Smiths guitarist Jonnny Marr is to become a prof at Salford University.  As someone on a rather more lowly rung of the academic ladder, I’d like to congratulate him on his entry to the professoriat. This is not a case of dumbing down in any way, shape or form – the Smiths were always the most intelligent of the indie bunch in the 80s in so small part due to Marr’s exhaustive knowledge of the fretboard. I hope that Salford will give him the space to develop some exciting courses. A BA or BMus in Smiths content, meaning and form in terms of aesthetics, musicology and lyrical contribution could straddle the composition and social aspects of them. It’d be a model of inter-disciplinarity and should recruit well including from the golden goose category of international students. Can’t see Professor Marr* wearing patches on his elbows myself though.

* Interesting fact, his real name was Maher but he changed it not to be confused with theBuzzcocks drummer John Maher