View Full Version : John Martyn

01-29-2009, 10:22 AM
Singer-songwriter John Martyn has died at the age of 60.

Martyn won a lifetime achievement prize at last year's Radio 2 Folk Awards

The folk, blues and funk artist was widely regarded as one of the most soulful and innovative singer-songwriters of his generation.

He was born in Surrey but grew up in Glasgow. He was appointed an OBE in the New Year Honours.

A statement on his website on Thursday said: "With heavy heart and an unbearable sense of loss we must announce that John died this morning."

The musican, who passed away in hospital in Ireland, has been cited as an influence by artists as varied as U2, Portishead and Eric Clapton.

He was regarded as a maverick within the music industry and battled with drugs and alcohol throughout his life.

Born Ian David McGreachy in Surrey in 1948, he spent his much of his formative years at his father's home in Glasgow following the divorce of his parents.

Folk scene

He moved to London in his late teens and became a fixture at Les Cousins - the Soho club at the centre of the city's folk scene, which also spawned the likes of Ralph McTell, Bert Jansch and Al Stewart.

He was the first white act to be signed to Chris Blackwell's Island Records, and recorded his debut album, London Conversation, for £158 in 1968.

He collaborated with many musicians throughout his life, including Phil Collins, and his song May You Never was covered by many artists - including Clapton.

Many of his albums - especially Solid Air, released in 1973 - are regarded as classics.

In 2003, he had to have his right leg amputated below the knee after a cyst burst, and in his latter years he performed from a wheelchair.

Source: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/glasgow_and_west/7858458.stm

01-29-2009, 11:00 AM
One of the best guitarists I've ever seen live, right up there with Richard Thompson and Steve Cropper.

This song didn't even make it to his "best of" album!

And this one is easily his most famous song:

Last time I saw him was at a tiny music venue in Oxford, usually reserved for classical music, which doesn't allow drinking or smoking. Martyn wandered onto the stage with a huge spliff in one hand and a pint in the other! (an assistant trailed behind him carrying his guitar).

01-29-2009, 03:21 PM
In Michael Winterbottom's 24 Hour Party People, the story of Tony Wilson and the founding of Manchester, England's Factory Records, ex-hippie Wilson is smoking dope and listening to "Solid Air" when he realizes he has to tear down all of his posters to make wall space for new acts...