Some People Are Crazy: The John Martyn Story

Some People Are Crazy: The John Martyn Story

A Book by John Neil Munro

(Polygon)

First Appeared in The Music Box, June 2010, Volume 17, #6

Written by Douglas Heselgrave

Mon June 7, 2010, 07:30 AM CDT

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There was a time in the early 1970s when John Martyn could do no wrong. The Scottish performerís unmistakably warm voice and beguiling, percussive style of guitar playing alchemically came together to turn his trilogy of breakthrough albums ó Solid Air, Bless the Weather, and Inside Out ó into classics. They still sound as good today as they did more than 30 years ago. In fact, these outings were so far ahead of their time that, in many ways, they only now are beginning to be appreciated and understood.

Throughout Some People are Crazy: The John Martyn Story, author John Neil Munro outlines the things that made Martynís early work so compelling. In the process, Munro does a service to music history as he explicates and makes arguments for some of Martynís oft-neglected later endeavors. At the same time, though, Munro turns the dialogue into a tell-all biography that walks a fine line between gossip and criticism.

Unfortunately, Martynís story doesnít have a happy ending, and as Some People are Crazy: The John Martyn Story proceeds, Munro carries his readers into despair. No amount of intervention and assistance from colleagues, such as Phil Collins, was able to resuscitate Martynís career or protect his personal life from the damage caused by decades of extreme substance abuse.

Thankfully, in Some People are Crazy: The John Martyn Story, Munro chose not to dwell too heavily upon the more salacious aspects of the guitaristís life. There is no doubt that Martyn is as woefully misunderstood as he is loved. By continuously retraining his focus upon Martynís music, Munro is able to bring a much-needed level of critical depth to the forefront of his book. starstarstar Ĺ

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Of Further Interest...

Bruce Cockburn - Slice O Life: Live Solo

Van Morrison - Astral Weeks: Live at the Hollywood Bowl

Neil Young - Sugar Mountain: Live at Canterbury House 1968

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Some People Are Crazy: The John Martyn Story is
available from Barnes & Noble. To order, Click Here!

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Ratings

1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!

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