This blog post is based on an original Livejournal entry made on 17th February 2009.
John Martyn passed away on 29th January, 2009. I won’t claim to be a great fan of his music but a number of his albums hold a special place in my heart. As music does, for me and many people, certain tracks or albums bring back memories of people and places.
One such album for me is Well Kept Secret. This isn’t one of his most famous albums (and certainly not one of his most critically acclaimed). However it reminds me of 1984 and a flat in Glasgow that I shared with Rob. By 1984 I was a seasoned contractor with 3 previous appointments and 4 years worth of experience. Rob, on the other hand, was winging it through his first.
We spent the evenings smoking dope and listening to each other’s records. Rob played Well Kept Secret to me and I was hooked.
Some time that year we discovered that JM was playing in Glasgow. We managed to get tickets to the gig in a club called Henry Africa’s. It was a great night; a small club with a magic atmosphere and John was superb.
Roll forward 23 years. Rob calls me to say that JM is playing at the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall.
The concert was a great disappointment. It is was wonderful to see John Martyn again but he was pissed. So pissed that I couldn’t understand what he was singing – even when he was singing songs I knew word for word.
I’m so sorry to find that John has gone. I just wish I’d last seen him in Glasgow, in 1984.