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Influential guitarist Johnny Marr performs in Missoula on Monday

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While he might not be as well-known across the world, Johnny Fuckin’ Marr could arguably be considered just as important to the music world as other illustrious acts such as Paul McCartney, Mick Jagger, Oasis or Dave Grohl.

It’s with great excitement, then, that I will be going to see Mr. Marr on Monday in Missoula at the Top Hat Lounge. And, you can too!

Marr starts playing at 8 p.m., with doors opening at 7.   You can order tickets online here.

Johnny Marr performs in Missoula on Monday at the Top Hat.
Johnny Marr performs in Missoula on Monday at the Top Hat.

So, OK, say you’re uninitiated with who exactly Johnny Marr is, especially if you’re in America, as he’s never been quite as popular here as he is in England.

According to his official online bio,

“During the early summer of 1982, Marr, just 18 years-old, formed The Smiths after seeking out the reclusive and elusive Stretford poet, Morrissey. Musically, the sound of The Smiths was a guitar noise nostalgically familiar yet equally dumbfounding in its pristine newness. The tunes were giant, euphoric and instantaneous but woven together with such nimble flair it appeared as if the guitar was playing Marr instead of the other way round. Lost for words, early critics of the day undersold him with the words “jingle” and “jangle” when, had they tried, they might better have described the sound of Johnny Marr as that of Van Gogh’s Starry Night in angry animation.

Still not convinced? Check out this video from the “British Masters” series in which Marr is interviewed by John Doran, who calls Marr,  “A musical savant who indelibly altered the sound of British rock and pop music. He soundtracked the adolescence of a generation and has been a beacon of inspiration to many born since.”

And while he might be considered one of the biggest influences in indie rock, especially, his skills on guitar are where his talent shines the most.

In fact, last October, the guitar company Gibson paid tribute to Marr, which coincided with his 50th birthday.

You can read that article here.

And, finally, last year was a big year for Marr for another reason. In addition to releasing his first genuine solo record “The Messanger,” he also received NME Magazine’s “Godlike Genius” prize, an honor usually given to such rock acts as The Clash and U2, or popular solo musicians with oversized personalities such as Ozzy Osbourne, or Oasis’ Noel Gallagher.

In the end, however, a person can write thousands and thousands of words about Mr. Marr, but the best way to discover his talent and influence is to go see him yourself.

If you’re in Montana, this might be the best chance you’ll have in a long while to do so.

Also, note that next Wednesday I will have a review up covering the highs and lows of the show, as well, if you’re unable to catch it yourself!

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