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Speak Out, Reach Out

With a career spanning 30+ years now, it's unsurprising that Johnny Marr attracts a wide variety of fans. Here's what some have to say about their discovery of, and feelings towards, our favourite godlike genius...


Andrew
Melbourne, Australia

How did you first get into Johnny's music?
In Australia we have a TV program called RAGE, which plays music videos all night on Fridays and Saturdays. On Saturday nights a 'guest programmer' - usually a musician or a band touring Australia - selects the videos to be played. One Saturday night in 2004, a guest programmer played that grainy, blue-hued video made in 1984 for The Smiths' track 'How Soon Is Now?' I was only 18, and my initial response was 'Oh... So the song from Charmed was a cover.' But I listened, and grew deeply absorbed by the throbbing guitar, the slide and the harmonics - what an intense vibe! After a chorus, the song had hooked me. The following day I bought Meat Is Murder (at the time that album's tracklisting included How Soon Is Now?, in line with the US releases). When I think now of my first encounter with JM's music, I think of my parents' living room, flashes of blue from our tiny TV leaping around the walls at 2AM, accompanied by the life-affirming throb of How Soon Is Now? I'll never forget it.
What is your favourite track from 'The Messenger'?
It changes of course! But 'Generate! Generate!' is one I love. The louder the better.
What are some of your other favourite songs that Johnny has written/played on?
'Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others' (The Smiths), 'We Were Aborted' (The Cribs), 'Second Nature' (Electronic).
Have you met Johnny before?
I met Johnny at the Northcote Social Club in Melbourne on January 5, 2014, after his show there. He was really nice, and had time for everybody there. He just hung out with us! I blurted out that I was in a band. He said 'Oh you're a musician' then looked me up and down, and said 'Oh of course you are!' I think he liked my outfit!
What is it that makes Johnny so special to you?
In my emotional vocabulary, if I can put it that way, a great deal of the language is Johnny's music. His music is just a perfect fit for me, emotionally, and attitude-wise. So many of the records he's made or played on felt familiar to me when I first heard them, from Hand In Glove through to The It-Switch. And he also gave me a musical education: through Johnny I found out about Iggy and the Stooges, T.Rex, CHIC, Pretenders, The Gun Club, Wire and loads more. Not to mention an education in fashion, pop culture and lessons on how to be in a band - I write music, play guitar, start bands and play gigs because his riffs, attitude and outlook continue to inspire me.

Barbara

How did you first get into Johnny's music?
At Deershed Festival North Yorkshire, 26th July 2014. It was my birthday, didn't want to go as I wasn't very fond of The Smiths anyway and thought it would be dreadful. My daughter wanted to go as she is a huge fan. Reluctantly I went along. To my surprise I got the best birthday present I could have asked for. If Johnny had been lead singer of The Smiths I'd have been a fan years ago.
What is your favourite track from 'The Messenger'?
'Generate! Generate!'
What are some of your other favourite songs that Johnny has written/played on?
'Bigmouth Strikes Again' (The Smiths), 'How Soon Is Now?' (The Smiths), 'Upstarts' (Johnny Marr).
Have you met Johnny before?
No.
What is it that makes Johnny so special to you?
His originality ~ voice ~ performance.
He's an extremely sharp dressed man and very handsome to boot!

Cara-Marie
Age 17, Glasgow, Scotland

How did you first get into Johnny's music?
Through the Smiths, then listened to his solo stuff and fell in love all over again.
What is your favourite track from 'The Messenger'?
'New Town Velocity'
What are some of your other favourite songs that Johnny has written/played on?
'We Share The Same Skies' (The Cribs), 'How Soon Is Now?' (The Smiths), 'Getting Away With It' (Electronic).
Have you met Johnny before?
Aye, me and my two best pals waited behind at his Glasgow gig last March. He was only meant to stay for ten minutes and behind a barrier, but he came out from behind it and must have stayed talking to us for about 45 mins. I was talking to him about Celtic and all different stuff, and told him I had a French exam the next day. When I got home I tweeted about meeting him and he replied saying "Bonne chance Cara". (He remembered who I was!!) then the next day I tweeted him saying I got an A in my exam and he went "tres bien Cara, very tres".
So he made my year with that, one of the best about.
What is it that makes Johnny so special to you?
All of the above, it\'s nice knowing one of your heroes is a decent down to earth person. He's also a Celtic fan which makes him 100% cooler. Thanks Johnny x

Daniel G.
Age 17, UK

How did you first get into Johnny's music?
Recommendations of friends/magazines.
What is your favourite track from 'The Messenger'?
'The Right Thing Right'
What are some of your other favourite songs that Johnny has written/played on?
'Reel Around The Fountain' (The Smiths), 'You Just Haven't Earned It Yet Baby' (The Smiths), 'Shoplifters Of The World Unite' (The Smiths).
Have you met Johnny before?
No (unfortunately).
What is it that makes Johnny so special to you?
The quality of the music and the connection to Manchester.

Diarmuid
Age 16, Derry, Ireland

How did you first get into Johnny's music?
Listening to The Smiths and then I branched on to The Healers and his solo stuff.
What is your favourite track from 'The Messenger'?
'The Right Thing Right'
What are some of your other favourite songs that Johnny has written/played on?
'Nowhere Fast' (The Smiths), 'This Charming Man' (The Smiths), 'Reel Around The Fountain' (The Smiths).
What is it that makes Johnny so special to you?
His jangly riffs and the way he can make a guitar sound without distortion and drive. He's probably the most technically gifted guitar player out there.

Edward
Age 20, Chicago, USA

How did you first get into Johnny's music?
I was always into music/bands that were centered around a great guitar riff and The Smiths were just that. Just as I turned 17 I had finally found "my band" without looking for it. The first record I heard with Johnny was "Strangeways"... specifically the first song I heard was "Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me"
It's interesting in hindsight because Strangeways isn't a heavily guitar based record compared to the other Smiths records. It was also this time where it forced me to listen to records in its entirety (as opposed to what a lot of teenagers including myself did at that time which was listening to just singles).
Shortly after this, I had to pick up the guitar. I dove straight into learning Smiths songs. Specifically, This Charming Man and There Is A Light. My friends looked at me like I was out of my mind. Tackling Smiths songs before learning scales? But I was on a mission to emulate Johnny. His music and philosophy has changed my life drastically.
What is your favourite track from 'The Messenger'?
'Generate! Generate!'
What are some of your other favourite songs that Johnny has written/played on?
'Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me' (The Smiths), 'Getting Away With It' (Electronic), 'London' (The Smiths).
Have you met Johnny before?
I missed him outside The Metro (Chicago) just by a few minutes.
What is it that makes Johnny so special to you?
Johnny makes the guitar sound like many different instruments. He makes this ancient stringed instrument anthropomorphic. The sound that flows out from his mind to his fingers out the amp/guitar, conjoins with my universe and consciousness.
I become inspired by Johnny's records and interviews. I strongly believe that what you give out to the world, in this case music, is highly reflective of your mindset at that time and also your philosophy.
I think the best way I can conclude my thoughts on the question asked is to cite a passage from "The Myth of Sisyphus" by Albert Camus:
"It is certain that apparently, though I have seen the same actor a hundred times I shall not for that reason know him any better personally. Yet if I add up the heroes he has personified and if I say I know him a little better at the hundredth character counted off, this will be felt to contain an element of truth. For this paradox is also an apologue. There is a moral to it. It teaches that a man defines himself by his make-believe as well as his sincere impulses".

