Showing posts with label marrzipan. Show all posts
Showing posts with label marrzipan. Show all posts


"It didn't have any strong design behind it. It wasn't like I was nessecarily trying to play a Kinks track. That staccato, block chord thing was just me trying to get away from the other jangly riffs I was playing at the time, just to get a bit of variety really. I always thought 'Jeane' was quite original."

- Johnny Marr

"I remember asking Johnny once who ['Jeane'] was about. He replied, 'Morrissey's mum probably!'"

- Sandie Shaw

"There's a great bit on one of the studio master reels where Sandie Shaw is there with Johnny and they're about to do 'Jeane' and he quickly picks the riff of 'In My Life' -- Sandie even asks him 'what's that?'! So there's no denying the influence of The Beatles on Marr."

- Simon Goddard

Here are the scans from the Complete Chord Dictionary:

marrzipan nails the Smiths version:

He posted a comment on Youtube explaining the chords:

"the chords are C, G, C, G, C, G, C, G, Fmaj7 (with open G string, ie 1-3-3-0-1-0), G, Am, G during verse, and Fmaj7, G, C, G (x3), Fmaj7, G during "we tried, we failed" and Em add9 (0-2-4-0-0-0) during the break."


"That was another one worked out on the upright I inherited when I moved into to the house in Bowdon, the same piano I wrote 'Oscillate Wildly' on. It had a pleasingly eerie quality about it. You could only play certain things on it. Weird, doomy music, which suited us fine."

- Johnny Marr

I have uploaded two Guitar Pro files with sheet music, as well as the guitar tabs for the versions by both marrzipan and markpaterson, whose videos are below, here.

Here is the piano sheet music from the "Louder Than Bombs:Off The Record" book:

Here are the scans from the Louder Than Bombs PVG book(thanks to MorrisseyScans for these tabs):

Despite this being a piano song, and one of the few Smiths songs with no guitar at all, there are a number of very cool guitar versions which have cropped up. One thing that I like is that they are all different, but they all sound really good.

marrzipan does a beautiful version on his Epiphone Broadway. He really captures the rhythm of the original version, and the tone is suitably piano-like. And the camera angle lets us see both hands really well.

markpaterson does an amazing instrumental interpretation in drop-D on an Epiphone Hummingbird. Sounds very haunting to me, some of the ringing open strings really contribute to the sad undercurrent. The tab for this version is contained in the above zip file. Thanks go to Mark for transcribing this!

He did a cleaner version on his Les Paul, with a close-up of the fingering.

markusbjoerk does another really nice version on a nylon stringed acoustic:

paperclippe has posted an attempt at the piano part:

scottmeta1 does a beautiful job on the complete piano part:

I Don't Owe You Anything

"John Porter suggested getting that bloke Paul Carrack in on keyboards to see what would happen, and I thought it really brought it alive."

- Andy Rourke

"I was going to say, for me, the idea of an organ being in The Smiths really didn't turn me on. It softened it out a lot, made it more radio friendly, but the way that we worked together, for anybody else to actually come in and play on it, it's got to be fucking good. That was the gang mentality that we had, wasn't it? (Andy nods) Anybody that was coming in from the record company or whatever, we were like, What? What d'you want? It felt like they were coming in to intrude on our little party. I didn't think that any of these people felt about the music as strongly as the band did. Maybe it's a kind of possessive thing. The way that we were working, it was ours."

- Mike Joyce

Here are the scans from the Complete Chord Dictionary:

Here are the scans from the debut album piano book, with guitar chord boxes:

marrzipan does a beautiful version of this song, and it's very accurate. It's impressive how he hits all those arpeggiated riffs while singing. Anyway, as he did with Suffer Little Children, he has been cool enough to share his own transcription with us!

I have uploaded marrzipan's transcription as well as a Guitar Pro tab file here.

Stretch Out And Wait

"'Stretch Out' I think, is in open G tuning: D,G,D,G,B,G."

- Johnny Marr

From the quote above, Marr says he 'thinks' the song is in open G, but the general consensus is that it's actually in open E. For instance, Headmaster Ritual is definitely in open E, and Johnny would sometimes play Stretch Out And Wait immediately afterwards, on the same guitar.

I do have a Guitar Pro tab file that I have uploaded here(right click to save as). This is a really accurate transcription to my ears, in the correct tuning(!). marrzipan also transcribed his version and I have included it in this same zip file. These versions are both in open E, but they are both different.

