Whilst perusing the wonderful Spotify free music website with Mairin on Sunday morning, discussing the most influential musicians of the rock era I was shocked to discover that one of our choices, John Martyn had died some two months previously.
Being an avid follower of news and current affairs via Sky News and the Guardian, I was amazed that this event had passed under my radar but on further investigation it seems that Martyn’s demise had barely troubled the media.
I had a copy of Solid Air and Live at Leeds in the ‘eighties and remember them being really bathartic as Martyn slipped from the jaunty folk Over the Hill to the heavier rock influence of I’d Rather Be the Devil in the twinkling of an eye.
Recently I had compiled some more of his back catalogue through the Library, and although the sobriquets influential and innovative are often done to death, they are wholly appropriate for John Martyn as one minute you are tapping your feet, the next you may be wondering what was really going on in the studio for ten minutes, and then you are carried away on a soothing sonic pillow. Marvellous.
Martyn worked with a large variety of people but I wonder what would have come out of a collaboration with another loss to music over the last twelve months, namely Rick Wright?
Here are John and Danny Thompson performing his obituary to Nick Drake, Solid Air.