Tag Archives: Johnny Marr

➤ Maxine and Marr: heard the deeply serious tale about the actress and the rock star?

Johnny Marr, rock, theatre, film, Maxine Peake, Guardian, interview, homelessness, Royal Exchange ,working class , Manchester

Maxine Peake and Johnny Marr: “You can’t avoid homelessness in Manchester. It touched us both”

Marr: “There are so many things about being working class that never leave you entirely. A certain gratitude. A kind of humility, whether it’s forced on you or not. You could even call it guilt, I guess: working-class guilt.”

“There is a guilt, yeah,” says Peake. “A friend said to me, ‘Are you sure you’re not a Catholic? ’Cos you’re riddled with guilt.’ It’s tied up with a work ethic. You’ve got to be seen to be grafting for what you’re doing. You know what I mean? Constantly.”

➢ Today’s Guardian interview by John Harris delves into the serious stuff behind a blossoming showbiz friendship:

When the musician Johnny Marr met and the actor Maxine Peake in 2014, they “clicked straight away”, bonding over a mission to bring back socially conscious art. The first fruits of their partnership are now about to be released: a five-minute piece entitled The Priest, which has been turned into a short film, co-directed by Marr, set in the centre of Manchester, as a vivid first-person account of homelessness. Here they talk about shamanic rock stars, working-class guilt and how their spoken-word album about homelessness strives to be a modern Cathy Come Home. . .

Marr says of Peake at one point: “I’ve actually met someone who probably works even more than me, if that’s possible,” and Peake’s résumé suggests he’s not wrong. Next year will see the release of Funny Cow, in which she stars as a female standup trying to push her way through the grimness of 70s Britain, as well as the staging at the Royal Exchange of Queens of the Coal Age, the play Peake has written about the true story of four women resisting the closure of a Yorkshire coalmine. . .

PLUS MARR ON THE M-WORD

Marr says he was “crushed and heartbroken” by the vote for Brexit, whereas his former creative partner Morrissey seemed to rejoice in it. Though Marr has remained firmly on the political left, Morrissey now seems to champion the reactionary right. “I’ve stayed the same. I’ve never changed. But … people tend to forget that it was 30 years ago that we were in a band together. Stop and think about it: 30 years. It’s a long time. So I honestly don’t care very much. . . / Continued at The Guardian online

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2012 ➤ February News Splurge at Shapersofthe80s

This post is being updated throughout the month

Blur, Brit Awards,pop music

Accidental reunion this month? Blur at the Brits in 1995 when they won four awards

“Blur reunion” scheduled for pre-Brit Awards fundraising gig — as reported at Live4ever: Blur members Damon Albarn and Graham Coxon will be among the special guests at this year’s Brit Awards party, which will take place at the Shepherds Bush Empire two nights before the official prize-giving ceremony (Tues Feb 21), aiming to raise money for the War Child charity. The two bandmates are then set to reunite on-stage with Alex James and Dave Rowntree at the Brit Awards event itself, when they will perform live after picking up the Outstanding Contribution gong… Deejay for the Brit Awards After Party at Indigo 2 is Rusty Egan.
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New Head of Central Saint Martins announced — From August 2012 Professor Jeremy Till is to be the next Head of Central Saint Martins within the University of the Arts London. Currently Dean of the School of Architecture and the Built Environment at the University of Westminster, he takes over from retiring head, Professor Jane Rapley OBE who took up the role in 2006.
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The Bedroom Philosopher and A Small Press cut the ribbon on The Bedroom Philosopher Diaries, Feb 17 at Trades Hall, Melbourne, Oz — The BPD is a collection of hilarious and melancholic reports from Justin Heazlewood’s (Frankie, Mess & Noise) experiences as a touring folkstar. Read about his epic battles with drunk punters, scatty rockstars, aloof groupies and mostly himself. Feb 17 is a literary danceathon featuring many guests, and of course the Boho Stripped Bare in conversation with himself: “Sometimes performing is like meeting yourself for the first time and not being that into it.” Buy BPD here
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✱ 10,000 tickets will be selected by ballot for a star-studded concert at Buckingham Palace, celebrating The Queen’s 60-year reign. The Diamond Jubilee Concert will be produced by the BBC on June 4, 2012. Take That’s Gary Barlow is musical director and artists invited so far include Shirley Bassey, Alfie Boe, Jools Holland, Jessie J, JLS, Elton John, Tom Jones, Annie Lennox, Madness, Paul McCartney, Cliff Richard and Ed Sheeran. Ticket applications are being received between Feb 7 and March 2, NOT first come first served.

