Johnny Marr has not lacked for New Zealand stamps on his passports over the years.
The one-man British rock institution might not have made it here with the band that first made his name - the Smiths - as a guitarist and songwriter. But he's been a regular visitor since first coming here with The The in the late 80s.
Marr has also been here for both of Neil Finn's 7 Worlds Collide supergroup live sets and album sessions. And he was here in 2010 with The Cribs - just one of the bands which has had a leg-up from his brief involvement. The list of acts he's played with live or in the studio is vast and impressive.
Still, Johnny Marr has never really been here as Johnny Marr.
But on the back of two solo albums - 2011's The Messenger and last year's Playland - Marr is finally headed here under his own name.
"It wasn't like I was harbouring some burning desire for 30 years to see my name on a a marquee somewhere," laughs the perpetual sideman and guitar hero.
Yes there was a Johnny Marr and the Healers in the early nougties. But Marr says the decision to fly under his own solo flag came during the recording of The Messenger.
"A couple of weeks into these songs flying out of the speakers, my co-producer said 'you have to do it under your own name' and that came as somewhat of a surprise. I lived with that for a couple of weeks and thought 'if it's cool with the band, it makes sense'.
"Once I had made that decision I absorbed the responsibility and the significance of it, if you like, and then that took me up another step in my writing and my singing and everything.
"I kind of started to carry it a little bit once I got my head around it. It's perfectly natural now."
Marr might not have the distinctive vocals of say, a Steven Patrick Morrissey, but he's been singing the Smiths songs live for years and as Playland proves, he's a commanding presence at the microphone.
"Yeah I love singing. I love what I think used to be called rock'n'roll singing - it doesn't seem to be that common now. That's the kind of singer that I want in my group and so I am happy to do that. I take it seriously and honour it.
"I think I have a healthy dose of just-get-on-with-it also. The days of people standing in a candlelit room to do their vocal takes are well and truly behind us. Unless you are Stevie Nicks. In which case you are allowed."
Marr says the live set for his Auckland show won't ignore the old songs from his most beloved band. "I am honoured and consider myself lucky that I have songs people have grown up with and love so much, so why I would not want to play 'em?
"It would be a different matter if I was propping up my new stuff with my legacy. I don't think I could do that, but we have a really good balance and people really love the new stuff, which makes me want to play the new songs as a celebration."
Fronting his own band takes him back to his pre-Smiths days.
"When I was 14, 15, 16 and in different bands I was kind of elected to go to the front and sing because no one else could be bothered.
"So a combination of knowing what that means - and I have to say all the amazing frontmen and singers that I've played behind, they've not so much taught me but I know what I 've expected of them and I know what kind of ask it is."
Marr though is most appreciated by a generation or two as a very British sort of guitar hero - one who combined a distinctive mix of chiming jangle, funky rhythm, moody effects and ringing harmonics. His style has been a mix of crafty technician and melodic magician. He's been cited as an influence by many, though one of his biggest neophytes, Noel Gallagher, says that's not possible.
"You can't be 'influenced' by Johnny Marr because he's unique, you can't play what he plays," Gallagher has said, "Even he can't play what he plays. Even he's not as good as he is! If anyone knows how to play guitar, it's him."
Marr's own guitar influences were wide - as a teenage guitar fanatic he says he absorbed everyone from English folk guitarist Bert Jansch to Bill Nelson of Be-Bop Deluxe to English session man Chris Spedding to pre-E Street band Nils Lofgren to funk stylist Nile Rodgers to Television's Tom Verlaine and Richard Lloyd to New York Doll Johnny Thunders to Irish blues-rocker Rory Gallagher.
"In the mid 70s there were an awful lot of guitar players and me and my friends were absolute experts and aficionados of the whole lot ... it was a very rich time much denigrated because there was a whole lot of bad music. I was just guitar-crazy and I believed - and I still do - that playing the guitar can be heroic. And I don't know why. Too late to change really.
"The mid-70s was riddled by a lot of bad blues rock. But James Williamson [of the Stooges] I always loved and probably loved more than anyone else because the night I got [the album] Raw Power was one of those days that we all have if we're lucky, that we know that our lives are changing as it's happening. I really have James to thank for that."
And with that we're out of time meaning there's no time to talk about all those bands he's been in and how his own autobiography, is due out next year. Long-term Smiths followers are sure to find it intriguing after Morrissey's stinging 2013 memoir.
Still, we've got through an interview with Johnny Marr without once asking a question about the Smiths or any reunion possibilities - do we win a prize?
"You know? You absolutely do."