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

Here's marrzipan's version. This is one of the very few versions of the song on youtube that are played in open E, as marr played it. So cool!

Here's a very nice acoustic version by 3rd Monty Effects:

Here's a cool cover by theglimpse, who also plays the song in open E:

Here's dhowellbassist on a ric 360:

barjabulon covers a short snippet here, very well:

And here is the Smiths playing live on June 29, 1985. Here we can see that Marr has his telecaster tuned up to open E:

Half A Person

"I remember Johnny and Craig were both playing acoustic guitars, which we set up separated with one in the left and one in the right speaker. That was put down together, very simply, with just a few overdubs on top."

- Stephen Street

"Me and Morrissey would just disappear. Some of my favourite songs came about that way, like "Half A Person". We just locked ourselves away and did it. In the time it takes to play it, I wrote it. Morrissey was great in that respect. He knew when I was going to play something good."

"We officially wrote it on the stairs at Mayfair. Morrissey got his part of it together overnight, and it was amazing. That was probably the best writing moment I think me and him ever had because we were so close, practically touching, and I could see him kind of willing me on, waiting to see what I was going to play. Then I could see him thinking, 'That's exactly where I was hoping you'd go!' It was a fantastic, shared moment."

"One [1963 Stratocaster] I keep constantly high strung in Nashville tuning, which is the top two strings the same and bottom four like a 12-string set with the low strings taken off. It's a good tuning for coming up with new stuff 'cos you kind of feel like you're playing backwards. I used that on loads of Smiths stuff - You Just Haven't Earned It Yet, Baby, Half A Person..."

"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', it's also the main guitar on 'Half A Person'."

"It might have a capo on the second fret.The chords are around G to E on the intro."

- Johnny Marr

October 1986, Mayfair Studios, London

Known Guitars used:
1962 Epiphone Coronet in nashville tuning
1963 Fender Stratocaster in nashville tuning

I have uploaded a Guitar Pro tab here.

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

Here are the scans from the Complete Chord Dictionary:

Daniel Earwicker does a nice cover on his Rick 330:

And he tackles the fade-out riff in a separate video:

marrzipan does a great version on acoustic, sans capo:

Pandaprops does an amazingly accurate version in nashville tuning, fade out riff included:

Here's davidguitarist91:

Suffer Little Children

"I think we probably did it on our first two gigs. I think we were writing better stuff - that's the answer. It was always considered an album track. Maybe we had a doubt about it at the time."

"Looking back on the first album now I can say that I'm not as madly keen on it as I was. I think that a lot of the fire was missing on it and most of our supporters realise that as well. Although having said that, 'Still Ill' and 'Suffer Little Children' and 'Hand That Rocks' are all still great songs."

-Johnny Marr

Suffer Little Children was played live only once that we know of, on October 4th, 1982. It has a haunting quality to the guitar line, which is fairly simple and repetitive compared to some other Marr compositions. I think that it's a good song for beginners to tackle because it sounds just as good slow as it does fast, and you can ramp up the speed when you get the hang of it.

First off, here are the scans from the debut album piano song book:

marrzipan is one of the many cool, generous guitarists who make this site possible, and he has a great version of this on youtube. He was kind enough to share the tabs he made from his cover. I have posted them here, with his notes(click to enlarge):

He also passed along a Guitar Pro tab that I have uploaded here. It has a tab of the second and third guitar parts as well!

Here's his version to follow along with:

For comparison, here is Daniel Earwicker's take on the song. He uses a pull-off where Marzipan fretted notes on the second chord of the verse. It's different in other ways as well, but both are really great versions.

adameater also does a nice acoustic version. It sounds a little different from both of these; I think he might be incorporating some of the second guitar, which is cool.

Here's uncleskinny on acoustic:

Here's davidguitarist91 on his Les Paul:

Here's a great multi-track version by captaincarwash:

Back to the Old House

"‘Back To The Old House’ I wrote with my wife in mind."

- Johnny Marr

This was one of the first Marr pieces I learned to play, and it's one of my favorites.

A reader, Coxy, was nice enough to send in these scans of the transcription from Total Guitar magazine. I have also uploaded the mp3 backing tracks from the Total Guitar cd here.

You can compare them to the 2 Guitar Pro files that I have uploaded here(right click to save).

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

Video-wise, we start off with eluedy's near-flawless version:

Another from slimjimuk10:

Here's ihgac's take:

Here's another great cover by marrzipan:

Nice version by macpips: