Sunday, November 17, 2013

Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want

I have such a crush on Johnny Marr.

I think it's almost certainly unwarranted. As with other gunslinger prototypes like Keith Richards and Jimmy Page and the Edge and Peter Buck, he's probably not nearly as cool as he comes off. (In the case of Keef, that's unquestionably true.) He's probably nearly as prickly as—or maybe even more than—the lead singer. I mean, in this case, he's the guy that broke up the band, breaking the hearts of the other three in the process. But by dint of his literal and figurative position in the band—hanging back, partially in shadow, cool composer/creator of the musical tapestry as the frontman dashes around, trying to engage the audience, the attention-seeking sod—the guitarist is the cool one.

I know this. And yet. I still have such a crush on this most unlikely, unusual of guitar heroes. And now that he's finally started singing, some 30 or so years later? And he's not bad?

I mean...the beauty of that composition (oh, major 7ths, you are so lush and so lovely), the delicacy of the intricate picking, the odd changes, the soaring, searing countermelody that only enters in the final 30% of the song, the musical asceticism...the bastard's like a Britpop Debussy of the electric guitar.


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