Archived Guestbook 2001-2005

These are the entries made in the first five years of the Big Muff guestbook since it was activated April 2001.

The original guestbook was a dedicated Perl script but after twelve years I decided to incorporate it in the website for reasons of security and usability.
Comments on this page have been switched off.
If you want to refer directly to a comment you can copy the permalink.


A fan for 20 years, and a lot of years to come! John, all the best to you!!!!!!!!!


Tell John my thought are with him allways love/ Pats.

New Jersey

Nice site. On your lyrics page, dublics2-1.htm, you have the lyrics to a song called Baseball Blues. My brother had this song on an album about 30 years ago, and I thought it was a Geoff and Maria Muldaur album. Now I can find nothing about the song. This is the only reference to it I can find on the www. Does anyone know who wrote this song or a discography of it? Who has recorded it? I would love to know.

Austin, Texas

A big thank you to a left handed guitar player called Ian who used to come up to Aberdeen to stay with Dave, and who taught me lots of JM songs (around 1967). He learnt them when John used to play at the Glasgow Folk Centre (I think). One that I have not heard since was an instrumental called "Seven black roses". As he played it JM would move his capo up a fret each time. I have seen John many times since then - especially at Telfords - Chester and recently at Edinburgh. Get well soon John

Berwick upon Tweed

All the best John.

Best wishes with your recovery John from a recent convert here in Ireland. Hope to see you back in Kilkenny soon.


Take care of yersel & rest up awright!! (daes as yer telt!) Best wishes, John.


Just a short note to wish him all the best and hope he recovers soon. The Lowry's a sterile place without a JM concert.


Best wishes to the greatest performer and songwriter the uk hase ever produced... Need him.

Just to wish john a speedy recovery... Honestly, the lengths he goes to these days just to avoid the punters... Get well soon, big man.


Sending John Best wishes for a speedy recovery - hope to see him here again soon.


G'day, What is the latest word regarding John's recent surgery on his leg? Can anyone provide me with an address to send him best wishes for a speedy and complete recovery? Would appreciate it very much... Cheers, the skellig rock


I conducted the icast interview. John was a delight to speak with.

I perform th'man's songs in a groovy caff - been a fan for >30 years/ fave used to be 'Ain't No Saint' but leaning more now to 'Make No Mistake'/ re-listening, now that everything's so easy to get hold of, I find myself more moved than ever


Started listening in 1976, Bless the Weather LP, fascinated by the sound of the guitar.... what a take on Singing in the Rain, 1st love and all that sort of stuff. Lost count of the number of times I have seen him play live. A one off original musician whom you cannot verbally explain to people, you just have to be patient and let them listen to everything from Inside Out to Glasgow Walker.


ジョン・マーティンの音楽は、僕を安らげてくれます。 日本ではなかなか国内版が出ていなく、あまり人気が無くて悲しいですが、 分かる人だけに聞いてほしい「すばらしい音楽」の一つです。 初めて、何の気なしに買った「BBCライヴ」から、もう12年以上も経ってしまいました。 これからも、すばらしい音楽を作りつづけてほしいです。 小さなライヴハウスでもいいから、来日も果たして欲しいですね。


I have loved John Martyn's music since I saw him and Danny Thompson at Birmingham Town hall in the early seventies. John has a remarkable and, to me, unique signature to his writing and playing. Firstly his stunning guitar technique, so crisp yet soulful and secondly that rolling rythmn he creates. I've seen him several times, and strangely, despite the themes of his songs, he has always struch me as a rather remote person. One of my prize possessions is the original poster from his gig at Leeds University when "Live at Leeds" was recorded. For afficiandos, although the cover of the album says it was recorded October 1975, I can assure all that it was 13 February 1975 (it was a Thursday).

You might be interested to know that I put together the Cooltide programme, providing all the quotes, biographies and even the original sleeves for the middle page spread... John was rather pleased with the result and insisted on taking me out for a Chinese banquet after the gig at the Southport Arts Centre (17.10.91). Needless to say, the night ended in the usual fashion with John very drunk and insisting on calling me 'Norman' (as in Norman Keep from 1066) which everyone found hysterically funny (isn't it amazing what people find hilarious when they've had a few drinks ?!).


Just found this site, seen John about 30 times in past 24 years, so will read on.


Well after this weekend, I've been well and truly martynised. Bit late, but better late than never. Does any one have any tips for which other albums I should buy. I love inside out, one world (and my boyfriend loves love at leeds-but his copy got burnt, so we are waiting for one thats been ordered, so I've not had the chance (honour??!) to hear it yet.

