Cliff Richard Playing Free NYC Show in Place of Canceled Morrissey Gig

Sir Cliff Richard
Sir Cliff Richard

Morrissey hasn’t had the best time, as of late. After bouts of pneumonia in 2013, he canceled an upcoming US tour on the eve of releasing his new World Peace is None of Your Business and re-releasing 1994’s Vauxhall and I due to a wicked cold he caught from his longtime opening act Kristeen Young. To add insult to injury, Young and producer Tony Visconti wrote mean Facebook posts dissing their old pal. But several of Morrissey’s friends came to his defense, including two band members (Jesse Tobias and Boz Boorer) and, more importantly, Sir Cliff Richard, who steps into the breach June 21, speaking with podcaster Phillip Silverstone and playing a free show in NYC that was supposed to be his opening gig for Morrissey.

Regarding Cliff Richard, the singer, actor and third-top-selling singles artist in UK history (John Lennon once credited Richard’s "Move It" as being Britain’s first rock record), was specifically chosen (along with Tom Jones) by Morrissey to open shows throughout his 2014 tour. When Moz got sick, Richard took the initiative. "You know, what can you do? Morrissey is not well," said Richard in a video message. "We'll get over our disappointment together.” With that, rather than play at Brooklyn's Barclays Center as planned, Richard will play Manhattan’s Gramercy Theatre on June 21 before sitting down for a post-show, onstage conversation with the host of Time Out with Phillip Silverstone. “This is all so surreal,” says Silverstone. Tickets are on a first-come, first-serve basis, with priority given to those who bought tickets to Barclays’ show.

As for Morrissey, he’s currently not rescheduling his tour, focusing instead on the release of his new solo album, World Peace is None of Your Business and its dramatic, initial singles such as “The Bullfight Dies.” The Rhino Records label is also jumping on the Morrissey music bandwagon with the definitive master recording of Vauxhall and I for its 20th anniversary.

The Gramercy Theatre is at 127 E. 23rd Street, NY, NY 10010. For more info visit

Sir Cliff Richard photo: Richard Mortimer Photography

Posted on Saturday, June 21, 2014