Page last updated at 09:01 GMT, Friday, 30 January 2009

John Martyn: Your memories

John Martyn
Martyn won a lifetime achievement prize at last year's Radio 2 Folk Awards
Singer-songwriter John Martyn has died at the age of 60.

The folk, blues and funk artist was widely regarded as one of the most soulful and innovative singer-songwriters of his generation.

BBC News website readers have been sending in their tributes and memories.

Your comments

John Martyn was a true maverick. His live performances were legendary, unpredictable and full on raw emotion. 'Solid Air', his tribute to friend Nick Drake, proves the man was one of the best songwriters this country has known. God bless you old son.
Colin D Jenner, Epsom

I saw John perform many times, with musicians of varying quality. He was not afraid to go on stage with people considerably younger than himself. My most memorable experience was a pre-tour performance in about 1987 at Tam Dhu's bar in Bannockburn. You have to imagine himself with Colin Tully et al in a wee bar. To sit amongst about 30 people at most and hear the band in pre-match fervour! Breathtaking! I shall carry the memory to my grave. A great tunesmith, songwriter and artist. We will never hear the like again. His ability to swift between musical styles was effortless.
John Andrew, Dollar, Clackmannanshire

I first heard John Martyn on a Radio One Sounds Of The 70s programme from a session he recorded for Alan Black. The sound of this husky voice that soared into the night air allied to this extraordinarily echoplex acoustic guitar was something that I'd just never heard before. The track was 'Rather Be The Devil' originally from 'Solid Air' and it made me an instant John Martyn fan. His track 'Small Hours' from the 'One World' album has been a track that I've cherished for 30 years, one of the finest chilled-out tracks ever made. But in every way this guy was a genius, and his legacy will live on.
Andy Garibaldi, Dundee, Scotland

When he played in New York 10 years ago, I took along my CD and asked him to sign it. He looked at the cover picture of his 20-year-old self and laughed
Jennie Barnett, New York
I've been a fan of John Martyn for 40 years. His early album 'The Tumbler' remains one of my all time favourites by any artist. When he played at the Bottom Line in New York some 10 years ago, I took along my CD and asked him to sign it. He looked at the cover picture of his 20-year-old self and, laughing, took it backstage to show his bandmates. I could hear him saying "see what I used to look like?" He came back, handed the CD to me and said "I hope you don't mind, but I've made an amendment". He had added the letter "S" in front of the title - so it now reads: 'The Stumbler...' I saw him live several times, in the UK and in the US. I'm greatly saddened by this news.
Jennie Barnett, New York

My memories of John Martyn are of deep love and remind me of growing up as a young woman. I saw him play at the Leadmill in Sheffield when I was 17. I remember that he had a table on stage with various drinks on. I remember thinking that he played his guitar so hard that his fingers might start to bleed. Someone shouted 'May You Never' from the crowd and he swore back. I thought he was a legend and I fell in love. Whenever I felt that I forgot who I was or needed reminding, all I had to do was listen to 'Solid Air'. Such a shame he had to go because he kept it real all this time, and was an inspiration to so many right to the end.
Julia Fitzgerald, London

As a busker who's played John Martyn's song 'May You Never' perhaps as many times as the songwriter himself, I'd like to say thanks to him for the songs, and for the coins put in the guitar case from generous people who recognised it. One day back in the early 1990s my guitar pal, who was a big fan of John Martyn, suddenly saw him walking towards us and we got the nicest compliment. He put a couple of pound coins in our case. We were playing "Drunken Sailor" at the time and I hope we deserved his "Hello". God bless him and his songs, his endeavour and his skill.
Brian Cokayne, Stockport, UK

I was lucky enough to see John live several times including twice in the late 1970s while at University. A truly great singer-songwriter who was a great antidote to the rubbish that Simon Cowell and his ilk are fostering on us.
Adrian Rabet, Jersey

I've loved John Martyn's music deeply for many years now after first discovering that distinctive voice through hearing 'Solid Air' on a chill-out album. We have lost a truly great artist and poet today.
Andrew Campbell, Belfast, Northern Ireland

He couldn't be classified and he was all the better for that
Richard Ely, Alfreto
I saw him in concert two years ago. An incredible songwriter-singer, and a seriously underrated guitarist. He couldn't be classified and he was all the better for that. He leaves a space that will never be filled.
Richard Ely, Alfreton, UK

I saw John Martyn dozens of times but specially remember him in Brighton in about 1988 in a really big outdoor tent. Sold out. Then I saw people crawling under the tarpaulin and in to the tent - which was heaving. John was on stage and said "come in guys" and the show just rolled on.
Denis, Chepstow

I am proud to say I saw John Martyn live on four occasions between 1997 and 2007. He was a musical pioneer and genius. You couldn't categorise him or his music, he and it were just who and how he was. His music possesses a deep human quality and honesty. The albums I have of his are the finest I have, and nearly all else can go by the wayside in comparison. What he could do with a guitar would speak to you in words and feeling like no other artist. 'May you never' will always make me cry. Love you John and will play your music for the rest of my days. Teaching my five-year-old 'May You Never' already.
Sam Taylor, Portsmouth



Print Sponsor


SEE ALSO
Songwriter Martyn dies, aged 60
29 Jan 09 |  Glasgow, Lanarkshire and West
Obituary: John Martyn
29 Jan 09 |  Entertainment

RELATED BBC LINKS

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific