His songs got at that yearning for – something. more. sex. love. escape. all of it & none of it. (It didn’t hurt that his voice was incredibly hot, either.)
You can go here to see some of the live performance from when Johnny Marr was playing with the The. Apparently he was as proud of Dusk as he was of Strangeways, Here We Come. (So there.)
The best gig I’ve ever found out about was the The at CBGB. I was walking down 7th Avenue, near St. Vincent’s (Hospital), and I was wearing am Infected t-shirt, and a guy stopped me & said, “You like the The? They’re playing a secret gig at CBs tomorrow night. They won’t be on the list. Just buy a ticket. Promise.” So my friend Brian & I bought tickets, mostly thinking we were going to see some band we’d never heard of. I was sitting on the bar knocking the heels of my boots against it anxiously, waiting & hoping, & then – out came Matt Johnson & the band: sometimes wishes come true. I can’t even count how many other times I saw them – in London, at the Beacon, at Symphony Space even. I skipped high school to meet Matt Johnson as he was leaving WLIR after an interview. Misspent youth, indeed.
Here are a few other favorites: Sodium Light Baby – The Mercy Beat (song starts at 00:45) – Perfect – Jealous of Youth (which is one of my favorite bass lines) – & there’s even some early & cool Matt Johnson from Burning Blue Soul – Bugle Boy.
(Writing this post took a few hours of my life, poking around YouTube, playlist.com, trouserpress.com and various other spots. Damn. It’s a good thing I don’t have my vinyl collection with me, or the whole night would be gone. Now if someone could send me an .mp3 of “Jealous of Youth” I’d be most appreciative.)