Thursday, January 29, 2009

John Martyn

Nick Drake, Tim Buckley, Clifford T Ward, Elliott Smith, Jeff Buckley...

Sensitive male singer songwriters who died too young. John Martyn outlived them all but 60 is still too bloody young to go. I only got into John a few years ago but I love his albums to bits. He'd just been made an OBE along with hundreds of other people who have never been geniuses.

The UK is very strange.


  1. Oh No! It's been a bad week Geoff!

    I remember watching a stick-thin 22 year old John Martyn sitting on a stool in the bar at Woolwich Poly playing the most incredible acoustic guitar. I caught up again years later when I saw him doing stuff from "Cooltide" as a curmudgeonly but brilliant oldie and immediately started re-building the CD collection to fill in the gaps.

    He really lived life as a larger-than-life character and now I suppose he really is.

    RIP to a brilliant exponent of original music.

  2. He joins Ena Sharples with her OBE. The actress that played Ena Sharples that is: Violet Carson.

    And doesn't William Roache have an MBE?

  3. "60 is still too bloody young to go"
    I'm 100% with you there Geoff!

  4. He's throwing plectrums for Murph to catch.

    (WV: nonst = a kiddyfiddling saint)

  5. Nooooo! I never got to see him live!

    Why are all the good people dying at the moment?

  6. Rog - I saw The Nightingales, I've Got A Fuzzbox And I'm Gonna Use It, Clint Eastwood and General Saint, and The Enid at Woolwich Poly. I would have swapped them all for one John Martyn gig.

    MJ - OBEs are ten a penny. Knighthoods even more so. There should be a musical genius award. Trouble is, Sting would probably get one.

    Kaz - I suppose John's lifestyle didn't help. But what about all those 110 year olds who smoked 90 a day?

    Tim - A lovely image.

    Annie - It does seem that way. We need another Pinochet to cheer us up.

  7. Agreed 100%.

    And we chose the same song too. ;-)

  8. Oddly enough, I never lost my temper in a barroom fight.

    Last friday I went to a CD release gathering in a trendy loft studio in the groovy part of town (Go Moi!) to listen to a young sensitive man sing with his soul on his sleeve.

    I've known this kid since he was 3 and I was completely taken in by the intimacy of a guy and a guitar and the gumption to tell his story.
    It is the polar opposite of the cacaphony clogging the airwaves..
    what a shame.

  9. Oh I should clarify the barroom fighting. Canadian lads learn how to fight by playing the unsportsmanlike game of Ice Hockey...which is intended to instruct young boys to resolve conflicts through violent sudden outbursts as well as build character and nurture our unique notion of Peacekeeping for which we are reknown throughout the world.

    So I knew enough to pull the sweater over the face before delivering my haymaker to my now blind opponent.

    She would almost always hit the floor after the first punch.

  10. Rol - Great minds...

    HE - If I was a singer songwriter I'd be a sensitive one.

  11. And so soon after Davey Graham has popped his clogs.