Guitarist talks NME through the chords of the iconic song
Johnny Marr has played The Smiths’ ‘Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now’ for the first time in 25 years.
The performance was recorded by NME as part of the Song Stories series and shows Marr talking about how he came to own the guitar he eventually wrote The Smiths’ most memorable songs on. “I got this guitar on January 2, 1984 because a few weeks earlier when The Smiths were going to sign to Sire Records, Seymour Stein took us out to dinner to wine and dine us. He was telling me about when he took Brian Jones to New York to get a guitar so I saw my opportunity. I said to him, ‘If you take me to get a guitar in New York we’ll sign to your record label.’ In a moment of weakness he said, ‘Sure’ and true to his word, although I had to wait around all day, he took me over to 48th street in New York and I got the guitar.”
“I’ve not played this song in 25 years,” Marr says shortly before playing the chords which comprise the song. “So, if I screw it up… you try playing it after 25 years.”
It was confirmed this week that Johnny Marr is to be named Godlike Genius at this year’s NME Awards.
The former guitarist for The Smiths, who has also played with bands such as Modest Mouse and The Cribs in his esteemed career, will pick up the prize when he attends the NME Awards ceremony, which takes place on Wednesday, February 27 at its brand new home, The Troxy in east London.