They like to “oooh,” they like to “ahhh.”

May 20, 2009

Longtime readers of the blog will know my unwavering reverence for Johnny Marr, who is one of the most genuine people I’ve ever met in my life, someone who deserves a lot of credit for changing the way people think about the guitar and also delivers great and insightful interviews without fail, be it on radio, video or in print.

One of my favorite interviews which highlights all three points came in the BBC series, “The Story of the Guitar,” in which he discussed his style of playing and what influenced his own writing (and also treats us to some lovely performance on a lovely Rickenbacker):

Marr has always been quick to point out his influences, which I find really cool for a guy that tends to be pointed out as an original or individual.

And how astonishing is it that two songs from hugely different eras essentially gave birth to what would become another era’s staple and one of the most well-known guitar riffs of all time? That’s some fantastic math if I do say so myself.


Bo Diddley – Mona (I Need You Baby)

+ Hamilton Bohannon – Disco Stomp


The Smiths – How Soon is Now?


The songs, respectively, can be found on Bo Diddley: The Definitive Collection, Essential Dancefloor Artists Vol. 4, and (much to the chagrin of Smiths purists) Meat is Murder


And for anyone else who thinks the Hamilton Bohannon track seems a tad out of place, listen to “Barbarism Begins at Home” on Meat is Murder. The influence found its way into a few of Johnny’s creations, methinks.

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