The pair, who along with bassist Andy Rourke and drummer Mike Joyce formed the highly influential Manchester rock act The Smiths, have had a nonexistent relationship following the band’s breakup in 1987, but have sniped at each other in the press since.
In the letter, posted on Morrissey Central, Morrissey wrote, “This is not a rant or an hysterical bombast. It is a polite and calmly measured request: Would you please stop mentioning my name in your interviews?”
“Would you please, instead, discuss your own career, your own unstoppable solo achievements and your own music? If you can, would you please just leave me out of it?”
Morrissey continued rather bombastically: “The fact is: you don’t know me. You know nothing of my life, my intentions, my thoughts, my feelings. Yet you talk as if you were my personal psychiatrist with consistent and uninterrupted access to my instincts.”
“We haven’t known each other for 35 years — which is many lifetimes ago. When we met you and I were not successful. We both helped each other become whatever it is we are today. Can you not just leave it at that? Must you persistently, year after year, decade after decade, blame me for everything.”
Hours after the letter was posted, Marr shot back on Twitter, “An ‘open letter’ hasn’t really been a thing since 1953, It’s all ‘social media’ now. Even Donald J Trump had that one down. Also, this fake news business…a bit 2021 yeah? #Makingindiegreatagain”.
Dear @officialmoz . An ‘open letter’ hasn’t really been a thing since 1953, It’s all ‘social media’ now. Even Donald J Trump had that one down. Also, this fake news business…a bit 2021 yeah ?#makingindiegreatagain
— Johnny Marr (@Johnny_Marr) January 26, 2022
Marr, who is currently promoting his latest album Fever Dreams Pt 1-4, is frequently asked about Morrissey, particularly in recent years following several racism controversies involving the singer and also his defense of Kevin Spacey and Harvey Weinstein over allegations of sexual assault, with the guitarist usually offering the same response that the two are not close and are very different.
This article originally appeared in THR.com.