Johnny Marr on his autobiography, admits he hasn't read Morrissey's - MOJO

Johnny Marr On His Memoir: “I’ve Got An Amazing Memory!” - MOJO
The former Smith updates MOJO about progress on his autobiography. Top Of The Pops, drugs and falling off roofs all figure.

Excerpt:

The former Smith speaks about his new live album Adrenalin Baby and the book, due out next summer, in our new issue, (December 15 / #265) which is on sale now in the UK.

...Of course Marr’s is not the first memoir concerning The Smiths, though it seems unlikely there will be too many similarities between the guitarist’s literary endeavours and those published by the band’s singer.

“I honestly haven’t read Morrissey’s book,” Marr admits. “I really don’t feel like I need to. I’ve heard about what it’s like and that’s fine.”

Also:

Johnny Marr vows to keep memoir fun - new! magazine

Excerpt:

Morrissey's tome received huge critical praise for its candid narrative, but some critics took aim at the singer for using the book to launch scathing attacks on his old enemies in the music industry and even his former bandmates.

Marr is a quarter of the way through penning his life story and he is making a determined effort to avoid criticising those he has worked with, insisting he will not be giving fans any "crass sensationalism".

He tells Mojo magazine, "I honestly haven't read Morrissey's book. I really don't feel like I need to. I've heard about what it's like and that's fine. Not all of what I've been though, like anyone's life, can be dressed up to be something cheery when it wasn't. That's all right too.

"I'd like to say there's a lot of reappraisal, 'cos that would imply a certain kind of wisdom, but in the case of what happened with The Smiths, there's not really that much reappraisal. But crass sensationalism isn't really my thing, nor am I particularly interested in being nasty."
 
Last edited:

Ketamine Sun

<><><><><><><>
There is no "coda" in Frankly Mr Shankly. Other musicians will attest. I guess the term sounded like a good gambit so you went with it.

I'm having trouble grasping your logic with regards to Cemetry Gates. It seems that you are suggesting that Johnny negated his right to claim writing his portion of the song because he "didn't appreciate the riff." Which is ludicrous. That's like saying Bell negated his right to take credit for the creation of the telephone because he wasn't 100% satisfied with how it turned out and thought about setting it aside.

This may surprise you, but Morrissey did not have influence on every instrumental. Case in point: How Soon Is Now, which, lyrics and vocal aside, was created whole cloth by Marr, Rourke, Joyce and John Porter in a single session. And it stands up quite well as an instrumental, as evidenced by its frequent usage in TV clips. Goddard provided at least one specific example in Songs That Saved Your Life where Morrissey not only failed to suggest a musical replacement for something he didn't like on I Started Something I Couldn't Finish but Marr replied to the effect "f*** him then - come over and come up with something better." Despite this coming first-hand from Stephen Street himself, I'm sure someone will find a "yes, but..." to counter the fact.

"editing instrumentals and having a say in how theyre edited is a part of song writing as its how the songs end up in the forms we love." So, using the example of HSIN above with this logic in mind, Rourke, Joyce, and Porter could credibly claim songwriting credits. Yes? No? Which way do you want to have it this time?

I never said that Morrissey's vocal melodies did not count as songwriting - but, the fact is, the bulk of the musical content of the Smiths music was created, worked out and recorded before he ever stepped foot in the studio. Morrissey's melody - or desire to shift verse for chorus, etc. - in no way plausibly denies Marr of his 50% writing credit.

And, quite frankly, Morrissey's banging-on about the utmost importance of the vocal melody has been a latter-day tactic he has deployed more and more to assert his primacy in the Smiths ("The Smiths was me") and reduce Marr's role in the public mind. Well, it seems to have worked beautifully in the more easily swayed quarters of the fanbase.

Hold on there! ' the bulk of the musical content of the Smiths music was created,worked out and recorded before he ever stepped into the studio' ?

