The The – The Beat(en) Generation

In 1988 Matt Johnson recruited Johnny Marr to The The and recorded the album ‘Mind Bomb’. This track was the first single from the album and featured Marr prominently on both harmonica and guitar.

I’ve transcribed this tune based around a combination of the parts that Marr played on both the studio recording and live. When the band played this live, it would often be performed in a stripped down format with just Johnson & Marr. You can hear an example from this gig at Glasgow in 1989 at roughly 15 minutes in.

At this point in the late ’80’s he would often use a thumbpick, but i’ve opted for a hybrid picking approach given that the majority of players who might want to learn this will likely use a flatpick.


For the audio, it’s my Fender Telecaster 1964 AVRI into a DAW via the Amplitube 4 plugin, using Fender Twin & JC120 simulations.

I also put together a backing track and included the rhythm guitar played by Matt Johnson. I used my Gretsch G5125 for this, which you can briefly glimpse in the video.


Click the image below to view the tab on Ultimate Guitar. It includes, drums, bass, rhythm and lead parts.

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