Folk Legend John Martyn Dies Aged 60

Folk legend John Martyn dies aged 60.

John Martyn was widely acclaimed for his guitar and songwriting skills.

TRIBUTES poured in yesterday after the death of folk and blues artist John Martyn. Raised in Glasgow, a city he always considered his home, he was famed for his virtuoso guitar-playing, drawling vocals, and evocative classics like his song May You Never. Martyn sang alongside such artists as Eric Clapton and Phil Collins. Aged 60, he was awarded an OBE in the New Year Honours.

A statement on Martyn’s official website said: “With heavy heart and an unbearable sense of loss we must announce that John died this morning.”

Collins lead the tributes. “John’s passing is terribly, terribly sad,” he said. “I had known him since the 1970s and he was a great friend.” Martyn was born Iain David McGeachy in Surrey, the son of two opera singers who split up when he was a child. He was brought up in Glasgow by his grandmother.

His debut album was released in the late 1960s and works such as Solid Air are seen as classics.

Martyn once said: “Every record I’ve made, bad, good, or indifferent, is autobiographical. I can look back when I hear a record and recall exactly what was going on. Some people keep diaries; I make records.”

Tim Cornwell
Arts Correspondent
The Scotsman
30 January 2009