John Martyn … has yet to lay his head down

Yesterday evening, while on the way to my weekly grocery hunt, I had the most traumatic experience. And yes, I’m going to share it with you now.

I was half listening to the BBC radio news as I pootled along in my car. While trying to avoid getting mashed up by some fucking idiot driving while chatting on his mobile phone, I caught on the wireless a reference to the renowned folk musician John Martyn.

Now John Martyn is one of my all-time favourite musicians. I first started listening to his stuff in the late 1970s, at the time I started smoking weed and doing other stuff frowned upon by bourgeois society. Martyn’s music has had an enormous and positive influence on me, and is now burned indelibly into my neural network.

Anyway, I clearly wasn’t paying attention to the radio, as when England’s greatest jazz and folk double bass player Danny Thompson spoke about how incredible it was to have worked with John Martyn, I immediately assumed that this was an obituary. As you can imagine, I was most upset by this news. I even had to stop the car for a while.

Then, and as as I shopped, I considered the man and his music, and recalled a recent television programme about Martyn, his art and his errant lifestyle. A blog post would be in order, I thought to myself, but what should I write?

Only later did I discover that rumours of Martyn’s death were a little premature. He had not laid his head down for good, but rather been presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the BBC.

Silly me.