SOMETIMES maybe yes, But more NO ...Both Marr & M worked out the songs before it ever made it to the studio and most likely before the other two even heard it.

And yes HSIN is used as 'clips' but by itself too long to work... And even in the instrumental version(?) doesn't
M whistle ? Well that's enough...give him all the money !

I think the comment about C.Gates...was that M had the ear to hear the possibilities of a riff or some chord changes
in a bit of playing that Marr was gonna toss.And in doing so saved it.

And aware of it or not... listeners/fans/YOU were drawn by those melodies... way before M had to point out their importance.
 
Last edited:
A

Anonymous

Guest
moz knows apparel change not chord change. moz wouldnt recognize a chord change if sirens went off during one.

johnny and now boz, has to signal when to commence 'singing'/
 

Ketamine Sun

<><><><><><><>
EXACTLY. It opens him up for a line of questioning he doesn't want to bother answering. It's an easy, perfectly reasonable white lie given that scenario.

This is akin to Morrissey saying he "never [went] online." You knew there was a good chance that this was bullshit. I don't recall any wild leaps that his fib was indicative of some moral deficiency. But if Johnny tells what is likely a white lie to get a reporter to move on, he rouses suspicion at minimum and, at worst, gets pilloried.

We non-famous musician types could think of it in these terms: if a perfect stranger or casual acquaintance asked one of us whether the outfit they are wearing looks good on them, and it looks positively dire, would one say "hell no" to their face or tell a white lie to be socially tactful and shift topics as quickly as possible?

agree, Though we don't really know. Maybe since we're playing 'make believe' here. Someone could of told him about what's going on and being said about him on line. I'm sure he was intrigued by all the gory details..then irked, and then just had a good laugh. Maybe.
 
Last edited:
A

Anonymous

Guest
jfc, Moz was the star because he was the lead singer!!!!!!

Yes we agree on that. It's obvious. The reason I tried to explain it is because there are a lot of lunkheads here who don't realize that no one puts a poster of a chord change on their wall. They are talking about the music as if what Morrissey did was not part of the music, and as if the music was the main draw. People that couldn't play a harmonica trying to use musical terms to say Morrissey wasn't the largest part of The Smiths. Sorry/not sorry if I bored you. I was writing to all the music experts. :D
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Don't you go talking to Jamie like that ! Who are you ?! That's 'Jamie'... that's the name registered. That's the registered name... Jamie. J-A-M-I-E. o.k! so now you know. jerk anon. ;)

- - - Updated - - -



Marr left ? what? Marr was fired because he was getting too funky with them fingers!;)

You would be less annoying if you were anonymous because I wouldn't realize half of every thread is you, especially the way you contradict yourself. Stop typing, get a box of crayons and write Morrissey a long letter telling him you're the only one who understands him. You're probably doing that already, anyway, though.
 

Ketamine Sun

<><><><><><><>
You would be less annoying if you were anonymous because I wouldn't realize half of every thread is you, especially the way you contradict yourself. Stop typing, get a box of crayons and write Morrissey a long letter telling him you're the only one who understands him. You're probably doing that already, anyway, though.

wait, before I reply... and you ARE in need of a reply...

Which ANON am I replying to ?

p.s. Why would I want to be 'less annoying' if my posts are annoying YOU?
A bit counterproductive... don't you think?
 
Last edited:
A

Anonymous

Guest
Hold on there! ' the bulk of the musical content of the Smiths music was created,worked out and recorded before he ever stepped into the studio' ?

SOMETIMES maybe yes, But more NO ...Both Marr & M worked out the songs before it ever made it to the studio and most likely before the other two even heard it.

And yes HSIN is used as 'clips' but by itself too long to work... And even in the instrumental version(?) doesn't
M whistle ? Well that's enough...give him all the money !

I think the comment about C.Gates...was that M had the ear to hear the possibilities of a riff or some chord changes
in a bit of playing that Marr was gonna toss.And in doing so saved it.

