In his forthcoming memoir Set the Boy Free, Johnny Marr reveals that he and Morrissey discussed the “very real prospect” of a Smiths reunion in 2008.
In an excerpt from the autobiography, published Saturday in The Guardian, Marr said that talk of a potential Smiths reformation stemmed from a conversation about properly remastering the band’s albums. The face-to-face meeting marked the first time Marr and Morrissey had seen each other in a decade.
“We chatted, as we always did, about the records we loved, and eventually we moved onto ‘that subject’,” Marr wrote. “There had been rumors for years that the Smiths were about to re-form, and they were always untrue. I had never pursued any offer.”
The reunion conversation arrived a year after Morrissey turned down a reported $75 million offer to reconcile with Marr. Logistics were discussed, as the duo would need to find a replacement for drummer Mike Joyce, who fell out of favor with Marr and Morrissey after a royalties lawsuit in 1996.
“For four days it was a very real prospect. We would have to get someone new on drums, but if the Smiths wanted to re-form it would make a hell of a lot of people very happy, and with all of our experience we might even be better than before,” Marr wrote.
Marr and Morrissey planned to meet again to further the discussion, but “suddenly there was radio silence” and the communication between the two ceased. Eight years later, Marr believes that the band has run their course, but does not “feel unfriendly in any way towards Morrissey.”
Marr’s memoir details his life and contributions to the Smiths’ signature sound as a cofounder of the iconic British group. Set the Boy Free is due out Nov. 15.