When I first read this article on Mojo Magazine, I decided to hunt for all the tracks mentioned by Marr in the interview. My search, however, was mostly fruitless until I stumbled upon the great blog Plain Or Pan where to my surprise I found all songs compiled in one file and ready for download.
Don’t waste any time but hurry to get your dirty hands on this file before it vanishes in the great Black Holes of the Internet.
Heed my words.
1. Del Shannon - Keep Searchin’ (We’ll Follow The Sun) (Stateside B-side, 1964)
Johnny Marr: “The influence of [A-side] The Answer To Everything on me when writing Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want is well documented so I picked its sister record, this time. It was the sound of the house when I was little.”
2. The Rolling Stones - Get Off Of My Cloud (Decca single, 1965)
Johnny Marr: “The main thing I took from Keith Richards was his musical ideology; that there is a nobility in playing rhythm guitar and being the engine room and steering the ship, all these very valorous concepts which he threw in the face of guitar culture in the early ’70s.”
3. T.Rex - Metal Guru (T-Rex Wax Co. single, 1972)
Johnny Marr: “It’s so beautiful and commercial but slightly weird and I could not believe what I was hearing because it was so all-encompassing. It connected with something beyond my regular senses.”
4. The Isley Brothers - Behind A Painted Smile (Tamla Motown B-side, 1969)
Johnny Marr: “Motown provided a fantastic alternative to the rock music my mates were getting into. I ventured into this place called Rare Records on John Dalton Street in Manchester, I went into the basement and I remember to this day it was like a sea of future happiness.”
5. Iggy And The Stooges - Gimme Danger (Raw Power LP track, CBS 1973)
Johnny Marr: “I remember getting on the bus and just staring at the front cover in disbelief all the way home. I wasn’t disappointed when I played it because it sounded like I thought it would. It was mysterious, sexy, druggy, riffy and to-the-point.”
6. The Crystals - There’s No Other Like My Baby (Philles single, 1961)
Johnny Marr: “There is an unpretentiousness to it, and compared to what was passing itself off as weird in rockland with prog music at the time this just sounded weirder to me, and it seemed to come from an odder dimension.”
7. Blondie - Hanging On The Telephone (Chrysalis single, 1978)
Johnny Marr: “It reminds me of going to parties and really complaining that I didn’t want to hear Peaches by The Stranglers for the eleventh time and going through record collections with all that ELO shit in them and pulling out *Parallel Lines and going, ‘Alright then, let’s listen to this very, very loud!’”
8. Bob And Marcia - Young Gifted And Black (Harry J single, 1970)
Johnny Marr: “It was one of the records that both Morrissey and myself liked in the same way. It reminded us both of being youthful fanatics and being outside of the norm… Then, amazingly, when [New Order’s] Bernard Sumner and I started to get close we both discovered that we liked that record in the same way.”
9. The Equals - Black Skin Blue Eyed Boys (President single, 1970)
Johnny Marr: “Some records you wear down and you wear out but this one… I remember it from being out from when I was a kid but unlike some of the other tracks I play, I don’t listen to it for that reason, I like it because it reminds me of something shared between me and my mate.”
10. The Cribs - Hey Scenesters (Wichita single, 2005)
Johnny Marr: “A fantastic working class street rock’n’roll 45 that could only have come from a band in this country. It’s like, Move over, this is the new generation. The Jarmans are as hip as street musicians get from any generation.”
Paul Davidson – Midnight Rider (Tropical single, 1976)
Johnny Marr: “Aside from Keith Richards’ on Gimme Shelter, Midnight Rider contains my favourite ever guitar solo.”
Alternative TV – Action Time Vision (Deptford Fun City single, 1978 )
Built To Spill – In Your Mind (Ancient Melodies Of The Future LP track, WEA, 2001)
The Drifters – I Count The Tears (Atlantic, 1960)
Johnny Marr: “If you were to play this to the other members of The Smiths it would remind them of being in a band with me. I used to sing and play it on the guitar when we weren’t recording and forced everyone to sing along. They learned to love it!”