Johnny Marr, Ray Ban, Raw Sounds, Dazed & Confused , interview, Polly Harvey✱ Guitar hero Johnny Marr has a tip-top new website … And in a video interview he’s thrilled to bits with the new Signature Jaguar he’s been developing with Fender — read more.
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Anything goes at Wearable Art, the London Fashion Week special at Egg, Feb 18, 22–10:00 — Hosted by Malice, Wearable Art promises a mélange of design and performance and music from London’s most fashion friendly and visual DJs including a Frequenza Records showcase with Alex D’Elia, Nihil Young and CJ Hartmann, Larry Tee, Jodie Harsh…
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Madonna’s 2012 World Tour starts Tel Aviv May 29, ends Atlanta GA Nov 17, calling at London July 17, Edinburgh July 21, Dublin July 24, NYC Sept 6 and LA Oct 10 … Madge, you’re a fool if you approve standing tickets for Hyde Park going on sale between £175 and £5,000 EACH! … Meanwhile 12-track edition of MDNA goes on sale March 26.

Lloyd Johnson, Modern Outfitter, exhibition, Chelsea Space

Lloyd Johnson Modern Outfitter exhibition, 2012: entrance to Johnson’s shop in Kensington Market from 1973 designed by Mojo Creative. On display, red leather-fronted ponyfur jacket, La Rocka 1984; gold leather fringed biker jacket, Mex Tex 1986; blue and red fleck zoot suit 1981


Lloyd Johnson The Modern Outfitter exhibition is at The Chelsea Space, 16 John Islip Street, London SW1 until Mar 3 — Read Robert Elms’s blog: “His King’s Road shop, with the scooter parked outside, was part of the hub of wild boutiques, along with Vivienne Westwood, Boy, Antony Price and Rockit, which made Chelsea the place to be throughout the punk era.” Lloyd Johnson will be at The Chelsea Space every Wednesday throughout the exhibition.
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Pulp,US tour, dates, pop music ,festival murciano,
✱ Hot news! Pulp reissue their weird and groundbreaking first three albums on Feb 20. Then Jarvis and friends head for the States. We have the tour dates for Pulp in the US — plus Spain again in May. Can this be the year Pulp and Jarvis start delivering some answers?
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Ringo Starr’s 17th solo studio record, Ringo 2012 was released on January 31. Of the nine tracks two are covers, Think It Over and Rock Island Line, and two are new versions of his own songs, Wings and Step Lightly.
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Richard Strange, Gary Kemp, Mighty Big If , events
✱ At Facebook Richard Strange announces: “What a year it’s been… getting married to my amazing wife, Kelly, and culminating Jan 24 with the exciting launch of A Mighty Big If and Don Boyd’s online arts channel, HiBrow. My guests Alison Jackson and Richard Wilson were nothing short of inspirational, and having Gary Kemp [above] play three songs with me was the icing on a delicious cake. Thank you all!”

