Former Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr hit the stage of ‘Late Night With Jimmy Fallon’ last night (May 1), where he played the title track from his debut solo LP, ‘The Messenger’ (above). But that's not all: Marr also shot a web-exclusive performance of the beloved Smiths tune ‘How Soon Is Now?’ (below).
It’s no surprise that the first solo album by Johnny Marr sounds like the past quarter century of indie rock boiled down to a dozen tightly structured songs. In addition to his role as guitarist and co-songwriter for the Smiths, Marr has played with everyone from the Pretenders and Talking Heads to Pearl Jam and Modest Mouse since the Smiths disbanded in 1987. ‘The Messenger’ is both summation and validation of his lasting influence.
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.
"The underground is overground," Johnny Marr sings in 'Upstarts,' the latest single to drop from his forthcoming 'The Messenger' album, which is being billed as his first solo disc. Marr told Stereogum that the song has political overtones, but he cold easily be singing about the rise of indie music, which has grown in prominence substantially over the last decade.
Last month Johnny Marr unveiled the video for the title track from his forthcoming debut solo album, 'The Messenger,' and now he's issued the audio from another tune, 'The Right Thing Right.' (Listen by clicking the orange button below.) The former Smiths guitarist previously announced a Feb. 26 release date for the disc, which he recorded in Berlin and his hometown of Manchester, England.