Den Haag

John Martyn is an exceptional performer who inspires devotion from his fans, of which I am one. I have enjoyed this site over the years it has been running, but time and again it seems to be tainted by personal vendettas which are of no interest to most JM fans. The spread of information about JM should be born through a love of the mans music and a desire to let as many people as possible experience that music. It certainly should not be about a pissing contest as to who has the best information/ insight, etc. JM is worth so much more than that!

Apart from the passion for John's music I have no other interest than to publish the best possible information as soon as it becomes available. This inevitably requires the use of more sources than the official channels, as anybody can check at Independientes JM pages.

I'm a late-coming fan. I saw John play the Half Moon in Putney about 6 or 7 years ago - an impromptu gig that was announced very late. I have to admit that up to that evening I'd been convinced he was black with that voice. It was an incredible gig and I was hooked. I've now seen him 5 times and can't wait until the next Jazz Cafe gig in October. That's the kind of venue that really suits him. Last time I was there, I had to tell a bunch of very loud chatting australians to shut up during a beautiful acoustic version of 'I don't want to know..'


I have a white label test pressing of "Patterns in the rain" does anybody know of any other copies of this and/or a price guide for the single, it is in immaculate condition.


One night in Brighton

I've been a John Martyn fan ever since my first hearing of Solid Air, which I was introduced to by a now long-dead mate who had busked with the man at some point, and John's music was instrumental in me picking up a guitar for the first time. This story has really only ever been related to one other person, a Dutch fan whose e-mail I have long since lost. 1)

The main problem with being a Johhny fan is that most 'Normal' people just don't understand the attraction! The story goes back about ten years, to (I think) 1992, when my bank manager asked me to help one of his other customers out because he thought I had 'contacts' in the music business, and the guy was organising a charity gig for the homeless in Brighton, England. Actually, my only contact was a film director whom I'd worked with on a few commercials, who knew John's then agent, - an agent shared with, among other people, Steve Harley. By some amazing stroke of luck, the guy organising the gig had managed to get a tentative 'Yes' from Phil Collins, which was enough of an incentive for John to agree to do the gig.

The event itself was remarkable enough. I was by the stage door when John arrived, in haze of spliff, affable, charming and full of his usual on-stage banter. He came to the stage as the second to last act, with just his D28 and a big grin, following Steve Harley and Rick Sanders & Steve Nichol from Fairport. Without a word, John opened with a blistering rendition of Jelly Roll Blues - with an extended solo, and followed with a beautiful version of Angeline, which he introduced as "This is a song I wrote for my wife - well, one of 'em!" Angeline segued perfectly into Sweet Little Mystery, at which point a beaming Phil Collins joined John on the stage and sang his backing vocal part from their earlier, heart-rending/ heart-mending 'Potting Shed' collaboration, and John's spot was sadly over. But there was more later..... If you've never sat opposite John Martyn - three feet from the sound-hole of his guitar, you haven't lived a full life!

The 'Party' after the gig was at the Grand Hotel in Brighton, and I got to see and hear the most amazing live performance of my life. After a number of quadruple Bacardis & Coke (with a twist of Angostura Bitters), John sent his roadie to the van to get his guitar, and proceeded to play and sing a short set of old blues songs - none of which I knew, using an heavy brass slide. One tune sticks in the memory, which I think was called "Jeddediah" - moody, dark and dangerous, about an old guy who "Went to the river" - I've tried to find it everywhere, but without success. The Bacardi flowed, and when they closed the bar to non-residents, John let the last few of us who were still standing to use his room tab so we could carry on.

With more than a few pints of Dutch courage inside me, I asked if I could play his guitar. I hadn't been playing very long, and it took a lot of courage to ask, but he let me. For those of you reading this who are guitar nerds like me, it had recently been back to Martin in the States for a repair - someone had trodden on the side and made a hole, with what looked like a Cuban heel, but the repair was perfect. The night finished for me at about 4:00am, after embarrassing myself not only by trying to play whilst hammered, but also by singing, while someone played the house piano. The tue was "Hey Jude" - played at John's request to hear "Something Soulful". He actually scowled at my singing - which isn't actually surprising - I can't sing - and left the hotel to look for breakfast.

