Memories of Margaret
June 2011, Scotland
Me: "You must be looking forward to seeing the tourist sights while you are in Britain?"
Margaret: "Not really, no. This is my first vacation in 20 years. I have no idea what Britain looks like. All I will see for the next two weeks is the sidewalk and then the shows. I will wait for Morrissey and stand in line. That's how it has to be. If I get a handshake from him it will be worth it. People do call me obsessive and it's a label I'm proud to wear."
March 14 2013
It was with shock and sadness this week to learn of the death of fellow Morrissey fan Margaret Dale. I can't for a minute claim to have really known her. We had two brief conversations in Scottish towns during Morrissey's 2011 UK tour. In Inverness we chatted in a car park behind the Ironworks venue as we waited for a sighting of our hero.
We talked about Moz, her love of the band Happy Martyr (she was wearing their teeshirt) and her job as a vet. I was amazed at how far she'd travelled for the tour (5,000 miles from Fresno, California). For the next two weeks she would travel huge distances following Morrissey around the UK. Dedication beyond words.
Margaret happily showed me her Morrissey tattoo and let me take her photograph next to Morrissey's tour bus. She had a spare ticket for the following night's gig in Dunoon which she let me buy off her. Up to that point I did not have a ticket for the show.
In Dunoon we had a five minute chat outside a pub about the amazing book she was compiling that included every single lyric to every single Morrissey song.
It was a massive task to chronicle every word sung by Moz. I recall feeling quite honoured that Margaret let me leaf though it. The book was beautifully bound. And although these were Morrissey's words, this was Margaret's book. She had put so much into it.
Margaret had told me: "I wanted to have all his lyrics in one place because what I found myself doing was constantly pulling out album sleeves to look at lyrics if a word wasn't clear. There are great online resources but sometimes they take a while to navigate. My idea at first was to have it in a Bible-like format. For me and some other fans I think Morrissey's lyrics are more the word of life for us than the Bible. These are the words we live by."
Today came a tribute from Morrissey himself. He described Margaret Dale as a "woman of action". On the true-to-you website he writes about Margaret's constant presence at concerts, and her getting on stage at his show in Davis last week.
Morrissey: "I can only hope, for Margaret, that death yields the profit of rest, and somehow provides her with a listener."
You can read Morrissey's tribute to Margaret Dale here: www.true-to-you.net