Signing other artists’ albums is the most likeable thing Morrissey’s done in years

Please please please just let me have this

He started something he couldn’t finish, and now he’s signed something he hasn’t recorded. Yes, this is the news that pop’s most problematic troll is still winding people up, albeit in – unusually for him – an enjoyable way.

A punter at Morrissey‘s Hollywood Bowl show in Los Angeles was perusing the merch stand this weekend and happened upon a curious sight: second-hand vinyl copies of Lou Reed’s ‘Transformer’, Patti Smith’s ‘Horses’ and Iggy and The Stooges’ ‘Raw Power’. Well, what’s so strange about that? Morrissey’s bizarre latest album, the lumpy covers collection ‘California Son’, wasn’t exactly a chart-buster, and the hosting fees of his weird website aren’t going to pay themselves. Why give Discogs a cut of the sweet stuff when you could just flog some old records to the faithful at the Hollywood Bowl?

What’s raising eyebrows is this: he’s signed them himself. And he’s flogging them for $300 (£234) a pop.

A few things you could get for 230 quid: a state-of-the-art hearing aid; five pairs of the cheapest NHS spectacles on offer and almost a year’s subscription to The Guardian, Morrissey’s greatest foe (at that LA concert he wore a T-shirt emblazoned with the words “Fuck The Guardian” because they gave him a bad review).

Or, you know, you could get a Lou Reed album signed by a man who thinks Anne-Marie Waters is Martin Luther King (she has a dream: to make Britain 2019 look like a Morris dancer’s funeral in 1952). How about a Patti Smith record signed by a man who thinks Tommy Robinson – sorry, Stephen Yaxley-Lennon – deserves anything besides a lifetime’s supply of milkshakes hand-delivered to his stupid face? To be honest, I’d still buy the Iggy album. It’s really good.

Despite the fact that being a fan of The Smiths and most of Morrissey’s solo music has become about as much fun as being Pete Doherty’s planning advisor (how are The Albion Rooms coming on, Pete?), I’m actually quite into this fabulously, almost heroically petty move from the man we used to call The Mozfather.

Morrissey in his weird t-shirt

It’s not that long since Morrissey ran an interview on his own website (conducted by a journalist no-one has heard of) during which one question began: “David Bowie was not writing great songs at this period of his career….”. He recently brought up some three decade-old shade he threw at The Cure’s Robert Smith (when NME asked him about it, Smith barely knew what he was on about). This is the enjoyable aspect of Morrissey’s trolling: the silly mischief maker, impishly having a go at fellow musicians, usually making himself look a tit in the process.

This is the Morrissey who once said that Smiths bassist Andy Rourke was “unable to remember his own name” and claimed he’d forego veganism if it meant eating “the head of Elton John”. Fans of Morrissey’s music don’t get to enjoy much about the Pope of Mope nowadays; we’ve got to get our kicks where we can.

So allow me a minute to enjoy this, before I face the reality that these days he looks a like a bloke who’d call you a snowflake and then tell you a conspiracy theory about Princess Diana.