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Johnny Marr Stories?
Old 2nd March 2003
  #1
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vodka gimli's Avatar
 

Johnny Marr Stories?

Jules-

Any insights on Marr's guitar playing and method of layering tracks?

Please forgive me if this has been covered -I did a search and found no matches for Marr.

Thanks!
Old 2nd March 2003
  #2
Back with some soon....

Jules

Old 2nd March 2003
  #3
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Messiah's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Jules
Back with some soon....

Jules

Do you have to!??
Old 3rd March 2003
  #4
Here for the gear
 
rubykitty2000's Avatar
 

Jazz Chorus 120. The secret to the Johnny Marr sound.
Old 3rd March 2003
  #5
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Wiggy Neve Slut's Avatar
 

The Quif!

heh fuuck

Peace
Wiggy..

OMG.. im such a Smiths slut!... they still rule!
Old 3rd March 2003
  #6
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Messiah's Avatar
 

Don't forget the loose baggy 3/4 opened shirts and the "gay curious" look.
Old 3rd March 2003
  #7
Morresey aside, the rest of the band were 'regular guys' and fun to work with.

As assistant on the backing track & overdub stages of their first record "The Smiths" I can offer you the following info.

He used the following gtrs
- Various! Many rented & borrowed vintage guitars (including I think, my Les Paul Standard Limited Edition 1972, My 1953 Gibson SJ Acoustic)
- A nice 335 a LOT of the time.

VERY often on electric gtr, two beige vintage tweed covered fender combos would get recorded in stereo, splitting them was a Boss Chorus Ensemble pedal with a mild chorus selected - this army green, wide pedal - seemed to be a pedal version of the effects available within Roland Jazz chorus amps. The amps were placed 12 ft apart in a room cant remember the mic's. The console was a custom made one.

So it seems, John Porter (the producer) & Johnny Marr liked the Jazz Chorus effect, but 'super sized it' using quality vintage valve fender combos..

That was the MAIN sound on that record, most ALL gtrs went through the pedal (I have one myself now, but don't use it too much)

There was a LOT of double tracking, including use of 12 string electric AGAIN a lot of the double tracks ran through the pedal..

A pair of Dbx 160vu's were used very often. If a very compressed 'surge back' compression effect was required a Urei 1176 was used and the release time was tweaked to be sympathetic with the songs tempo.

J & I were both huge Keef Richards fans. On a break once, he took a passing interest in my showing him how to play some of the Stones' mid 70's material with open tunings and I went cross-eyed as he attempted to teach me some of the earlier finger picking based tunes.. But the truth was, neither of us were very interested in the others 'chosen subject' - His 1960's Stones, mine 1970's Stones. I must have been about 23 years old he must have been about 19 or 20. Good times!

I remember, I thought the bands music was very odd.. A sort of floral country & western finger picking "hoe down", with a weirdo yodeling over the the top of it all.... My opinion over the years - hasn't changed! But for a generation of younger college kids who felt 'misunderstood', the baleful yodeling and toe tapping melancholic finger picked melodies seemed to strike a deeper chord.

The record was mixed at another studio.

I used to see the Record Co boss who I met from those sessions Geoff Travis, of Rough Trade Records at gigs on the hunt for new bands, he signed The Strokes too..

Old 3rd March 2003
  #8
Here for the gear
 
rubykitty2000's Avatar
 

Thanks, Jules. That was interesting.

That's the only Smiths record that sounds good, IMO.

Charles
Old 4th March 2003
  #9
Mindreader
 
BevvyB's Avatar
 

I worked with him on an obscure The The EP 'Shades Of Blue' by which time his rack had turned into a beast.

I'll try and remember what was in it. Later.
Old 4th March 2003
  #10
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Meriphew's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Messiah
Don't forget the loose baggy 3/4 opened shirts and the "gay curious" look.
Ha! Classic! He is an incredible guitarist though - no shortage of great work from him.
Old 8th June 2003
  #11
Mindreader
 
BevvyB's Avatar
 

All I remember in his rack:

He had two of those 2u TC Electronic chorusy flange effect things - anyone know what i mean?

