Johnny Marr dropped a bombshell in his about-to-be-released biography Set The Boy Free -- the Smiths came so very close to reuniting in 2008. In a excerpt of the book, published in the Guardian, Marr revealed that he met up with Morrissey at a pub in 2008 (he had been in contact with him earlier in the year after reaching an agreement to remaster the Smiths' catalog). When they met up the drinks were flowing, as were the memories, and the two eventually discussed reuniting and how a potential reunion could work:
"Suddenly we were talking about the possibility of the band re-forming, and in that moment it seemed that with the right intention it could actually be done and might even be great.
"For four days it was a very real prospect...Morrissey and I continued our dialogue and planned to meet up again. I went to Mexico with the Cribs, and then suddenly there was radio silence. Our communication ended, and things went back to how they were and how I expect they always will be."
Just imagine being at the pub witnessing Morrissey and Marr rekindling their friendship! Lucky for them, it was 2008 -- a time where smart phones were just getting introduced and camera phones took mostly worthless pictures -- so they were able to keep it on the down low. Had their pub meetup occurred a few years later, there would undoubtedly be photographic and video evidence.
Though there was no further talk of reuniting, Marr told the Guardian he was in contact with Morrissey again in 2010 after he saw a picture of a young protester wearing a Smiths shirt -- the photo captured the protester confronting police in front of the House of Parliament, which Marr found quite moving. He texted the photo to Morrissey and the two ended up sharing a few texts but that was it:
"...although I felt I’d created a moment of friendship, an air of disaffection and distrust remained between us. It was a shame."
Read the full excerpt plus an in depth interview with Marr over at the Guardian .
Set The Boy Free will be released in North America on November 15th (in the U.K. on November 3rd). Pre-order from Amazon.
Published October 29th, 2016