Johnny Marr responds to Smiths reunion rumours: ‘Nigel Farage on guitar’

The guitarist alluded to his political differences with bandmate Morrissey after a fan asked about a rumoured 2020 tour

 Johnny Marr at the Academy in 2013. Photograph: Alan Betson/ The Irish Times

Johnny Marr at the Academy in 2013. Photograph: Alan Betson/ The Irish Times

 

Johnny Marr has dismissed rumours of a Smiths reunion after a fan asked for clarification about a rumoured 2020 tour. The rumour, posted on the forum Morrissey Solo, came from a “trusted source” who claimed that concert promoter Live Nation had won the rights to the band’s reunion.

In response to the fan, who said they needed to know the truth “pretty sharpish so I can get a loan and sell everything I own to go to every date,” Marr replied: “Nigel Farage on guitar,” appearing to rubbish the gossip by alluding to the incompatibility of his and Morrissey’s political beliefs. The Guardian has contacted representatives of Marr for comment.

In recent years, Morrissey has made explicit his support for the rightwing, anti-Islam For Britain political party. In June, he reposted a video from a rightwing YouTube channel to Morrissey Solo, which argued that the British establishment was using Stormzy to promote multiculturalism at the expense of white culture.

Morrissey performs at the The Carling Weekend: Reading Festival in 2004 in England. Photograph: Jo Hale/Getty Images
Morrissey performs at the The Carling Weekend: Reading Festival in 2004 in England. Photograph: Jo Hale/Getty Images

He has expressed his approval of the Brexit referendum result, and blamed immigration for the loss of British identity. He recently performed in Los Angeles wearing a T-shirt that read: “Fuck the Guardian.” Billy Bragg has said it is “beyond doubt” that Morrissey is spreading far-right ideas.

Marr is leftwing. On his most recent album, Call the Comet, he imagines an alternative society that “resets the ridiculousness of the last few years”, he told the Independent in 2018. Last year, he joined musicians including Ed Sheeran, Jarvis Cocker and Neil Tennant in signing an open letter to then prime minister Theresa May railing against the effects of Brexit on the creative industries.

He is generally tactful on the topic of his former bandmate. In May, he told NME that he wasn’t worried about the impact of Morrissey’s political views on the Smiths’ legacy. “It’s got nothing to do with my world or my life. The songs are out there for people to judge, relate to and hear,” he said. In June 2018, he told the Independent: “All anyone needs to know is that I oppose those views from Morrissey or anybody else.”

The Smiths
The Smiths

The Smiths split in 1987. Morrissey and Marr have consistently said that they do not want a reunion, and have allegedly turned down million-pound offers to do so. They contemplated the matter during a rare meeting in 2008, though nothing came of it.

In addition to the incompatible beliefs of the group’s two best-known members, the animosity stemming from a 1989 court case in which drummer Mike Joyce and bassist Andy Rourke sued their bandmates for a greater share of profits would also appear to impede a reconciliation. – The Guardian

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.