Chorus (1979)

Don Kent
Antenne 2
28 Jan 1979

John features on an episode of the live music TV show 'Chorus', produced and presented by Antoine de Caunes.

pictureHe performs for 15 minutes in 'Le théatre de l'Empire'.
John plays on stage in the main theatre, the Varna room. He is introduced by presenter Antoine de Caunes.

Chorus was primarily a live show of 37 minutes played before a live audience. It was recorded on Saturdays and broadcasted by Antenne 2 each Sunday at the end of the morning, just after the Holy Mass.

This item aired on Sunday 28 January 1979 so it was probably recorded the 27th. Total running time is 15:30 minutes.

Track details
nr title time comment
  - This is just a straight twelve bar blues.
- What's it called, John?
- [laughs] Jelly Roll Baker, sir.
01 The Easy Blues 02:53 Pulsating guitar play.
  "Respectable chord...
You could eat your tea to this chord... Isn't that a nice chord? Respectable chord. Upright. You know what I mean? Conservative... Nothing outrageous about that chord at all."
02 May You Never 4:40 Some lyrics towards the end of 'My Old Man's A Dustman'.1
03 I'd Rather Be The Devil 06:52 Cropped at the beginning. John standing at the end.

1 Well my old man's a dustman
He wears a dustman's hat
He wears gorblimey trousers
And he lives in a council
Lives in a council
Lives in a council flat

This song was made famous by Lonnie Donegan in 1960. John used this playful lyrical insertion several times in this period.

Introductory texts by Antoine de Caunes:

John Martyn.
John Martyn fait partie de ces musiciens discrets dont on n'entend parler que à l'occasion de la sortie d'un nouvel album, ou des rares concerts. Mais John Martyn, c'est aussi un merveilleux musicien, quelqu'un qui a su écouter aussi bien le folk que le blues, le jazz que le rock. - John Martyn, pour Chorus.

During the intro to I'd Rather Be The Devil, he adds

N'entendent d'être l'un des meilleurs guitaristes acoustiques Anglais, John Martyn s'est mis depuis quelques années à utiliser l'électricité en trafiquant le son de mille manières différentes. Le résultat de ce travail, vous l'écoutez en ce moment. Au comble bac, tout se passe en direct devant vous. John Martyn - I'd Rather Be The Devil.

Which translates as

John Martyn belongs to those discrete musicians that are only talked about on occasion of the release of a new album, or of rare concerts. But John Martyn is also a wonderful musician, one that has been listening closely to folk music as well as blues, jazz and rock. - John Martyn, for Chorus.


Not aiming at being one of the best English acoustic guitar players, a few years ago John Martyn set out to use electricity to process his sound in a thousand different ways. The results of this work you are hearing right now. In a full house, everything happens right in front of you. John Martyn - I'd Rather Be The Devil.

Host: Antoine de Caunes
Director: Don Kent
Producer: Antoine de Caunes