So, on Monday it was the 30th anniversary of this being released.
It’s the Smiths’ debut single, Hand In Glove.
It came out on May 13th 1983. Four years later the group had split up.
In between was as creative and intensive and prolific a lifespan as any band ever had.
Four ‘proper’ albums, ten non-album singles and a B-side quality control like no-one else.
Johnny Marr wrote all the music, played all the guitars, produced most of the records and did all this while obscenely young and having great hair.
Incredibly, for much of the band’s life, he also functioned as the band’s manager.
He took care of the admin. He booked TV appearances. He scheduled studio sessions.
He ran the whole thing.
He was 19 when Hand In Glove came out, 23 and burned out when he left the group.
And all this because Morrissey didn’t trust ‘outsiders’ who could have acted as managers.
There was a moment, before breaking point hit, where Morrissey momentarily relented.
But rather than hire a manager, what Morrissey actually did was recruit second guitarist.
To play alongside Johnny at gigs.
Clearly this wasn’t the problem that needed solving.
The one thing Johnny Marr doesn’t need any help with is playing the guitar.
But bringing in someone else to do what he did need help with might have saved the band.
I always feel sad when I think about this.
A young, voraciously creative guy, born to do what he loves and brilliant at it.
Asked to fit a mold he’s not built for, for the convenience of the set-up around him.
His talent gladly used by those around him, but little attention paid to what might make him happy, most productive or even better at what he does.
I feel sad because of the lost output, the broken relationship, the unfulfilled potential.
It’s been 30 years since the Smiths emerged.
I wonder how many Johnny Marrs agencies have let go since then?