Johnny Marr was born in 1960s Manchester to Irish immigrant parents and knew from an early age that he would be a musician.
Forming his first band at 13, Marr spent his teenage years on the council estates of Wythenshawe playing guitar, devouring pop culture and inventing his own musical style. It wasn't until the early '80s, when Marr turned up on the doorstep of a singer named Steven Patrick Morrissey, that both a unique songwriting partnership and the group recognised as one of the most iconic bands of all time were formed.
In 1983 The Smiths released their first single, and within a year their eponymous debut album reached number two in the UK chart, paving the way for mainstream and critical success on their own terms. For Marr, tensions within the band and desire for a wider musical scope led to his departure from The Smiths in 1987, ensuring the end of one of the most influential British groups of a generation.
But this was just the beginning for Marr. From forming Electronic and The Healers to playing with Bryan Ferry, Talking Heads, Kirsty MacColl, Pet Shop Boys, Billy Bragg, Nile Rodgers and Bert Jansch to joining The Pretenders, Modest Mouse and The Cribs to recently collaborating with Hans Zimmer and receiving acclaim and worldwide success in his own right as a solo artist, Marr has never stopped. Here, for the first time, he tells his own side of the story. From roaming the streets of Manchester to constantly pushing musical boundaries as the most loved guitarist Britain has ever produced, Johnny Marr's memoir is the true history of music - told by one of its very own legends.
©2016 Johnny Marr (P)2016 Random House Audiobooks
What a great 'read' this is. A unique and magnifying tour inside Johnny Marrs life and mind guided by himself and in his own words and voice. It gives an honest and thorough insight to his professional life and career, and also a great perspective on his musical achievements that started with the Smiths and has stayed curios and vibrant ever since. A must read for music lovers!
"exactly as you would expect from Johnny Marr..."
Loved it. Straight talking storytelling from Johnny Marr, reminiscing about his time in all these great bands. Finally hearing his side of the Smiths story.
A man who has stuck to his principles his whole career and continues to deliver fresh music to this day.
"this guys a class act, Highly Recommended"
brilliant deliverance from Johnny who actually put the time in to deliver his brilliant autobiography.
I'm lucky enough to have been around for the whole journey. Great read, great music, great values, great man...
"For the love of the guitar"
Brilliantly captures what it means to love music and to live for it. The only thing that stopped me listening was pausing to listen to each Smiths/The The/Modest Mouse/Johnny Marr album after listening to Johnny's description of making it. Will rekindle anyone's love of guitar riffs: There IS a light that never goes out.
"Better than Mozzer's"
loved it. Great narration. no frills. to the point. The definitive smiths story. In your face johnny rogan
This is an absolutely brilliant journey through the life and times of Johnny Marr, read by the man himself. As well as finding out about how he started out and how The Smiths formed (and why it turned ugly), Marr offers an insight into the drive and ambition and unadulterated passion needed to succeed in a craft. His writing style is pure and honest; miles better than the trumped up over-hammed nonsense written by Morrissey in his autobiography, which he doesn't even bother to narrate himself. Marr's book is a must-read for any music fan.
Awesome story. Johnny's intuition through his life and how it seemed to lead him to some amazing moments is very inspiring for us to follow our own intuition. There were some laugh out loud moments and some tear jerking ones. I'm so glad Johnny read the book himself, it wouldn't have been the same had he not. I highly recommend this to any Smiths/Marr fan or for that matter any aspiring guitarist.
Gripping listen. Play on Johnny!
Very provoking experience.
My revisit a look a philosophical writings of my past! Well done.
"Is this what you want?"
Are you a Smiths fan?
Did you like Morrissey's Autobiography?
If you answer yes to both, as I would, then you may not enjoy this as much. That's not to say this is a bad read, it's more a matter of what you are looking for in a book. I really enjoyed the early part of Set the Boy Free when Johnny is recounting his early days and how his venture into music began. The latter part of the book felt more like a catalogue of albums and who's who of musicians.
I think I'm trying to say that, for me, it seemed to lose focus as it progressed. If you are considering this book then the chances are that you are familiar with Morrissey's. If you liked the style of Morrissey's book then you may not be as thrilled with this one and vice versa.
"There is a light and it never goes out"
Not the most charismatic of storytellers but all his own words and as close as you'll get to hearing directly from the creative driving force behind one of the best bands ever.
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