Johnny Marr interview by Simon Hattenstone in The Guardian; extract from memoir

It's a big, wide-ranging interview and the book extract is revealing. Tons of stuff to interest folk here. Should have it up within an hour or two, when I get back.

**EDIT** Here we go. Don't say I never give you anything. I find the last page the most revealing and interesting.

**FURTHER EDIT** - weblink here...

Johnny Marr: ‘The conversation about re-forming the Smiths came out of the blue' - The Guardian
By Simon Hattenstone
It’s 29 years since the Smiths split up, and founding member Johnny Marr isn’t angry any more. So what happened when he and Morrissey met for a drink?


Media coverage:












 
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Irregular Regular

Forget my fate.
Two great photos that I, for one, had never seen before...





As for The Smiths reuniting...very nice, very nice, but maybe in the next world.
 

Bluebirds

Well-Known Member
Crikey. Well I knew his side of the story but never in such forceful terms. Good interview.
 

joe frady

Vile Refusenik
Thank You Kindly for that Unk.

I am getting old and dumb, cos that extract had my eyes leaking...
 

Bluebirds

Well-Known Member
Only just got to the last "page" - BOO HOO HOO!!! Could one see this book as one last olive branch? it appears (from the interview) that Johnny's book won't be full of the invective spite which made the Morrissey autobiography such an entertaining read!

Although I personally never wanted a reformation the fact it appeared so close to actually being.... oh well its 7 years on now, time does seem to be going quicker. I blame it on information technology (and my age)
 

Uncleskinny

It's all good
Subscriber
I know everyone will see bits in this interview they think convey more than the words themselves do, but I picked out some key points that do just that from my point of view:
  • “Everything that was obsessive, excessive and poetic, all the big visions I carried around inside me, were also in him. The love of pop culture, and the pure dedication, was mirrored in my partner. I’ve never seen it in anyone else before, and never in exactly the same way since. And the desperation. He was looking for someone like me and I was looking for someone like him. And we liked each other straight away. We really liked each other.”
  • Marr says his relationship with Morrissey was as close as is possible without being lovers. Was he in love with Morrissey? “No, because I was in love with Angie [his then girlfriend, now wife], but we definitely loved each other. I think we all did.”
  • “…and I discovered that what I just thought was decency was a political position. You look after people who are less fortunate, and anyone who does otherwise is just f***ing ghastly.”
  • Did he and Morrissey have similar politics? “Yeah, we did back then.” And now? “I wouldn’t expect so. Probably not.”
  • The day that he confirmed he was leaving, the other band members issued a statement wishing him luck and saying: “Other guitarists are being considered to replace him.” How did that make him feel? “I literally thought it was a joke. It was the final nail in the coffin and it took me a long time to forgive them. It was pretty callous. But I don’t hold it against anybody now. I absolutely don’t.”
  • Angie seems to be the glue in his story. “Well, she’s the person who’s enabled me to be who I am and vice versa. She’s completed me, and I’ve completed her.”
  • Which band did he enjoy playing with most? “Modest Mouse,” he says without a beat. More than the Smiths? “Yeah. People don’t believe it when I say that. I love Modest Mouse so much because the chemistry of those guys was a real brotherhood. They were a great American band, and I really wanted to be in a great American band.”
  • Was Joyce justified in bringing the court case? “Mike had a right to do it. I don’t think he should have done because we had an agreement. Looking back, I would have done things differently. I’d make sure you don’t move a muscle without a contract – for everybody’s benefit. Young people aren’t good at doing that kind of thing, and we had to pay the price for it.” Would he still regard the 10% Joyce and Rourke were paid as a fair deal? “I would be more generous,” he says. “But it wasn’t a band of equals. Thirty-odd years later I think anyone can see that.” What would be a fair percentage? He laughs. “You know what? I’d wind up in court if I answered that.”
  • “The conversation about re-forming came out of the blue. I didn’t go there with that in mind. But there had been quite a few rumours about it, so naturally we discussed it. ‘It could happen…’ ‘How d’you feel about it?’ ‘What if?’ And off we went.” Who was more keen? “I think we were both as keen as each other.”
  • Did Morrissey see a difference? “I would think so, because I was in the pub not drinking. And he was knocking back the pints. I don’t think it’s any secret that he likes a drink; he’s very pro-drinking. But I’d changed quite a lot. I’ve got about nine tattooos for a start.”
  • The only other person I knew who might comprehend it the same way was Morrissey, and so I emailed him the picture. There’d been no contact between us for a long time, but I got a reply within minutes. He hadn’t seen the picture, and he was equally surprised and impressed.
 
