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  • The Latest Flashback

    Just received Flashback 4 & turned to the Beverley Martyn piece. Probably the most depressing thing I've read for a long time. I was aware of John Martyn's Jeckyll & Hyde personality and that it was amplified exponentially whenever he was on the booze / drugs but some of the stories she had to tell were truly shocking.

    I know you're supposed to trust the tale not the teller and all that, but when it emerges that the teller in question is a screwed-up, self-pitying, hypocritical wife-beater, it becomes almost impossible. I honestly don't think I'll be able to derive as much pleasure from his records ever again. No matter how gorgeous moving and sincere-sounding his declarations of love, there'll always be an voice murmuring, "yeah, but what about the bruises, puched jaw, broken nose and fractures to the inner-ear and skull doled out?"

    Anybody else feel the same way?
    Gosh, golly that was a weird one. Have I got time to go and take some more acid?

  • #2
    I've been utterly gripped by that as well.
    I think those first person 'I was there' narratives are the best thing in the magazine by a mile - and more than make up for the somewhat dry stereo / mono debates elsewhere.

    The Beverly Martyn piece is, as you say, devastating.
    I've long known that if one were to judge the music by its makers, three-quarters of my collection would have been ditched long ago, but yeah, in the same way as I can no longer listen to - or even in some cases - look at a major chunk of the West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band output any more after all the Bob Markley revelations, I too will struggle to listen to things like Couldn't Love You More or Don't Wanna Know about Evil.

    During an age in which casual misogyny and sexism was rife in the music industry, as elsewhere in society, he was on a whole other level.
    To infinity - and beyond!

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    • #3
      Sublime music from a detestable man but if I edited on that basis I wouldn't have any records left. Not an easily reconciled paradox but I think you can separate the art from the artist sometimes. Eric Gill anyone?

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      • #4
        Originally posted by peretti View Post
        Sublime music from a detestable man but if I edited on that basis I wouldn't have any records left. Not an easily reconciled paradox but I think you can separate the art from the artist sometimes. Eric Gill anyone?
        See also recent revelations about Roy Harper. "Valentine" has been one of my best finds of the year, some wonderful songs, but I had been skipping "Forbidden Fruit" as I knew what I was about. I went back and listened to it after hearing about his legal problems, and thought "You fucking idiot!"
        "As technology has advanced, vinyl records are outdated as they are music from the 19th Century so only hipsters and elderly people buy vinyl records".

        Mixes for your delectation: http://www.mixcloud.com/danmatic/

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        • #5
          With rock'n'roll, you most certainly do have to separate the art from the artist! The new Lewisohn book confirms that Lennon habitually hit women. Jimi Hendrix was aggressive towards women too, I believe, and even George Harrison comes off badly in Patti Boyd's book (he wouldn't let her listen to the radio, he ignored her for weeks on end, he bawled her out when she got angry about a visitor's infant almost drowning in their lake, and without warning her he stripped away the one thing she really took pride and pleasure in (cooking) by unilaterally employing a bunch of idiotic Hare Krishnas to take over her kitchen. Meanwhile, he would alternately chant and take coke for days on end). PS Have there been Bob Markley revelations? I mean, it's pretty obvious where his interests lay from song titles like '18 Is Over The Hill' and 'Queen Nymphet' (and accompanying lyrics), but I didn't know that any hard facts / victims had come to light.
          Must grade overall visually at least as Good minus!!! (graded STRICTLY to the UK RRPG standards, not overgraded AT ALL!!!)

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          • #6
            he wouldn't let her listen to the radio, he ignored her for weeks on end, he bawled her out when she got angry about a visitor's infant almost drowning in their lake, and without warning her he stripped away the one thing she really took pride and pleasure in (cooking) by unilaterally employing a bunch of idiotic Hare Krishnas to take over her kitchen. Meanwhile, he would alternately chant and take coke for days on end

            Poor Patti. If that's the extent of her living hell with George it´s no wonder she went off with Ronnie Wood, who's at least got form for criminally assaulting women.
            Vardy.....¡¡¡PELIGRO!!!

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            • #7
              Originally posted by glengowla View Post
              With rock'n'roll, you most certainly do have to separate the art from the artist!
              I think that's the main problem. Unlike most other art-forms, rock and roll sells itself on authenticity of expression and lack of distance between subject and performer (apart from Randy Newman and a few others -10cc, anybody?).

              Once you're presented with evidence that a particular performer might well be a violent, solipsistic psychopath, the implicit compact between artist and listener is destroyed and all trust is lost.

