Marr Live 1985 Project

I’m compiling a set of videos that aim to transcribe and re-produce Johnny Marr’s guitar performances from a live date in 1985 – 18 March at the Apollo Theatre, Oxford. This gig was the thirteenth date on the UK leg of the Meat Is Murder tour.

This leg of the tour started in February and ended in early April. For the Oxford date, BBC radio recorded and broadcast 14 of the songs played. As a result, there are live bootlegs where the sound quality is good and Marr’s guitar is very present in the mix, so it is a great source to study. On a personal note, as a teenager I sat and listened to the broadcast (on the Janice Long show) when it was aired and of course, taped it using my Hitachi boombox I had at the time. I don’t still have the tape, unfortunately.

However, you can find an excellent quality audio version on The Smiths Live YouTube channel, which is an amazing resource documenting all band live performances, grouped by year.

The BBC broadcast the following tracks (some songs played at the gig didn’t get an airing). Also, apparently the final song – You’ve Got Everything Now – is a recording from some other unspecified date.

Click the images below to see the videos published thus far and also what information I’m able to glean on the guitars, amps and effects that Marr was using in 1985 on the Meat Is Murder tour.

If you want to know more about how I’m trying to emulate this setup, check out my page Marr Live 1985 – Chasing The Tone.


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