Allegedly (I'd gone home by then) he came straight back to the hotel afterwards, and was still in the bar at 11:00am... Drinking quadruple Bacardis, but that could well be just another John Martyn "Urban Myth". With the exception of very few experiences such as the birth of my children (and a couple of others too personal to mention!!), this has to have been my all-time top night. I've sat in the rain on Hastings beach, when he didn't turn up (twice I think), I've waited for another non-appearance in Brighton and I've travelled to all sorts of places to see less than average 'Johnny Too Bad' live performances, but the disappointments pale into insignificance against the experience at that hotel, that night. He may be everything his detractors say and worse, but some people have such spark, such talent, such soul that their performances come from some special, secret place, and one good one is worth sitting through a life-time of bad ones - if there IS such a thing as a bad John Martyn performance.
There are not many people on that list. But Johnny's at the top of it. - David Lofts.

1) sitenote: Kees van der Lely, on his John Martyn Connection website.


Have been listening to a lot of old stuff recently, I had forgoten how fresh it all sounds today, we are missing you here in Peebles John, I hope u are feeling better, all the best from chateau musar@villeneuve.


Hope you're feeling fit after your op John, we were due to see you at The Brook, Southampton, and were soooooo disappointed and distressed to hear that you were hospitalised. Been thinking of ou and sending you loads of good wishes through the ether. Get better! Love Jax


I saw him perform first at Dundee University folk club probably 1969 and bought "The Tumbler" after that as I was hooked! I recall he travelled around, like many folkies, on the train lugging his guitar and amp. He complained that night that some rough handling of the amp had blown a valve. I can't say it was noticed; his style of playing was so different I doubt if anyone would have even been aware of it.

Great to find a JM site with such a lot of info. I've been a fan of JM for some time & am a guitarist myself. Also - it's good to know this resource is here if I want to look up lyrics, see what he's been up to lately etc. Excellent.

New Zealand

Woah, wish JM was playing in a bar near me every single day or the year - great to find ur website, jm biggest fan in Ireland.


Very good webpage you have here, and best greetings to all your visitors. And people You Are also --> WELCOME Some good informations and much more.


Italian appearances

I first saw John in Italy around '87. Piece By Piece was just out and he played with a four-men-band including drums, Foster Paterson and Alan Thomson (great fretless-bass-player indeed!). When I saw the Piece By Piece Tour I only knew John as a great fingerpicker and folk-style songwriter, from albums like The Tumbler or Sunday's Child, so I didn't fancy he was such a good Les Paul player, with such a strong blues-drive! Anyway they played a place called Teatro Tenda. The concert had good promotion, the audience was of about 2000, which is very good for an elite-songwriter like John, here in Italy.

The second time was many years later, I think about 1992 and John played some kind of 'greatest hits', including Deny This Love (just released) that really knocked me out. John was playing with Spencer Cozens, in a duo line-up. The place was a small disco-pub named Teatro Castello, a few yards from St. Peter's (now it hosts a conference room of the Vatican's spokesman)! The concert was great, but very badly promoted -I knew about it by pure chance- so the audience was small, and many among them had come to dance! so they were waiting for the gig to end and the disc-jokey to start... Very sad!!

To say it all, I saw John a third time at Rome International Airport; I was waiting for my flight and he was in transit boarding for Glasgow. Imagine my surprise! I was stunned and didn't have the time to say: "Hey John, you're great! We love You!" and typical fan stuff. It was strange, like having a mystical vision of the Virgin Mary, or at least of Monica Bellucci. Anyway I remember walking on air that day.

John played central Italy two years ago at Isola Liri Blues Festival, a small place between Rome and Naples, but at that time I was not in Italy!! 1 I wish him to come and play in Rome again, with a good promotor this time, in a good place such as La Palma club or Teatro Olimpico or, why not?, the new Renzo Piano auditorium.
Bye bye, Your brother-in-JOHN Ricardo Cartocci

sitenote: John did in fact play the Isola del Liri Blues Festival once, this was not in 2000 though but in 1990.


..There's only one John that's for sure, but does anyone remember seeing his support act in London, a guy called Pat Orchard?? If, like a few of us, you had a 'jazz' ciggy too many you thought that he was John from about 30 years ago!! Good to know that the acoustic guitar and echo-plex are still alive. Does anyone else remember this gig at the Astoria??


Well Pat Orchard does remember more or less (it was Saturday 18 March 1995):
"As for recollections...!!! John is a wild man to say the least... large quantities of alcohol were consumed which resulted in the memory of those gigs being somewhat lacking... I remember how welcome he made me feel... um eh?... sorry that's it!!"

Dear Joe [Hennessy ed], A friend told me to have a look at the Big Muff site, because there seemed to be a problem with the concert of THE SUNSHINE BOYS in our FOLKSTROOM series on 4th May 2002. So, I did, and I found something I can't understand, after all the mails I've sent to you and that you will be able to check here and now! Especially the mail from Thursday, May 24, 2001!!! I selected some extracts in red for you!