              That's why, for example, I'd rather take Adele's version of Make You Feel My Love over Dylan's even though he wrote it. After reading what I have about Dylan's past treatment of women I simply don't believe his protestations of undying love.

              And it's why, like jakartajive I'm now going to always have problems accepting the emotional integrity of Martyn's output.
              Gosh, golly that was a weird one. Have I got time to go and take some more acid?

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              • #8
                Are we going to have to do background checks on all musicians, authors, directors etc, to decide whether or not we are allowed to empathise with the words/music presented to us? Haven't read the Beverly article yet, (from what has been written here, it sounds harrowing), just a bit worried that I'm going to get disapproving sideways looks every time I pull out a James Brown tune,Ray Charles tune, Ike Turner ..........just trying to understand where this ends up Don't get me wrong, I'm on board with the posts above, and sympathise with the feeling of betrayal some people are having to deal with concerning what I know to be some very special, personal music.
                Everyone tear down your own little wall
                That keeps you from being a part of it all
                Because you've got to be one with the one and all
                You've just got to be close to it all

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                • #9
                  It's not really about approval or judgement; I certainly wouldn't condemn anyone for admiring the works of any of the above -its more a case of the way knowledge of an individual's actions colours your personal responses to their music and the amount of trust that can safely be invested in them.

                  I won't be chucking out my Martyn albums but I suspect it'll be things like Glistening Glyndebourne or the Live at Leeds version of Outside In rather than, say, Discover The Lover that'll occupy the majority of my listening time.
                  Gosh, golly that was a weird one. Have I got time to go and take some more acid?

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                  • #10
                    Completely outside of his often quite marvellous music, surely anyone who has ever seen or read an interview with John Martyn must have already realised that he was a massive a£%$hole?
                    SPIRIT DUPLICATOR Est 2015.

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                    • #11
                      I put on Bulmingvase on Monday to see if I could purge all my Harper lps but I was still taken away my its marvellousness.

                      We always knew John martyn wasn't a good husband but he does seem especailly bad, I think there was a Mojo interview with bev a year ro two back where she talked about the lengths he went to to undermine and destroy any solo career she had. Sounds like he'd use his influence to blacklist anyone who played with her. Nice.

                      I thought Patti Boyd ran off with Clapton?
                      Enthusiastic vagueness passes for scholarship in the twilight world of the disc-jockey.

                      John Peel

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                      • #12
                        Just to get back to the subject of the actual issue 4 of Flashback, its another quality production from Richard Morton Jack. Sticking to the same format as before it is of course more of a book than a magazine and of great quality. As well as the Beverley Martin interview I've also read the "GO" magazine article which includes copious front cover images of the mag to drool over.
                        One of the highpoints for me in every issue is the posters and flyers scattered throughout, fascinating ephemera I can only dream about owning.
                        If you see it, buy it, you won't be disappointed.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by emperor tomato ketchup View Post
                          I think there was a Mojo interview with bev a year ro two back where she talked about the lengths he went to to undermine and destroy any solo career she had. Sounds like he'd use his influence to blacklist anyone who played with her. Nice.
                          On a feelgood note - I saw Beverley perform live a couple of weeks ago at the Bert Jansch tribute concert (which was rather good and poignant BTW). She was brilliant - powerful, beautiful singing and a band that were totally kickass - rock 'n' roll dudes. By far the loudest rawest performance of the night.
                          "Ridicule is nothing to be scared of"

                          www.myspace.com/illustratedlondonnoise*********illustratedlondonnoise.blogspot.com

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by plushpig View Post
                            I'm now going to always have problems accepting the emotional integrity of Martyn's output.
                            I think Martyn himself believed what he was singing, the really obvious link with all the above mentioned is copious amounts of drink and drugs.

                            If George Harrison had worked in an office for the council all his life I doubt Patti would have much to say about anything.
                            -
                            You thought the leaden winter would bring you down forever,
                            but you rode upon a steamer to the violence of the sun.

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                            • #15
                              Little bit about Cov lass Beverley (Kutner) on my (soon to be discontinued because I can't afford £180 for a year's hosting - there must be a cheaper way) website ..

                              http://www.broadgategnome.co.uk/bands-k.htm
                              "Cover condition:Is perfect except on back cover theres an area of dirty smudge dont know what it is and covers a bit wrinkled which im sure could be flattened out"


                              http://www.facebook.com/#!/media/set...6018553&type=3

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