✱ Led by film maker Don Boyd, HiBrow is a highly personalised online platform for the performing and visual arts — Launch highlights include Edinburgh’s Traverse Theatre performing David Eldridge’s All Is Vanity; the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra performing Mahler’s Fifth Symphony; 2011 World Book Night readings and interviews presented by Graham Norton; coverage of the 2011 film festival in Burkina Faso; Raf Bonachela Company’s dance performance of The Land Of Yes and the Land of No; Gavin Turk in conversation with Richard Strange; and previews from the Tate St Ives.
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Kid Creole, Coconuts, Victoria Park, Apple Cart Festival , Penguin Café, Billy Bragg Kid Creole & The Coconuts headline at The Apple Cart Festival 2012 in London’s Victoria Park E9 on June 3. Comedy, art, cabaret, magic — plus Billy Bragg, Jeffrey Lewis & The Junkyard, Marcus Foster, Marques Toliver, Martin Creed, Noah & The Whale, Penguin Café, Stornoway & more.
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✱ Last month, the Preston-based Laboratory Project launched a new album Taste Masters 3 featuring Two Weeks Running, MC Tunes, Saturday Night Gym Club, Salford Jets, Twin Planets, Pangaea & Drew Smith.
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✱ Singer Tony Hadley announces: “My wife and I are pleased to announce the safe arrival of our beautiful baby daughter born on February 6, 2012.”
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We Can Be Heroes,Chris Sullivan, Graham Smith, Unbound Publishing,party✱ The definitive history of 80s clubbing We Can Be Heroes is throwing a Soho party Feb 22 where you can meet Graham Smith and co-author Chris Sullivan and buy signed copies downstairs at the The Sun & Thirteen Cantons, 21 Great Pulteney Street, W1F 9NG. From 7pm until late, with Sullivan on the turntables… View video of Sullivan telling his “Ribald tales of excess”.
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i-D Magazine, Pre-Spring, Weather, Pan Yan✱ i-D magazine launches its Pre-Spring 2012 Whatever The Weather issue with covers inspired by the Chinese Year of The Dragon, Pan Yan [left] shot by Chinese fashion photographer Chen Man… Fashion forecasts for the season ahead include Wolfgang Tillmans on London Fashion Week and Juergen Teller at Pam Hogg’s Paris show, while Hedi Slimmane shoots Dylan Riley (don’t ask which one). Music includes Azealia Banks and the Albanian Rita Ora … Here at Shapersofthe80s Dazed and i-D hipster sounds go head to head
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✱ Bowie’s friend Wendy spotted herself dancing in the newly discovered Jean Genie video — read her story here at Shapersofthe80s.
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Martin Kemp, Hustle, bbc, series 8,Spandau bass player Martin Kemp returns to UK TV screens as a stylish gangster in the hit peaktime BBC1 drama series, Hustle, viewable on iPlayer until Feb 17. Martin talks about the show, veteran American actor Robert Vaughn, and being directed by one of its stars, Adrian Lester, in an interview at Cultbox
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Martin Kemp, Stalker,DVD,psycho-thriller,film,Black & Blue,✱ Released Jan 30 on DVD: the moody psycho-thriller Martin Kemp’s Stalker — Amazon sold out early so visit Martin’s Facebook page. Signed poster cards also available…

At Shapersofthe80s view video interview with Martin as the popstar talks about becoming a movie mogul … and read how he got blood on his hands during his his directorial debut.
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✱ Taking in London’s Albert Hall on Nov 26, the Human League XXXV Tour kicks off Nov 23, 2012 from Brighton with 14 UK dates so far.
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Submotion Orchestra, Ruby Wood,Jazz, Grime, Classical, Dubstep, Soul, Dub, UK tour,LeedsSubmotion Orchestra, the live 7-piece from Leeds whose Facebook interests include “Jazz, Grime, Classical, Dubstep, Soul, Dub, Garage, Improv” announce their third headline tour March 12–17 from Fac251 in Manc via Scala London to Bristol Fleece, to promote a hotly anticipated new single and second album. Here’s Angel Eyes…