Erik
Age 17, Cathedral City, USA

How did you first get into Johnny's music?
My oldest brother had The Smiths "Hatful of Hollow" album and I got curious about it. I burned the album into my iTunes library, clicked play and then I remembered hearing these songs when I was much younger but I never did pay much attention to them then. But when I listened to Johnny's playing on the "Hatful of Hollow" version of "This Charming Man", I fell in love with him from that point on.
What is your favourite track from 'The Messenger'?
All of them.
What are some of your other favourite songs that Johnny has written/played on?
'The Messenger' (Johnny Marr), 'I Want The Heartbeat' (Johnny Marr), 'This Charming Man' ('Hatful of Hollow' version - The Smiths).
Have you met Johnny before?
Unfortunately no. If he ever does another US tour, I hope he adds some dates for California so I can meet him there.
What is it that makes Johnny so special to you?
Everything. He is pretty much my hero.

Gabe
Age 46, Tampa, USA

How did you first get into Johnny's music?
From the first time I heard "This Charming Man", I knew I'd discovered something special. I was 16 years old and living a pretty alienated, detached existence while in high school. I had a select group of friends who I could relate to but it wasn't a large group. We reveled in each others quirks and uniqueness and The Smiths provided the perfect soundtrack for our existence at the time. I bought the debut Smiths album and listened to it over and over. It was a marvel and a godsend. The music and the words resonated with me and took me places I'd never been before. Johnny Marr's work and music has never left my side or my turntable ever since those integral days.
What is your favourite track from 'The Messenger'?
'Generate! Generate!'
What are some of your other favourite songs that Johnny has written/played on?
'There Is A Light That Never Goes Out' (The Smiths), 'The It-Switch' (Johnny Marr), 'Don't Stop Now' (Crowded House).
Have you met Johnny before?
Yes. We had a nice chat after his show at Orlando, Florida's Beacham Theater last November. He was very friendly, talkative, personable and pleasant. He signed a few records for me and my group of friends and seemed happy and pleased to talk to all of us as well as to the group of fans who'd gathered around the back of the venue after the show. I don't know if he fully realized how much that small amount of time meant to all the long-time fans who were elated to spend a few minutes with someone whose music has meant so much to us for so many years (myself definitely included). Although I think he is fully aware of the impact he's had on the lives of so many fans and listeners.
What is it that makes Johnny so special to you?
He's a great writer and performer; his guitar style is unique and distinctive and has influenced so many more musicians. He's remained active and vital for over thirty years and he seems downright pleased and enthusiastic about what he does. He's good and grateful to his fans and is more than friendly to all of them. He's down to earth and the fact that he's a "regular guy" really comes through and makes him more endearing to his fans. His music and talent continues to flourish and he's making some of the very best music of his career at this point. He's someone to look up to and to draw lots of inspiration from.

Isaac
Age 14, York, UK

How did you first get into Johnny's music?
I had never really been into music until my dad handed me a collection of 7 or 8 CD's. Thankfully, one of those CD's was hatful of hollow, an album that changed my perception of music forever. The first track on the album is William it was really nothing and I was entranced by the glistening sound of Johnny on an acoustic. After listening to the rest of the album I had begun a love of music that was so great, it changed my life.
What is your favourite track from 'The Messenger'?
'New Town Velocity'
What are some of your other favourite songs that Johnny has written/played on?
'I Want The One I Can't Have' (The Smiths), 'Oscillate Wildly' (The Smiths), 'This Charming Man' (The Smiths).
Have you met Johnny before?
Sadly no.
What is it that makes Johnny so special to you?
I have no idea...

Jamie M.
Age 14, East Kilbride, Scotland

How did you first get into Johnny's music?
A friend told me about The Smiths and I moved onto his solo work.
What is your favourite track from 'The Messenger'?
'New Town Velocity'
What are some of your other favourite songs that Johnny has written/played on?
'We Share The Same Skies' (The Cribs), 'Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others' (The Smiths), 'Still Ill' (The Smiths).
Have you met Johnny before?
Sadly not.
What is it that makes Johnny so special to you?
His music showed me a different interpretation of guitar.

Jason
Leeds, UK

How did you first get into Johnny's music?
First got into his music through The Smiths, but got to see him twice play with The Cribs!
What is your favourite track from 'The Messenger'?
'The Messenger'
What are some of your other favourite songs that Johnny has written/played on?
'How Soon Is Now?' (The Smiths), 'This Charming Man' (The Smiths), 'City Of Bugs' (The Cribs).
Have you met Johnny before?
Pretty sure I saw him at manchester airport 2010 with a hot chick.
What is it that makes Johnny so special to you?
Flowing rhythm on guitar!

John
Norwich, UK

How did you first get into Johnny's music?
Kept seeing videos on MTV and hearing 'How Soon Is Now' cutie local indie disco in the 90's.
What is your favourite track from 'The Messenger'?
'The Messenger'
What are some of your other favourite songs that Johnny has written/played on?
'Cheat On Me' (The Cribs), 'Dashboard' (Modest Mouse), 'We Were Aborted' (The Cribs).
Have you met Johnny before?
Nope.
What is it that makes Johnny so special to you?
He is very considered in his approach to everything. He does what he wants to do and with out compromising. And he writes good tunes.

Judith
Age 25, London, UK

How did you first get into Johnny's music?
I first got into Johnny's music when I was about 8 or 9. I heard 'How Soon Is Now?' in a promo for a TV show and was in complete awe; I didn't know a guitar could sound like that. When my dad discovered my fascination with the song, he gave me an old mixtape with singles of the Smiths, and I've been a massive Smiths/Johnny Marr fan ever since.
What is your favourite track from 'The Messenger'?
'Lockdown'
What are some of your other favourite songs that Johnny has written/played on?
'Ask' (The Smiths), 'Barbarism Begins At Home' (The Smiths), 'New Town Velocity' (Johnny Marr).
Have you met Johnny before?
No, I wish! Fortunately I was lucky enough to catch him live two times last year, in York and Manchester.
What is it that makes Johnny so special to you?
His incredible unique sound that no one can replicate. He can hit an E chord and make it sound like the most wonderful thing in the world, almost like you're hearing 4 or 5 guitars at once. Make any other guitar player play the exact same tabs that Johnny does, and no matter how good the player is, it won't even come close to how Johnny sounds. It's something magical that has always kept me captivated by his music.

