Johnny Marr (born John Martin Maher; 31 October 1963) is an English songwriter, guitarist, keyboardist, harmonica player, and singer. Marr rose to fame in the 1980s as the guitarist in The Smiths, where he formed a prolific songwriting partnership with Morrissey. Marr has been a member of Electronic, The The, and Modest Mouse. In 2008, he joined The Cribs after touring with them on 2008's NME Awards Tour.
Childhood and personal life
Marr was born in Ardwick, Manchester, the son of Irish immigrants. His parents came from Athy in County Kildare. He attended St Augustine's RC Grammar School, which then merged with other schools to form a Comprehensive School, St John Plessingtons. Marr had aspirations to be a professional football player, and was approached by Nottingham Forest F.C. and had trials with Manchester City F.C. (which he supports). In an interview with FourFourTwo magazine, Marr said "I was good enough for City, but they didn't follow up because I was probably the only player out there wearing eyeliner." He currently resides in Manchester with wife Angie, and their children, daughter Sonny and son Nile. Marr has been a vegan since 1985.
Modest Mouse (2006-2009)
In 2006, Marr became a member of the American band Modest Mouse. He wrote some of the songs with lead singer Isaac Brock on their fifth album We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank, in addition to being featured on guitar, and toured with the band throughout 2006 and 2007. During 2008, when Modest Mouse opened for R.E.M. during their summer tour of the United States, Marr would come on stage during the encore of R.E.M.'s set, for "Fall on Me" and, toward the end of the tour, "Man on the Moon". Johnny Marr and R.E.M.'s guitarist Peter Buck have often been compared by alternative music fans as having a similar guitar style.
While with Modest Mouse, Marr was named an Honorary Patron of the University Philosophical Society, Trinity College, Dublin.
The new album reached number one on the American Billboard charts in late March 2007. For Marr this is the first time he has had a number one record in the US. The highest chart position before that was with Electronic, who made the Top 40 in the singles chart with "Getting Away With It".
During this period, Marr was asked to deliver a series of workshops and masterclasses to students at the University of Salford in the BA (Hons) Popular Music and Recording programme. In the late 2000s, Marr's daughter Sonny performed backing vocals on the track "Even A Child" on Crowded House's 2007 album Time On Earth, for which her father Johnny played guitars. Marr also has a son named Nile Marr.