Thursday, March 04, 2010

solid air

John Martyn, live from Rockpalast in Germany, 1978.

This is the first song I've heard in probably 5 years that made me

Written by Martyn about the death of his friend Nick Drake.

John Martyn is one of those musicians that makes me feel cheated that I didn't know about him before 2010. John Martyn died January 29, 2009, aged 60.

His notorious alcoholism is said to have set a range for his performances from "absolutely terrible" to "inexplicable genius." I have done a lot of reading on John Martyn, and have heard tales from old musicians that described his state, just before a concert as "unable to form a sentence, and barely able to stand," but then he would walk out on stage and deliver a performance like the one you see above --- simply on another level.

Eric Clapton was quoted as saying Martyn was, "so far ahead of everything, it's almost inconceivable."


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