Kim
Age 43, Indianapolis, USA

How did you first get into Johnny's music?
I was home from school in 9th grade (freshman year of high school) for a week healing from a broken nose, and a friend sent 'Hatful of Hollow' and 'Meat Is Murder' over to my house to cheer me up. He knew I'd read about The Smiths but hadn't had a chance to hear them yet. I was immediately smitten.
What is your favourite track from 'The Messenger'?
'Upstarts'
What are some of your other favourite songs that Johnny has written/played on?
'What Difference Does It Make?' (The Smiths), 'Greetings To The New Brunette' (Billy Bragg), 'The Messenger' (Johnny Marr).
Have you met Johnny before?
No.
What is it that makes Johnny so special to you?
Johnny is one of the most significant guitarists of the last 35 years. He has unique influences and approaches playing like a Zen painter. Through him I have discovered people like Bert Jansch. Having him to look up to as the epitome of a melodic, inventive, quirky guitar player during the hair-metal and grunge eras was like being a member of the Resistance and getting a morale boost from an underground leader to fight another day.

Laura
Age 23, Leeds, UK

How did you first get into Johnny's music?
My Uncle gave me the Smiths' 'Queen is Dead' album on my 15th birthday, I fell in love with it and his talent, and have followed him ever since.
What is your favourite track from 'The Messenger'?
'The It-Switch'
What are some of your other favourite songs that Johnny has written/played on?
'Getting Away With It' (Electronic), 'Down On The Corner' (Johnny Marr + The Healers), 'Slow Emotion Replay' (The The).
Have you met Johnny before?
Outside the Leeds Metropolitan University SU gig October 2013.
What is it that makes Johnny so special to you?
He's got the whole package, he's the coolest guy on the planet, has a great voice, plays the guitar like his fingers are on fire, is down to earth and so nice to and about his fans.

Liam
Age 20, Cambridge, UK

How did you first get into Johnny's music?
By listening to The Smiths and loving the brilliant guitar riffs and realising that he is probably the best guitarist Britain has ever produced. Also, he forbids David Cameron from liking to his music. What a Legend.
What is your favourite track from 'The Messenger'?
'New Town Velocity'
What are some of your other favourite songs that Johnny has written/played on?
'Getting Away With It' (Electronic), 'There Is A Light That Never Goes Out' (The Smiths), 'William, It Was Really Nothing' (The Smiths).
Have you met Johnny before?
Unfortunately not.
What is it that makes Johnny so special to you?
When he first started playing guitar for The Smiths, electronic music was at its most popular moment and he still kept to what he did best.

Lizzie
Age 18, Cleveland, USA

How did you first get into Johnny's music?
I first got into Johnny's music when I heard The Smiths for the first time. I heard the opening guitar part from 'Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now' and was immediately blown away because I'd never heard anything like it before. I then realized why Johnny was so widely considered an iconic guitarist. It wasn't just because of his technical skills (of which he had many) but it was his unique jangly pop sound that moved and inspired a generation of people in a time where boring pop music seemed to be taking over. He was like a breath of fresh air in a time and a place that desperately needed to be moved. I'd say mission accomplished.
What is your favourite track from 'The Messenger'?
'Sun And Moon'
What are some of your other favourite songs that Johnny has written/played on?
'Better Man' (Oasis), 'The Boy With The Thorn In His Side' (The Smiths), 'The It-Switch' (Johnny Marr).
Have you met Johnny before?
No, unfortunately not.
What is it that makes Johnny so special to you?
I think it's his relentless attitude and the fact that he's never simply satisfied with what he's done in the past. He continues with the same enthusiasm for making great guitar music that he always had before. Every time he comes out with new music, I am amazed that he has not taken a single step down after all these years. He did not simply fade away after the breakup of The Smiths. Instead, he's worked with so many well-respected musicians in countless projects and he never lost his roots or his work ethic along the way. He is, without a doubt, my favorite guitarist of all time and I can play any music from his entire discography and it still sounds as fresh and cool as it was when it came out. A true rock star in my book.

Matt
Age 32, Gloucester, UK

How did you first get into Johnny's music?
I got into The Smiths via Oasis, as I expect lots of people did in the 90's. Obviously Johnny was a huge influence for Noel Gallagher and it just grew from there. Then you have to keep searching and searching until you've heard everything (if possible!) that Johnny has played on! Everything is an adventure that just keeps going and going...
What is your favourite track from 'The Messenger'?
'European Me'
What are some of your other favourite songs that Johnny has written/played on?
'William, It Was Really Nothing' (The Smiths), 'Too Blue' (Johnny Marr/7 Worlds Collide), 'Victims Of Mass Production' (The Cribs).
Have you met Johnny before?
I met Johnny outside of Gloucester Guildhall in 2013 after he played a warm up for his winter tour. I'd gotten a set list from the gig and I'd brought my copies of New Town Velocity, This Charming Man and Forbidden City with me, on the chance I'd meet the man himself. I hung around the back of the Guildhall for about half an hour, then he strolled out and chatted to a few others who waited there. I bided my time then just said 'hello mate' and started chatting while he signed my 45's. I have a cool video of it because Johnny said my haircut was a waste on the railways where I worked!
What is it that makes Johnny so special to you?
There are very few exceptions in music that make an impact at an early age, then stay relevant and inspiring to people throughout their life. Whether you're a musician, a fan or an outsider looking in, Johnny has that persona of a young kid in his bedroom still trying to find that missing chord , trying to get that last verse in order, or even just dancing to his favourite tunes. When you hear people say that they are living the dream, you can see that when Johnny is on stage or even just being interviewed, there's an undeniable feeling that you get with Johnny where you're taken on that adventure with him through his songs and his words that never fail conjure up a emotion. A true pioneer and lover of his art. For that I'm truly grateful .

Michael
Age 18, Sunderland, UK

How did you first get into Johnny's music?
My dad always played The Smiths to me as I was growing up so I was a massive fan of his work. I researched Johnny's side projects like Modest Mouse, The Cribs etc. and then when I heard Johnny was to release a solo album I had to find out more!
What is your favourite track from 'The Messenger'?
'Generate! Generate!'
What are some of your other favourite songs that Johnny has written/played on?
'What Difference Does It Make?' (The Smiths), 'Float On' (Modest Mouse), 'Handsome Devil' (The Smiths).
Have you met Johnny before?
I wish!
What is it that makes Johnny so special to you?
His unending desire and passion to keep producing music and changing with the times. Johnny is one of the hardest working musicians in the business, just looking at all of the music he's contributed to in the past 30 odd years is inspiring! Can't wait to hear 'Playland'!

Mick
Age 46, Middlesborough, UK

How did you first get into Johnny's music?
Originally by following The Smiths.
What is your favourite track from 'The Messenger'?
'Word Starts Attack'
What are some of your other favourite songs that Johnny has written/played on?
'Oscillate Wildly' (The Smiths), 'That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore' (The Smiths), 'New Town Velocity' (Johnny Marr).
Have you met Johnny before?
Newcastle O2, 2013. Such a good man. (As well as being cool as f**k.)
What is it that makes Johnny so special to you?
1. His music.
2. His attention to detail on his appearance.
3. His genuineness.

