Thursday, 29 January 2009

John Martyn RIP

I’m very sad to hear news today of John Martyn’s death. I spent an afternoon with him a couple of years ago in Thomastown in Ireland, where he lived with his partner Teresa for the last few years of his life. He was an enormous man, listing like a great old galleon as he walked with his one good leg, but still powerful; something in his eyes warned you off trying on any nonsense.

We sat in the beer garden of Carroll’s pub (everyone knew him, of course) where he drank cider and vodka - in the same glass - and demolished a cheese & onion toastie, and was full of humour, hurt, anger and an odd kind of wisdom. I liked him very much, though I’m sure he was hard work to spend a lot of time with.

He died this morning aged 60, having just been awarded an OBE (I wonder whether he gave a fuck about that or not. Probably not. When I spoke to him he stated his desire to send the entire British Royal family to Elba). It’s no great surprise that he didn’t make it into his twilight years, given his various predelictions and demons, but he will still be sadly missed. What an original! Not just an astonishing guitar player, but also a brilliantly adventurous vocalist and a remarkable songwriter.

This performance is so beautiful. S’long John.


Susie said...

Thanks for that, Graeme. He was everything you said - but a dear and sweet man. Quiet weeping and a glass raised; will never, never forget my old friend. McGeachie of MacDonald of Clanranald - a one-off.

Anonymous said...

For 40+ years his music has been a major part of my live, thru great to dismal periods. I've watch him in front of 20 people and 10,000, sometimes the best there is and when the ocasion came around "radge", but he was in the top 3 Uk musicians "in my estimation" So R.I.P. "Big Man", gone but never to be forgotten

Anonymous said...

So under estimated unbelievable songwriter first genius guitarist second.
is it possible you could give a link to the whole interview ?
keep up the brilliant work