Johnny Marr interview in Les Inrockuptibles (part 1)
Posted on Fri, May 21 1999 at 2:15 a.m. PDT
by David T. <[email protected]>
Thanks to Steven Banks for the following transcription/translation:

Johnny Marr - Much more sensitive, intelligent and well read than you would think...

From Les Inrockuptibles 21/04/99 (better late than never):

I've always loved biography; for example The Songs That My Mother Taught Me by Marlon Brando or My Experience Of Truth (this may not be the exact title) by Gandhi. I am very fond of this genre and don't limit myself in any way - nobody's life story is uninteresting to me. At the moment I am reading books on psychology, spirituality and religion. This isn't because I am looking deep into myself but because these authors tend to see the world from a different perspective.

I have almost finished reading Memories, Dreams and Thoughts by Jung and I find it equally fascinating. Noam Chomsky interests me enormously - as does Thomas Edison and Gore Vidal with their heart full of love for America whilst making savage criticisms of the state of American society.

I have immersed myself in books on the primitive culture of the Native American people - a universe I find extraordinarily rich. This type of literature influences me immensely: it takes me out of my skin and question myself. I have learnt a lot reading Swami Ramdas - a contemporary of Timothy Leary - who, parallel with his experiences with acid and other psychedelics, has made very serious reflections on meditation and Hinduism.

Absolutely - "Jeepster" by T-REX. I was 10 when I saw Marc Bolan sing this song on a tv show and discovered something completely new. The groove, the sound, the guitars and above all the personality came from another planet and took me to another world. I bought the record the next day and each time I listened to it I played the riff on my guitar. Music was always heard in our house and each week my mother would amuse herself by predicting who would be in the top 40. She especially liked the Everley Brothers.

The influence of T-REX is very profound on certain songs of The Smiths i.e. "Panic" and "Shoplifters". Morrissey was himself also mad about Bolan. When we wrote "Panic" he was obsessed with "Metal Guru" and wanted to sing in the same style. He didn't stop singing it in an attempt to modify the words of "Panic" to fit the exact rhythm of "Metal Guru". He also exhorted me to use the same guitar break so that the two songs are the same!!! When I was 13 my rapport with music changed; I studied songs so much that I didn't appreciate them. I listened until Ii knew how each song was structured.


Part two on music and cinema to come but be patient as I'm a slow typist and I don't know when I'll have a spare couple of hours to type and translate.

In addition if I could be bold and have a free advert, I have an offer to make. My wife and myself would like to go to New York in 2000. If any of you live nearby and would give us a tour we would do the same for you in Paris, France. Anyone who lives on the west coast or other fascinating parts of the world get in touch for millennium holidays.

Perhaps this could be another feature of the site as we could meet up at more than just birthdays for the Moz.

Comments / Notes

hey moving to new york city in a week and a half and would love to show you very familiar with the id love to see me at david [email protected] and let me know the details and everything...until then...cheers!

david edge

david edge <[email protected]>
- Fri, May 21, 1999 at 11:01:19 (PDT)

ZACHARY ELSBERRY <[email protected]>
TULSA - Sun, May 23, 1999 at 04:30:45 (PDT)

After seeing the books he mentioned I must say: “Ever since,
You don't look the same
You're just not the same, no way
You say clever things and
You never used to..."

Always True To You
- Sun, May 23, 1999 at 09:35:11 (PDT)

* return to Morrissey-solo