Showing posts with label Hatful Of Hollow. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Hatful Of Hollow. Show all posts

William, It Was Really Nothing

"What 'William It Was Really Nothing' is about is... it occurred to me that within popular music if ever there were any records that discussed marriage they were always from the female's standpoint - female singers singing to women: whenever there were any songs saying 'do not marry, stay single, self-preservation, etc'. I thought it was about time there was a male voice speaking directly to another male saying that marriage was a waste of time... that, in fact, it was 'absolutely nothing'."

- Morrissey

"Some [tracks] may have been sped up. I don't know whether 'Wiliiam' was though; I didn't think so, just because it was so fast when we played it, we can't have wanted it even faster!

This is a 1962 Epiphone Coronet. Shortly after I got it I put it in 'Nashville Tuning', which means putting on an electric 12 string set (the bottom four strings are an octave higher than standard). It feels like your playing backwards because the higher strings are at the bottom. I used it to double a lot of the Rickenbacker arpeggios on Smiths records, most notably on 'William It Was Really Nothing'.

I got [a Gibson] J160 from Denmark Street when I moved to Earl's Court in 1984. I wanted one because John Lennon used one on the early Beatle's albums and I liked 'I Should've Known Better' and 'I'll Be Back'. I wrote 'Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want' on it and 'William It Was Really Nothing'.

'William' is quite a whimsical song really. I don't think it's broken all the rules in pop music, but to start a song with a short verse and then follow it with three choruses is quite good."

- Johnny Marr

July 1984, Jam Studios, London

Known guitars used on recording:
1962 Epiphone Coronet in nashville tuning

Composed on:
Gibson J160E

I have uploaded 2 different Guitar Pro files for this song here. They each cover different guitar parts, I think they are pretty helpful, along with the videos.

Thanks again to a contribution from Coxy, you can compare the Guitar Pro tabs to these tabs from Total Guitar. I have also uploaded the mp3 backing tracks from the Total Guitar cd here.

Here is a transcription from the Spring 2012 issue of Guitar Techniques:

Here is the complete score from the "Louder Than Bombs:Off The Record" book:

Here are the scans from the Singles tab book:

Here are the scans from the Smiths Best Complete Score:

Here are the scans from the Complete Chord Dictionary:

Here is a short shot of Johnny playing the intro chords on his Martin D-35:

And here is Johnny on his Jaguar:

Here is a great video from elylester of the rhythm part:

Ely was kind enough to post the chords he used in the comments section of youtube:

Fadd9 CM7 Em7 Am7 (3x)
Fadd9 FM7
C Em7
FM7 G6 Gsus4
AM7 A7 Am7 CM7 D6add9 (2x)

Fsus4 F Gsus4 G

Am Am(maj7)
Am Am(maj7) Am7 D9
These are the chord shapes in standard tuning. Use a capo at the second fret.

Next there's his take on the lead part:

Here's modfather1965 with a cool two part lesson and his own covers:

Here's Daniel Earwicker:

Here's TheJibs:

Here's WilliamFs11:

Here's dhowellbassist on a Ric 360 in Nashville tuning:

Here's hatescoutingforgirls:

Here's Buttslapper1:

Here's Pandaprops on a 12 string acoustic:

Here's HalfAPerson83 on a Jaguar:

Here's chiasson65 on bass: