When Kristeen Young is referred to as Morrissey's hand-picked opening act, it's hardly hyperbole.
The St. Louis singer-songwriter's idiosyncratic brand of rock was introduced to the former Smiths singer by their mutual producer, Tony Visconti of David Bowie fame. And when Morrissey was having trouble finding a suitable opener earlier this year, Young's phone rang.
"It was such a shock -- 'How soon can you be on a plane?'," Young recalls. "We were actually driving to a show in St. Louis and made a U-turn back to New York, got on a plane to Europe...Every story involved with the whole thing is dramatic like that."
And, Young adds, Morrissey has become "my best friend. He's the most lovely human being I've ever encountered." But she knows better than to ask him what so many do -- if he'll ever reunited the Smiths. "He's doing pretty well on his own, I think," Young says with a laugh.
The notoriety has certainly brought attention to Young's 2006 album, "The Orphans," and she hopes to capitalize on that when she returns to the studio with Visconti early next year. She has about 15 new songs, some of which she's previewing on the road.
Before that, however, she'll be features as the Playgirl of the Month in the March issue of Playgirl magazine -- which doesn't mean she has to pose nude.
"No, that's the one with the naked MEN in it," she says with a laugh. "I'm real excited about it; it makes me sound like this jet-setting, stereo-listening female (with) a man in every port or something like that. I think it's cool."
Kristeen Young opens for Morrissey at 7 p.m. Friday (Oct. 19) at the Royal Oak Music Theatre, 318 W. Fourth St. Tickets are $77 and $51.50. Call (248) 399-2980 or visit www.royaloakmusictheatre.com.
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