Heaven Can Wait

James McNair
The Independent

The guitarist John Martyn has swapped hellraising for Buddhism. He explains his change of direction to James McNair

John Martyn's four-decade career has certainly seen its share of alcohol-fuelled misadventure. He once awoke to find that Pentangle's double-bassist, Danny Thompson, had nailed him under a carpet; his pancreas burst in 1996; and in July 2002 he was forced to don a neck brace after a head-on collision with a cow. When I interviewed him about 1999's Glasgow Walker album, he was nursing a dislocated shoulder after a fall. Since then, he has broken an arm and several toes.

Solid Support

Dorset Echo

"Since the incident with the leg, I've not been able to get about too well, so I've put on quite a bit of weight," he says. "Still, I've had a couple of suits made, so I should look the part."

I'm Still Standing

Aidan Smith
Scotland on Sunday

IN HIS travels from Glasgow to Jamaica, and to hell and back, John Martyn must have called countless pubs his local - but surely there can have been few more homely than Carroll's. If you were a cynic you might say that Thomastown in County Kilkenny had a touch of the Brigadoons, or the Irish equivalent, about it. But that is a cynicism born of watching too many episodes of Ballykissangel on TV and seeing too many Oirish bars with names such as Shamus O'Bogtrotters taking over your local high street.

Battered And Bruised... But Still Standing

Adam Lee Potter
Scotland on Sunday

It is an irony that, in a month when Scottish singer John Martyn appeared to be climbing back onto an even keel, at least artistically, more problems should plague his private life. Martyn was involved in a car crash last week as he returned to Scotland from his home in Kilkenny, in an attempt to salvage his finances after one of his homes in Roberton, Lanarkshire, was repossessed by the bank and put up for sale. He escaped with a broken nose and whiplash after the car hit a stray bull, but his finances do not appear to have come off so lightly.


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