Listen at Soundcloud to their Finest Hour – The Remixes available now on iTunes featuring versions by Goth-Trad, Planas, Phaeleh, Synkro, Laxx, SeeMore Productions, Eddie Ranking and Jack Sparrow … “Submotion Orchestra carry both the funk and the groove into new dimensions” — The Word
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Rewind, 80s Festival,Henley-on-Thames, Scone Palace,Perth, pop music✱ On sale now: Rewind The 80s Festival in Henley-on-Thames returns for a fourth successive year Aug 17–19 at Temple Island Meadows with Kool & The Gang, OMD, Grandmaster Flash, Rick Astley, Soul II Soul, Five Star, Starship, Jimmy Somerville, Sinitta, Tony Hadley, Marc Almond, Midge Ure and Adam Ant and The Good, The Mad & The Lovely Posse. Plus festival fun from silent discos to live karaoke … Also, Rewind Scotland — The 80s Festival at Scone Palace, Perthshire July 20–22, with 80s recording artists who include ABC, Holly Johnson, Marc Almond, Midge Ure, Squeeze, Jimmy Somerville, Altered Images, Five Star, Go West, Limahl, Village People and Adam Ant.
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Amanda Mair,pop music, Leaving Early,debut✱ PopJustice has gone ape for two Nordic beauties: 16-year-old Swede Amanda Mair [pictured] whose debut album is “a nonstop amazeathon” while expressing “high hopes” for a new album from Norwegian electro-pop goddess Bertine Zetlitz, “whose last studio album is one of the best of the modern pop era”.
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David Hockney, Royal Academy,exhibition,Bigger Picture ,London,interview,cubism,iPad,Yorkshire,landscape,art,Proust✱ The massive new exhibition of vibrantly coloured landscapes by David Hockney is not, he insists, a retrospective, but mainly new work responding to the unique skies over Yorkshire. The show concludes with an eye-popping series of “cubistic” multi-screen cine films of exactly the kind he was proposing to Shapersofthe80s in his 1983 landmark interview when he revealed “Suddenly I see cubism differently, more clearly”. Read it inside.
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✱ The February issue of Dazed & Confused heads to Harlem to hang with 24-year-old rap sensation A$AP Rocky … Plus four interviews with groundbreaking designers Meadham Kirchhoff, Kris Van Assche, Kim Jones and Christopher Kane … Online at Dazed Digital: profile of John Brockman, vanguard of intellectual fashion.
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Paul Oakenfold, BMX Remix, Gold (song),Spandau Ballet, Wispa Gold,Team GB,2012 Olympics✱ Spandau Ballet now offer a UK download bundle of three club and dub mixes of their anthemic hit single Gold at a special price … Paul Oakenfold’s BMX Remix of Gold on sale at iTunes and at Amazon Downloads
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✱ View the ♫ pre-Olympics music video of the Gold BMX remix and read the story behind it here at Shapersofthe80s.
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✱ Feb 19 from 8pm: Spandau’s songwriting Kemp brother is interviewed on Absolute 80s radio about The Lyrics of Gary Kemp to be published on March 27 by the Lyric Book Company, featuring all the songs the guitarist has written over four decades, including club anthems To Cut A Long Story Short, Chant No.1 and True — discover why Kemp found it “hard to write the next line” here at Shapersofthe80s.
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Marc Almond in Concert: A Birthday Celebration, London O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire, July 9 — another milestone celebration on the night of his 55th birthday. A string and brass section will join Almond’s regular band and they promise a Northern Soul finale.
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Rusty Egan, Blitz Club Live,Valentine, clubbing,UK✱ Rusty Egan will bring the authentic 80s sounds of The Blitz to a Very New Romantic Valentines Party at Bath’s recently enlarged Circo cocktail bar on Feb 11 … Other Saturdays there are cocktails, food and Egan deejaying at Jaks on Walton Street in Chelsea… Listen to his latest 16-track 80s mix L’amour et la Violence.
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Lou Reed has announced a From Vu To Lulu European tour during summer 2012, without a single appearance in the UK. Kicking off in Luxembourg on June 6, ending in Slovakia July 5, he will perform material from his entire canon, Velvet Underground to his recent Metallica collaborative album Lulu. His five-piece band will include Tony ‘Thunder’ Smith (drums), Rob Wasserman (bass), Kevin Hearn (keyboards), and Aram Bajakian (guitar).
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Fac51, Hacienda, Manchester, logo, nightclubbing, records, pop music✱ The first release of 2012 will be Dark Teenage Fantasy, the “slinky, twisted disco” debut EP on Feb 6 from synthpop duo Super White Assassin … Fac251’s Second Birthday comes in two parts at M1 7EN: Sat Feb 4 has 24Hr Party People onscreen, Covelles live, plus DJ sets inc Peter Hook … More on Feb 11, with free gig by Reverend and the Makers … Missionary every Tuesday at Fac251: three rooms with Bombed Out hosting the basement.
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Verdicts on 2011: Picky people’s year-ending Best Ofs in fashion, TV, web and film … also Best Ofs across the music scene

