Johnny Marr: Morrissey Brexit views not charming
Johnny Marr has ruled out a reunion of The Smiths and distanced himself from his former bandmate Morrissey’s political views.
Marr said he has written his autobiography to set the record straight after years of people writing “erroneous things” about him and cynically cashing in on the band’s story.
He told Sky News that if reports Morrissey said he liked Nigel Farage “a great deal” and that the Brexit result is “magnificent” are true, they no longer share the same beliefs.
He said: “Yes that’s probably right – I always forget about that, it’s stuff I hear second hand and I don’t believe everything I read but if that is the case that he’s pro-Farage, there would be a slight drawback in that, as anyone would imagine.”
On Brexit, the guitarist said he has been in the minority for most of his life and he is happy to be there again on the issue at the top of the political agenda.
“As far as Brexit goes, I’m proud again to be in the minority. No-one ever says the majority is right, I’ve been in the minority a lot – when I was younger and now,” he said.
Marr’s book chronicles his life from childhood, growing up in Manchester and forming The Smiths when he was 18, to the collaborations he has been involved in since the split.
Fans will be most interested in the chapters about the break-up and possible make-up of The Smiths.
He told Sky: “The breakup of any band, as any musician who’s gone through it will tell you, is horrific and heartbreaking, and it absolutely was inevitable.
“Five years and a hell of a lot of good songs and good gigs, I think is fine.
“So yes the break-up was sad – it’s the same as any relationship, a lot of s*** happens, it’s painful, but it’s entirely inevitable.”
And a reunion of The Smiths – briefly on the cards in 2008 – looks unlikely now, Marr said.
He said: “The question of The Smiths reformation, I understand why people ask me.
“Doing what I’m doing now, it doesn’t feel necessary at all – I really like moving forward.
“Me and Andy (Rourke – former Smiths bassist) play together when I’m in New York and that is as far as I think it needs to go.”
Marr said it was a privilege to rail against the establishment as part of The Smiths in the 1980s.
He said: “At the time when Thatcher came into power, young people were really against it – the meanness of it, the disappointment.
“My personal politics were that I thought decency and society should look after people who need a helping hand and I still think that and I think the Conservative government stood for the opposite of that and I still do.”
Marr’s book Set The Boy Free is out on 3 November.