We suspect you may have already heard about the passing of veteran Scottish singer songwriter, John Martyn, yesterday at age 60. Over the last number of years the folk/blues musician had divided his time between Glasgow and Kilkenny and died in an Irish hospital there yesterday morning when his ongoing health problems finally overcame him. He had battled with drugs and alcohol throughout his life and was forced to have his right leg amputated below the knee after a cyst burst in 2003.
Martyn was a pioneering force in the London folk scene of the late 1960s and early 1970s. Over the course of his 40 year career he has released 20 studio albums and worked with giants like Eric Clapton, Dave Gilmour and Phil Collins and is cited as an influence by U2 and Portishead.
Collins paid tribute to his late friend and collaborator with an emotional statement:
"He was uncompromising, which made him infuriating to some people, but he was unique and we'll never see the likes of him again. I loved him dearly and will miss him very much."
Keane dedicated last night's Glasgow gig to Martyn, as did folk icon Richard Thompson. Irish artists have also expressed their sadness at his passing. Juliet Turner remarked "He was a very sweet man, and I have fond memories of him."