Hamilton Bohannon – Disco Stomp (Dakar/Brunswick, 1975)
No direct quote from Johnny, but he’s said before that Disco Stomp influenced the swampy rhythm of How Soon Is Now. That record, and undoubtedly a huge side order of Bo Diddley.
TV On The Radio – Wolf Like Me (4AD single, 2006) !!!
Extra Bonus Tracks!!!
Del Shannon – The Answer To Everything
Johnny Marr: “The influence of ‘The Answer to Everything’ on me when writing ‘Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want’ with The Smiths is well documented.” It is? ! ?
Rolling Stones – Gimme Shelter (Guitar track from recording session)
Johnny Marr: “Keith Richards was badass. His solo on ‘Gimme Shelter’ is my favourite ever guitar solo.“
Download Johnny’s picks here
The text and the picture above are reproduced from the original Mojo article. The songs in the zipped file were assembled by the author of the Plain or Pan blog, Anonymous West of Scotland. Credit where its due.
Mojo Magazine, “Johnny Marr’s MOJO Mix!.” Posted by Danny_Eccleston at 9:30 AM GMT 28/01/2009.
Land: Horses/ Land Of A Thousand Dances/ La Mer(de)
Foursquare Poem by Fernando Pessoa
I’ve never known anybody who’s had the crap beaten out of them.
All my aquaintances have been champions in everything.
I, so often shabby, so often swinish, so often vile,
I, so often, unforgivably, a parasite.
Inexcusably filthy I,
Who so often haven’t had the patience to shower,
I, who so often have been ridiculous, absurd,
Who have publicly wiped my feet on etiquette’s tapestry,
Who have been grotesque, paltry, servile, and arrogant,
Who have silently suffered besmirching
And when I haven’t been silent, have been even more ridiculous;
I, who have been a clown for chambermaids,
I, who have felt the winks of stevedores,
I, who have been fiscally embarassed, who have borrowed and forfeited,
I, who when the time for blows arises,
Have recoiled in advance of the possibility of blows;
I who have suffered the anguish of ridiculous little things,
I declare that in all the world I am without par.
Every one I know who speaks to me
Never did a ridiculous thing, never suffered besmirching,
Was never anything but a prince — all of them princes — in life…
If only I could hear another human voice
Confess not sin, but disgrace;
Confess not violence, but cowardice!
No, they’re all The Ideal, to hear them tell it.
Who in this great world will confess to me that even once they were vile?
O princes, my brothers,
God damn it, I’m fed up with semi-gods!
Where are there people in the world?
Am I the only vile and errant one on earth?
Women may not have loved them,
They may have been betrayed — but ridiculous, never!
And I, who have been ridiculous without being betrayed,
How can I speak to my superiors without reeling?
I who have been vile, literally vile,
Vile in the most paltry and infamous meaning of the word.
Cause And Effect by Charles Bukowski
the best often die by their own hand
just to get away,
and those left behind
can never quite understand
would ever want to
But I look in your eyes
And I know
That it isn’t there.” —
The Smiths’ underrated classic “Jean”.
This Be The Verse by Philip Larkin
They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had
And add some extra, just for you.
But they were fucked up in their turn
By fools in old-style hats and coats,
Who half the time were soppy-stern
And half at one another’s throats.
Man hands on misery to man.
It deepens like a coastal shelf.
Get out as early as you can,
And don’t have any kids yourself.
*It is important to note that these verses were composed in iambic tetrameter!
From the book “High Windows” published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux (c) 1983.
All rights reserved
Poem Me and Her Outside (No No Man) by Steven Jesse Bernstein
It is midnight and the sunglasses twirl
my injuries a deaf plant warped
in a Hollywood rockery
of juice cans and hypodermic needles
You’re so cool baby you don’t know what you need
If the jaundice comes up
get out of the traffic.
A girl with an ass that makes me hurt
all over again
I know that girl’s ass hurts
glass and pebbles crunching under her shoes.
The movie goes on and the men go inside
hiding their bottles
These men look confused
like fish getting clubbed on the pier;
what they see in there is better than me.