And aware of it or not... listeners/fans/YOU were drawn by those melodies... way before M had to point out their importance.

whether there is or not wasnt the point, it was just to illustrate something other than notation is still songwriting. if i said pretty girls make graves then it still doesnt effect my point one way of the other. as to rourke and joyce or even porter being given song writing credits i would say yes, as i always have, if smaller if theyre not working at total direction from someone else. there is a reason the smiths debut music doent sound like any other smiths album which i believe to be in part do to porter. rarely was the music even finished before moz had some say in it that effected the finished product as we hear and love it today. he effected it before it was taken into a studio at all. i do think ill not respond to jamie again though and just save myself the unpleasent insults and experience though.
 

Ketamine Sun

<><><><><><><>
whether there is or not wasnt the point, it was just to illustrate something other than notation is still songwriting. if i said pretty girls make graves then it still doesnt effect my point one way of the other. as to rourke and joyce or even porter being given song writing credits i would say yes, as i always have, if smaller if theyre not working at total direction from someone else. there is a reason the smiths debut music doent sound like any other smiths album which i believe to be in part do to porter. rarely was the music even finished before moz had some say in it that effected the finished product as we hear and love it today. he effected it before it was taken into a studio at all. i do think ill not respond to jamie again though and just save myself the unpleasent insults and experience though.


Agree to what you're saying. I wonder in what way Porter created 'the sound' was it because he wasn't really that good/didn't know what to do with this band that were new to his and the worlds ears. Or the studio itself was average?Or just band nerves... first time in the studio proper/first L.P. ?

I wish they would remix that first one. Taking the single tracks and add some new studio 'magic' It could
sound worse...but would be interesting to hear a new angle on it.


And yeah, Seems from things I read that Morrissey and Marr worked with cassette tapes in the start of the songs..Then bring it to studio, Marr showing Andy some ideas..etc. Hope Marr goes into detail about these things in his book. We'll see..... :)
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Agree to what you're saying. I wonder in what way Porter created 'the sound' was it because he wasn't really that good/didn't know what to do with this band that were new to his and the worlds ears. Or the studio itself was average?Or just band nerves... first time in the studio proper/first L.P. ?

I wish they would remix that first one. Taking the single tracks and add some new studio 'magic' It could
sound worse...but would be interesting to hear a new angle on it.


And yeah, Seems from things I read that Morrissey and Marr worked with cassette tapes in the start of the songs..Then bring it to studio, Marr showing Andy some ideas..etc. Hope Marr goes into detail about these things in his book. We'll see..... :)

well i watched a dvd (cant remember what its called now as id have to dig it out) where porter talks quite a bit about the overdubbing and layering of the guitars on the debut that i dont think appears on another of there albums. its pretty intricate, the guitar sound on that album, and the way he describes them doing it seems sorta unique and to me makes some of those songs stand out in a way that later songs dont.
 

Ketamine Sun

<><><><><><><>
well i watched a dvd (cant remember what its called now as id have to dig it out) where porter talks quite a bit about the overdubbing and layering of the guitars on the debut that i dont think appears on another of there albums. its pretty intricate, the guitar sound on that album, and the way he describes them doing it seems sorta unique and to me makes some of those songs stand out in a way that later songs dont.


yes I think I remember seeing that also. He did help Marr with the idea of layering and how to use the studio as a tool in that way since it was Marr's first time with the right tools to create and stretch the possibilities of what a guitar can sound like.

Though something about the 'sound' of the first record...To me it just has this weird claustrophobic veil over it. Wish it was more vibrant rich and more depth...hard to explain these kind of things. Don't think I'm familiar with other records that came out of that studio around the same time...Maybe I should check that out. Something I was always curious about.:)
 

Detritus

Teenage Lightning
well i watched a dvd (cant remember what its called now as id have to dig it out) where porter talks quite a bit about the overdubbing and layering of the guitars on the debut that i dont think appears on another of there albums. its pretty intricate, the guitar sound on that album, and the way he describes them doing it seems sorta unique and to me makes some of those songs stand out in a way that later songs dont.

