02 Sep 1998
[intro Excuse Me Mister playing]
CL: You have been doing this for... for all of my life really. [laughs] How differently do you see the music business now, compared to when you started?
JM: It's entirely different, I mean, in those days you could have an album for 112 quid, you know what I mean, as long as you were quick about it. You could actually make an album for very very little money, as long as you had the deal. I got through the folk clubs, which is a much easier and sweeter way of learning it, you know what I'm saying. They have all got their little charts, and if you weren't any good, than nobody clapped. [chuckles] It was like the clapometer, you know, if they were satisfied.
They were very eclectic, you could go to guys that couldn't play at all; nobody cared just what they played... And you got guys who knocked [bands] out, nobody worried about them. So it was great for people who were talented, and very easy for people who weren't talented. It was very nice, it was very open and sweet. Just a gentle scene [to be in].
[intro Glory Box]
CL: So tell me the very cool story about The church with one bell. And the unusual record deal you had for it.
JM: Well I just hadn't enough money to buy it. And there was going to be some peculiar people moving in. And I always liked the church, you know what I mean. And I really did not want to be concerned about more English people than was absolutely necessary. [chuckles] And I asked the Scottish [chuckles] at the record company -well they're not Scottish, they're English based but most of the staff are Scottish- and I said, listen, why they should put me into this church.
They said; What?!
I said, Yes, and I need some money...
They said, OK, well let's get back to you. They said: What we want you to do is an album of covers. We send you all of these songs to listen to, and you do the ones you like best. And that's what they did to me. And they gave me the church for that. So they straightened me out, very cool.
CL: A good deal...
JM: Yeah, it's nice. [I just like it].
[Sunshine's Better playing]
CL: And more John Martyn in the future?
JM: Ah, loads of it. [A bunch I'm making.]
CL: Settle this for me: 1948 or 1949?
JM: 1948 I fear...
CL: Happy 50th birthday.
JM: Thank you very much.