Niklas
Age 37, Stockholm, Sweden

How did you first get into Johnny's music?
Through the music he made in The Smiths, which I discovered in 1992. From there, I started listening to his other contributions, e.g. with The Pretenders and The The.
What is your favourite track from 'The Messenger'?
'New Town Velocity'
What are some of your other favourite songs that Johnny has written/played on?
'There Is A Light That Never Goes Out' (The Smiths), 'Too Blue' (Johnny Marr/7 Worlds Collide), 'For You' (Electronic).
Have you met Johnny before?
I have sadly not met the man, but have seen him play with Modest Mouse in 2007 and live in Brighton and London in 2013.
What is it that makes Johnny so special to you?
Basically, his ability to knock out great song after great song, seemingly without a care for his ego. I mean, his songwriting is so excellent that it stands on its own, without catering to superfluous special effects.

Ollie
Age 20, Leeds, UK

How did you first get into Johnny's music?
I first got into Johnny's music by watching a documentary about guitars/guitarists on BBC. Johnny was explaining that one of the things he did in the earlier days wasn't to find a basic 3 chord punk riff and break it down to make it sound sharper. From seeing this it has had so much influence on my guitar playing, as I have used this style for my own material.
What is your favourite track from 'The Messenger'?
'Upstarts'
What are some of your other favourite songs that Johnny has written/played on?
I like a lot of the early Smiths stuff, like 'Hand In Glove', 'What Difference Does It Make', through to 'The Queen Is Dead'. How he came about writing this material is beyond me!
Have you met Johnny before?
Never met Johnny before! Hopefully one day I would love to have the chance to be able to jam with him!
What is it that makes Johnny so special to you?
The individuality of his style of playing and his ability to try something different and re-invent his sound.

Raffi
Age 21, Los Angeles, USA

How did you first get into Johnny's music?
As a senior in high school with The Smiths, whose songs became suddenly among my all-time favorites.
What is your favourite track from 'The Messenger'?
'Word Starts Attack'
What are some of your other favourite songs that Johnny has written/played on?
'Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others' (The Smiths), 'William, It Was Really Nothing' (The Smiths), 'Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now' (The Smiths).
Have you met Johnny before?
No, but I was fortunate enough to see him play in a small room at Hollywood Forever Cemetery last year.
What is it that makes Johnny so special to you?
His guitar style/focus on melody and texture, which makes for richly emotional, atmospheric songs; his musical ambition (he has done more than most in the music industry); and his intelligence and humility--he always has interesting things to say, whether in song or interview. He's one of the few public figures with whom I could imagine having a genuine conversation.

Richard
Age 40, Glasgow, Scotland

How did you first get into Johnny's music?
Now Music 2. And then my sister bought 'The Queen Is Dead' in 1986. Never saw The Smiths, which was a shame. I'm glad he's always sought out a life outside his past.
What is your favourite track from 'The Messenger'?
'The Messenger'
What are some of your other favourite songs that Johnny has written/played on?
'(Nothing But) Flowers' (Talking Heads), 'Get The Message' (Electronic), 'Wonderful Woman' (The Smiths).
Have you met Johnny before?
No.
What is it that makes Johnny so special to you?
Melody and rhythm in optimal proportion.

Roberto
Age 21, Hornsey, UK

How did you first get into Johnny's music?
First got into Johnny's music whilst he was in The Smiths. Heard one of their many sessions on John Peel's radio show and thought, "Wow!, where have you been all my life?"
I'd never heard anything like it, before, or since. I instantly fell in love with The Smiths and Johnny's unique style of guitar playing.
What is your favourite track from 'The Messenger'?
'New Town Velocity'
What are some of your other favourite songs that Johnny has written/played on?
'Slow Emotion Replay' (The The), 'The Beat(en) Generation' (The The), 'Sexuality' (Billy Bragg).
Have you met Johnny before?
NO! :(
He's welcome round anytime for a cuppa and a slice of cake. I make a great plum jam tart, with a layer of crushed amaretti biscuits (dipped in liquor). ;)
What is it that makes Johnny so special to you?
Simple. Every time l listen to Johnny's guitar playing I go into a state of musical meditation. His playing makes me feel happy, fulfilled, relaxed, full of zeal and l can escape into another world, where l can forget all my woes and escape life's mundanity.
He's my Musical Marrtyr.

Samia
Age 22, France

How did you first get into Johnny's music?
I discovered Johnny Marr 5 years ago thanks to The Smiths (not a big surprise). I immediately fell in love with his guitar playing and his wonderful melodies. I learned to play "This Charming man" and "Back to the old house" to know what it was like to play like Johnny Marr. But I didn't have his huge talent. Johnny Marr is an inspiring guitarist and a Guitar Hero for me.
Then I listened to the songs he made with Modest Mouse or The Cribs and his solo albums.
What is your favourite track from 'The Messenger'?
'Upstarts'
What are some of your other favourite songs that Johnny has written/played on?
'This Charming Man' (The Smiths), 'The Headmaster Ritual' (The Smiths), 'Panic' (The Smiths).
Have you met Johnny before?
No, unfortunately.
What is it that makes Johnny so special to you?
I love Johnny's guitar playing, which is very unique. He created a new sound with The Smiths. The band was completely unique, the music was so creative. I love the fact that Johnny's inspirations goes from Hendrix, Bert Jansch to The Shangri-las ... it proves that Johnny's music is rich.
Besides, after The Smiths' split, he tried to stay in touch with new bands (The Cribs' collaboration). Things could have been easier for Johnny if he decided to re-make The Smiths sound, BUT he wanted to explore new sounds which is kinda risky, but he succeeded after all.

Sophia
Age 15, New Orleans, USA

How did you first get into Johnny's music?
It started with The Smiths. At first they were a band I just name-dropped to improve my indie cred, but then I actually began loving them. Then I joined Twitter, and saw that Johnny had one, and saw that he had a new album coming out, and the rest is history.
What is your favourite track from 'The Messenger'?
'New Town Velocity'
What are some of your other favourite songs that Johnny has written/played on?
'(Nothing But) Flowers' (Talking Heads), 'The Hand That Rocks The Cradle' (The Smiths), everything by Electronic!
Have you met Johnny before?
No, but I will meet him, mark my words.
What is it that makes Johnny so special to you?
His hair. And his shoes. And the fact that he interacts with all of his fans over Twitter. And he's just such an all-around cool guy.
Oh yeah, and, he plays guitar really well too. Better than anyone else. Ever. :)

Teresa
Age 21, Portugal

How did you first get into Johnny's music?
Unfortunately, I only came accross Johnny's work last year (shame on me). Johnny was playing a festival here in Portugal - Super Bock Super Rock -which was live on TV. I watched the concert and loved it so much I had to go listen to everything Johnny had ever played on!
What is your favourite track from 'The Messenger'?
'Generate! Generate!'
What are some of your other favourite songs that Johnny has written/played on?
'Getting Away With It' (Electronic), 'The Queen Is Dead' (The Smiths), 'New Town Velocity' (Johnny Marr).
Have you met Johnny before?
Sadly no.
What is it that makes Johnny so special to you?
I love the way Johnny is always wanting to become a better guitarist. Always doing new and different things. The fact that even though all projects are distinct there is clearly a sound that is and could only be Johnny Marr. That's something I really admire. And also, he is incredibly cool!

