Signing off: John Martyn

Singer-songwriter John Martyn has died after a four-decade career spanning some 20 albums. Fan Nic Oliver has some words on the man:

So farewell then John Martyn, who popped his final clog today. 

Still performing up until shortly before his death despite having his right leg amputated below the knee in 2003 (sadly due to a burst cyst, not after crashing his car into a cow as he claimed to some credulous reporters), the robust singer-songwriter was truly one of a kind. 

A lot of obits have concentrated on Martyn's alcohol and drug abuse and the toll it exacted on his career, but I prefer to remember some of the staggeringly good music he released during his lifetime. 

Solid Air (1973) and One World (1977) are stone-cold classics that experiment freely with folk, dub, blues and soul, and while his later work lacked consistency he continued to push the boundaries in his own inimitable manner. 

Let's leave the last word to Mr Martyn shall we? "I often thought of faking my own death and watching the record companies fucking drum up all the shit they can…" 

(Photo: John Martyn at the Barbican, 2008, by Elliot Jake Clowes)

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