While the Sun was running a story about The Smiths being paid a fortune to play a show in America in 2009, a couple of the U.K.’s more serious papers were reporting that guitarist Johnny Marr is to be the visiting professor of music at Salford University.
Regardless of whether the popular Manchester act plays California’s Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, it seems Marr will be lecturing students on a regular basis.
His debut lecture will be in the university’s Maxwell Hall Nov. 4 and is expected to be about music’s “mavericks” and “innovators.” The Smiths played the Maxwell Hall in 1986.
After the band split in 1987, Marr went on to appear in bands such as Electronic and is now a member of Modest Mouse.
“His lecture is a tremendous opportunity for our students and the wider public to benefit from his considerable experience and expertise,” said John Sweeney from the university’s School of Media, Music and Performance. “It promises to be a really special event.”
The lecture, titled “Always From The Outside: Mavericks, Innovators And Building Your Own Ark,” is also open to the public.
According to the Sun, the former band members have been offered the opportunity to reform for Coachella, although former frontman Morrissey once reportedly turned down £2.8 million ($4.56 million) to play the event in the past.
The paper quotes a source as saying a reunion has looked impossible in the past, but the buzz around the people who used to work for the band suggests they could play Coachella for a ludicrous amount of money.
“It’s closer than it ever has been. The split was a messy affair, but time’s a healer,” the mystery source explained.