Johnny Marr Doesn't Exactly Approve of Rick Astley Covering the Smiths

BY Allie GregoryPublished Sep 17, 2021

Earlier this week, fans rejoiced at seeing Rick Astley's take on the Smiths' 1984 classic "This Charming Man." The '80s pop icon delivered a cover so smooth — alongside Blossoms at a London-area performance — that some were ready to see Astley replace the ever-controversial Morrissey as the bandleader of the Smiths. Now, however, the group's former guitarist Johnny Marr has offered his take on the cover — and he's not exactly thrilled.

Responding to a video of Astley and Blossoms' performance, the musician wrote that their cover "is both funny and horrible at the same time," on Twitter. Elaborating in interactions with fans, Marr went on to suggest that neither Astley nor Blossoms got his approval ahead of the performance.

"Didn't mention when we were hanging out a few weeks ago. Must've slipped their minds," he wrote.

Whether or not Marr approves of the covers, fans seem to be jumping at the chance to consume the music of the Smiths without feeling a sense of guilt for supporting Morrissey.

Alongside numerous fans, even Laura Jane Grace co-signed the performance, writing on September 15: "Mind blowing how in 2021 Rick Astley is infinitely cooler than Morrissey. Never would have predicted this 20 years ago. The wheel keeps on turning."

Astley and Blossoms have scheduled a pair of performances comprising entirely Smiths covers in October. The first will take place on October 8 in Manchester, and the second will kick off on October 9 in London.

In addition to their cover of "This Charming Man," the newly minted Smiths tribute ensemble also recently shared behind-the-scenes footage from a rehearsal space ahead of their UK gigs, warming up with a rousing rework of "Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now." 

See Marr's reaction to the tributes below.

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