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A

Anonymous

Guest
I know everyone will see bits in this interview they convey more than the words themselves do, but I picked out some key points that do just that from my point of view:
  • “Everything that was obsessive, excessive and poetic, all the big visions I carried around inside me, were also in him. The love of pop culture, and the pure dedication, was mirrored in my partner. I’ve never seen it in anyone else before, and never in exactly the same way since. And the desperation. He was looking for someone like me and I was looking for someone like him. And we liked each other straight away. We really liked each other.”
  • Marr says his relationship with Morrissey was as close as is possible without being lovers. Was he in love with Morrissey? “No, because I was in love with Angie [his then girlfriend, now wife], but we definitely loved each other. I think we all did.”
  • “…and I discovered that what I just thought was decency was a political position. You look after people who are less fortunate, and anyone who does otherwise is just f***ing ghastly.”
  • Did he and Morrissey have similar politics? “Yeah, we did back then.” And now? “I wouldn’t expect so. Probably not.”
  • The day that he confirmed he was leaving, the other band members issued a statement wishing him luck and saying: “Other guitarists are being considered to replace him.” How did that make him feel? “I literally thought it was a joke. It was the final nail in the coffin and it took me a long time to forgive them. It was pretty callous. But I don’t hold it against anybody now. I absolutely don’t.”
  • Angie seems to be the glue in his story. “Well, she’s the person who’s enabled me to be who I am and vice versa. She’s completed me, and I’ve completed her.”
  • Which band did he enjoy playing with most? “Modest Mouse,” he says without a beat. More than the Smiths? “Yeah. People don’t believe it when I say that. I love Modest Mouse so much because the chemistry of those guys was a real brotherhood. They were a great American band, and I really wanted to be in a great American band.”
  • Was Joyce justified in bringing the court case? “Mike had a right to do it. I don’t think he should have done because we had an agreement. Looking back, I would have done things differently. I’d make sure you don’t move a muscle without a contract – for everybody’s benefit. Young people aren’t good at doing that kind of thing, and we had to pay the price for it.” Would he still regard the 10% Joyce and Rourke were paid as a fair deal? “I would be more generous,” he says. “But it wasn’t a band of equals. Thirty-odd years later I think anyone can see that.” What would be a fair percentage? He laughs. “You know what? I’d wind up in court if I answered that.”
  • “The conversation about re-forming came out of the blue. I didn’t go there with that in mind. But there had been quite a few rumours about it, so naturally we discussed it. ‘It could happen…’ ‘How d’you feel about it?’ ‘What if?’ And off we went.” Who was more keen? “I think we were both as keen as each other.”
  • Did Morrissey see a difference? “I would think so, because I was in the pub not drinking. And he was knocking back the pints. I don’t think it’s any secret that he likes a drink; he’s very pro-drinking. But I’d changed quite a lot. I’ve got about nine tattooos for a start.”
  • The only other person I knew who might comprehend it the same way was Morrissey, and so I emailed him the picture. There’d been no contact between us for a long time, but I got a reply within minutes. He hadn’t seen the picture, and he was equally surprised and impressed.

Yes, all great parts of the interview BUT nothing new. Maybe it's all new for you but I can't imagine that since you seem to read everything about the Smiths/Morrissey/Marr.
 

Uncleskinny

It's all good
Subscriber
Yes, all great parts of the interview BUT nothing new. Maybe it's all new for you but I can't imagine that since you seem to read everything about the Smiths/Morrissey/Marr.

