Pop Quiz: Johnny Marr

johnny marr

Aidin Vaziri | You can hardly blame Johnny Marr for avoiding a steady gig after spending five wondrous, tumultuous years as the guitar player for the seminal British indie band the Smiths. As a free agent, the 49-year-old Manchester native was able to play with everyone from Bryan Ferry and the Pretenders to Modest Mouse and the Cribs – moving on whenever he felt like it. Now Marr has recorded a solo album, “The Messenger,” and is getting a taste for being the one leading the charge. He performs Saturday at the Fillmore.

Q: You have been a sideman since you started playing guitar. How are you adjusting to being out front?

A: It’s going fine. I don’t think about it too much. You just get on with doing it.

Q: It feels like you don’t have the kind of mental disorder required to be a front man.

A: I know a few great men and women who just get on with the business of fronting of a band. Joe Strummer doesn’t strike me as mentally unstable. Nor does Chrissie Hynde.

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