Cultural Baggage

Favourite new film
Gore Verbinski’s Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. I think Johnny Depp is particularly funny in it.

Favourite film ever
Casablanca, directed by Michael Curtiz in 1942. It’s a very well shot film and Ingrid Bergman is absolutely beautiful in it.

Favourite current listen
OutKast  they’re so funny. They reminded me of my youth. There are elements of Sly and the Family Stone in their music and they remind me of Frank Zappa, because they don’t take themselves too seriously.

Favourite album ever
Karma by saxophonist Pharoah Sanders. This album, recorded in 1969, completely opened my mind to jazz and inspired all sorts of experimentation ideas.

Current read
Beneath the Underdog, the memoirs of the jazz composer Charles Mingus, which don’t reveal much about the man himself and mainly seem to consist of details of the women he picked up on tour. They’re actually quite pornographic.

Favourite writer
Robert Burns. Being Scottish, I feel I am one of the few people who can actually understand him. My favourite poem of his is the very romantic To a Mountain Daisy.

Favourite television show
The Simpsons, because it’s such great satire.

Wish I’d seen…
Jimi Hendrix play live.

Favourite artist
Paul Cézanne for his use of colour.

Creative hero
God.

Favourite actor
I like Robert Mitchum because of his complete disdain for the media. Once, during an interview, he just turned round and walked away…

[Martyn hangs up]

A documentary, ‘John Martyn: Johnny Too Bad’, will be shown on BBC4 on May 28; his new album ‘On The Cobbles’ is out now on Independiente, £ 10.99.

Hedge Seel
The Daily Telegraph
15 May 2004