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Last Updated: Friday, 19 October 2007, 16:51 GMT 17:51 UK
Smiths star made music professor
Johnny Marr
Johnny Marr was born in nearby Manchester
Former Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr has been made a visiting professor of music at the University of Salford.

Marr, who lent his guitar style to hits such as Panic and Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now, will deliver a series of workshops to undergraduates.

"Salford University is offering some fantastic opportunities to students in music," said the 43-year-old.

The Smiths split up in 1987. Marr went on to form the group Electronic and now plays with US indie band Modest Mouse.

Best gig

The Manchester-born musician will deliver a series of workshops and masterclasses to students on the BA Popular Music and Recording degree.

Morrissey and Marr formed The Smiths in 1982
The Smiths, formed in Manchester in 1982 by Marr and singer Morrissey, have close ties to Salford, and posed in front of the Salford Lads Club for the sleeve of their 1986 album The Queen is Dead.

The band also played one of their final gigs at the university in 1986, which Marr recalled as one of the best gigs they ever played.

He said: "The PA [system] had to be tied down because the floor was bouncing up so high that the stage was practically falling to pieces."

John Sweeney from the university's school of media, music and performance said Marr was "a revered guitarist and composer" who was held "in the highest esteem by many of his fellow performers".

"At the moment, he is back at the height of his considerable powers," Mr Sweeney added, "so it is a tremendous opportunity for our students to gain from Johnny's expertise and experience."

"He has so much to give and he is such a willing and enthusiastic guy - those students lucky enough to benefit from Johnny's appointment are in for something really special."

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