---- Original Message ----
From: "Henri VANDENBERGHE" Sent: Sunday, August 12, 2001 1:05 PM
Subject: Fw: Little TOUR in small clubs & cultural centres in BELGIUM
and so on ...
or is there a problem? If there is, why don't you tell?
> Original Message
> From: "Henri VANDENBERGHE" Sent: Friday, July 06, 2001 10:20 PM
> Subject: Fw: Little TOUR in small clubs & cultural centres in BELGIUM
> > Original Message -----
> > From: "Henri VANDENBERGHE" Sent: Thursday, June 07, 2001 10:46 PM
> > Subject: Fw: Little TOUR in small clubs & cultural centres in BELGIUM
> > please
> > > Original Message -----
> > > From: "Henri VANDENBERGHE" Sent: Thursday, May 24, 2001 2:49 PM
> > > Subject: Re: Little TOUR in small clubs & cultural centres in BELGIUM
> > > Hi Joe, Could you send us some more information about John & Danny: bio, photo, CD ... the contract for 4th May 2002 by post addressed to: Kristof SMET & Henri VANDENBERGHE, "Folkstroom", Cultureel Centrum Strombeek


Fucking shit hot performance at Bracknell Festival and Guildford Civic hall?? Fucking strange audience?!!!!
Regards Simon T.


John came and sang to me...


James is an actor and clarifies:

"John came to my leaving 'do' of the detective series Taggart [Friday August 3 in Glasgow; James played the role of detective Jardine, ed]. He crept up behind me when I was shooting my last scene - I was flabbergasted. Then he asked what I wanted to hear and we agreed on Solid Air - What a guy - he flew over from Ireland to do it. I should also point out I have been a fan for 23 years - I saw him for the first time at Paisley folk club."

MacPherson's final episode called 'Death Trap' aired on 14 January 2002.

Hello! The site is simply excellent: I learned more since I first looked in, than in the past 20 years! And it's so good to know more and more about big muff. I saw mister John only one time but am buying all the good stuff I can find. I hope to see and hear him very soon! and a big hello to everybody whose sensibility is musically near! greetings


I'm packing for a visit to my parents in western NY and got to rummaging around and... I was introduced to John Martyn by my brother Chris in the late seventies on account of he had no stereo when he returned from college one holiday and needed to use mine to listen to new music he had obtained through the university library. Later when I saw that John was playing at the Bijou cafe in Phila., where i was living at the time, I went to see him. The show was really not so good, just himself and the percussion machine, but i will not forget having seen this man who drew much influence from Nick Drake. I think it was about 1976, 75, 77, not really sure. The music is hard to hear in the USA. My favorite tune is "Over The hill." Would sure like to know how to get ahold of some of this music....

Newell, WV

Truly wonderful site, but I just wanted to point out that the people behind many of the recent live and back catalogue releases are called Voice Print. Think you had a little accidental typo there on the index page. All in all, they do a good job allowing us dedicated fans to hear stuff we normally wouldn't be able to get hold of. Don't get me wrong though. This is an excellent fan based site.


Thank you, but after eight weeks and five incomprehensible emails 'us fans' are still wondering what happened to our order. All in all I know you mean well but you do need to get your mail order operation sorted out.

One from down under

One late night in November 1983 I had the pleasure to watch John Martyn and band play a magnificent set at Henry Afrikas, a nightclub in Glasgow. The surroundings were a lot different from the concert halls and theatres that JM usually played in. The concert also started around midnight, most unusual but it may have had something to do with the fact that the local radio station were broadcasting the set live to air. I had also planned for my girlfriend to tape the show for me, leaving strict instructions about which tape to use and to remember to turn it over if necessary.

The concert was superb, the best I have seen JM play and I was smug with the knowledge that I would have my very own tape of the show to play later. When I picked up the tape the next day I was devastated, my soon to be ex-girlfriend had missed the first 2 minutes of the set and, worse still, had fallen asleep and forgotten to turn the tape over, aaaaggghhhh!

So, for 18 years I have been playing my tape regularly and come to accept that for some reason JM started Big Muff half way through and finished the set suddenly after the second chorus of Hiss On The Tape. Even when singing along in the car I used to finish at "Hiss On Th….." My torture has ended due to the kindness of our webmaster who transcribed the complete concert to CD for me. You are a wonderful person! I still had a problem at the usual cut off point and was very surprised to hear JM singing on without stopping, and then singing some more songs.

