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Summary

Johnny Marr narrates his story in a memoir as memorable and distinctive as his music. From the guitarist and co-founder of the profoundly influential British band The Smiths, this is an enlightening account of a remarkable life, from a humble childhood in Manchester to his first meeting with Morrissey. An absolute must-listen for music fans.

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

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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.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Ruddy Marr-velous

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Thanks Johnny

I'm lucky enough to have been around for the whole journey. Great read, great music, great values, great man...

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Better than Mozzer's

loved it. Great narration. no frills. to the point. The definitive smiths story. In your face johnny rogan

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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this guys a class act, Highly Recommended

brilliant deliverance from Johnny who actually put the time in to deliver his brilliant autobiography.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Will the Smiths reform? (Google it!)

I loved being led through Johnny Marr's adventures in music (to date). I've added a lot of tunes to a playlist whilst listening, and really enjoyed the insight. His enthusiasm and passion are infectious, and bring something new to familiar songs.

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Boss fella

Boss fella. Unexpected collaborations. A true musician's musician. The driving force behind the Smiths (although he'd never say it) and done so much since. Interesting read.

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An easy listen

Interesting listen for any fan, although I did have to speed up his voice by 25%!

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Long time fan of the Smiths - disappointing...

I was a huge fan of the Smiths back in the day, bought all their records and went to the gigs. While I was an admirer of Johnny Marr and his musical talents, I also wanted to get to the bottom of who he was and what happened in the break-up whci hled to the court cases. Johnny is heralded as a really nice guy, down to earth and talented. On reading the book, it made me realise what a selfish and arrogant person he and Morrisey really were at the height of The Smiths reign. The lack of contract for the other members and only a potential 10% share did not seem very fair, but clearly from Johnny's opinion, it was clearly all they were worth.

All in all a typical rags to riches affair, with some interesting stories on the climb to fame, and mostly how you can directly try and swindle two of your best mates, out of a load of money.

As said at the start of the book, I admired Johnny Marr, at the end I pity'd him, and was saddened to see after all the four of the Smiths had been through, Johnny and Morrisey could treat other people, the way they did, and still do, as there are still ongoing court cases against morrisey , as he has refused to pay the damages, to Mike Joyce, while they bullied Andy Rourke to settle out of court for a small amount.

Not the read I expected, but well put together and very informative, but shattered my dreams of previous youth....

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  • 10-11-16

Absolutely Magnificent

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!