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Johnny Marr Addresses Reaction to Morrissey’s Open Letter: ‘You Have to Defend Yourself’

'The letter was designed to be insulting, wasn’t it?'
Johhny Marr
(Credit: Jim Dyson/Redferns)

Last month, Morrissey set his sights on Johnny Marr in a scathing open letter where he accused his former bandmate of using his name as “clickbait” in interviews.

“The fact is: you don’t know me.  You know nothing of my life, my intentions, my thoughts, my feelings.  Yet you talk as if you were my personal psychiatrist with consistent and uninterrupted access to my instincts.” Moz wrote in part. “Must you persistently, year after year, decade after decade, blame me for everything … from the 2007 Solomon Islands tsunami to the dribble on your grandma’s chin?”

Marr addressed the statement on Twitter, writing: “An ‘open letter’ hasn’t really been a thing since 1953, It’s all ‘social media’ now. Even Donald J Trump had that one down. Also, this fake news business…a bit 2021 yeah?”

Though nothing more came of the spat, Marr discussed why he reacted the way he did during an interview with The Sunday Times.

“When you’re attacked out of the blue, particularly in public, you have to defend yourself,” he admitted. “The letter was designed to be insulting, wasn’t it? That has to have been the idea. If it’s something that’s not based in fact, you have to react in kind, which is just with ridicule.”

The former Smiths guitarist then noted how he’s been receiving a lot of attention recently for his latest solo album Fever Dreams Pts 1-4, and Morrissey is starved for attention. “Look, it was about [his wanting] attention…and I’m getting a lot of it,” Marr said. “I’ve got my new record coming out, and that’s getting attention too. All my solo records have. I just do what I do. I’ll just carry on being who I am.”