The Guardian: Johnny Marr - "You ask the questions" (February 6, 2022)

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Johnny Marr: ‘When I play Smiths songs I experience this huge wave of elation’

Particularly liked Bernard Butler's question...

Did the Smiths ever fall out over football or politics?
Andy Burnham, mayor of Greater Manchester

We never discussed football so that’s that. And we never fell out over politics, but we probably would now.

Morrissey’s recent political views have cast a shadow over the Smiths for me – reaching back into the past and tainting something that was very important to me. I’m so disappointed in him. Has it impacted how you feel about the Smiths or are you able to separate the past from the present, the band from the man? I find it very difficult to do so.
Johnny Spence, Northern Ireland

It hasn’t impacted how I feel about the Smiths. That’s all I can say about that. I’m certainly able to separate the past from the present. I don’t know whether you can separate the band from the man, but I can separate myself from the man and what I did, so when I do see how disappointed people are, it really does make me sad. But it’s completely out of my control. And I can only really do what is in my control. So I play Smiths songs for reasons that I think are real. And over the years I’ve tried to take care of the catalogue and the releases as much as I was able to. As I would have done anyway. So, you know, I see it the way everybody else sees it. I don’t have any answers. And I don’t want to have any answers.


We have both had many casual musical flings but one very strong personal bond in our lives. How has your relationship with the wonderful Angie influenced your creativity, and does she have a favourite guitar?
Bernard Butler, musician

I’ll answer the easy bit first: Angie’s always loved Les Pauls. That’s to do with when we first met – she was 14 and I was 15. We were into Johnny Thunders and the Heartbreakers, so she became bit of a Gibson fan. I’ve had a Gold Top guitar for 20-odd years and I think if I’ve ever got rid of that one, she’d leave me. The important thing I can say about my relationship with Angie is that she made me brave at 15, 16. Not only did Angie know me before everybody else knew me, but she knew me before I knew myself. She was there before the Smiths started: it was me and Angie. And then when that whole thing got together, it was me and Angie and Joe Moss [the late manager of the Smiths]. Not only was I with my soulmate, but I was with somebody who was very smart and very talented.

Johnny, out of 10 what would you give me for my turn as Mozzer on Celebrity Stars in Their Eyes? [Hill sang This Charming Man.] PS: if you and the fellas ever decide to regroup and his nibs won’t play ball, I still have the wig – and more importantly, the hearing aid.
Harry Hill, comedian

I sort of remember that. I’m going to have to give Harry a solid two out of 10 for that, and he can make of that what he will. As for the offer, I don’t even know what to make of that…!
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Why? If you do a cover version of 'How Soon Is Now' and you only use the vocal melody and lyrics, is it no longer the song 'How Soon Is Now'? If you use the backing track to 'How Soon Is Now' and you use a different vocal melody and completely different lyrics, is it still the song 'How Soon Is Now?'.

the backing track without Moz lyrics singing and melody is the same song as the backing track??? Jesse and Alain play the backing track much better, with subtlety and ability(y)
when El Pepe does it he has to use Moz melody and lyrics otherwise
peeps wont recognize the cluster from his other clusters⛷️

johnny marr
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