Saturday, 31 January 2009

John Martyn Is Dead

Anyone who has seen John Martyn over the last few years knew that he would probably shuffle off this mortal coil earlier than had he lived the life of a trappist monk. And there is the irony of so many great artists: the disolution, the hedonism - call it what you will - is what gave the edge to the art.

The other side of it for me is that John Martyn has been the sound track to so many bits of my life. His variety of his styles has meant there has never been a time or mood without a song to suit it. In fact his many metamorphoses have often coincided with my own.

He has never been an apologist for his life alcohol abuse and in fact in a recent, not yet aired, interview was positively ebullient about his suspicion that his body was running out of its capacity to contain him. You can't help but smile when you listen to his matter of fact irascible good-humouredness.

I'm not one for mawkish sentimentality, nor wearing my heart on my sleeve. Whenever I feel like that I slip a John Martyn record on - he's far too good at doing it for me. But if blogging is about anything, it is about jotting down a note or two about those moments that matter. And John Martyn's dying matters to me.

If you are not familiar with his music have a look at this 2007 interview and then work backwards from there - I couldn't begin to recommend a favourite track - I have so many, just go and explore.


Steve said...


I raised a glass on Thursday evening and wallowed in his past catalogue for an hour or two. RIP Big Man.

Katherine said...

I'm sorry to say I never knew this man's work. I'll be listening to more. Very powerful.