You’ve been moving through solid air

John Martyn’s website

John Martyn 11th September 1948 – 29th January 2009

With heavy heart and an unbearable sense of loss we must announce that John died this morning.

The above statement was posted on the website of John Martyn who died today aged 60. He had just been awarded the OBE in the New Year Honours list.

He was a musician who I had admired for many years even if he hadn’t always been at the top of my playlist. I saw him a number of times over the years. I think he fills a special place in my life because he symbolises to me a time when my musical horizons started to expand and I started to discover new genres and artists which has been a journey that still continues to this day. The music of John Martyn arrived with the new boy at school back in the late 70’s. He introduced us to John Martyn, Roy Harper and many others. I remember we all went to see John Martin at Newcastle Poly at the height of his echoplex days.

His life was never easy with a constant battle with drink and drugs, the divorce from Beverly and the loss of his leg after a cyst burst. He has however left behind some great music and will be sadly missed. But as he said himself “If I could control myself more, I think the music would be much less interesting, I’d probably be a great deal richer but I’d have had far less fun and I’d be making really dull music.”

You’ve been taking your time,
And you’ve been living on solid air
You’ve been walking the line,
And you’ve been living on solid air
Don’t know what’s going ’round inside
And I can tell you that it’s hard to hide
When you’re living on solid air

John Martyn’s website

BBC profile of John Martyn when he was awarded the OBE and an obituary

Solid Air on youtube

Edited to add: I looked it up and the John Martyn gig mentioned was actually at the canteen in Newcastle – don’t remember this venue but I think it was a “hip and trendy” name for the venue at Newcastle University.


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