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The autobiography of one the most influential guitarists and artists of all time.

Johnny Marr was born in 1960’s Manchester to Irish emigrant parents and knew from an early age that he would be a musician. Forming his first band, at thirteen, Marr spent his teenage years on the council estates of Wythenshawe playing guitar, devouring pop culture and inventing his own musical style.

It wasn't until the early eighties, when Marr turned up on the doorstep of a singer named Steven Patrick Morrissey, that both a unique song writing partnership and the group recognised as one of the most iconic bands of all time were formed. In 1983 The Smiths released their first single, and within a year their eponymous debut album reached number two in the UK chart, paving the way for mainstream and critical success on their own terms.

For Marr, tensions within the band and desire for a wider musical scope lead to his departure from The Smiths in 1987, ensuring the end for one of the most influential British groups of a generation.

But this was just the beginning for Marr. From forming Electronic and The Healers to playing with Bryan Ferry, Talking Heads, Kirsty MacColl, Pet Shop Boys, Billy Bragg, Nile Rogers and Bert Jansch. From joining The Pretenders, The The, Modest Mouse and The Cribs to recently collaborating with Hans Zimmer and receiving acclaim and worldwide success in his own right as a solo artist, Marr has never stopped. Here, for the first time, he tells his own side of the story.

From roaming the streets of Manchester to constantly pushing musical boundaries as the most loved guitarist Britain has ever produced, Johnny Marr’s memoir is the true history of music - told by one of its very own legends.

Reviews

. . . wise, breezy, supersmart memoir . . . Marr’s defiantly unghostwritten book is pleasant and direct . . .

Guardian

An unpretentious, clearly written memoir recounting his journey from a working-class upbringing on the outskirts of Manchester to his status as a musical polymath

The Times

Set the Boy Free – a telling title again – is much more than an obituary for a brilliant band. It’s also a love letter to the women in Marr’s life … and a guide on how to keep changing and moving on with your creative life.

The Observer

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Formats & editions

  • Paperback

    9781784751791

    May 29, 2017

    Arrow

    480 pages

    RRP $22.99

    Online retailers

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    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
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    • Dymocks
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    • The Nile
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    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
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    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • Hardback

    9781780894324

    November 15, 2016

    Century

    464 pages

    RRP $59.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • Trade Paperback

    9781780894331

    November 14, 2016

    Century

    464 pages

    RRP $35.00

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • EBook

    9781473519558

    November 3, 2016

    Cornerstone Digital

    464 pages

    RRP $35.00

    Online retailers

    • Amazon Kindle
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    • eBooks
    • Google Play
    • iBooks
    • Kobo
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