Ayla

How did you first get into Johnny's music?
Being a fan of The Smiths I have always adored Johnny's guitar playing on the tracks that they produced and found it absolutely mesmerising when I first heard it. The first track I heard which particularly drew me to Johnny's guitar playing was the track 'How Soon Is Now?' because I thought it has such a unique sound and I had never heard anything quite like it. I first got into Johnny's music after coming across the track 'New Town Velocity' on YouTube and had it on repeat for weeks after that! This then led me to Johnny's album 'The Messenger.'
What is your favourite track from 'The Messenger'?
'The Crack Up'
What are some of your other favourite songs that Johnny has written/played on?
'Time' (Hans Zimmer), 'We Share The Same Skies' (The Cribs), 'The Right Stuff' (Bryan Ferry).
What is it that makes Johnny so special to you?
I like the creativity that Johnny has, in the sense that he is not afraid to experiment and adapt his sound and genre. His music and music videos have inspired me to look at music in a variety of ways instead of just a static view. Being a media student, this has also inspired me into allowing myself to become more creative in my works. One of the most predominant factors that makes Johnny particularly special is his constant interaction with his fans, wether this be meeting them personally or through social media outlets, and shows that he always has time for everyone which is lovely. And let's be honest, he is just effortlessly cool!?
Thank you for everything Johnny and I cannot wait to see you on tour in October x

Bernadette
"Young enough to look good, old enough to know better", Manchester, UK

How did you first get into Johnny's music?
I have been a fan of Electronic for as long as I can remember. It was only natural to end up loving everything else Johnny has written as well!
What is your favourite track from 'The Messenger'?
'I Want The Heartbeat'
What are some of your other favourite songs that Johnny has written/played on?
'Forbidden City' (Electronic), 'Out Of My League' (Electronic), 'Down On The Corner' (Johnny Marr + The Healers).
Have you met Johnny before?
Only in my dreams. ;-)
What is it that makes Johnny so special to you?
His stage presence, his sense of style, the way he handles his guitar, and his kindness to his fans. Handsome devil too!

Daniel B.
Age 19, Crumpsall, UK

How did you first get into Johnny's music?
It'd be about 5 years ago, I was having a really hard time in High School, really figuring out what the walls meant, and where my place was in Life. My Sister was dating a relative of Morrissey's and every now and again I'd hear bits of the Smiths Music around the house - it was particularly 'This Charming Man' that turned me inwards and I would listen to it in my room; over and over. I slowly learnt the lyrics, then I learnt the guitar, and now at age 19, I can sing and play Smiths songs. The Smiths were a way out of a bad environment, and are as relevant as ever to me; as I am without a Job, alone, and young in Manchester.
What is your favourite track from 'The Messenger'?
'New Town Velocity'
What are some of your other favourite songs that Johnny has written/played on?
'Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others' (The Smiths), 'That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore' (The Smiths), 'Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me' (The Smiths).
Have you met Johnny before?
I have met Johnny twice; once at a Manchester signing for 'The Messenger' - the other before his (24/03/14) Brudenell Social Club gig - I had travelled alone up from Manchester. This was a big deal for me, I have been ailed greatly by anxiety and depression. I arrived around 4 hours early, several Smiths Vinyls in hand, waiting in anticipation. I went to walk outside for a breather - then low and behold, one of the most important Men ever, suave as always - stood right in front of me. We briefly talked, and he signed; he was so humbling and genuine - people often say it is a bad idea to meet your Idols, but meeting Mr. Marr was Life-affirming and was a big step in my Life.
What is it that makes Johnny so special to you?
Johnny is an icon and a phenomenon. There is noone like him. His guitar breaks are phenomenal; songs like 'Shoplifters Of The World, Unite', 'Rubber Ring', and 'Nowhere Fast' are perfect examples of his genius. 3 different songs - 3 totally different genre stylings, the beauty of his craft is perfected, and yet he is humble, and real, and still a true Mancunian like myself. He perfectly crafts songs to save our lives, and I can say with great confidence that he helped me through 2 awful years of College, giving me a reason to be alive in the morning. If It wasn't for his songwriting and contribution to the Smiths - I would be dead.

Daria
St Petersburg, Russia

What is your favourite track from 'The Messenger'?
'European Me'
What are some of your other favourite songs that Johnny has written/played on?
'Slow Emotion Replay' (The The), 'The Right Stuff' (Bryan Ferry), 'Until The End Of Time' (Electronic).
Have you met Johnny before?
I only saw him on stage last summer in Italy and it was really inspiring, especially the gig in Ancona. It was a very beautiful open air venue, former old hospital located on a sea shore, and there was something in the air that made me feel like it was the best day of my life.

Donna
Manchester

How did you first get into Johnny's music?
The Smiths - lucky and old enough to have seen them several times in my youth! Never forget his white jacket at Salford Uni gig! Only Johnny could carry that off!
What is your favourite track from 'The Messenger'?
'Say Demesne'
What are some of your other favourite songs that Johnny has written/played on?
'Still Ill' (The Smiths), '(Nothing But) Flowers' (Talking Heads), 'Get The Message' (Electronic).
Have you met Johnny before?
No, still living in hopie!! Hanging around Night & Day Cafe in Manchester - but as a United Fan I can't bring myself to stalk The Etihad stadium so I swing by the Fred Perry shop every now and then!
What is it that makes Johnny so special to you?
Mancunian, Guitar legend, Fashion Icon, The Smiths Co-Writer and all round Cool as F**k Nice Guy who is true to himself. Also, Moz and Billy love him so that's good enough for me!
PS - Watching his interview about being kidnapped by the Happy Mondays going to "Barbaydose" is my favourite music interview EVER!

Elena
Age 44, Florence, Italy

How did you first get into Johnny's music?
The first time in 1986, when I was sixteen years old. I bought The Queen Is Dead and I immediately fell in love with the Smiths. The second time in 2012, when I heard the song "The Messenger" for the first time and I started to go backwards listen to Johnny's solo work (The The, The Healers etc.).
What is your favourite track from 'The Messenger'?
'European Me'
What are some of your other favourite songs that Johnny has written/played on?
'New Town Velocity' (Johnny Marr), 'We Share The Same Skies' (The Cribs), 'The Beat(en) Generation' (The The).
Have you met Johnny before?
Unfortunately not (yet).
What is it that makes Johnny so special to you?
I love him because he's a talented artist and has a very strong personality. He does the things he like to do and do not bother of whatever other people think, he's very dedicated to his work and to his family. And he's the coolest guy I've ever seen!

Helen
Age 18, USA

How did you first get into Johnny's music?
I heard a demo of "Rusholme Ruffians" on the internet.
What is your favourite track from 'The Messenger'?
'Generate! Generate!'
What are some of your other favourite songs that Johnny has written/played on?
'Rusholme Ruffians' (The Smiths), 'Walk Away Renee' (Billy Bragg), 'I Started Something I Couldn't Finish' (The Smiths).
Have you met Johnny before?
No.
What is it that makes Johnny so special to you?
His musicianship, his sense of humor, his views, and how he expresses them - much respect for forbidding David Cameron from liking the Smiths.

