Johnny Marr takes shots at ‘Classically Smiths’ reunion shows

"It felt like being burgled by someone you used to know"

Johnny Marr has criticised the series of ‘Classically Smiths’ gigs organised by former Smiths members for being a cash-grab. The gigs have now all been cancelled.

The gig series was organised with former Smiths drummer Mike Joyce, bassist Andy Rourke and second guitarist Craig Gannon to reunite and showcase a classical re-imagining of the music of The Smiths alongside the Manchester Camerata Orchestra.

In January, a day after the gig series was announced, it was reported that the gigs booked for June/July would not go ahead, with the cancellation coming after Rourke publicly distanced himself from the shows and claimed that he was never involved.

“In response to recent comments in the press, the planned Classically Smiths events will now, no longer be taking place”, a statement from producers Bad Production Ltd confirmed.

In an interview with Mojo, Marr has given his side of the story: “What a farce. That was so obviously about money. The legacy was being plundered. I wasn’t consulted and that tells you all you need to know.”

The guitarist continued, “It felt like being burgled by someone you used to know. It’s a good job those guys weren’t running the band when we were actually together, else we would never have been able to get one concert together.”

Meanwhile, Johnny Marr recently said he doesn’t “feel any need to stick by” Morrissey over some of the things he’s said recently.

Johnny Marr, live

Johnny Marr, live

His former Smiths bandmate has caused controversy in recent months by lending his support to far right party For Britain, called Hitler “left-wing”, and called the treatment of EDL co-founder Tommy Robinson “shocking”, among other things.

Meanwhile, Johnny Marr recently told NME which of the bands he’s worked with over his varied career he’d most like to reunite with. “Last year I did a couple of things while I was making [acclaimed new album] ‘Call The Comet‘,” he said. “I did a The The comeback single, which was their first for 15 or 16 years. That was a real joy, to be playing behind Matt Johnson again. I never really think the door is shut on The The, and I’ve got a feeling that Modest Mouse is a chapter that’s yet to be finished. Those are the two people I’d like to work with again.”