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Johnny Marr

Johnny Marr (born John Martin Maher, 31 October 1963 in Wythenshawe, Manchester) is a British guitarist, keyboardist, harmonica player and singer, best known as the man behind the music of The Smiths.

He had started out as a footballer, being approached by Nottingham Forest. In 1986, he married Angie Brown.

Together with singer Steven Morrissey, Maher began writing songs in 1982, forming The Smiths by recruiting Mike Joyce on drums and Dale Hibbert on bass guitar. After two gigs, Hibbert was replaced by Maher's friend Andy Rourke. By then, Morrissey had dropped his first name and Maher had changed his name to Marr to avoid confusion with the Buzzcocks drummer.

Marr, in The Smiths, was known for a delicate, angelically sweet guitar style that could evoke musicality from just a few well-chosen notes. Contrasted with the common punk and rock guitar flashiness and speed of the time, Marr's playing was out of place in the usual pop mainstream. In fact, all of The Smiths, in their own way, represented departures from the typical music of the time, which had increasingly become less about music and more about business.

After the demise of the Smiths (1987), Marr played guitars for The The and also teamed up with New Order singer/guitarist/keyboardist Bernard Sumner to form Electronic. He also became a sought-after session player and producer, writing, touring and recording with, among others, Bryan Ferry, The Pretenders, Kirsty MacColl, Talking Heads, Black Grape, Billy Bragg and Oasis.

Last updated on 2005-08-28 8:13:00 PM - 8:13:00 PM
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