Gemma
Age 19, Harrow, UK

How did you first get into Johnny's music?
Through becoming enchanted by The Smiths' music, I became aware that Johnny had ventured into other projects - it's amazing how much he accomplished after they split! I always thought from day one that they were nothing like I'd ever heard before yet as I continued to listen to them more and more, Johnny's guitar style became increasingly fascinating to me. The Smiths will forever be one of my favourite bands, but I am in love with 'The Messenger', hence why I can't wait to hear what 'Playland\ is going to sound like.
What is your favourite track from 'The Messenger'?
'New Town Velocity' - what a song!
What are some of your other favourite songs that Johnny has written/played on?
'Down On The Corner' (Johnny Marr + The Healers), 'The It-Switch' (Johnny Marr), 'Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want' (The Smiths).
Have you met Johnny before?
Brudenell Social Club in Leeds, 25th March 2014 - a complete and utter gent, what an honour it was to meet him is all I can say!
What is it that makes Johnny so special to you?
His guitar playing style is like nothing else you will ever hear. It may be imitated time and time again, but only Johnny Marr can play the way he does. Nobody else.
When you get lucky enough to meet Johnny, he takes the time to speak to you; he is never in a rush when he talks with his fans whereas other artists may sign a couple of things, have a picture with you and take off. He will hold an actual conversation and genuinely be interested in what you have to say.
As well as that, Johnny is such a lovely man. I have never known an artist to be anywhere near as pleasant as he is. :)

Jamie G.
Age 36, Cheshire, UK

How did you first get into Johnny's music?
Via the most excellent Smiths, and Electronic.
What is your favourite track from 'The Messenger'?
The new single! Bangin' tune.
What are some of your other favourite songs that Johnny has written/played on?
'Down on the Corner' (Johnny Marr + The Healers) - great opening chords, a most underrated track.
'This Charming Man' (The Smiths) - still trying to play it on my guitar after 10 years of trying.
'Panic' (The Smiths) - hang that DJ, great when played in indie clubs.
Have you met Johnny before?
No - he is the guitar messiah. I have only observed from the sidelines of gigs.
What is it that makes Johnny so special to you?
Haircut, guitar maestro, anecdotes about Madchester, overall coolness, for his contribution to Electronic (the best Manchester supergroup ever)...

Jan
Age 24, Czech Republic

How did you first get into Johnny's music?
When I was 13, I read some old interview with Manic Street Preachers from 1992 I think and they praised The Smiths. I was trying to get into them, but I guess I was just too young to really get it.. I didn't like the voice, but I loved all those guitar parts.. few years later, I fell in love with The Smiths, like everybody else :)
What is your favourite track from 'The Messenger'?
'New Town Velocity'
What are some of your other favourite songs that Johnny has written/played on?
'Getting Away With It' (Electronic), 'Dashboard' (Modest Mouse), 'This Charming Man' (The Smiths).
Have you met Johnny before?
Nope...I wish I had!
What is it that makes Johnny so special to you?
He plays guitar like no one else. It's so different to anything out there.. and he was only 20 years old when he wrote all those classic tunes! That's incredible.

Johana
Age 24, Köln, Germany

How did you first get into Johnny's music?
I was interested in Johnny's music after he recorded a song with one of my heroes. (Robyn Hitchcock)
What is your favourite track from 'The Messenger'?
'Lockdown'
What are some of your other favourite songs that Johnny has written/played on?
'Ordinary Millionaire' (Robyn Hitchcock), 'Say Demesne' (Johnny Marr), 'Down On The Corner' (Johnny Marr + The Healers).
Have you met Johnny before?
Not yet, but I hope I might have a opportunity to at his concert in Köln soon, which I won tickets to from Aly & Ory!
What is it that makes Johnny so special to you?
Johnny Marr writes such beautiful music, but he has a lot of versatility in his style too. He also seems like a kind man, and is very handsome!

Joshua
Age 18, UK

How did you first get into Johnny's music?
Through someone called Rachel I met at college. I'd always been a fan of The Smiths and Morrissey, but never really knew a great deal about Johnny's post-Smiths work. One evening she sent me a link to the then newly released video of 'The Messenger' after a brief chat about it in our Politics class. The catchy riffs gave me that same feeling when I was first listening to The Smiths, I was hooked instantly.
What is your favourite track from 'The Messenger'?
'Word Starts Attack'
What are some of your other favourite songs that Johnny has written/played on?
'The Boy With The Thorn In His Side' (The Smiths), 'Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before' (The Smiths), 'Down On The Corner' (Johnny Marr + The Healers).
Have you met Johnny before?
Sadly, no. :( I was deprived of this opportunity by a damn student night at Rock City, Nottingham.
My first Johnny Marr gig was cut short by this tacky student night, and as a result he wasn't allowed to come outside to meet us, heartbroken. I went to this gig with Rachel who had met him before at Birmingham. I however would pick the first date on the tour that he couldn't come to meet the fans. See luck I've had...
However, I will be seeing him again in Wolverhampton this October. It is my goal to meet him this time, and no student will stand in my way!
(Also, I got his set list from the night! That did ease the pain!)
What is it that makes Johnny so special to you?
To start, his music still rocks! He hasn't lost it! To have been going as long as Johnny has, and still have the magic it some feat! A true genius and a real guitar here. Also, for someone who has been in the seemingly horrific and unforgiving environment that is music industry for over 30 years, he hasn't lost sense of who he is and what he stands for. Such honest and genuine aspects of a person are terribly hard to find these days. For a man to have achieved and done what he has, yet still be so down-to-Earth and caring towards his fans and the people around him, to me, makes him stand above the rest.

Kenny
Age 42, Malmesbury, UK

How did you first get into Johnny's music?
I first got really into Johnny's music back in 1986 when I borrowed The Smiths debut LP from my local library. It was unlike anything else I had heard to that point, which was a pretty life changing event when I think back on it now.
What is your favourite track from 'The Messenger'?
'Generate! Generate!'
What are some of your other favourite songs that Johnny has written/played on?
'Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others' (The Smiths), 'How Soon Is Now?' (The Smiths), 'Paint A Vulgar Picture' (The Smiths).
Have you met Johnny before?
Yes, after the gig in Bristol, October 2013. A special moment with my wife and son also there.
What is it that makes Johnny so special to you?
Johnny inspired my 11 year old son Ethan to learn Guitar and he has responded several times on Twitter since we met with encouragement. The fact that a new and young audience love to listen to his music as much as I do demonstrates his obvious appeal.

Larss

How did you first get into Johnny's music?
My love for The Smiths started about 12 years ago, when I fell in love with everything on 'The Queen is Dead'!
What is your favourite track from 'The Messenger'?
'New Town Velocity'
What are some of your other favourite songs that Johnny has written/played on?
'Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want' (The Smiths), 'Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before' (The Smiths), 'Easy Money' (Johnny Marr).
Have you met Johnny before?
No.
What is it that makes Johnny so special to you?
It would be far too obvious for me to commend his obvious god-like guitar playing, so perhaps his pride with being Irish.

