Joe Moss, the Smiths and Johnny Marr’s Manager, Dies at 72

Joe Moss, who was the manager of the Smiths and Johnny Marr, died Friday after battling cancer. He was 72.

The manager met Marr in Manchester in the 1980s, sparking Marr’s beginnings in the music industry. Moss mentored Marr and guided the Smiths through their early days, supplying the group with a van and rehearsal space, securing record contracts as well as publishing and agency deals, and helping hire a dedicated crew.

“Joe was a one-off, an amazing person and totally unique,” Marr said in a statement on his website. “He started looking after me when I was 17; it was Joe who put the idea in my head to go and knock on Morrissey’s door.”

“He invested his time and money in us when no one else wanted to know, and his belief in us kept us going. Without him there wouldn’t have been any Smiths. He was an original beatnik and a true bohemian, respected by all. Everyone who met him loved him; he can never be replaced.”

Moss left the Smiths in 1983, but resumed managing with the groups Marion and Haven, with Marr producing. Moss promoted shows at Manchester’s Night and Day Café on Oldham Street in the ’90s. He took on his old role of Marr’s manager in 1999 — a position he kept until the present.

In addition to Marr, Moss is survived by his wife, Sarah, and children, David, Rachael, Ivan, Stella and Edie.

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