With a little help from the Manchester guitar hero, John Denton is hoping to make it in the music business.
John has been causing a stir on social media by playing tunes by legendary Manchester band The Smiths while busking on Market Street.
Now Smiths songwriter Johnny Marr is returning the compliment after the Salford schoolboy became the first recipient of his new funding award for young musicians.
John was selected for funding by the charity The Salford Foundation Trust, which operates the Johnny Marr Award to support talented youngsters in the city.
The young guitarist has been awarded £1,000 funding to pay for extra singing and guitar lessons to progress to the next level in his performances.
You can check out John’s Twitter by clicking here.
John started playing at the age of eight when he received his first guitar as a Christmas present.
He has played gigs around his home town, including at Salford Lads Club – where his hero Johnny Marr posed with The Smiths for an iconic photograph famously used inside the album sleeve for ‘The Queen Is Dead’ in 1986.
John has already met Johnny once before – when he chatted to him at a record signing event at Manchester’s Piccadilly Records for the release of Johnny’s new album ‘Fever Dreams Pts 1-4’, where John asked him for advice about forming a band.
He has since gone on to form his own group called ‘The Height’ – named after an area in Salford near where he lives – and the group released their first single just before Christmas.
He was selected for the award by a panel at the Salford Foundation Trust, a local charity which supports talented young people in the city.
The Johnny Marr Award will run for three years, selecting another young musician from Salford each year for financial assistance.
John’s dad Phil Denton said: “John’s ambition is to have a career in music. He will be using the funding to have music lessons to help both his guitar playing and his singing.
“In these tough times it’s a massive help and means that he can progress in his passion.
“Music is not a hobby for John but just who he is and a creative outlet he hopes to enjoy for the rest of his life. He is incredibly grateful to Johnny and the Salford Foundation Trust who have provided this opportunity.
“It is a real privilege to get this award and he is determined to make the very most of the opportunity he has been given.”
Johnny Marr said: “It’s a pleasure and privilege to give some assistance to a young musician especially when they’re as dedicated as John. Well done brother.”
Peter Collins CBE, from The Salford Foundation Trust, said: “There couldn’t be a more worthy recipient of the Johnny Marr Award. Even though John is only 12 he’s already proven he’s committed to making a future in music and we’re delighted the Trust can give him a helping hand on this journey.”