My memory of the concert is very clear and these extra tracks brought back some more. Like my friend (soon to be ex-friend) falling asleep during Anna. Like remembering that a couple of hundred fans without tickets had been turned away and also missed the radio broadcast. Now my new neighbours (maybe soon to be ex-neighbours - is there a theme here?) will be able to share the delights of a November night in 1983 with me.
Great Stuff - Stuart Lapping


Thanks for your Big Mail, Hans. Maybe I will make a Serendipity page explaining how I came to love the word and what the Oxford Dictionary says... and add a link to your site on it, how's about that :-)? Bookmarked it and will read when NOT as sleepy as I am now.. Regards, Gina

The Netherlands

Brilliant site. will definately help me catch up on all the JM stuff I've missed over the years.


Great man, great musician, great site


Wet Milton Keynes Bowl

A terrific site - congratulations! Whilst looking through the gig list, the 'The Verve' support at their homecoming show in Wigan took my eye. It was the bottles of piss being thrown at him that set me off thinking... and then I remembered.

It was a cold, wet October in the early 1980's. I'd been looking forward to the day ever since the show was announced. The current line up of Genesis were to perform a one-off gig with Peter Gabriel as a benefit concert to try and rescue WOMAD, which had suffered disastrous losses that year. The line up was announced as The Blues Band, Talk Talk and (the icing on the cake as far as I was concerned) John Martyn. The only drawback was that the gig was to happen at the Milton Keynes Bowl.

Now, the auspices weren't good for the MK Bowl. Up to that point, almost every concert that had taken place there had suffered to some degree from rain - mostly torrential. Still October 2 came around. That morning I drew back the bedroom curtains, on getting up, and was confronted by what can only be described as a total 'greyout'. One mass of cloud. I then lived only about twenty miles from Milton Keynes so the same weather would be there. Soon, that morning it started raining and, as I remember it, didn't stop for another couple of days.

My friends and I had decided that we'd meet up at my house at around ten and leave by 10.30am. We did. When we eventually got to the MK Bowl's car park, the queue of cars was a sight to behold. The rain had turned the car parks and their approach roads into muddy quagmires, so parking slowed to a snail's pace. It took nearly two hours to park, and another half hour to actually get into the bowl which by now was a seething, steaming mass of humanity. As I looked up at the stage, I saw John waving goodbye! And so to the bottles of piss.

After JM came the Blues Band who tried to get everybody warmer in the cold October rain. They did a thoroughly good job too - only to be let down badly by the next act, Talk Talk. They were so bad, so up their own arses that the audience response, from the now Somme-like bearpit immediately in front of the stage, was a continuing shower of plastic bottles, which were obviously full of urine, beeing hurled at the stage. It was an amazing sight from where we were standing - halfway up the hill; a shower within a shower...

I did, eventually, get to see JM live in Milton Keynes earlier this year. It was a great show and JM was obviously thoroughly enjoying himself.


What a great site. Some info which I can add: Radio Recording List No 5. This was a simultaneous broadcast on Glasgow Radio Clyde. The concert was at a short-lived club named Henry Afrikas. The loud whistle coming from the audience is me, I was sitting on the dance floor about 6 feet from the stage. Does anyone know if this concert recording exists on CD or does anyone have the facility to transfer my cassette recording to CD. I had a friend record the concert from radio (Stereo). Unfortunately the very beginning of Big Muff is missing and the tape ends near the end of Hiss On The Tape. Nevertheless, this is the best ever JM concert and I have had a copy of this tape in my car since 1983 and it gets played about once a week. Finally for now, I have just picked up an advance copy CD of the soundtrack to a movie called Titanic Town. JM contributes 5 of the 10 tracks:- May You Never; Solid Air; Back Down The River; Go Down Easy; Over The Hill. On this CDE there is also a version of May You Never possibly by The Corrs (As the CD doesn't have a proper sleeve I cannot say who the other 5 tracks are performed by). Just remembered for completists May You Never was also covered by Australian Singer John Farnham a couple of years ago. He made a decent (pop) version of the song. Thats it for now Stuart.


Ex-pat Glaswegian, JM fan since buying Inside Out for my brother when it first came out in '73. Saw him numerous times (approx 35 gigs) in Glasgow and Edinburgh between '73 and '91. Last spotted him doing free lunchtime gig in club in Edinburgh Lothian Rd in '91. I've been in Australia since '92 and miss my concert fix. More comments coming up once I have toured this website