Curse the storm that takes you away

Bob Jacobs's picture

Today's news is really hitting home now.  I've been listening non-stop to John Martyn's music for the last six hours and barely scratched the surface.  He was an absolute genius.  No other word for it.  What a mixture of styles, a wealth of warmth, anger, despair, happiness, bliss, what have you: acoustic, folk, jazz, blues, rock, heavy electric, funk, trip-hop, soul: it's all there, with his voice adapting and changing with age, drink, drugs and emotions.  Just can't get enough... Currently listening to Bless The Weather, which includes most of those styles in the one (1971!) album.  Just Now, such a beautiful regretful and hopeful song all at once : full of the optimism of youth, already hinting at a wealth of past experience, beautifully accompanied by some of our favourites of the time.  He did a good electric rework of that in the 90s too.  Not everyone liked those reworks but I did, especially as I'd been starved of any decent music for years (I'd lost track of Roy Harper after Unknown Soldier and only rediscovered him when someone on one of the John Martyn mailing lists (take a bow Jon Hall, I think) pointed me to the Stormcock mailing list and then we had album of the week, which prompted me to acquire Roy's whole catalogue, but that's another story).  Since then, I've experienced an amazing rekindling of interest in music.  Having listened to virtually nothing but John Martyn for several years, I found myself buying loads of new stuff, much of it similar to or inspired by John or Roy (or indeed, the inspirations for some fo their masterworks) and have almost neglected John for the last few years, apart from the odd brilliant concert (Dublin, Milton Keynes, Salisbury and Basingstoke).  Now I'm Letting Go, letting the good things come... God, this album is just perfect! ... and I held off listening to it while I explored some of his more outre later stuff.

The soundtrack of my afternoon: Solid Air, One World, Inside Out, Glasgow Walker, Cooltide, Grace and Danger, Bless The Weather (now reaching its climax with Glistening Glyndebourne) and I've still got the likes of London Conversation, The Tumbler, Stormbringer, Road To Ruin, Sunday's Child, On The Cobbles, Glorious Fool, Well Kept Secret, Sapphire, Piece By Piece, And. and The Apprentice to come, not to mention a host of live albums, the reworked 90s albums and the videos to watch.  I've had a number of video cassettes on the sideboard awaiting dubbing to DVD for a couple of months now.  I suspect they will be processed fairly soon, though first I'll be watching a few TV programmes, faithfully recorded for SWMBO, due home from work any moment now.

May you never and all that ...

Bob

 

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aspwatterson's picture

Well...

 

 

Bob

Well it sounds like you've been making yourself cry all day listening to that lot!. I've just got to just think of the times I've sung 'May You Never.....'  to myself, when confronted by extreme circs in my life. I've got to do a lot of catching up to with JM. Youtube will probably be my start. Now I better get the tissues ready, I expect you're running out....

Perhaps you were at the same JM gig in Basingstoke as Les  last year at The Anvil then?

 

chrs

andi

Bob Jacobs's picture

Ways to Cry

Thankfully, I haven't been so undignified as to shed any tears, not even in the privacy of my own home, but I have enjoyed wallowing in the rich musical legacy and felt a wide range of emotions.  As with so many larger than life characters, though, John would not have wanted us to mope about but to see the funny side, acknowledge his life with a good toast, enjoy the music and attack the next challenge with gusto.

Not sure whether I saw John's last appearance at The Anvil or the one before.  Anyway, 'twas jolly good.

Bob

aspwatterson's picture

Don't cry your tears around me..

 

 

Bob/

 

Please explain the expression 'so undignified to shed a tear'.

It's a normal human emotion built within us...

Roy's got loads of songs where he uses 'cry / crying' as a way of reaching to express his emotion on the stage of human behaviour life : exampled in all it's natural [nature's way of telling us] integrity of being human existing now on the moment.

Sorry, am I rambling?.....bad habit of mine....

It's not illegal to cry for example; smoke unclassifiable Classless drugs; or, have a wayward relationship which takes you off your centre [eccentric] of you being on your life-soul-plan, mapped out for generations in this uncertain world surrounded by all those alien  spirits ephemerally surrounding us all.

The merryg[o]round goes round and round.... Happiness, sadness etc. etc...

Better go , the police are knocking at the door.. of my innermost self!!

Take care

andi

ps   Please let me know when you've found your life-soul-plan cos I'm aiming for  Nirvana but haven't found her yet!

Bob Jacobs's picture

Explanation

OK - tears are not an emotion but an expression thereof.  From childhood I was taught that crying was a childish response to distress.  Despite the modern psychobabblers advising us to "let it all hang out" when we feel emotional, I still don't feel that that is always an appropriate response.  Holding back the tears is generally more dignified than allowing them to pour out.  Both Roy Harper and John Martyn sing/sang a lot about crying as ways of getting across how desperate they felt.  That doesn't mean we have to do the same.  The other issue is whether crying is actually an appropriate response to the death of such an old rogue as John.  I'm sure he would much rather we all got outrageously drunk and silly that maudlin.

Bob

PS I'm not looking for a life-soul-plan.  That's just crap.  Other than poetically I don't believe in a soul.  We are here now, gone tomorrow.  My current plan is to get a job and achieve a suitable compromise between fitness and enjoyment of life while I remain as a living person, without doing excessive harm to others' lives.

 

 

aspwatterson's picture

No harm to No bodies

 

 

 

Bob/

Sounds like you've got your head screwed on. Very philanthropical. You find that once you've been harmed / abused you make sure it reinforces innately within you that you don't do to others what you wouldn't want done to thyself. Newton's reciprocity. But then Darwin says it's the survival of the fittest just to survive and even in the natural world  there are some pretty cruel laws going on. Which we are part of, and which we replicate.

 

chrs

Andi