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Friday, January 30
Today in Growing Old Gracefully, Sincerity Edition: Depeche Mode's David Gahan Vs. Morrissey
I have a shameful confession to make: as a gay new wave boy coming of age in the ‘80s, I had a bigger crush on Dave Gahan of Depeche Mode than I had on Morrissey. That is to say, I wanted to do it longer and harder with the singer of “Just Can’t Get Enough,” “Personal Jesus,” and “Master and Servant” than I ever did with the singer of “I Want the One I Can’t Have,” “Every Day is Like Sunday,” and the most beautiful song ever written, “The Boy With the Thorn in His Side.” In fact, I never even wanted to see Morrissey naked.
This is no doubt a shocking and, to some, wholly inappropriate admission. After all, David Gahan wasn’t even singing his own lyrics of ennui, heartbreak, and longing. No, he was singing the words of bandmate and quintessential ‘80s eurofag Martin Gore, many of which were complete crap. (See: “Rumors, Blasphemous”). Morrissey was brainier, funnier, and more awkward, the kind of shy guy that might drop an Ecstasy tablet at the discotheque and then spend the rest of the night in the corner sipping a glass of Riesling, reading Lady Windermeere’s Fan, and giggling into the back of his hand. So mysterious and sensitive. So much love to give. So forgivably irritating. So please, please, please, let me, let me, let me……..
But you know what David Gahan had that Morrissey didn’t, besides a choir boy's alabaster face and a leather jacket? That’s right: the ability to shake and slap his own ass with the unbridled enthusiasm of a whore at a hoedown. He may have been singing a bunch of platitudes about “words” being “unnecessary” and “love” being “enough in itself,” but he could really make those meaningless syllables mean something with a few well-executed butt gyrations.
Jimmy and I were recently watching Depeche Mode: 101 on DVD and marveling at how adorable our David was sauntering around the stage in his white tank top and white jeans. “Now that butt,” Jimmy declared, “has been f**ked.”
“Jimmy!” I said, shocked that he would say such a crass thing without giving me a chance to say it first. But it’s true. David Gahan, though he is straight (well, as straight as a member of Depeche Mode can be), always looked totally up for whatever came his way. Was it just me, or was it extremely easy to imagine him backstage after a show with a bunch of fanboys tugging at him and, slowly but surely, convincing him that he really hasn’t lived until he’s had a d**k in his ass? Not just me, right?
Whereas Morrissey always gave the impression that if you approached him completely naked, flushed, and breathless, he would wring his hands, curl his lip, give a reason for needing to go (“forgot to do the washing up, Mum’s gonna murder me!”), and hightail it out of the room, David Gahan looked like it would take very little cajoling for him to just strip off his clothes, sit down on his leather love seat, look you in the eye, and euphemistically ask “what’s on the telly, then?” while pulling you by the jock onto his lap.
Which brings me to David Gahan, 46, and still singer for Depeche Mode. This man is more of a fox every day and is benefiting from the passing of time like no human should. Swoon.
But I have even more exciting news to report: judging from the promotional photo making the rounds of the Internet for his new single (below), Morrissey, 49, has loosened up quite a bit—at least enough to stand proudly naked next to his delicious bandmates and have his picture taken with a 7-inch covering his Rusholm ruffians. There he is, after all these years, finally ready to admit he has pubic hair, yay! I just want to know, what did these guys get up to after the shoot was over? Surely they didn’t just get dressed and go home….