise them a little, because I’m sure 90% of that audience won’t know who I am. It’s costing me a fortune – I’m taking my whole band, and my crew. I’ve yet to find out what we do about lighting, because I usually like to do a little light-show. But with computers, my guy could just plug into their lights and do something different…”
Photo credit: Willi Schneider/REX