Jon Paul Fiorentino

“Je Suis Morrissey”

Pandaboo, “There Is A Light That Never Goes Out” (2009)

Fran is from Germantown, Maryland. I accidentally stumbled upon her Morrissey covers when I was looking for guitar tabs. On her YouTube profile, you will find 9 or so acoustic covers of Smiths and Morrissey songs, as well as various fan clips of Morrissey, and a few clips of her cat playing with a toy mouse. I had assumed that her versions of “Suedehead” and “Please, Please, Please…” would be excruciatingly bad. And they are excruciating, but in a completely different sense. These are very emotive, heart-wrenching clips. They exhibit the acute intensity of fandom coupled with genuine musical talent. Her voice is strong and her guitar playing is fairly good. 

Pandaboo, “Suedehead“, (2009)

Still, I find these clips hard to watch, perhaps in a similar way that people often find a Morrissey performance hard to watch. In Morrissey’s case, there is often too much zealotry, dedication to camp “Britishness,” and emotional cliché; in Fran’s case there is just too much sadness or earnestness. She mostly performs in black Morrissey tour shirts and in the background, on the dresser, you can see two tickets to Morrissey live at the Warner Theatre. Of course, this all makes perfect sense. As a young man, Morrissey was the president of the New York Dolls fan club and he made zines. He was, first and foremost, a fanboy; therefore his fans have all received expert training in the art of fandom.

All I know is that I want Fran to succeed.

– Jon Paul Fiorentino

Ryeberg Curator Bio

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Jon Paul Fiorentino is a writer and editor. He is author of a novel called "Stripmalling." His books of poetry include "The Theory of the Loser Class," "Indexical Elegies," "Needs Improvement," "Hello Serotonin," "I'm Not Scared of You or Anything," and "Leaving Mile End." The humour book "Asthmatica" was published in 2005 by Insomniac Press. Editorial projects include the anthologies "Career Suicide! Contemporary Literary Humour" and "Post-Prairie" - a collaborative effort with Robert Kroetsch.