"Johnny Marr says The Smiths had a “blind spot” of being obsessed with media and notoriety" - NME (July 5, 2021)

shoplifterromo sends the link:

"Particularly one certain member of the group"

Excerpt:

Speaking to Poet Laureate Simon Armitage for the new BBC Radio 4 series The Poet Laureate Has Gone to His Shed, Marr said that the band could have done with “less” coverage at the height of their 1980s fame.

Discussing how it became their blind spot, Marr said: “I was in a very very big ‘music press’ band, which now I’m older I think we could’ve done with less of that.

“I wouldn’t say it was our downfall but I think it was a blind spot of The Smiths, being so occupied with the media and notoriety – particularly one certain member of the group. I think that could’ve been dialled down a bit and would’ve helped the group out.”


Related item:
 
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Trans

Guest
Maybe but if not for The Smiths, Morrissey would not have a solo career and likely no music career. Morrissey could immediately work with Stephen Street because he was in The Smiths. In other words, being in The Smiths made Morrissey a known entity and therefore he could then work with other known entities in the music business.

Obviously, Morrissey had talent in abundance... but does anyone honestly think without Johnny seeking him out and getting him out of his bedroom to form The Smiths we would be here talking about him now? Sure he had the talent, but does anyone honestly think Morrissey had the drive and hustle to form his own band?

It's possible, but I don't believe it would have happened for Morrissey regardless, that some other Johnny figure would have sought him out and he would be right where he is now.

wasnt he trying to do all that before marr. No reason to think that despite a setback that he wouldn’t meet another guitarist or place another add that might produce a Bernard butler. Marr turned up in his door because of that reputation. I mean didn’t another guitarist point him towards morrissey
 

ToniToni

New Member
Hello folks. How are you all doing? Well, does anybody know what company has the smiths's catalog today? I was wondering about it since Bob Dylan sold his songwriting catalog to Universal Music in december 2020. Many thnaks.
 

Ketamine Sun

HANG THEM HIGH VERONICA
wasnt he trying to do all that before marr. No reason to think that despite a setback that he wouldn’t meet another guitarist or place another add that might produce a Bernard butler. Marr turned up in his door because of that reputation. I mean didn’t another guitarist point him towards morrissey

Too TRUE. Maybe he would have worked with Vini much earlier.

People go on and on with that tired line that if it wasn’t for Marr then
Morrissey would have never mounted the stage again/become famous.
I think even Morrissey likes the romanticism of Johnny his knight
with shiny Rickenbacker coming to rescue him!

Morrissey, in spite of the early image we have of him, had lots of drive, still does. Sooner or later it would of happened. Would he be where he is now if he started with a band other than The Smiths? We’ll never know.


Though as it is ....

Marr was perfect, and the songs The Smiths wrote together, well, they haven’t been bettered by any indie rock guitar alternative whatever band since.
 
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Vegan Cro Spirit .777

Guest
Johnny "I'll throw stones 'cause M doesn wont work with me" Marr

If not for M , the smiths would have just been a run of the mill , Noel G type indie band ,.

they would not have existed without Moz.
i cant imagine what type of jobs the lawnmowers
would have had to find. maybe carrying🧱s

:hammer:
 
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Vegan Cro Spirit .777

Guest
>:lightbulb:<
👨‍🎓

Peeps it just came to me:
Since Moz IS the Smiths, why not have Alain, who mended his ways by showing respect towards Moz and fam, take the place of truculent :handpointright::guardsman::handpointleft: in a Smiths reunion.
Alain can play the correct chords in tune(y)

🇭🇷>:hammer:
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Marr turned up in his door because of that reputation. I mean didn’t another guitarist point him towards morrissey

Well said. And not just any other guitarist, but one who was on the verge of his own successful career - Billy Duffy. Morrissey had made a name for himself in the local music/media scene, and even had contacts in London, by 1982 - there probably weren't that many notable characters around, given that the 'scene' would have been fairly limited by age (i.e. mostly young people), and Morrissey seemed to make an impression on people and stick in their minds. Howard Devoto knew him. Linder knew him. Tony Wilson knew him. The NME knew him. But I still don't think he would have made it as a singer if it hadn't been for Marr. The alchemy of that partnership was just right and Morrissey - pardon the pun - blossomed over the course of just a few months, as a singer, lyricist and performer, in a way that I don't think he would have done otherwise.
 
