Johnny Marr opens up about the time he nearly joined Paul McCartney’s band

Plus, McCartney reveals plans for next solo album

Johnny Marr has given a rare insight into the time he spent working with Paul McCartney shortly after he left The Smiths in 1987.

Following his departure from the Manchester band, Marr became a guitarist for hire and was invited to play with McCartney as the Beatles icon was “checking him out”. Though the sessions never led to anything permanent nor any official recordings, Marr opened up in a new interview with The Auto Jubilator about their time together. “I didn’t do a recording session with him as such, but we did get together for a good long eight-or-nine-hour day, and just played and played and played very intensely, really loudly. Which was pretty great, obviously. He was pretty good!” said Marr.

“He can play that bass and sing pretty well, I must say. That was a fun time. That was pretty much the first thing I did when The Smiths stopped being together. I’ve seen him a couple of times since. We’ve not played together, but he’s always very friendly and very gracious.”


Asked what the pair had practised while jamming together, NME’s Godlike Genius added: “We played ‘I Saw Her Standing There’, ‘Twenty Flight Rock’, ‘Tutti Frutti’. I got him to play ‘Things We Said Today’, and I think we played some Wings stuff. ‘C-Moon’, I remember. That was fun. He and I were singing harmonies on ‘I Saw Her Standing There’ – that was a pretty good moment, too. I was only 23, maybe 24.”

“I think he was just sort of checking me out, because he’d liked what I’d done. The Smiths had asked Linda to play and sing on ‘The Queen Is Dead’ album, which sadly she wasn’t able to, so he was aware of us. I think he liked the way I played, so that was cool.”

Meanwhile, Paul McCartney spoke to BBC 6Music about his next solo album, the follow up to ‘Kisses On The Bottom’, that he is currently being recorded at Air Studios in London with producers including Mark Ronson, Ethan Johns and Paul Epworth. Talking about using modern producers responsible for some of the biggest hits of the past ten years, McCartney said: “They’re cool people whose work I liked and of course, what’s happened is I like them all.” It is believed the new album will be recorded by the Summer.