Morrissey Wins Birthday Poker Hands Down


The broadcasting genius that is Danny Baker (BBC London, 3pm-5pm, Mon-Fri) invented an awesome game a while back ~ birthday poker. The rules are simple ~ you play five notable anniversaries from your birthday against an opponent’s birthday anniversaries. The winner is the person with the coolest, for want of a better word, anniversary. For example, the birthday of Carry On star Charles Hawtry would probably beat Roger McGuinn of The Byrds, but not Elvis Presley. However, Roger McGuinn would beat say Pete Doherty. Charles Hawtry v Roger De Courcey would probably be a tie.

Significant events are also allowed. The day that man first walked on the moon beats the day that Thatcher stopped the classroom milk service, but may not beat the anniversary of the invention of the K-Tel Pop-o-Matic.

It’s not an exact science but do you get the drift?

My birthday poker hand is bloody hopeless; cricket umpire Billy Bowden, Jeremy bloody Clarkson, the late Stuart ‘Big Country’ Adamson, Lisa Stansfield, The Specials’ Neville Staples and the deaths of Harry Seacombe, Kurt Vonnegut and Joseph ‘Elephant Man’ Merrick. For years I was deluded in thinking I shared a birthday with the Oxo Mum, Linda Bellingham and only recently found out that her birthday in in May, though I am keeping her for the purposes of the game.

Anyway, today is Stephen Patrick Morrissey’s 50th birthday, as ye probably already knew. Some of you may be marking the event by going to see him tonight (or tomorrow) in Manchester. I hope you have a swell time. By all accounts, the dates that he has played on this illness-interrupted tour have been pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty good.

Yet, should today also be your birthday and you find yourself playing birthday poker. Well, you have a hand that is going to take some beating. For, May 22nd also marks the birthday’s of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Laurence Olivier and Tintin’s creator Herge (same day, same year), mad psychedelic free jazz genius Sun Ra, Jerry Dammers, legendary Monks bassist Eddie Shaw and in 1946 the birthday of Morrissey icon Georgie Best.

If that’s not enough, HMS Beagle sets sail with Darwin on board, the most powerful earthquake ever recorded hits Chile and the birthday’s of Dale Winton, Charles Aznavour, Naomi Campbell, Howard Kendall, Harvey Milk, Ming Campbell and Berni Taupin. It is even the birthday of a minor celebrity who shall remain nameless because she wants her privacy respected as her split from Peter Andre is plastered all over the tabloids. I am happy to respect that privacy in the hope that I never hear or see anything about her ever again.

Anyway, you gotta admit old Mozzer has got himself a pretty good hand for May 22nd and though I’m not a fan like some of my fellow Pop Junkies, I’ve always thought he gives a good interview and yes, does make the occasional decent record. Like this one.

Or this one?


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