Johnny Marr has reflected on his time in The Smiths, admitting the seminal band had a "blind spot" of being obsessed with media and notoriety
"Particularly one certain member of the group"
Speaking to Poet Laureate Simon Armitage for the new BBC Radio 4 series The Poet Laureate Has Gone to His Shed, Marr said that the band could have done with “less” coverage at the height of their 1980s fame.
Discussing how it became their blind spot, Marr said: “I was in a very very big ‘music press’ band, which now I’m older I think we could’ve done with less of that.
“I wouldn’t say it was our downfall but I think it was a blind spot of The Smiths, being so occupied with the media and notoriety – particularly one certain member of the group. I think that could’ve been dialled down a bit and would’ve helped the group out.”
TURNING THE INSIDE OUT
questioning Morrissey's answers June 2021
Obviously we know each other, and I receive a lot of questions to be handed on to you, so I will ask those questions on the pretense that I don't know you.
Yes, I get it.
What is it about Go_A that … makes you listen to them all day?
"SHUM" is the first bit of the answer, but there are more layers and I think when you are excited by a band you automatically want to go to where they come from - and even, in some cases, live there. So, I'm checking bedsits in Kiev. The singers that you fall in love with become whatever your imagination imagines, and Kateryna is so cold and bony and I can't wait to get to Ukraine. I haven't ever been there.
It's not quite the same thing, I know, but you've also been playing a lot of Tiny Tim lately. What's the attraction?
I was hoping you couldn't hear. Well, he was a genius - let's start with that. And I have...
As Summer has arrived and the days are longer, Simon Armitage is heading down the garden path for a second series of The Poet Laureate Has Gone to His Shed on Radio 4. Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr, accompanied by his 12-string acoustic, will be Simon’s first guest.