Marr’s Guitars

Dey Street. Oct. 2023. 288p. ISBN 9780063311060. $60. MUSIC
From Marr’s first professional electric guitar, a black 1980 Gibson Les Paul Standard, to those he employed on megahits such as “How Soon Is Now?” and “This Charming Man,” this book photographically depicts the most significant of the author’s 130+ guitars, accumulated over his storied career. Marr is famous for his groundbreaking instrumentation with the Smiths, the The, Electronic, and Modest Mouse, as well as his solo work. Unlike most guitar collectors, whose primary concern is ensuring pristine condition and rising value, Marr uses his instruments extensively. Excellent photography and charming anecdotes provide details and fascinating background stories, all showing the pricelessness of these noteworthy instruments. Readers will learn and see how Marr’s performances have left an indelible mark on the musical landscape over the last 40 years. For those who appreciate and instantly recognize his inventive tones and stylish riffs, it’s illuminating to see the musical instruments that actually produced those familiar sounds. From the 1977 Gretsch Super Axe played on the early recordings of the Smiths, through Marr’s current signature Fender Jaguar model, it’s all here.
VERDICT An intriguing assemblage of iconic guitars that reflect one of rock music’s most influential innovators.
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