He also had an Eventide in there chocka with loads of delays he'd spent forever putting in
Old 9th June 2003
  #12
Quote:
Originally posted by BevvyB
All I remember in his rack:

He had two of those 2u TC Electronic chorusy flange effect things - anyone know what i mean?
TC 2290
Old 9th June 2003
  #13
Mindreader
 
BevvyB's Avatar
 

nearly
before them
i think it was effect than delay
dont think they make them any more
Old 10th June 2003
  #14
Originally posted by Jules
Morresey aside, the rest of the band were 'regular guys' and fun to work with.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Morrissey aside, huh? So, was his studio demeanor in keeping with his drama queen image?

He was a little stand offish & "aloof", yes

Here is the exact type of pedal used all over the first album & singles... I have one.
Attached Thumbnails
Johnny Marr Stories?-roland.jpg  
Old 10th June 2003
  #15
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vodka gimli's Avatar
 

I used to have one, but it was a bit noisy. I now use the Line 6 MM4 modeler for that sound, and it works well.

That original Chorus Ensemble was also a big part of James Honeyman-Scott's (another big influence) sound on the Pretenders records...and Andy Summers with the Police.

The MM4 has been the most useful pedal purchase I have ever made. You get four preset effects - flange/chorus/phaser/tremolo/univibe/pan/leslie/ring modulator and a second version of the chosen four presets by sweeping the expression pedal. Not to mention true bypass and true stereo processing.

Add the Delay Modeler, a decent guitar compressor (MXR's new Super Comp is great), EQ pedal and a couple of overdrive/distortion boxes and you're good to go.

Check out Neil Finn and Marr on the live "Seven Worlds Collide" disc. They do "There Is A Light That Never Goes Out".

As far as "Music for Depressed Teens", I liked The Smiths for the chord progressions and guitar layering. I wonder how many guitar players learned what a Minor 7th and Major 7th chords sounded like by playing "William, It Was Really Nothing" and other melodic chordal riffs by Marr...guitaritechturally speaking, the Jimmy Page of his generation....?
Old 10th June 2003
  #16
I had the pleasure of using James Honeyman-Scots Marshal stack when my band supported The Pretenders (they were all alive then!)

Old 10th June 2003
  #17
Gear Maniac
 
Henrik's Avatar
 

I was a little too young to appreciate The Smiths at the time (plus I was a metalhead), but I've discovered them later. I really fell in love with Morrissey's Vauxhall and I when it came out, and naturally I wanted to hear more. I still think Vauxhall is one of the best records ever. But it would have been even better with Johnny Marr playing on it.

Cool that you have worked with these people, Jules! Sorry you don't appreciate the music much though.

Do you by any chance remember what mics Morrissey liked to use?

Cheers
/Henrik
Old 11th June 2003
  #18
Gear Addict
 

Gimli, interesting you mention Page and Marr together, because what I hear in Dave Navarro has a lot to do with combining the two influences and taking them somewhere new.

I saw some review of a book on the Smiths that just does histories of how each of the songs came about. Interesting part was covered about how the guitar part in How Soon Is Now came about largely because of Johnny's love of rockabilly, which also was a big influence on Keith Richards, Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck, hell, most of the previous generation of British rockers.

Bear
Old 11th June 2003
  #19
"Do you by any chance remember what mics Morrissey liked to use?"

No! sorry!

Old 30th January 2007
  #20
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bcgood's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Henrik View Post
I was a little too young to appreciate The Smiths at the time (plus I was a metalhead), but I've discovered them later. I really fell in love with Morrissey's Vauxhall and I when it came out, and naturally I wanted to hear more. I still think Vauxhall is one of the best records ever. But it would have been even better with Johnny Marr playing on it.

Cool that you have worked with these people, Jules! Sorry you don't appreciate the music much though.

Do you by any chance remember what mics Morrissey liked to use?

Cheers
/Henrik
Finally someone else that recognizes the masterpiece that Vauxhall and I is! Viva Steve Lillywhite!

bcgood

Check out the link and then buy the album and then listen to it about 700 times. By the time you get to your 666th listen of the album straight through you'll love it, so listening sessions 667 - 700 is just pure gold, pure gold I tell ya!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vauxhall_and_I
Old 30th January 2007
  #21
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Henrik's Avatar
 

I liked it the first time I heard it, and after - what is it? 12-13 years? - I still do. It's a very even and consistent album quality wise, I feel all the songs are equally good. Which is interesting compared to The Smiths. They were such a single band. Their singles were great, while the albums contained 2-3 fantastic songs and the rest being pretty mediocre.

