Johnny Marr on 'Classically Smiths' Implosion: 'What a Farce' - Rolling Stone
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Johnny Marr on ‘Classically Smiths’ Implosion: ‘What a Farce’

“That was so obviously about money. The legacy was being plundered,” guitarist says of canceled orchestral shows

Johnny Marr, The SmithsJohnny Marr, The Smiths

Six months after the canceled "Classically Smiths" shows, Johnny Marr slammed the production – and his former band mates – in an interview.


Former Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr slammed his former bandmates, bassist Andy Rourke and drummer Mike Joyce, for participating in the since-canceled concert series called “Classically Smiths.” The shows would have paired the Smiths catalog with an orchestra (via Morrissey-Solo), but about six months ago, the project was called off.

“What a farce,” Marr said to Mojo. “That was so obviously about money. The legacy was being plundered. I wasn’t consulted and that tells you all you need to know, I think … 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.”

In January, Joyce and “Fifth Smith” guitarist Craig Gannon announced plans perform Smiths tracks alongside Manchester Camerata Orchestra; while Rourke was initially named as a participant – and even had quotes about the concerts attributed to him – the bassist quickly issued a statement denying any involvement.

“At no time did I give my consent for anyone in connection with this Classically Smiths project to act on my behalf or my name and nothing was ever confirmed, approved or contracted by me or my team,” Rourke said in a statement at the time.

Following Rourke’s exit, Joyce also abandoned the shows, resulting in their swift cancellation. “I entered into agreement in good faith to perform these shows with Andy Rourke and Craig Gannon,” Joyce said. “Andy was asked originally but I wasn’t informed that he had passed on this project. Unfortunately it became apparent that Andy would not be taking part and was never a part of this.”

In This Article: Johnny Marr, The Smiths


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