Title: Set The Boy Free
Author / Narrator: Johnny Marr
Genre: Non-Fiction / Autobiography / Music
First published: 2016 by Dey Street Books
Edition: Audio book
Although I knew about Johnny Marr, I really became aware of him when he was playing with The Cribs on their album Ignore The Ignorant. Of course I had listened to The Smiths and knew some of their songs, but they were before my time (just). What I have come to realise over the years is how well respected Johnny Marr is as a guitarist and as a person and I have been wanting to read his autobiography for a while.
It took me a little while to get used to Johnny Marr’s writing and narrating style, but now I have listened to him tell his journey through life and music, I feel I have come to know him bette and I have a whole new appreciation for him. His style is very matter-a-fact, quite dry and yet drenched in passion for what he does. Passion is a wonderful characteristic to have and he has it in spades.
This book won’t be for everyone and if you were expecting digs at former bandmates (Morrissey anyone?), you will be disappointed, as Johnny is far too much of a gentleman to go down to that level. If you expect rock ‘n’ roll excess, there is little of that here. He met the love of his life at fifteen and never looked back. How beautiful is that?!
If there is one thing I took away from this audio book it is how humble Johnny Marr and at the same time how aware he is of the legacy that he has created as a guitarist in The Smiths and all the other bands he played with. The passion and love he has for music and playing the guitar shines through and you can not help but warm up to him as a person.
If you love music, like me, and want to know more about Johnny Marr and the bands he played with, it is worth picking up this book. I think it worked well as an audio book. I found Johnny Marr’s voice quite soothing, even if not very dynamic.
5 out of 7 stars