David Cooke
Big Muff

(i.m. 1948-2009)

In the picture-perfect scenery of Challes-les-Eaux
in seventy-five, locked in private darkness,
I played your lost indefinable music
on a tired loop of tape: Solid Air –
its title track an elegy for a friend you couldn’t save,
while you were destined to survive.
With a brawler’s zest for living,
you absorbed the booze and heartbreak.

When I heard you had died I found you
in the afterlife of YouTube, restraining tears
for grief you’d caused,
knowing your muse, Serendipity,
had always been a harsh one, that even now
there could have been no easier way.

David Cooke

I received this a week ago and today, what would have been John's 61st birthday, seems a good day to publish this elegy. David writes:

May You Never | The Very Best Of

22 Mar 2009
The Independent
Nick Coleman

John Martyn, May You Never: The Very Best of... (Island)

As posthumous best ofs go, this is as tidy as one could wish, despite the odd regrettable omission. It favours the Irascible One's songwriting over his musicianliness and, being Island, concentrates on his Seventies peak. And so we suffer again the tenderness of Head And Heart and Sweet Little Mystery and flow with Solid Air. If you have ever experienced the midnight blues and not had a Martyn album to hand, then here's where you start. Buy this and Inside Out and you are well equipped.

Nick Coleman

Related to: 
May You Never | The Very Best Of John Martyn


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