Today In Music, May 28th
From the Rockmine Almanac for today (Wednesday 28th May):
1910. Blues guitarist T-Bone Walker born Aaron Thibeaux Walker in Linden, Texas.
1969. Mick Jagger and Marianne Faithfull are arrested at Mick’s house in Cheyne Walk, Chelsea, London. The couple are taken to Chelsea police station where they are charged with possessing cannabis before being released on £ 50 bail each. They are due to appear in Marylebone Magistrate’s Court tomorrow.
1998. Journalist Belissa Cohen files a lawsuit against Courtney Love at Los Angeles County Superior Court. The suit follows an incident last month when Cohen tried to take a photograph of Love at a fashion show they were attending. Before she was able to snap her picture, Courtney is alleged to have grabbed Cohen’s hair, kneed her in the groin and hit her in the face.
It’s alleged that after the incident, Courtney said, “I just hit Belissa Cohen, and it felt so good”. The suit seeks undisclosed damages.
1971. David Bowie‘s wife Angie gives birth to a son, Duncan Zowie Haywood Bowie in Bromley hospital.
2004. Later… With Jools Holland (BBC-2, U.K.) 19.4. Ash; P.J. Harvey; Kanye West; John Martyn; Amp Fiddler; Tinariwen. Here’s John Martyn with “Johnny Too Bad”.
1981. Jazz pianist Mary Lou Williams (born Mary Elfrieda Scruggs) dies of cancer in Dyrham, North Carolina aged 71.
I was pleased to see just how many clips YouTube had of John Martyn – 375 in total. The man has always been one of our most gifted and underrated singer-songwriters but suffers from what seems to be a huge self-destruct streak. I often wonder how much he’s haunted by the spectre of Nick Drake with whom he shared a room at Cambridge.
John was Chris Blackwell’s first white signing to Island Records but somehow he was eclipsed by the tragedy of Drake’s death and subsequent elevation of Nick to folk deity. Life hasn’t been a bed of roses for John and the loss of a leg in recent years may well have destroyed lesser men but he is a giant in British music. If you don’t know about him, he need to!
Everyone who’s ever met John will have an anecdote about him but mine has a piece of video tape to go with it. John had been playing Edinburgh’s Usher Hall where he was one of the acts during an Ethiopia benefit. He was as they say, “tired and emotional” and decided that he’d like to join in with the final act. Closing the show were Jack Bruce, Rory Gallagher, Charlie Watts and Ian Stewart.
I was standing in Radio Clyde’s mobile recording studio outside listening to the live sound. All of a sudden, all we could hear was distortion on the guitar channel. It was John, he’d plugged himself in to Rory’s amp and was starting to join in. There was a monitor in the mobile and I could see John standing at the back of the stage. A moment later, the sound went dead and John was lying on the floor. Rory’s roadie had dealt with the sound problem with immediate force. I’m sure I can remember seeing John’s feet disappearing as someone dragged him out of view but my memory may not be accurate.
What I need to do is dig out the video and maybe even think about making it the 376th John Martyn clip on YouTube!
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