While his Smiths band-mate Morrissey grabbed the limelight and became the darling of the effete navel-gazers and bedsit-lonely outsiders who railed against the gaudy 1980s intent on spoiling their misery, Johnny Marr quietly got on with becoming the darling of guitar players the world over.
So the NME's contention in 2002 that The Smiths were more influential than The Beatles should be taken with the major pinch of salt not usually on hand at that most bombastic of publications. But Mojo Editor In Chief Phil Alexander's comment that Marr is 'arguably Britain's last great guitar stylist' comes with rather more credibility attached.
John Martin Maher came close to forging a career in football - he had a trial with Man City - before music became his calling.
After a period of close-run musical things, Marr met Morrissey in 1982 and within a year The Smiths had been signed and were producing singles. Their debut album, in early 1984, reached number 2 in the UK charts and there was no looking back.
Marr's jangly Telecaster and Rickenbacker riffs melded perfectly with Morrissey's poetic loathings. They became a song-writing powerhouse and launched a new wave of indie bands across Britain and America.
Marr's split with the band in 1987 was acrimonious, but did his career no harm at all. Various collaborations and session slots have kept him plenty busy and his guitar playing influenced the next generation of major acts - from The Stone Roses to Oasis - enormously.
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