respect the classics

Johnny Marr Goes Full Mob Boss, Says He ‘Dealt With’ Rick Astley’s Smiths Covers

Photo-Illustration: Vulture; Photos by Getty Images

The opposite of a Rickroll, we’ve decided, is a Marrrock. A week after Rick Astley went viral for his unexpectedly terrific performance of the Smiths’ “This Charming Man” as part of a mini Smiths cover tour, Johnny Marr is reiterating his annoyance with Astley’s creative pivot in a new interview with NME. “I didn’t ask for that, but sometimes stuff like that happens when you’re in the public eye,” the guitarist explained. “There was an M.O. there that just wasn’t very cool, but I’ve dealt with it. I think I’m a pretty reasonable person, and I’ve dealt with it.” (We have several questions about how he … “dealt” with it.) Marr had previously expressed chagrin with Astley and his backing band, Blossoms, on social media, tweeting that their collaboration was “funny and horrible at the same time”; he also claimed neither Astley nor Blossoms told him about their cover plans. However, Marr later clarified that he has “no problem with tribute bands, or with anyone doing anyone’s songs, and I’ve got no problem with Rick Astley.” It’s true. Marr even recorded a video giving himself a pompadour out of solidarity, which you can watch right here.

Johnny Marr Says He ‘Dealt With’ Rick Astley’s Smiths Covers