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04 July 2021

Johnny Marr Appears On New Podcast with Simon Armitage

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Johnny Marr has talked fame and The Smiths on the first episode of The Poet Laureate Has Gone To His Shed, the new podcast hosted by the poet Simon Armitage.

Marr discussed his Manchester roots and the music that’s emerged from the city: “I think a lot of it is to do with working class entertainment and the history and legacy of working class entertainment. So in my case, and say in the case of the Gallaghers – Noel particularly, and say, Mani from the Roses – we came from immigrant families, all The Smiths in fact.”

He went on to talk about about his family, originally from Kildare, Ireland: “What rubbed off on me was not only their enthusiasm and pretty much their obsession for music – which they still have to this day, my parents – but the awareness of the club scene, where all the show bands would play, and this thing about going out to let off some steam and be part of a community as well.”

“The Irish for example are not really that dissimilar from the Eastern Europeans in that a lot of them grew up in villages and a lot of them made their own music in their kitchens with brothers and sisters and aunties, uncles and grandparents, for entertainment – and they brought that with them. It’s in the DNA of working people, it’s not just about escapism, I think it’s a lot to do with community.”

Marr went on to discuss The Smiths: “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.”

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