Err. no I was trying to be kind, and fillet it down. Although I thought the point about the drinking was new, coming from a friend.
 
M

Musician

Guest
Yes, all great parts of the interview BUT nothing new. Maybe it's all new for you but I can't imagine that since you seem to read everything about the Smiths/Morrissey/Marr.

When the 2008 reunion idea was reported before?
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
I hate when people say that their spouse/lover/partner completes them. We are complete. The significant other is just a bonus. What if you don't find a partner and remain single? Should you feel incomplete for the rest of your life?
I can see why Morrissey never contacted Marr after that pub meeting. Morrissey was drinking that night and in a drunken stupor you can make the most grandiose plans. That's how I feel when I drink anyway. It's only when you wake up the next morning/afternoon that you realize life isn't as rosy as through the wine glass.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
No - this is the first time anyone has spoken about the pair of them meeting, let alone discussing a potential reunion that Morrissey was briefly up for in 2008.

Interestingly, Marr describes how: Suddenly we were talking about the possibility of the band re-forming, and in that moment it seemed that with the right intention it could actually be done and might even be great. I would still work with the Cribs on our album, and Morrissey also had an album due out.

So, 2008 - that album was 'Years of Refusal', and finally the album title makes sense (Morrissey studiously avoided answering questions on what the album title meant at the time). It would have been a great ironic title for Morrissey to have put out an album called 'Years of Refusal', then follow it up a year or two later with the Smiths reunion he'd been refusing for so long everyone had given up hope.

Instead, we got a huge gap, then 'World Peace is None of Your Business'. Of course, there's no way of knowing how a reunion would have turned out in reality, but I can't help thinking we got the shitty end of the deal there.
 

Uncleskinny

It's all good
Subscriber
I hate when people say that their spouse/lover/partner completes them. We are complete. The significant other is just a bonus. What if you don't find a partner and remain single? Should you feel incomplete for the rest of your life?
I can see why Morrissey never contacted Marr after that pub meeting. Morrissey was drinking that night and in a drunken stupor you can make the most grandiose plans. That's how I feel when I drink anyway. It's only when you wake up the next morning/afternoon that you realize life isn't as rosy as through the wine glass.

What have you got against people who are happy together, and say that they complete each other? Why do you 'hate' that? Tomorrow is my 24th anniversary. My wife and I are lock and key. Every day I'm thankful. I totally get Johnny's position here, because I agree, and have the same experience.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
When the 2008 reunion idea was reported before?

We knew that they met in a pub but the following reunion rumours were never confirmed. I just think it's absolutely silly that this topic is trending again because of Johnny. He has written a book which is 480 pages long and had to choose an excerpt. Fine, probably the paper suggested it to be about the Smiths and Johnny decided to go for it but he still could have chosen another part of his book which wouldn't bring on this boring conversation again. There are honestly people online who are blaming the Guardian for going for that specific headline. Johnny knew exactly what the headlines would be.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
What have you got against people who are happy together, and say that they complete each other? Why do you 'hate' that? Tomorrow is my 24th anniversary. My wife and I are lock and key. Every day I'm thankful. I totally get Johnny's position here, because I agree, and have the same experience.
...because we are complete the day we are born. I have been with the same partner for 22 years, but I don't feel that when he is not around there is only half of me walking around the world. That's my point.
Happy anniversary:flowers:
 

Uncleskinny

It's all good
Subscriber
...because we are complete the day we are born. I have been with the same partner for 22 years, but I don't feel that when he is not around there is only half of me walking around the world. That's my point.
Happy anniversary:flowers:

Thank you for your kind wishes, but I can only reiterate my feelings. I do a lot of foreign travel, and I feel bereft after a couple of days. So I do get Johnny's positions. Maybe I'm just soppy that way.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Still kinda bugs me when people say morrissey just wrote the word S if Johnny told him how to sing or that the vocal melodies arent important and big part to the tune. As for the reunion talk, I don't know, it just sounds like old partners having some fun talk over some drinks which maybe one took to seriously. good pics though and some nice Info even if it's old news
 

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