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Terence Anomoly

Guest
Well said. And not just any other guitarist, but one who was on the verge of his own successful career - Billy Duffy. Morrissey had made a name for himself in the local music/media scene, and even had contacts in London, by 1982 - there probably weren't that many notable characters around, given that the 'scene' would have been fairly limited by age (i.e. mostly young people), and Morrissey seemed to make an impression on people and stick in their minds. Howard Devoto knew him. Linder knew him. Tony Wilson knew him. The NME knew him. But I still don't think he would have made it as a singer if it hadn't been for Marr. The alchemy of that partnership was just right and Morrissey - pardon the pun - blossomed over the course of just a few months, as a singer, lyricist and performer, in a way that I don't think he would have done otherwise.
Agree with your take. Although he knew all these people, it was Marr who appreciated his gifts and had the drive and know how to put a band together. Also Morrissey saw Marr as an equal, in talent, intellect and ambition - something I don’t think had happened before or since.
 
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Trans

Guest
Ive seen morrissey bring to life some pretty simple music. It’s hard for me to think that he wouldn’t have done that with others. I think Johnny was just so determined that he was willing to look past all the stuff involved with Morrisseys personality where others weren’t yet specially as they were all I that fragile ego stage of youth. I mean we’ve all heard the stuff morrissey did with the nosebleeds and the stuff Johnny was doing with white dice. They seemed pretty determined to do something and i think they both would have. As to the knows how to put a band together bit, it seems like nonsense. Marr needed porter at the beginning in the way that so many people need so many other people. I don’t think morrissey could stay away from the creative world and would have tried again and again until something broke
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Ive seen morrissey bring to life some pretty simple music.

Morrissey can work magic with the most rudimentary music, no argument there. But that's the 'Morrissey' we know - the 'Morrissey' who had invented himself, developed his craft, gained so much knowledge, awareness and experience through The Smiths by 1988. There is only an inkling of that. I think, in 1983 when you look at footage of those early Smiths gigs. I think he could probably have made a minor dent in the indie charts with a different group, but I don't think that, outwith the Marr partnership, his full potential would ever have been realised - not just by others, but by himself. Marr's music was so inspirational, and Marr - despite being a very different person and despite being so young - had the vision to let Morrissey's vision of the group hold sway, and to let Morrissey take centre stage. Without Marr's music, I don't think we'd ever had a 'Hand in Glove' or a 'How Soon Is Now', and the self-confident humour and charisma of later songs like 'Cemetery Gates' and 'Frankly, Mr Shankly' is built, I think, on that earlier success. Not to forget also that it was The Smiths' live gigs as much as their studio work that cultivated Morrissey's growth (quite literally, as you can see him becoming more physically robust, healthy and outgoing over those 5 years of performances). Again, I don't think another group would have created the kind of musical backdrop that would have enabled Morrissey to foster his persona and his art. I think it was his confidence in the band's music as being, not just good, not just great, but phenomenal, that gave him the confidence to believe in himself, and to constantly take things to the next level. But by the end of The Smiths, I reckon he had that confidence and was no longer so reliant on Marr's music, and I think Marr sensed that too, and foresaw a future in which, however great his music, he and the others would effectively be just backing musicians, with Morrissey calling the shots, and so he walked. Marr created a monster that outgrew his ability to control it.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Ive seen morrissey bring to life some pretty simple music. It’s hard for me to think that he wouldn’t have done that with others. I think Johnny was just so determined that he was willing to look past all the stuff involved with Morrisseys personality where others weren’t yet specially as they were all I that fragile ego stage of youth. I mean we’ve all heard the stuff morrissey did with the nosebleeds and the stuff Johnny was doing with white dice. They seemed pretty determined to do something and i think they both would have. As to the knows how to put a band together bit, it seems like nonsense. Marr needed porter at the beginning in the way that so many people need so many other people. I don’t think morrissey could stay away from the creative world and would have tried again and again until something broke
I actually think Morrissey had given up by the time Marr came around. He hadn't done anything for a couple of years. Maybe he would have been a writer, but without a strong personality with a brilliant talent to work with, pop stardom would have been doubtful. And as Tony Wilson put it, laughable.
 
