The Penguin Podcast

Johnny Marr

Musician, songwriter and singer Johnny Marr joins David Baddiel to talk about his autobiography Set The Boy Free

Johnny talks about first falling in love with the sound of the guitar listening to the Everly Brothers, reveals how he developed a passion for reading whilst bunking off school and explains how he handled huge fame as a teenager.

He brings along a selection of treasured objects including The Complete Essays of Aldous Huxley, a Marc Bolan EP, and, of course, his signature model Fender Jaguar guitar.

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Set the Boy Free

Johnny Marr

The Sunday Times Bestseller and Winner of the NME Best Book Award 2017

Few groups have had a bigger impact than The Smiths and few musicians are as celebrated as Johnny Marr. He is an icon who defined an era and influenced a generation of guitarists.

His signature sound was crucial to the Smiths success, but tensions within the band led to his departure in 1987 and the end of the group after just four albums. He was twenty-three years old.

Since then, Marr hasn’t stopped pushing the boundaries of music. He joined The Pretenders, The The, Modest Mouse and The Cribs and has collaborated with Hans Zimmer. Here, for the first time, he tells his own side of the story.

Honest, witty, and moving, Set the Boy Free is the true history of music – told by one of its very own legends.

'I saw Johnny Marr live in person, with The Smiths. He was light on his feet; like quicksilver. He caused the band to swing like crazy. And he smoked his cigarette like a star. I've been influenced ever since.' Iggy Pop

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