The drinking, the drug taking, the divorces, the bankruptcy, the broken neck, the affairs and the loss of his leg. But John Martyn's lurid personal life is still leaving room for some sublime music...
He may have left behind the wilder excesses of his hellraising days, but John Martyn still counts a Bloody Mary as breakfast.
John Martyn, Singer and musician
Where are you?
Anywhere, at any given time. At this moment, Kilkenny.
Favourite items of clothing?
Djellaba, dhoti, three-piece suit, things mostly oriental.
This is a transcription of a cassette tape from an interview conducted in the Bay Horse pub in Glasgow. It was used for the biography Some People Are Crazy by John Neil Munro so some quotes may sound familiar. John was interviewed several times; this occasion was after the release of On The Cobbles (April 2004) and hours before the concert in the Glasgow Carling Academy of 17 November 2004.
You can't keep a good man down and John Martyn's no exception, despite an amputated leg, writes Mary Braid
John Martyn/ Guitarist and singer-songwriter
Favourite new film
Gore Verbinski's Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. I think Johnny Depp is particularly funny in it.
The guitarist John Martyn has swapped hellraising for Buddhism. He explains his change of direction to James McNair
John Martyn's four-decade career has certainly seen its share of alcohol-fuelled misadventure. He once awoke to find that Pentangle's double-bassist, Danny Thompson, had nailed him under a carpet; his pancreas burst in 1996; and in July 2002 he was forced to don a neck brace after a head-on collision with a cow. When I interviewed him about 1999's Glasgow Walker album, he was nursing a dislocated shoulder after a fall. Since then, he has broken an arm and several toes.
When John Martyn counts (shouts) in the first track of his new album, there's no mistaking the Scots accent.
"Since the incident with the leg, I've not been able to get about too well, so I've put on quite a bit of weight," he says. "Still, I've had a couple of suits made, so I should look the part."
IN HIS travels from Glasgow to Jamaica, and to hell and back, John Martyn must have called countless pubs his local - but surely there can have been few more homely than Carroll's. If you were a cynic you might say that Thomastown in County Kilkenny had a touch of the Brigadoons, or the Irish equivalent, about it. But that is a cynicism born of watching too many episodes of Ballykissangel on TV and seeing too many Oirish bars with names such as Shamus O'Bogtrotters taking over your local high street.