Renowned guitarist Johnny Marr has dismissed years of gossip about Factory Records turning down The Smiths as “a crock of shit.”
Speaking in an interview in this week’s edition of NME, Marr says that the band were never refused a deal by the infamous Manchester label. “If you were a musician in Manchester at that time, it was almost the law that you went on your hands and knees and begged Tony Wilson for his papal blessing to stick you in the studio, and I wasn’t about to do that,” he says.
“So much has been made of Factory apparently turning The Smiths down, but that’s a crock of shit,” he continues. “The Smiths would have signed to Factory over my dead body… I didn’t want to be assimilated into the Factory aesthetic. Before we knew it, we would’ve had side-partings and khaki shorts, with bongos round our necks… No disrespect to A Certain Ratio.”
The new edition of the NME is a 30th anniversary special celebrating the release of The Smith’s debut album from 1984. The magazine is on newsstands now.