top of page

Johnny Marr

The talented guitarist and songwriter Johnny Marr, who is best known for his membership in "The Smiths", is celebrating his birthday today.

(Photo: Amy Harris)

We have collected 20 interesting facts about him:

1. He was born on October 31, 1963, in Manchester, England, named John Martin Maher.

2. He formed his first band when he was only 13 years old.

3. He co-founded "The Smiths" with Morrissey in 1982.

4. Together with "The Smiths" he released four amazing studio albums, all of which are in "Rolling Stone" magazine's 500 greatest albums of all time.

5. He's a childhood friend of, Billy Duffy, "The Cult's" guitarist. They maintain a good relationship to this day. Here they perform together "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" tune by Ennio Morricone:

6. In 2016 he noted that his favorite "Smiths'" song is "Last Night I Dreamt Someone Loved Me", from "Strangeways, Here We Come".

7. After leaving "The Smiths" in 1987, he was a member of "The Pretenders" for a short time and recorded with them, among other things, the single "Windows Of The World", as can also be seen in the video clip for the song, here:

8. In 1989 he formed the band "Electronic" together with Bernard Sumner known from the bands "Joy Division" and "New Order". As part of this lineup, Marr released three studio albums.

9. Later, Mar joined the band "The The" and recorded two albums with them, including the amazing "Dusk" from 1993, which includes the hits "Dogs of Lust" and "Love Is Stronger than Death":

10. At the same time, Johnny served as a sought-after session player. He wrote and performed songs with many good artists, including: "Pet Shop Boys", Bryan Ferry, "Talking Heads" and Beck.

11. In 2000 he formed the band "Johnny Marr and the Healers" together with Zak Starkey, the son of Ringo Starr and with Alonza Bevan the - "Kula Shaker's" bass player. Marr wrote and sang all but one of the songs on the album.

12. In 2001 he was part of a supergroup called "7 Worlds Collide", which includes members from "Pearl Jam", "Radiohead" and "Crowded House". They released their charity album "The Sun Came Out" in 2009.

13. In 2007 he collaborated with the American indie rock band "Modest Mouse" and released the album "We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank" with them.

14. From 2008 to 2011 he was a member of the indie rock band "The Cribs". He released the 2009 album "Ignore the Ignorant" with them.

15. He released his first solo album "The Messenger" in 2003 and since then he has released three more albums.

16. Johnny attended one of Oasis' first shows. Noel Gallagher approached him after the show and asked how it was. Marr replied that it takes him too long to tune his guitar between songs and Noel said it was because he has no money for a normal guitar. It touched Marr very much so he decided to give Noel Gallagher a 1960 Gibson Les Paul guitar he had received as a gift from Pete Townshend.

17. Unfortunately Noel managed to break the guitar when he struggled with a fan who took the stage. When Johnny Marr heard it he quickly gave Noel another guitar and not just another guitar, but the one he wrote the song "Big Mouth Strike Again" from the album "The Queen Is Dead" on.

18. In the late 90s Johnny received an offer from Noel Gallagher to join the "Oasis", but at the same time, he was working on other projects, so he kindly refused.

19. In the years 1992-1993 Johnny recorded enough songs to fill an entire album, together with Ian McCulloch known as the singer of "Echo & the Bunnymen". The masters of the recordings disappeared along with the van stolen during their transfer from Johnny's Manchester home to Ian's house in Liverpool.

20. Johnny Marr's parents thought the name of The Smith's "The Queen Is Dead" album was disrespectful to the Queen of England institution, so he asked Morrissey to change the name to "Bigmouth Strikes Again", but Morrissey refused.

Johnny Marr's unique style of playing known as "Jungle Pop" has influenced many guitarists, including John Squire from "The Stone Roses" and of course Noel Gallagher from "Oasis"

Follow us on Facebook or Subscribe to our website

"Face/Off" - Israel's Rock Blog & Podcast


Enjoying the Blog? Subscribe to get it right to your mail!

Thank you !!

bottom of page