❚ YES, THIS IS ONE MASSIVE product plug but, wow, Johnny makes it also sound like a mighty love affair. From his fame with The Smiths, Johnny Marr is indisputably the maestro of the UK rock guitar sound of the 80s. Today on his blog he introduces his own bespoke guitar, the Johnny Marr Signature Jaguar, which he has spent years developing with Fender, the Arizona instrument maker.
This 14-minute video amounts to a low-key masterclass by one of the all-time greats in his field. In a play-through of all the Jag’s functions and switches, Johnny details what goes into customising a guitar to meet the individual musician’s needs. He has dealt with each little niggle that has irritated him over the years, the biggest being the jazz switch, he says, which was prone to being thrown at the wrong moment.
Johnny concludes: “For someone who’s grown up from being a little boy thinking that guitars are the greatest object in the world bar none, to have designed your own is a little bit like designing the spaceship that went to the moon.”
His verdict: “It sounds like I’m supposed to sound, I think.”
➢ Read more at Johnny Marr’s blog
➢ Every detailed spec of Johnny’s instrument a guitar geek
➢ In issue 351 of Guitarist magazine — “We sit down with Johnny, his tech Bill Puplett and designer John Moore to discuss what makes the Johnny Marr Signature Jaguar so different”
➢ Another video interview from 2007 as Johnny Marr discusses his penchant for 1963 Stratocasters (and why he called his son Nile)