THE FIRST TIME I HEARD THE SMITHS is Part IV in an ongoing series where musicians and writers tell their stories of first hearing the music of an iconic artist or band. In this fourth volume (following the first three installments, which covered Joy Division/New Order, Cocteau Twins, and David Bowie), thirty-seven different musicians and writers remember their initial experiences with hearing the legendary Smiths, the influential 1980s alternative-rock band from Manchester, UK that featured vocalist Morrissey, guitarist Johnny Marr, bassist Andy Rourke and drummer Mike Joyce.
Contributors to this edition on The Smiths include musicians such as Craig Wedren (Shudder To Think), Miki Berenyi (Lush), Andrew Kenny (The American Analog Set), Lou Rhodes (Lamb), Simon Scott (Slowdive), Joan Wasser (Joan As Police Woman), Mark Wright (Hood), Matt Keppel (Microfilm), Ben Pleng (Yeti Lane, Cyann & Ben), Sam Rosenthal (Black Tape for a Blue Girl), Billie Lindahl (Promise and the Monster), Simon Dunford (The Bardots), Anna-Lynne Williams (Trespassers William, Ormonde), Meredith Meyer, Steven Dora (Geneva), Ben Daniels (A Sunny Day In Glasgow), Jennifer Baron (The Ladybug Transistor, The Garment District), Finn Vine (White Rose Transmission, Genuflex), Gary Deveney (My Latest Novel), Patrick Boutwell (The Brother Kite), Adam Forkner (Yume Bitsu, White Rainbow), Tim Arndt (Near the Parenthesis), Matt Baum (Desaparecidos, Bright Eyes), Christopher Moll (The Postmarks), Rebecca Coseboom (Halou, Stripmall Architecture); Sam Valenti (founder of record label Ghostly International); and writers like Caroline Leavitt, Vestal McIntyre, Jeffery Conway, Libby Cudmore, R. Zamora Linmark, Douglas Ferguson, Jason Schneiderman, Matthew Hittinger, Sheri Joseph, Douglas A. Martin, and Alistair McCartney.
The "First Time I Heard" book series is edited by Scott Heim, a novelist (Mysterious Skin, We Disappear) who is also a longtime music fan. Other installments in the series (or those forthcoming soon) include books on Joy Division / New Order, David Bowie, Cocteau Twins, Kate Bush, R.E.M., Kraftwerk, My Bloody Valentine, Abba, Roxy Music, The Pixies, and others.