I bought myself a coffee table book as a present. Marr’s Guitars by Johnny Marr is a lavishly photographed guide to some of Marr’s 132 guitars, including some very iconic instruments that played a key role in the sound of The Smiths.
If you love guitars like I do, it’s absolute filth.
Some of my favourite bits are the many close-ups of cracked paint, worn metal and chipped edges, the signs of a guitar well used rather than kept behind glass somewhere. And I love the way many of these guitars move: bought or gifted from the guitarists who influenced Marr or the musicians he played with in his long and varied career, or passed on to other musicians by Marr – a list that includes the likes of Noel Gallagher of Oasis and Bernard Butler.
If you’re looking for a guide to Marr’s sounds you won’t find much here, although a photo of his Smiths-era pedals does give some pretty big hints. It’s a book to sit back and luxuriate with, not one to crib from, and it does that job very well. If like me you’re the kind of person who ooohs at a sparkly stratocaster or a resplendent Rickenbacker, it’s a very beautiful book.