Laurent

How did you first get into Johnny's music?
When he was in The Smiths.
What is your favourite track from 'The Messenger'?
'European Me'
What are some of your other favourite songs that Johnny has written/played on?
'Vivid' (Electronic), 'The Messenger' (Johnny Marr), 'New Town Velocity' (Johnny Marr).
Have you met Johnny before?
No, never met him.
What is it that makes Johnny so special to you?
He is special because he feels music, the riffs he creates are wonderful, it kicks me in my head, makes me want to dance or cry, it's always a different feeling when I listen to music from him, and he seems to be a nice person as well!

Linda
Age 47, Monte di Procida, Italy

How did you first get into Johnny's music?
Aged 17 I heard "Hand in glove"on the radio and rushed out to buy the single. I was a bit of a rebel and going out with a punk at the time. The lyrics really spoke to me.("And if the people stare, then the people stare, oh I really don't know and I really don't care...") I loved the jangly guitar and harmonica. This started my love affair with the Smiths. I went on to buy all their LPs. The grooves on the vinyl were almost worn thin because I played them so much. Their music was like nothing I'd heard and summed up what living in a Northern British town was like in the 80's. I fell in love with Johnny's guitar. I had never heard such a distinctive sound.
A few years back when I started to learn to play the electric guitar my teacher asked me which guitarist had inspired me the most...in an instant I said "Johnny Marr". My Italian guitar teacher had never heard of him!!......(He knows him now ; ))!!
What is your favourite track from 'The Messenger'?
'The Messenger'
What are some of your other favourite songs that Johnny has written/played on?
'Greetings To The New Brunette' (Billy Bragg), 'Down On The Corner' (Johnny Marr + The Healers), Paper Thin Walls (Modest Mouse).
Have you met Johnny before?
No. (Sob!)
What is it that makes Johnny so special to you?
1.His personality and down to earth attitude.- So many talented people get stuck up themselves.I think he enjoys the limelight but he never forgets his roots.He makes time for everyday people and shows appreciation to his followers.
2.His unique talent.- Now that I play guitar I can really understand how complex his playing style is.Many people try to copy it but the only person who can play like him is Johnny Marr himself.
3.His flexability and courage to take on new projects.- He refuses to be "categorized".He has no fear to collaborate with musicians who play a variety of styles.

Lucija
Age 32, Bosnia and Herzegovina

How did you first get into Johnny's music?
I got into The Smiths pretty late, about six years ago. My sister was their admirer and one day she bought their compilation album 'Louder than bombs'. Perhaps I was bored, with nothing smarter to do. Anyway, I've decided to listen to that CD and see what it is all about. I was so amazed by Johnny's melodic guitar chords. It was indescribably wonderful experience, love at first sight. I was instantly enamoured with this music which I accidentally discovered.
What is your favourite track from 'The Messenger'?
'New Town Velocity'
What are some of your other favourite songs that Johnny has written/played on?
'The Boy With The Thorn In His Side' (The Smiths), 'This Night Has Opened My Eyes' (The Smiths), 'Down On The Corner' (Johnny Marr + The Healers).
Have you met Johnny before?
No, I haven't met Johnny, but I truly hope that there'll be a chance to meet him.
What is it that makes Johnny so special to you?
Aside from the fact that he is the best and most innovative guitarist of his generation, Johnny seems like an atypical rock-star: very open, down-to-earth kind of a person. He does not live on laurels, he's always creating something new.

Melynda
Age 20, Mexico

How did you first get into Johnny's music?
I heard 'How Soon Is Now?' on TV as a child many years ago and I thought the song was totally amazing.
What is your favourite track from 'The Messenger'?
'European Me'
What are some of your other favourite songs that Johnny has written/played on?
'There Is A Light That Never Goes Out' (The Smiths), 'The Last Ride' (Johnny Marr + The Healers), 'Still Ill' (The Smiths).
Have you met Johnny before?
Not yet, but hopefully one day my dream will come true.
What is it that makes Johnny so special to you?
He's got everything: this incredible and amazing talent to write and perform music, such a cool personality but also great style and sense of aesthetics.
For me, he's the most amazing person in the universe and my hero.

Michael B.
Age 15

How did you first get into Johnny's music?
Last year I started to listen to The Smiths and I was very interested in the style of guitar playing he uses. Then I found out that Johnny had released a solo album and on the first listen I was hooked and I can't wait for the new album.
What is your favourite track from 'The Messenger'?
'The Right Thing Right'
What are some of your other favourite songs that Johnny has written/played on?
'What Difference Does It Make?' (The Smiths), 'Upstarts' (Johnny Marr), 'Easy Money' (Johnny Marr).
Have you met Johnny before?
No, but I would like to meet him.
What is it that makes Johnny so special to you?
Johnny has revolutionised the way people look at and play guitar and I respect him highly for that. If I was half the guitar player Johnny is then I would be happy.

Mike
Age 47, Milton Keynes, UK

How did you first get into Johnny's music?
The Smiths.
What is your favourite track from 'The Messenger'?
'New Town Velocity'
What are some of your other favourite songs that Johnny has written/played on?
'There Is A Light That Never Goes Out' (The Smiths), 'Well I Wonder' (The Smiths), 'How Soon Is Now?' (The Smiths).
Have you met Johnny before?
Nope. Would love too though.
What is it that makes Johnny so special to you?
Best guitarist of his generation. Part of the band that means the most to me. Looking forward to Cambridge Corn Exchange next month.

Noel
Age 27, USA

How did you first get into Johnny's music?
I started listening to The Smiths in high school, around the time that I picked up a guitar, and was infatuated with Johnny's wonderful jangly sound.
What is your favourite track from 'The Messenger'?
'European Me'
What are some of your other favourite songs that Johnny has written/played on?
'I Want The One I Can't Have' (The Smiths), 'Lockdown' (Johnny Marr).
Have you met Johnny before?
I met him in 2013 when he played in Baltimore. I was so nervous! He was super friendly and spent a long time chatting with fans.
What is it that makes Johnny so special to you?
I always use the line from an early Smiths review "ridiculous and wonderful" to describe what I love about his work. It's clever and earnest, and really seems to evoke how much he cares about and enjoys making music.

Rebecca
Age 27, Darwen, UK

How did you first get into Johnny's music?
Heard "How Soon is Now" on a music channel as a teenager, and soon after fell in love with the music of The Smiths.
What is your favourite track from 'The Messenger'?
'Upstarts'
What are some of your other favourite songs that Johnny has written/played on?
'Get The Message' (Electronic), 'The Queen Is Dead' (The Smiths), 'The Last Ride' (Johnny Marr + The Healers).
Have you met Johnny before?
Not yet!
What is it that makes Johnny so special to you?
He is everything you could want in a musical idol, he is a fantastic guitarist and songwriter and he always has this effortless, perfect style. Plus he's vegan and seems so down to earth. To be honest it's difficult to imagine anyone stealing my heart away from him!

