Johnny Marr and Andy Rourke have reunited for their first song in 35 years.
The Smiths guitarist features as a guest on ‘Strong Forever’, a track by his former bandmate’s current group, Blitz Vega.
Andy said: “We’ve remained friends, we’ve known each other since we were 13 years old. He’s my oldest and dearest friend and I feel our friendship gets stronger as time passes.”
The track was originally conceived as a charity single for an anti-discrimination in football campaign and also featured vocals from former Kasabian singer Tom Meighan alongside Johnny on guitar.
But after the ‘Fire’ hitmaker was convicted of domestic violence in 2020, the track was reworked without the charity angle and developed with DJ Z-Trip over the last two years, and now has Blitz Vega’s own Kav Blaggers on vocals.
Kav – who used to play guitar for Happy Mondays – told Rolling Stone magazine: “Andy [Rourke] calls me and he says Johnny said he’ll record some guitar on the track. I was like, ‘What? Johnny? Johnny Marr?’ He’s like, ‘Yeah,’ in his laidback but very Mancunian way.
“I wanted exactly what Johnny does.
“He has a very distinctive sound, and that’s what he did. We love what he brought to the track.”
The single is the start of big plans for Blitz Vega.
Kav said: “We have some singles coming out early next year, and we’re releasing an eight-song 12-inch vinyl for Record Store Day.
“We look forward to getting out there and taking our sounds to the people who wanna see us play live.”
While Johnny and Andy have been back in the studio together, fans shouldn’t anticipate a Smiths reunion as singer Morrissey has repeatedly ruled it out and even told the guitarist to stop talking about him in interviews.
The ‘Panic’ singer also claimed: “I don’t know a single person who wants a Smiths reunion.”