Fame is a Marr-athon

 Johnny Marr’s delicious sound has been as influential as that of any big Britpop star. He may not have the profile-or the ego-of his lead collaborator, Morrissey, but the former co-songwriter and lead guitarist of The Smiths is widely considered one of the most significant contributors to the U.K. indie scene. (He received the 2013 Godlike Genius award from British music paper NME.)

Recently released album Playland shows Marr drawing on the Brit back catalogue, his riffs sound-checking everyone from The Beatles to Blur, plus nods to punk (Sex Pistols, The Clash) and the ’80s new wave of Joy Division/New Order. (Trivia note: way back when, Marr played in Electronica with Bernard Sumner.) He’s worked with Bryan Ferry, The Pet Shop Boys, and Billy Bragg, and has been a member of The The, The Cribs, and Modest Mouse. As a musician, he’s right up there. “If you’re in a successful band, you tend to fal into a role” he has said of fame. “But I’m not remotely laddish. I’m a grownup. I’m a vegan and teetotal. I run 50 miles a week listening to Franz Ferdinand and The Four Tops at top volume.”