Robert
Age 44, Ottawa, Canada

How did you first get into Johnny's music?
Got into The Smiths around 1986.
What is your favourite track from 'The Messenger'?
'Lockdown'
What are some of your other favourite songs that Johnny has written/played on?
'Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before' (The Smiths), 'Dashboard' (Modest Mouse), 'We Share The Same Skies' (The Cribs).
Have you met Johnny before?
Saw him in concert in Toronto, didn't meet him.
What is it that makes Johnny so special to you?
My all time favorite guitar player. He's not heavy metal, he's not folk, he's not country ... he's just the perfect indie rock guitarist.

Ruby
Age 23, Basingstoke, UK

How did you first get into Johnny's music?
I have always been a huge fan of Talking Heads, as are both my parents. I listened to the 'Naked' album a lot growing up because I was named after one of the songs on it (Ruby Dear) and when I found out Johnny played guitar on it and several others, I decided to look him up online. From there I discovered his work with other bands and became hooked on finding and listening to everything he's played on or written.
What is your favourite track from 'The Messenger'?
'Sun And Moon'
What are some of your other favourite songs that Johnny has written/played on?
'Ruby Dear' (Talking Heads), '(Nothing But) Flowers' (Talking Heads), Down On The Corner (Johnny Marr + The Healers).
Have you met Johnny before?
I haven't had the pleasure yet but I would love to one day!
What is it that makes Johnny so special to you?
Johnny is a musical genius. Nobody can play like him, and nobody can write songs like him either. His songs are all so beautiful crafted. Also, although I haven't met him myself, he seems like such a lovely person, very kind and down to earth and humble. He seems like the sort of guy who really cares about his fans.

Sarah
Glasgow, Scotland

How did you first get into Johnny's music?
My dad has always been a huge Smiths fan and plays his CDs in the car and whilst I've always loved the lyrics, the guitars are the best part for me. If I was Johnny Marr my life would be complete as he has created one of the best guitar riffs, in my opinion, of all time: This Charming Man. Like wow, how could someone even come up with that? He's incredible.
What is your favourite track from 'The Messenger'?
'Lockdown'
What are some of your other favourite songs that Johnny has written/played on?
'The Draize Train' (The Smiths), 'Half A Person' (The Smiths), 'Sun And Moon' (Johnny Marr).
Have you met Johnny before?
Unfortunately no. However, I would do anything to meet him or at least get a tweet from him. But if I met him I think it'd be awesome to chat about guitars. I'm big into playing and yeah, that'd be so surreal.
What is it that makes Johnny so special to you?
Well since I'm a teenager, I think it's important to have an interest and hobby since exams and school are pretty dominate aspects of life and for me, that interest is music. Listening music and playing music. And since I've been brought up listening to The Smiths, they are a big part of that interest. And when I heard about Johnny releasing The Messenger, I thought it would just be another overly hyped album, and if I'm gonna be honest I didn't want him to release it purely since I didn't want him to disappoint me...but I was so wrong. It blew me out the loch and is one of my favourite albums of 2013. What makes it so important to me however is the fact that the album genuinely just makes me feel good about myself. It's very jamy, it lifts your spirit up. And when you're a teenager and you're having a rubbish day, that's what you need. His music makes me forget about my problems and emotions. And for that I'm so greatful and I hope I one day get the honour to meet Johnny to tell him that myself.

Steven
Age 47, USA

How did you first get into Johnny's music?
When I heard the beginning of How Soon Is Now? back when it was initially released I was hooked.
What is your favourite track from 'The Messenger'?
'European Me'
What are some of your other favourite songs that Johnny has written/played on?
'Shakespeare's Sister' (The Smiths), 'Nowhere Fast' (The Smiths), 'Kiss And Tell' (Bryan Ferry).
Have you met Johnny before?
I met Johnny at the Gothic Theatre in Denver on the Messenger tour. We came early, parked in the small lot toward the alley and when we got out of the car, there was Johnny standing between his bus and the backstage door. We walked right up to him, asked if we could bother him for a quick photo and he obliged. He introduced himself (!), asked what we thought of the new album (love it), and we got our photos and enjoyed a very energetic, loud and moving concert! It was one of the best nights of my life so far.
What is it that makes Johnny so special to you?
He wrote some of the most incredible music I've ever heard. His songs with the Smiths are literally the songs that saved my life. He is an incredibly inspired musician and he also inspires me. He is also vegan like me. I respect him immensely.

Tom W.
Age 17, UK

How did you first get into Johnny's music?
I fell in love with The Smiths in early 2013 and Johnny instantly became one of my favourite guitarists of all time.
What is your favourite track from 'The Messenger'?
'The Right Thing Right' or 'The Messenger'.
What are some of your other favourite songs that Johnny has written/played on?
'We Share The Same Skies' (The Cribs), 'Float On' (Modest Mouse), 'We Were Aborted' (The Cribs).
What is it that makes Johnny so special to you?
His unique style of playing, his all round coolness, his amazing Jaguars, his love for his fans.

Tom K.
Age 21, Manchester, UK

How did you first get into Johnny's music?
I covered a Smiths song at college on my music performance course and my tutor played 'Bigmouth Strikes Again'. I was hooked!
What is your favourite track from 'The Messenger'?
'Upstarts'
What are some of your other favourite songs that Johnny has written/played on?
'There Is A Light That Never Goes Out' (The Smiths), 'The Headmaster Ritual' (The Smiths), 'Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others' (The Smiths).
Have you met Johnny before?
Unfortunately not, although I'd love to.
What is it that makes Johnny so special to you?
Johnny is a complete one-off. He's in his own category. He sounds like himself and nobody else and as a fellow musician I respect that. The guy is an icon.

Zed
Scotland

How did you first get into Johnny's music?
About 7 years ago I decided to give The Smiths a listen to and was instantly addicted to Johnny's guitar playing. I'd never heard anything before that had that effect on me. It's been a total love affair ever since and everything he does musically, I'm a massive fan of, ESPECIALLY his solo stuff. Long may it continue!
What is your favourite track from 'The Messenger'?
'The Right Thing Right' (Johnny's sneering vocal during 'In-di-vid-ual ci-tizen' is beyond cool.)
What are some of your other favourite songs that Johnny has written/played on?
'Dashboard' (Modest Mouse), 'Girl Afraid' (The Smiths), 'Down On The Corner' (Johnny Marr + The Healers).
Have you met Johnny before?
I haven't, sadly. I was waiting on him after the last Glasgow gig (which was killer) and a bumbling steward insisted Johnny had left the building, which I naively believed and left. Natch, Johnny did come out and meet fans. I was gutted...
What is it that makes Johnny so special to you?
The fact he is such a great role model ('dont be a dick' is the best advice ever) as well as a mindblowingly good musician. I went through a particularly bad time a few years ago and daft as it seems, I felt Johnny and his music were there for me. I even doubted my guitar playing due to how down I was feeling and jokingly tweeted Johnny that I had just played 'This Charming Man' note perfect but no-one was here to hear me, so I may have imagined it and no-one would believe me anyway. The reply I got showed the kind of person Johnny is - 'I believe you'.
He'll never know how much that meant to me.


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