John Martyn For Readers

Over the years, John has given many interviews. Sometimes on radio, sometimes for magazines. Also many stories have been published and even some books. And a special category are the tour programs.
I am certain of the following items. (Reviews have been left out, and short stories are only included if they carry a quote from John himself or if they contain new information.)

John Martyn: The Devil Inside

Jonny Jobson
The National

For decades he made some of the most beautiful music Scotland has ever produced, yet his life was haunted by demons which tore apart his marriage and drove him to drink. Now the album which documented his divorce in heartbreaking detail is to be celebrated at Celtic Connections. Jonny Jobson reflects on the grace and danger of a true genius.

Heaven And Earth: Musical Pioneer John Martyn’s Last Sonic Testament

Rock Paper

When the late British musical icon John Martyn sat down at the keys, veteran rock producer and good friend Jim Tullio sighed. Martyn, an innovative guitarist and singer, had just finished a suite for the London National Ballet Company, which Tullio was mixing, but insisted he needed to lay down a keyboard part. Tullio prepared for hours of noodling, but Martyn made one pass and left. As Tullio incorporated the track into the mix, he was blown away.

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John Martyn, One-Year Wake

Graeme Thomson
The Arts Desk (website)

Exactly a year ago, late in the morning of 29 January, 2009, the news began to circulate that John Martyn had died at the age of 60. I spent the following 24 hours or so talking to many of his cronies to help assemble a tribute feature for The Word magazine. Chris Blackwell, the man who had signed him to Island in 1967, had just stepped off a plane in Jamaica. He sounded fuzzy and uncertain. He knew Martyn was dead but needed details. "What happened, I haven't heard?" he asked. Pneumonia, I told him. "Ah, God, that'll do you in."

Saint or Sinner?

Russell Leadbetter
The Herald Scotland

Published on 25 Jan 2010

Almost a year after his death, John Martyn’s life is the focus of a celebratory concert. But the man behind the music remains as mysterious as ever.

He was an incurable romantic who was handy with his fists. Within his burly, imposing frame lay a soulful, expressive voice, and his songs lent themselves to cover versions by artists as renowned as Rod Stewart, Eric Clapton and Ralph McTell. As for his guitar playing, he was a master of the craft, an enduringly influential and inventive figure.

John Martyn, alas, is with us no more. He died less than a year ago, on January 29, 2009, aged just 60, of double pneumonia in a hospital in Ireland. On hearing the news, his long-time friend, the singer Phil Collins, was moved to say: "He was uncompromising, which made him infuriating to some people, but he was unique and we’ll never see the likes of him again. I loved him dearly and will miss him very much."


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