Cheers,
Henrik
Old 30th January 2007
  #22
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'how soon is now' is a direct rip from zeppelin's 'when the levee breaks' isn't it?
Old 30th January 2007
  #23
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thecount_x's Avatar
 

Not a first hand account, but still funny

Back in the spring of 1989 ( I think) Johnny Marr was on the cover of Guitar Player. For those not familiar with the publication at the time, this was quite a coup. GP was focused mainly on players such as Yngwie Malmsteen and Paul Gilbert representing the spandex / 128th note crowd, Albert Collins would be the typical blues player covered, and guys like Eric Johnson and Albert Lee from the more country end of the spectrum along with many others from the prog and fusion crowds. The point being that the guitar solo was everything. It was still the 80's after all. Records from the new wave / new romantic / alternative / non-blues rock derived crowd, were not regarded as 'real music.'

So putting JM on the cover of the mag, let alone not making fun of Morrissey, was a long shot for Guitar Player. During the interview, JM spoke candidly about the band's musical vision "..we were against bands like OMD", past, and time in the studio. He went in to consciderable detail on how they got the sound for How Soon Is Now. Very cool.

All was well until the topic of discussion turned to guitar solos. Johnny Marr was (not surprisingly) not a fan of guitar solos which were high and fast shall we say. He characterized them as masturbatory in nature and painful to listen to as I recall. He then started taking shots at Mr. Malmsteen and at one point he actually said, "Yngwie Malmsteen should be shot."

By this point I was laughing so hard I almost pissed myself. I grew up listening to Depeche Mode AND Metallica, playing in fusion bands on the weekends and top 40 cover bands on Thursdays so I really do have a foot in both camps. I think Marty Gore and James Hetfield BOTH looked ridiculous and kicked ass, however, I digress.

In the same issue was a huge article on, wait for it...Yngwie Malmsteen. So once the shredders were finished reading the Yngwie bit, they proceeded to read the other articles to find out who this Marr fellow was. The firestorm of protest was as intense and hilarious as the Johnny Marr interview. People cancelled their subscriptions, there were numerous letters to the editor deriding the usefulness of anyone who would play in a band called The The. In some extreme cases, readers even bought copies of Guitar World. Awsome!

One of the best interviews ever. Thank-you Johnny Marr for your music and your attitude.
Old 30th January 2007
  #24
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that is freakin hilarious!!
Old 30th January 2007
  #25
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max cooper's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by loaf View Post
'how soon is now' is a direct rip from zeppelin's 'when the levee breaks' isn't it?
Wow. I don't hear that in the least. Both great songs; dirgey, but I don't hear it.

I love the lyrics, tho.

I am the son/and the heir

v. clever.
Old 30th January 2007
  #26
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ebay

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jules View Post
Originally posted by Jules
Morresey aside, the rest of the band were 'regular guys' and fun to work with.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Morrissey aside, huh? So, was his studio demeanor in keeping with his drama queen image?

He was a little stand offish & "aloof", yes

Here is the exact type of pedal used all over the first album & singles... I have one.
Boss CE-1 pedals just jumped up $200 on ebay now.
Old 30th January 2007
  #27
Lives for gear
same riff really, and the harmonica in levee breaks marr does on guitar - let's ask him
Old 30th January 2007
  #28
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lord_bunny's Avatar
 

Anyone with a link to the article explaining the "How Soon is Now" sound?
Old 30th January 2007
  #29
I was in the building but not on the session - for that one.. I think there was a lot of messing around with triggered noise gates, looking through the control room window, they sure did seem busy around the mixing desk that day.. Like mad scientists at work.

I will ask Kenny Jones, he was the engineer..John Porter was the producer

Perhaps we can persuade Kenny to post here a bit about it..

Old 31st January 2007
  #30
AjD
Gear Addict
 
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I remember that Guitar Player issue with Marr on the cover! Wow, memories...

I was in college at the time, and it showed Marr with his green electric guitar (and mod haircut). It was the one issue of GP that actually got noticed by my housemates (non-musicians all of them, but all big Smiths/REM/Jesus Mary Chain/Echo Bunnymen fans - which pretty much describes any '80s era college kid).

Kind of a turning point for the magazine, I thought. Maybe not so much in retrospect. But it made me think. I was a big Smiths fan, but still appreciated "shreding" back then. Not so much anymore!

Adam
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