Johnny Marr Pours Cold Water on Smiths Reunion: Fans Need to ‘Find A Hobby’
Smiths fans, don’t hold your breath on a reunion. Johnny Marr has put another nail in the iconic British group’s coffin.
The guitarist has told The Japan Times that followers of the Smiths had to face facts – there won’t be a “big happy ending.” And they ought to “go and find a hobby.”
Marr told the paper, "If people get genuinely upset and frustrated that four men that last played together 25 years ago are doing other things, then those people need to go and find a hobby. They really do. If the band only split up two years ago it might be a different matter, but 25 years? Come on.”
The Smiths disbanded in 1987, leaving a legacy which is undiminished by time. They remain – along with Abba – one of the highest-profile bands in the world who still have their line-ups intact but refuse to reunite.
Some of the refusal has to do with a 1996 high-court royalties battle, which pitted bassist Andy Rourke and drummer Mike Joyce against their former bandmates Morrissey and Marr.
In May 1999, the case was decided in Joyce's favor (Rourke settled out of court), awarding him more than £1 million in back royalties.
The band has turned down big "reunion" bucks on numerous occasions. In 2006, Morrissey told the audience at SXSW that Coachella had come with the biggest wad, and had it turned down.
"If people must know, it was 5 million [dollars]," Morrissey said at the time.
Of the critically adored act, Morrissey said, "It was a fantastic journey. And then it ended. I didn't feel we should have ended. I wanted to continue. [Marr] wanted to end it. And that was that."
Though Morrissey’s recent health problems are well reported, Marr is finding new gears in his career. After playing with such acts as Electronic, The The, Modest Mouse and the Cribs, Marr finally stepping out earlier this year to release a solo album, "The Messenger.”
“I have no regrets," Marr muses on the Smiths. "Nothing has happened since the day I left that has made me think it was the wrong decision.”