The Bitterest Beard in Britain

New old NME interview from 1975.

Meet the man they call The Bitterest Beard in Britain.
Yes, JOHN MARTYN is uptight. About almost everything. As usual. Or maybe it’s just his way. ROD McSHANE endures the onslaught.

EVEN THOUGH John Martyn will be taking a year off from gigging in Britain after his current tour ends this month, there won’t be any accusations of short-changing from the man’s considerable British following. He’s currently on his third tour of the year, and apart from that there’ve been numerous dates in Europe (including the Montreaux Jazz Festival), and the anti-climactic ‘end of the Rainbow’ gig.

Then there’s the licking of all those stamps for the white label live album distributed “cottage industry” fashion by mail order from his home in Hastings. And if there are, as reported, too many faulty pressings in the now sold out limited edition of 10,000 signed copies, he’ll probably need the year for sorting out consumer complaints and getting satisfaction from EMI. Actually, neither the twelve month. layoff or the “Live at Leeds” recordings were his idea, but the always independent minded Martyn has found justification for them: “It wasn’t my idea, it was my manager’s (Rob Wynn). And since he had the temerity to issue the statement that I was taking a year off, I’ve been considering it and it doesn’t seem like such a bad idea. The reason I have come round to it so suddenly is that I really think it’s a bit silly that other people should be in charge of my life. I dunno what I’ll be doin’. I might do some gigs in Europe. After November I want to sit down, I want to sell my house; I want to find somewhere sensible to live.” Full article here.