Author(s): Johnny Marr
Johnny Marr was born in 1960's Manchester to Irish emigrant parents and knew from an early age that he would be a musician. Forming his first band, at thirteen, Marr spent his teenage years on the council estates of Wythenshawe playing guitar, devouring pop culture and inventing his own musical style. It wasn't until the early eighties, when Marr turned up on the doorstep of a singer named Steven Patrick Morrissey, that both a unique song writing partnership and the group recognised as one of the most iconic bands of all time were formed. In 1983 The Smiths released their first single, and within a year their eponymous debut album reached number two in the UK chart, paving the way for mainstream and critical success on their own terms. For Marr, tensions within the band and desire for a wider musical scope lead to his departure from The Smiths in 1987, ensuring the end for one of the most influential British groups of a generation. But this was just the beginning for Marr. From forming Electronic and The Healers to playing with Bryan Ferry, Talking Heads, Kirsty MacColl, Pet Shop Boys, Billy Bragg, Nile Rogers and Bert Jansch. From joining The Pretenders, The The, Modest Mouse and The Cribs to recently collaborating with Hans Zimmer and receiving acclaim and worldwide success in his own right as a solo artist, Marr has never stopped. Here, for the first time, he tells his own side of the story. From roaming the streets of Manchester to constantly pushing musical boundaries as the most loved guitarist Britain has ever produced, Johnny Marr's memoir is the true history of music - told by one of its very own legends.
"... wise, breezy, supersmart memoir ... Marr's defiantly unghostwritten book is pleasant and direct ..." Guardian "An unpretentious, clearly written memoir recounting his journey from a working-class upbringing on the outskirts of Manchester to his status as a musical polymath" The Times "Set the Boy Free - a telling title again - is much more than an obituary for a brilliant band. It's also a love letter to the women in Marr's life ... and a guide on how to keep changing and moving on with your creative life." The Observer "It is a pleasure ... to read a memoir by a five-star guitar hero that ... present[s] a particular life in rock as one of pure, disarming joy and open possibility" New Statesman "Excellent" The Sun
Johnny Marr is an English musician, songwriter and singer. Between 1982 and 1987 he was the guitarist and co-founder of The Smiths. He is now an established solo artist who has released two albums, The Messenger and Playland, to date. He currently lives in Manchester.