Though something about the 'sound' of the first record...To me it just has this weird claustrophobic veil over it. Wish it was more vibrant rich and more depth...hard to explain these kind of things. Don't think I'm familiar with other records that came out of that studio around the same time...Maybe I should check that out. Something I was always curious about.:)
I was discussing this with a friend the other day as we listened to the Hatful of Hollow version of "Reel Around the Fountain." Of the songs that appear on both the compilation and the self-titled debut, "Reel" is the one that differs most radically from its counterpart, and for me, the juxtaposition of these two very different recordings of the same song really highlights the sonic strengths and weaknesses of the debut album.

John Porter's production is so bloodless, it strangles the life out of songs that sounded vibrant and spirited live. The alternative studio recordings on Hatful were a restorative breath of air for many of those songs. And yet, I prefer the slightly more complex arrangements of the debut album, especially for "Reel Around the Fountain." Although the Hatful version isn't nearly as tepid, it lacks the piano flourishes and the much more pronounced arpeggiated guitar figures throughout the verses, which really flesh the song out. The altered bassline also gets a brow raise from me; what Rourke plays in the Porter recording is more lively and better suited to the song than the straightforward eight note plod we hear on the Hatful version, but that's a minor quibble.
 
Last edited:

Ketamine Sun

<><><><><><><>
I was discussing this with a friend the other day as we listened to the Hatful of Hollow version of "Reel Around the Fountain." Of the songs that appear on both the compilation and the self-titled debut, "Reel" is the one that differs most radically from its counterpart, and for me, the juxtaposition of these two very different recordings of the same song really highlights the sonic strengths and weaknesses of the debut album.

John Porter's production is so bloodless, it strangles the life out of songs that sounded vibrant and spirited live. The alternative studio recordings on Hatful were a restorative breath of air for many of those songs. And yet, I prefer the slightly more complex arrangements of the debut album, especially for "Reel Around the Fountain." Although the Hatful version isn't nearly as tepid, it lacks the piano flourishes and the much more pronounced arpeggiated guitar figures throughout the verses, which really flesh the song out. The altered bassline also gets a brow raise from me; what Rourke plays in the Porter recording is more lively and better suited to the song than the straightforward eight note plod we hear on the Hatful version, but that's a minor quibble.

nice post.:thumb: Agree. You're obviously a musician/magician. Still wonder if it was Porter's folly or just too much Port in the studio ! Maybe mastering... Just surprised no one caught it on time and corrected it somewhere in the chain of creation. WE DEMAND A REMIX ! ...falls on deaf ears. oh well.
 
Last edited:
A

Anonymous

Guest
I know Morrissey hates it because it's too polished, but I LOVE what John Porter did with 'What Difference Does it Make', with that mega huge wall of overdubbed guitars. He took an already good rock song, and made it into a killer hit single.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
I was discussing this with a friend the other day as we listened to the Hatful of Hollow version of "Reel Around the Fountain." Of the songs that appear on both the compilation and the self-titled debut, "Reel" is the one that differs most radically from its counterpart, and for me, the juxtaposition of these two very different recordings of the same song really highlights the sonic strengths and weaknesses of the debut album.

John Porter's production is so bloodless, it strangles the life out of songs that sounded vibrant and spirited live. The alternative studio recordings on Hatful were a restorative breath of air for many of those songs. And yet, I prefer the slightly more complex arrangements of the debut album, especially for "Reel Around the Fountain." Although the Hatful version isn't nearly as tepid, it lacks the piano flourishes and the much more pronounced arpeggiated guitar figures throughout the verses, which really flesh the song out. The altered bassline also gets a brow raise from me; what Rourke plays in the Porter recording is more lively and better suited to the song than the straightforward eight note plod we hear on the Hatful version, but that's a minor quibble.

how is it bloodless. to me it sounds more layered and more interesting. meat is murder has better sound but it seems recorded in just a more common straight forward manner. its louder and clearer but less interesting imo though they were clearly the better band at that point and he a better singer (more in key)
 

mcrickson

Reckless Endangerment
Personally, I find the Porter mix part of the Smiths story, and while it may not have reflected the band in live terms at the time, I still believe the mix sound was a conduit which channels pre-Smiths Morrissey.
 