Pick a needle out from the burnt matches
and test it
blow through it
make a little bubble
There’s the whazoo of the strip
put it in with the dust
In the pocket the cigarettes the key
the muffled bottom of the storm
Pull down my eyelids with my fingernails
in a window not made to look in or out of
or to be used as a mirror
though it works as a mirror
There is a yellow line it is jaundice
There is not a yellow line
It is not jaundice
The ass that makes me hurt
made to make me hurt
showing breasts that make me hurt
but a face like a butcher board
eyes smeared on
worn out red elastic mouth
the mouth of a sock
waiting to get used
is a tender thing in the dark
under the shorts
leaky pelvis all over the sheets
Yo baby gotta no-no?
Sick animal glare in skin of the pavement
Oh I do wanna go down right here where
they threw the mop head
the paper towels and rubbers
Gotta no-no whistle is all
Can’t make music with that.
Movie inside is big as the wall of a
building and so bright it’d make you
but they watch it
and they eat
Actually it is not just
the two of us
her and me
There are the cops
and me and her
in the good for nothing windows
and brown suits and grey suits and
cars that stop and ones that go
There are palm trees
and people leaning on the palm trees
scratching reading looking at the trash
which is empty (believe me) from being
And gargoyles of human beings
hung on the ugly architecture
of wobbling lurching bodies
coming down fast
like dying empires
after the sun is already
dead in their eyes
Rooms full of spooks drunk
on dish soap
spiked with whatever was left
on the tables
when the bar closed
An animal over there with
dreams Google plex like
the chopped up palm
and the broken wall
and is just lost, oh my god
moving like a range of
dead with nothing
to hold it down
moved by earthquake or
rain that swallows
the stars and moon
Get out of the way off the curb
He pukes in the garden and slams
sideways into the stucco
What are the cops waiting for here
lined up in their cars staring
at their clipboards and microphones
We got some people
a man looking at his eyeballs
up under his shades
and a woman with a poochy ass
who keeps turning around and around
Find the hurt place and don’t ever
let it heal
Get that fucker hanging on the wall
and tear him loose
The stars are coming out
There is a tv set in a window
“the stars are coming out”
look up in the brassy sky and
there they are
like gloomy pocket change
you bet on something
you wish you had ten thousand
to bet on
the odds are good
Betting all those stars
you don’t win shit
not even a dollar
And there is a movie
and another movie
At least she is not ugly
And she shares you know
Or if something wrong happens
You are asking me now if this is
the whole world
and I am saying it is
Check your own fucking eyes
Doesn’t it hurt looking down the
sidewalk at night
If that mountain falls on me it’s
gonna get you too
and the cops squashed in their
into their dead microphones
an ocean of mud.
I had a girlfriend
and I never had a car
new jeans that I wore and wore
and I was not good with the plans
because no one
could’ve planned it like this
But then the same
you might say
is true of whoever
is responsible for history,
and a wide black belt
and all sorts of hats
The stars were much more valuable
when I was a boy
Now it is just
what the no-no man wants
that is valuable
which is green and covered with fingers
What the woman turning and twisting
sees in the night of pockets on the floor
while she hides only those parts of
too scarred to look at.
Let’s pretend she is
my girlfriend for now
and she is doing that sidewalk dance
just for me
and there is no pain in her breasts
and our bodies are not battle zones
the stars are worth a fortune
you don’t have to look at tv to know
I got a little cigar
and I can hear the music
it’s playing right outa that door
There’s a man and he’s smiling
“Why don’t you kids go down
to the beach where it’s dark”
and we get on the bus and there’s
And outside the palm trees
the houses and lights
Shit what world is that
Don’t ask me to remember that
I got a runny nose
and the ticket taker
looks from one to the other of us
then to the black and whites
bites a sandwich in hate
The bite that sets
the universe in motion
A man covered with
fortune telling signs
Two in white coveralls
Three clean women
getting out of a car
going into a door
One of the cops looks at me
and I shake my head “no”
From the book “More Noise Please” published by Left Bank Books (c) ‘91.
All rights reserved
In the same class as any of the great post-punk bands - but not as lucky to become popular enough - The Cowboys International made a haunting pop-experimental sound worth recognition and praise. Their first album ‘The Original Sin’ is a sterling classic, inexcusably overlooked.