Who has read "Set The Boy Free" yet? What does it say about Moz?

A

Anonymous

Guest
Gee, isn't that a long stretch?
He is being nice to individuals.
That's just his nature. :(

Probably true. Could be both. He seems like a guy who thinks about that kinda thing and just might like the smiths to be remembered drama free and not let the story of there disagreements overtake that
 

Quando quando quando

Well-Known Member
Probably true. Could be both. He seems like a guy who thinks about that kinda thing and just might like the smiths to be remembered drama free and not let the story of there disagreements overtake that

I know and I understand his feelings and him being maybe a bit defensive about it cause he is proud of the Smiths legacy, and he can be as proud as a peacock.
But whatever drama, disagreements there were, and even how much of it ever gets known, the legacy of The Smiths CANNOT be tarnished cause there are all the records, the music and NOBODY can touch that.
It exists, we have prove.
 

marred

Member
This would be pretty much my take on it too.

Maybe Johnny just isn't the kind of person to dwell on his feelings too much (not ideal for an autobiography), but he doesn't really seem to dig deep and get too emotional about most periods of his life. He factually describes what went on, rather than giving much real insider insight.

One example that immediately hit me yesterday was a moment when Johnny talks about how the band inspired hate and love in equal measure. You feel that there must be an anecdote coming up but, instead, nothing. He skips over lots of things very quickly and then dwells on certain trivial points more than he should imo.
I love Johnny Marr but I don't see myself reading his book. I have his solo albums but his lyrics don't strike me that deeply. I guess a lot of people here who complained about Morrissey's version of his Smiths story are going to be disappointed that Marr hasn't gone into any depth from his side of the aisle into the Smiths. I foresaw purchasers of Marr's book posting here saying "Finally we get the truth of what really happened all those years ago.. blah, blah, blah" Not to be.
 

Quando quando quando

Well-Known Member
It would be some bullshit about them having sex.

Yes. And so what?
OMG they were having S E X !!!
I am laughing my head of.
Welcome to the twentyfirst century, yes it has definitely, scientifically been proven that people have sex sometimes and they seem to like it !!
OMG. But these are two guys!!
Yes, and it could have been, and we don't know and I don't want to know and it is of nobodies interest.
But Jeazus, it is just sex, a natural thing if both partners want it, it is like eating and drinking, what is there to get upset or surprised about.

I sense a homophobic undercurrent, yes there are men having sex together, there are women too, there are people who have bisexual feelings. There are even men and women who cannot be labeled as homosexual and still have erotically feelings for other people.
All natural cause they are part of nature like everybody else.
Sorry Marred, not aimed at you.
Just needed your post.
 

Ketamine Sun

HANG THEM HIGH VERONICA
I love Johnny Marr but I don't see myself reading his book. I have his solo albums but his lyrics don't strike me that deeply. I guess a lot of people here who complained about Morrissey's version of his Smiths story are going to be disappointed that Marr hasn't gone into any depth from his side of the aisle into the Smiths. I foresaw purchasers of Marr's book posting here saying "Finally we get the truth of what really happened all those years ago.. blah, blah, blah" Not to be.

Yeah, Benny must be really upset about this.:lbf: Not surprised Brummie didn't chime in about the book since Marr gave him no ammunition to fire with, though BB would just say he's waiting for Martin's book for the 'truth'. :rolleyes:

Folks, we already have the TRUTH. And it's a Penguin Classic. :thumb:
 

Cornflakes

"A bit iffy" ★★☆☆☆ - AV Club
For a fan, it seems like a no-brainer to me. I'd pay a fiver at a train station for a 5-page interview with Morrissey or Johnny, so why on earth would I not pay twice that for a 450-page hardback book by one of them?

But I also agree with the emerging consensus. Johnny is no great literary stylist (not that there's any reason he should be) and what you are getting is a fairly dry account of his life, without much in the way of anecdotes or digressions to liven things up. There's also not much new about The Smiths, except the odd detail here and there. But, if you haven't read the other books about The Smiths, maybe that won't bother you. I feel like the part of the book that is about The Smiths is a bit hemmed-in by Johnny being a bit too cautious about criticising Morrissey, even indirectly. I wouldn't necessarily have wanted him to give it with both barrels, but he's been more frank in interviews in the past, so it's not like the downsides of working with Morrissey are a secret. In particular, there are a few people who got a bit burnt through working with the band, and some of them also got pretty nasty treatment in Morrissey's book, which Johnny must be aware of. Although Johnny is generally nice enough about everyone, it would have been a good thing if he had offered a bit of redress by praising certain people a bit more, or at least acknowledging that they got a raw deal.

It's far from a bad book, but I think it's fair to say that Johnny hasn't knocked this one out of the park. On the other hand, it's probably the most reliable account of The Smiths there is, given that the only other key eyewitness to have told his story is not always the most trustworthy.