Ketamine Sun

<><><><><><><>
how is it bloodless. to me it sounds more layered and more interesting. meat is murder has better sound but it seems recorded in just a more common straight forward manner. its louder and clearer but less interesting imo though they were clearly the better band at that point and he a better singer (more in key)

' a better singer (more in key)' .... yeah, It's too bad they didn't have Auto-Tune back then. ;)
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
' a better singer (more in key)' .... yeah, It's too bad they didn't have Auto-Tune back then. ;)

well he for sure sounds less flat at times before that and a little warbly in spots. my original comment really wasnt about production in terms of tech or mix per se but rather that porter was involved in the over dubbing layering of the guitars that created an intricate sound that i dont see replicated in other albums
 

Ketamine Sun

<><><><><><><>
well he for sure sounds less flat at times before that and a little warbly in spots. my original comment really wasnt about production in terms of tech or mix per se but rather that porter was involved in the over dubbing layering of the guitars that created an intricate sound that i dont see replicated in other albums

is this you John Porter ? ;)
 

Jamie

Bluff, Ardour & Assoc.
I was discussing this with a friend the other day as we listened to the Hatful of Hollow version of "Reel Around the Fountain." Of the songs that appear on both the compilation and the self-titled debut, "Reel" is the one that differs most radically from its counterpart, and for me, the juxtaposition of these two very different recordings of the same song really highlights the sonic strengths and weaknesses of the debut album.

John Porter's production is so bloodless, it strangles the life out of songs that sounded vibrant and spirited live. The alternative studio recordings on Hatful were a restorative breath of air for many of those songs. And yet, I prefer the slightly more complex arrangements of the debut album, especially for "Reel Around the Fountain." Although the Hatful version isn't nearly as tepid, it lacks the piano flourishes and the much more pronounced arpeggiated guitar figures throughout the verses, which really flesh the song out. The altered bassline also gets a brow raise from me; what Rourke plays in the Porter recording is more lively and better suited to the song than the straightforward eight note plod we hear on the Hatful version, but that's a minor quibble.

I think the "bloodless" quality, as you describe, stems largely from the drums, which are either recorded so dry as to be tinder ("You've Got Everything Now") or compressed and boomy ("Miserable Lie," "What Difference Does It Make?"). The drums on "This Charming Man," recorded at a separate session, stand out vibrantly in comparison with closer to a "room" sound. In terms of overall sonic quality, I think "Still Ill" and "Suffer Little Children" are most successfully realized. You also can't overlook the fact that Stephen Street started engineering their sessions with "Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now." I think there is a sea change in their sound beginning with that single and the subsequent two. He seemed to sharpen Porter's productions. "Please Please Please..." is widescreen and panoramic while most of the first album sounds canned and thin.

I've found that if I like the recording on Hatful of Hollow I tend to dislike the counterpart version on The Smiths and vice versa. E.g., the Peel Session version of "What Difference Does It Make" swings more while the harmonica intro on "Still Ill" is jarring and out of place. I despise the drum sound on the studio "Reel Around The Fountain," but the arrangement is better in that key, rather than the higher key on the Peel Session where Morrissey is still learning his vocal range on the job.

Johnny actually added some heft and clarity to the debut on the remaster a few years ago. The separation of the guitars is fairly stunning in spots. Some subtler moments jump out in the new mix. A headphone listen is definitely recommended.
 
Last edited:

Trending Threads

Top Bottom