John Martyn – the wounded giant

John Martyn

This is part of a series of posts about the musicians who’ve inspired me. Today it’s about the wounded giant that was John Martyn. You know John? One summer when I was at Glasgow University, I worked lunchtimes in Glasgow’s first vegetarian restaurant, Gemini, on Sauchiehall Street. Sometimes after my stint I would stay and … Read moreJohn Martyn – the wounded giant

Off the beaten track with Tyrannosaurus Rex and The Incredible String Band

Cover of Unicorn by Tyrannosaurus Rex

My tastes in music as a teenager were pretty conventional … Until … Continuing my life in music … Before I got my first guitar, I’d drifted away from rock towards listening to classical and film music. As a young teenager rediscovering pop music via my guitar, at first I followed fairly conventional bands: I … Read moreOff the beaten track with Tyrannosaurus Rex and The Incredible String Band

Inspirations: 15 albums that changed things for me

I got tagged in Facebook with this, so never being one to waste some effort I’ll post it here too.

Think of 15 albums that had such a profound effect on you they changed your life or the way you looked at it. They sucked you in and took you over for days, weeks, months, years. These are the albums that you can use to identify time, places, people, emotions. These are the albums that no matter what they were thought of musically shaped your world. When you finish, tag 15 others, including me.

Rather than being things I’d listen to now, these are the things that changed my perceptions at the time, so they’re heavily weighted to my childhood and adolescence, before anyone reading this was even conceived.

1. Various Artists – The Immortal Memory
A compilation of Robert Burns songs by ‘popular’ Scottish singers of the time like Kenneth McKellar. The songs were connected by a spoken poetic biography of Burns. I was a Burns fan by primary 3.

2. Rogers and Hammerstein – The King and I
It’s a tossup between this and ‘South Pacific’ both of which were on heavy rotation in our house throughout my childhood, when my parents loved them, and later, when I rediscovered them as a teenager. I didn’t even see the films till much later, but I had discovered how words and musical textures could tell stories or, in the case of ‘The King’ evoke an exotic atmosphere. I’ve a long standing fantasy of playing Yul Brynner’s part or doing ‘There Is Nothing Like a Dame’ in a stage version.

Read moreInspirations: 15 albums that changed things for me