I actually got more out of the post-Smiths stuff in the book, even though i wouldn't have bought it for that. Maybe that's because most of it was new to me, or maybe because Johnny's writing gets a bit freer once he knows that an army of journalists is not going to be raking over everything he says.

Reading this a day later, it does read a bit too negatively. For balance, you're probably not going to be disappointed if you're interested in stuff about writing and recording and performing and guitars, this is an aspect of the book he does well, and avoids drifting off into tedious muso territory. You get quite a lot of information about the context in which different songs were written and how the band recorded. A really nice bit, for example, about being bought a guitar by Seymour Stein, taking it back to the hotel and writing a couple of songs straight away. I think you also get a clearer understanding of the breakup of the Smiths that you would have had previously and what seems like a reasonably honest account of the court case, something he's never gone into in much detail before. Really good photo plates, too.

Seriously, I can't understand why people actually need a review. It's £9.50 on Amazon. If you don't like it, Oxfam will.

Back to the negative, one thing he has a habit of doing is mentioning something interested and then not elaborating. "I really respected Ian Brown and we became friends". And that's literally it. He never mentions Ian Brown again. Then there's a bit where he is narrowly saved from being blown up by a bomb at Charles de Gaulle airport, and next thing you know he's back in the UK talking about something else.
 
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A

Anonymous

Guest
A really nice bit, for example, about being bought a guitar by Seymour Stein, taking it back to the hotel and writing a couple of songs straight away

This is nothing new. He talked about it before.
 

marred

Member
Yeah, Benny must be really upset about this.:lbf: Not surprised Brummie didn't chime in about the book since Marr gave him no ammunition to fire with, though BB would just say he's waiting for Martin's book for the 'truth'. :rolleyes:

Folks, we already have the TRUTH. And it's a Penguin Classic. :thumb:
He's waiting for Mike Joyce's book.
 
i've read most of the reviews on twitter and also there's a review from NME and most seem to like it a lot. I think MOST people on solo (i know not everybody) was expecting more about his relationship with moz and the rest of the smiths, so that's why a lot of people here seem disappointed.

Also, solo doesn't want to admit it, but i feel like people were expecting marr to be more snarky to some people, and he just wasn't. Who knows :confused:
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
i think all of it is really weird, in this book it's like he was closer with anybody than with morrissey, i read it as that they really didn't like each other much. maybe they didn't but needed to act like they did to be seen as this perfect duo soulmates bla bla because it looks good.... and about the split, all of a sudden they all turned their backs on him? why? just like that? what is he trying to say, they made him quit? why would they act like that? and joyce was bossing him around? what? and morrissey didn't want to let him in his flat and acted like he's describing it... it just doesn't make sense at all. i think he's not telling us everything (not that he must), it's all so vague. i still liked it but it's also kind of dissapointing really. bought it for the smiths but the part i enjoyed the most was about his childhood and everything before he met morrissey lol
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
i've read most of the reviews on twitter and also there's a review from NME and most seem to like it a lot. I think MOST people on solo (i know not everybody) was expecting more about his relationship with moz and the rest of the smiths, so that's why a lot of people here seem disappointed.

Also, solo doesn't want to admit it, but i feel like people were expecting marr to be more snarky to some people, and he just wasn't. Who knows :confused:

So a "enjoyed it" or "great read so far" on twitter is considered a review? Content wise STBF didn't bother me because I expected it but, for me, it isn't written very well. It doesn't convey feelings and emotions very well. Say what you want about Moz but this is something he always was good at. I read the book very quickly and, sadly, have no desire to read it again or to re-read certain passages.
 

Quando quando quando

Well-Known Member
I'm sorry.

What I meant to say is... If he writes as good as he plays drums, no ones going to buying his book.

better ? :thumb:

In theory, there might be a possibility he writes better, but I wouldn't count on it.
You do seem to think you can compare playing drums with writing.
By any standards, not yours of course, comparing his drumming with others in the same genre of music, was excellent.
The only one of this gang of four, who actually CAN write is Moz of course.
But THAT was established since " Hand In Glove ", somewhere in 1983.
 

Flibberty

Well-Known Member
i've read most of the reviews on twitter and also there's a review from NME and most seem to like it a lot. I think MOST people on solo (i know not everybody) was expecting more about his relationship with moz and the rest of the smiths, so that's why a lot of people here seem disappointed.

Also, solo doesn't want to admit it, but i feel like people were expecting marr to be more snarky to some people, and he just wasn't. Who knows :confused:

Everybody is entitled to an opinion (and I think the NME would be pretty certain to like any book by Johnny), but I have read the book and re-read certain sections and it is still a disappointment to me. I'm still glad to have it and wouldn't say it is a bad book, but it should have been so much better.

Johnny is not the best writer and there should have been more of a filter used when deciding what to include in the book. For example, he spends about as much time describing the people he worked with briefly in a clothes shop (who had no further importance in his life) as he does talking about the recording of Strangeways or working with Billy Bragg!
 
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