Former Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr says the “time has come to tell my story” in a new autobiography scheduled for release in Autumn 2016 through publisher Century, The Book Seller reports. The as-yet-untitled book will be come out in hardback and e-book formats, with an Arrow paperback planned for 2017.
Century reportedly acquired the book in a “hotly contested auction,” and publishing director Ben Dunn believes the battle was worth it. “It’s the book Smiths fans have been waiting [for] their whole lives, and the early material that Johnny has written is utterly breathtaking,” he said in a statement. “I’m delighted that Johnny has chosen Century to be his publisher.”
In addition to his lending his distinctive guitar work to alternative rock icons the Smiths, Marr has collaborated with a wide range of bands, including Modest Mouse, the Cribs, The The, the Pretenders and Electronic, the last of which he co-founded with New Order frontman Bernard Sumner. In recent years, Marr has released two solo LPs, 2013’s The Messenger and 2014’s Playland.
Marr has been teasing an autobiography since at least 2011. Last August, he told Rolling Stone he’d been researching the book for 18 months, collecting stories and info, but estimated another 18 months before he’d be ready to write it, “no matter how much money I get offered,” so as not to interfere with touring.
In 2013, former Smiths singer Morrissey released his endlessly quotable Autobiography, which Rolling Stone‘s Rob Sheffield praised as “petty bile raised to the level of madcap rapture.”
Marr told Rolling Stone his book would be “my life story, it won’t be any kind of response to anything,” with regard to Morrissey’s book.