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Johnny Marr's High School English Teacher Reviewed His Autobiography

"Well done Johnny. You made your old English teacher very proud!"

Last November, Johnny Marr of The Smiths and later of Modest Mouse and others, released an autobiography called Set the Boy Free. It was generally favorably received (more than can be said of some of his former bandmate Morrissey's literary endeavors), and yet another glowing review has now been unearthed.

It has flown under the internet's radar until now, but back in December, Johnny's English teacher at St. Augustine's Grammar School weighed in on the book, via the time-honored medium of Amazon review:


I had a particular interest in the book because I taught Johnny in my first teaching job at St Augustine's in 1977. I was his English teacher and also his football manager and I remember what a good player he was - skilful, athletic and very determined. I also remember some perceptive careers advice I gave Johnny. I told him he could be a success in life if he focused on his English and got rid of his guitar!

Thankfully, we all know what he did with the guitar advice but I was also delighted to see that Johnny did indeed focus on his English in that "Set the Boy Free" doesn't just record a remarkable life but is beautifully written as well. Naturally, I was particularly interested in the early years especially the Wythenshawe section but, in truth, it was a gripping read from the first page to last.

The most powerful impact of the book is not just that it records the amazing story of a world famous rock star but it reveals what a great human being Johnny Marr truly is. Well done Johnny. You made your old English teacher very proud!

"I was also delighted to see that Johnny did indeed focus on his English." I'm not crying I just have something in all of my eyes.

And yeah, though there's no way of knowing whether the real Jim Foley, Johnny's actual teacher, is definitely the person behind this review, it's certainly very sweet to think of an old man taking to Amazon (!) to sound off about his favorite pupil.

Shut up, YOU'RE crying.

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(Image via Wikimedia Commons)