Johnny Marr, Paul McCartney Jammed After Smiths Breakup
Johnny Marr is a bona fide indie rock star, thanks in no small part to his time with the Smiths. But did you know he once hooked up with a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame legend? Marr tells The Autojubilator that he hit a rehearsal studio with Paul McCartney for a jam session just after the Smiths split in 1987. And while nothing came of it in terms of recorded music or a spot in the ex-Beatles singer's solo backing band -- a possibility at the time, the way Marr tells it -- it's one of those if-only-we-could've-been-a-fly-on-the-wall situations.
"I didn’t do a recording session with him as such," Marr says of the experience, "but we did get together for a good long eight-or-nine-hour day, and just played and played and played very intensely, really loudly. Which was pretty great, obviously. He was pretty good!"
"He can play that bass and sing pretty well, I must say," Marr adds. "That was a fun time. That was pretty much the first thing I did when the Smiths stopped being together. I’ve seen him a couple of times since. We’ve not played together, but he’s always very friendly and very gracious."
So, what did they jam out to? "We played ‘I Saw Her Standing There’, ‘Twenty Flight Rock’, ‘Tutti Frutti,'" Marr reveals. "I got him to play ‘Things We Said Today,’ and I think we played some Wings stuff. ‘C-Moon,’ I remember. That was fun. He and I were singing harmonies on ‘I Saw Her Standing There’ -- that was a pretty good moment, too. I was only 23, maybe 24."
"I think he was just sort of checking me out, because he’d liked what I’d done," Marr adds. "The Smiths had asked [Paul's late wife] Linda [McCartney] to play and sing on [the Smith's album] 'The Queen Is Dead' album, which sadly she wasn’t able to, so he was aware of us. I think he liked the way I played, so that was cool."