Johnny Marr: “The guitar helps you stamp your own identity – on your band and ultimately on the world… I love that”

Johnny Marr
(Image credit: BMG)

On October 4, 1982, an 18-year-old Johnny Marr walked on to the stage at the Ritz in Manchester to perform his first gig with The Smiths. A lifelong guitar devotee, Johnny had been playing in various local bands since the age of 13. 

The Wythenshawe lad had “served an apprenticeship” and was ready to take on the world. Four decades on, as he speaks to Total Guitar from his Manchester home, it is obvious Johnny’s enthusiasm, curiosity, and love for playing guitar remains as strong as ever.

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Rod Brakes

Rod Brakes is a music journalist with an expertise in guitars. Having spent many years at the coalface as a guitar dealer and tech, Rod's more recent work as a writer covering artists, industry pros and gear includes contributions for leading publications and websites such as Guitarist, Total Guitar, Guitar WorldGuitar Player and MusicRadar in addition to specialist music books, blogs and social media. He is also a lifelong musician.