➤ Johnny Marr takes his own personal flight to the moon — on his new Fender

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Johnny Marr, Signature Jaguar, Fender,guitars

Take me to the moon: Marr with his new Signature Jaguar

❚ 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
could want

Johnny Marr, signature Jaguar ,Fender , Guitarist magazine,Bill Puplett ,John Moore ➢ 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)

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2011 ➤ Johnny Marr “very very happy” with Smiths Complete, despite grumbles from fans

Johnny Marr, Mark Radcliffe ,Stuart Maconie , 6Music, interview,

Johnny Marr at the BBC yesterday: Radcliffe and Maconie on their best behaviour

❚ HOW IS EX-SMITHS GUITARIST Johnny Marr taking criticism of his efforts to “remaster” eight albums by The Smiths, knocked out by the greatest British rock group of the 80s in four refreshing and prolific years? (Marr’s favourite Smiths album is Strangeways, Here We Come from 1987, the year they split amid rancour.) On October 3 Rhino Records UK releases The Smiths Complete, in a variety of formats priced from £35 to £250. One of the two credible Morrissey fansites, True-to-You, claims that the charismatic Smiths singer has had no input into the Complete project, “which has taken place without any approach to Morrissey from either Warner, Rhino, or Johnny Marr”. If so, how sad is that?

Let it be noted that the majority of fans seem thrilled with the new box set. Nevertheless, at The Smiths Facebook page this week a noticeable number of diehards are reacting angrily that Rhino’s marketing ploy swims in the face of the band’s ethos in the 80s, when they were “the antithesis of all this turgid corporate repackaging”. One fan calls the Complete package “another great rock ’n’ roll swindle”. Another asks “Is Johnny Marr skint or something?” Online at the Amazon store another quibbles over the omission of some Smiths tracks: “Why call it Complete when in reality some songs are missing?”

Yesterday Johnny Marr answered his critics — if only indirectly. On their 6Music radio show, Mark Radcliffe and Stuart Maconie had clearly been put on red alert to mention neither the name of Johnny’s former songwriting partner Morrissey, not once, nor the all-too-public fan criticism. With them on their anodyne best behaviour,  Johnny was geniality itself in conversation, as you’ll hear on the 16-minute clip at BBC iPlayer (available till Oct 5).

➢ Hear Johnny Marr talking to Radcliffe and Maconie and singing The Healers’ Down on the Corner

The Smiths Complete, boxset, remastered,Frank Arkwright,Johnny MarrWe hear a brisk clip of Moz’s vocals on Nowhere Fast from the Meat is Murder album, “remastered” by Johnny and the respected engineer Frank Arkwright who painstakingly located all the original half-inch tapes. Johnny prefers to say: “Restored is probably more appropriate. I didn’t add anything. Remastering sounds mysterious, but actually I was taking all the ‘nonsense’ off the original records. I knew we sounded better than that.”

What did the nonsense amount to? “When the greatest hits came out in the late 80s as CDs they were jacked up with loads of top end and hardly any bass. I made it really, really natural. I didn’t fall into that trap that a lot of modern bands have fallen into recently — it’s got to sound louder than the new Green Day record. I’m very very happy.”

Johnny talks first of the current live dates by his new band The Healers, both in Manchester tonight at the Night & Day Cafe, and at the Deaf Institute on Oct 4 and 6, New York City on Oct 13 and “wherever we want to go”.

➢ So far only Uncut magazine offers a “review” of Smiths Complete. — Curiously, it does not amount to a review. Instead David Cavanagh actually writes an excellent discussion of The Smiths’ recording landmarks, 1984–88, while offering only one lukewarm sentence appraising the newly remastered set. Is he damning with faint praise?

➢ Johnny Marr’s fab new website has a huge gallery called Guitar Orchestra plus a ripping biography that rattles through his career’s twists and turns (including our hero as visiting Professor of Music at Salford University)

❏ Smiths to reform? “If this government stepped down then I’ll do it. It’s a fair trade isn’t it?”

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