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Johnny Marr responds to Morrissey request to stop talking about him (so that went well)

By | Published on Thursday 27 January 2022

The Smiths

Johnny Marr has responded to an open letter from his former Smiths bandmate Morrissey in which the latter asked the former to stop talking about him in interviews. Short version: I don’t think it’s worked.

This all seems to have been triggered by that recent interview in which Marr said that he was still friends with all the people he’s been in bands with over the years “except for the obvious one”. That being Morrissey. He didn’t really say a great deal about the Smiths vocalist, expect that they are both “so different” and that The Smiths was the only band he’s been in that “turned to shit”.

Following a flurry of reports about that interview, earlier this week Morrissey posted an open letter to Marr on his website, asking him to stop talking about him in future interviews.

“The fact is: you don’t know me”, he wrote. “You know nothing of my life, my intentions, my thoughts, my feelings. Yet you talk as if you were my personal psychiatrist with consistent and uninterrupted access to my instincts. We haven’t known each other for 35 years – which is many lifetimes ago”.

“When we met you and I were not successful”, he went on. ”We both helped each other become whatever it is we are today. Can you not just leave it at that? Must you persistently, year after year, decade after decade, blame me for everything… from the 2007 Solomon Islands tsunami to the dribble on your grandma’s chin?”

“We all know that the British press will print anything you say about me as long as it’s cruel and savage”, he added. “But you’ve done all that. Move on”.

“It’s as if you can’t uncross your own legs without mentioning me”, he said, not moving on. “Our period together was many lifetimes ago, and a lot of blood has streamed under the bridge since then. There comes a time when you must take responsibility for your own actions and your own career, with which I wish you good health to enjoy. Just stop using my name as clickbait”.

“I have not ever attacked your solo work or your solo life, and I have openly applauded your genius during the days of ‘Louder Than Bombs’ and ‘Strangeways, Here We Come’, yet you have positioned yourself ever-ready as rent-a-quote whenever the press require an ugly slant on something I half-said during the last glacial period as the Colorado River began to carve out the Grand Canyon”, he concluded. “Please stop. It is 2022, not 1982”.

In a considerably more concise response, Marr tweeted: “Dear [Morrissey]. An ‘open letter’ hasn’t really been a thing since 1953, it’s all ‘social media’ now. Even Donald J Trump had that one down. Also, this fake news business… a bit 2021 yeah?”

And now here we are reporting on that tweet. So Morrissey’s big long letter worked out very well, didn’t it?