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Vegan Cro Spirit 555

Guest
:)
you must not have a simple iota of sense saying such nonsense. when its 2021 and :handpointright::guardsman::handpointleft: is still basically unknown outside of Hale. He is only known there because Jr calls the papers every time Sr goes out jogging so they can put his dumb photo in the village paper.(n) with the silly cull cap so the wig doesnt fly off. once he sees the paper dude he makes a u turn back to his cottage, which needs a new coat of paint btw. the paint is chipping. maybe Jr and Comrade 👨‍🚀 can make a new paint job, instead of just sitting outside camping.o_O

:hammer:
 
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Anonymous

Guest
I actually think Morrissey had given up by the time Marr came around. He hadn't done anything for a couple of years. Maybe he would have been a writer, but without a strong personality with a brilliant talent to work with, pop stardom would have been doubtful. And as Tony Wilson put it, laughable.

I would agree with that. Whilst it is conceivable that Morrissey could have had some degree of success with another collaborator, I think when you look at his actual situation in 1982, there is no likelihood that it was ever going to happen. Who else would have actually gone and sought him out the way Marr did, and Morrissey himself doesn't seem to have approached anyone since about 1978. Didn't Ivor Perry actually live in the same street as Morrissey, and knew him to say hello to, but still had no inkling of his musical aspirations - and then wasn't impressed when he heard The Smiths demos. So the odds were stacked very high against Morrissey at that time - gasping, yet somehow still alive. It's easy to see why he felt so driven. It was crystal clear to him that The Smiths were a lifeline thrown to a drowning man.
 

Amy

from the Ice Age to the dole age
I think Marr ... foresaw a future in which, however great his music, he and the others would effectively be just backing musicians, with Morrissey calling the shots, and so he walked.
To what end, though? He walked out and became just a backing musician to a thousand other singers, with even less control - sometimes he was playing on stuff he hadn't even written.
 
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Trans

Guest
I actually think Morrissey had given up by the time Marr came around. He hadn't done anything for a couple of years. Maybe he would have been a writer, but without a strong personality with a brilliant talent to work with, pop stardom would have been doubtful. And as Tony Wilson put it, laughable.

I don’t know, tony Wilson’s been wrong about a lot of things but so it goes. Neither of us can say what would or could have happened, I sure can’t but I believe that his, morrisseys, desire was probably irrepressible and that he would have tried again and again and that there are many possible paths to to full bloom. It’s possible he could have met someone better and made music with her or him forever. I don’t think a person like morrissey can really give up. For better or worse it’s a compulsion
 

Ketamine Sun

HANG THEM HIGH VERONICA

I mean we’ve all heard the stuff morrissey did with the nosebleeds

o_O:confused:

Really? We have? I’d love to hear that ‘stuff’
Please ANY links downloads etc would be greatly appreciated.


Johnny was doing with white dice. They seemed pretty determined to do something and i think they both would have. As to the knows how to put a band together bit, it seems like nonsense. Marr needed porter at the beginning in the way that so many people need so many other people.


I don’t think morrissey could stay away from the creative world and would have tried again and again until something broke

Agree.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
o_O:confused:

Really? We have? I’d love to hear that ‘stuff’
Please ANY links downloads etc would be greatly appreciated.

Calm down ffs.

I'll go out on a limb here and hazard a wild guess that Trans meant to say:

"I mean we've all heard of the stuff Morrissey did with the Nosebleeds".
 
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Anonymous

Guest
To what end, though? He walked out and became just a backing musician to a thousand other singers, with even less control - sometimes he was playing on stuff he hadn't even written.

Oh, absolutely. I wrote the post you responded to but I agree that I don't think it was a great decision - or at least it was our loss. Although on the other hand, we got Morrissey's solo career, which unlike Marr's has had plenty of highlights and interesting development. I'm not sure Morrissey would actually have developed if Marr hadn't quit The Smiths - I think the breakup of The Smiths gave Morrissey such a shock that it shook him out of a growing complacency.
 

GirlAfraidWillNeverLearn

Well-Known Member
To what end, though? He walked out and became just a backing musician to a thousand other singers, with even less control - sometimes he was playing on stuff he hadn't even written.

Well, yes, but he didn't know at the time it would turn out like that.
 
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