‘Group Scene’ talking about John Martyn’s forthcoming gig at The Carlisle 9th January 1976 and review.

supplied by Sarah Harvey

Alan Esdaile… Remember going to this one.

Tony Court-holmes… he used to play and drink in the Nelson, i used to serve when i was behind the bar back in the 70s

Chris Sambrook… From what i can remember, John Martyn became very annoyed with people talking during his performance.,quite rightly so. Did Pendragon play support.? or did they play another night.

Paul Sleet… I remember going to the Nelson one night when he had just come back off a tour with his wife Beverley, and they did a free gig. The place was packed.

Yvonne Cleland… Yes, I was at that one, Paul. Stood at the bottom of the stairs!

Hans van den Berk… The concert must have taken place in the first week of January 1976. Does anyone have a more specific date? Either of the concert or the publishing date of the article (and the name of the paper). Greetings, http://www.johnmartyn.info

Alan Esdaile… The Hastings and St Leonards Observer but not sure of the correct date. Perhaps Sarah knows.

Phil Gill… I was there, great gig. He had Stallion’s PA – Digger, and Dave the Plank sorted that and did his sound. JM’s best put down of the night was aimed at a woman constantly talking loudly in the audience, and I quote: “Look, I’ve got a 2000 watt PA here and I still can’t hear myself for you talking, so shut up. If my wallet was as big as your mouth, I’d be the richest c*** in Hastings.” Only with more swearing involved…

Sarah Harvey… The article appeared in The Observer on January 3rd, 1976.

Hans van den Berk… Amazing, that means another new concert date.. One of the last shows in the UK before the sabbatical, me thinks. Still wondering if Beverley and Danny Thompson were actually present that night.

Alan Esdaile… I’m pretty sure Beverley was but don’t know about Danny Thompson.

Ken Copsey…  I was 13 and this was the first proper gig I attended. God knows how I got in. Pretty certain that neither Beverly or Danny Thompson played. I thought this was a warm up for an American tour. I think he played only electric. Gibson SG and a lot of extended improvisation through the Echoplex. Did he play more than once at the Carlisle in the 70’s?

Nelson Tigers 8th August 1992 Beach Concert Hastings – John Martyn did not turn up.


Supplied by Chris Sambrook

Chris Sambrook… John Martyn didn’t make it in time but played on the beach the next day.

Alan Esdaile… According to John Martyn’s website, he was in America and missed the plane home.

Chris Sambrook… there is footage on You Tube JM playing between the Fishermen’s
huts which might have been the Monday after the Beach Concert weekend,  using a make shift stage and borrowed equipment. The other footage with John Martyn playing on the main stage at the Beach Concert, not sure which year but he had his band then. Through the mists of time and
many Pints later i’m confused.

Hans van den Berk… This is clearly 1992. https://www.johnmartyn.info/node/1241

Eric Harmer… Would love one of the posters Alan ? Where you there Bob it was amazing. The first time I met John ?

Alan Esdaile… Posters not one of mine unfortunately Eric. It came from Chris Sambrook. Unless anyone has got one best you can do is make a copy from this. John didn’t play this gig as was still out of the country and I think played next day on the beach. However the video clips from the beach are listed as 1991.

John Martyn blue plaque Hastings – now cancelled.

1066 Music Blue Plaques… Our Crowdfunder appeal for a blue plaque for John Martyn’s old house in Hastings Old Town will go live tomorrow morning (Saturday 10th July) at 9am. We’ll post a link to the appeal page here as soon as we can. As with the Poly Styrene blue plaque, we are aiming to raise £500, with any extra money this time going to the Hastings RNLI. The Crowdfunder appeal will run for 28 days. As you can see from the design of the blue plaque, we are also mentioning Nick Drake’s regular visits to the house, the last of which was just a few weeks before his sad death in November 1974. Paul Kossoff of Free was another visitor to the house during this time. Thanks for your support.

Here’s a link to the page:


1066 Music Blue Plaques… After much discussion & reflection, we have decided to cancel our Crowdfunder appeal and plans for a blue plaque on John Martyn’s old house in Hastings Old Town. Any donations already received will be refunded. We, maybe naively, originally thought that our plans for the blue plaque would be seen to be celebrating John Martyn’s music & his time in Hastings. But, we came to realise that by planning to erect that blue plaque we could be seen to be condoning John Martyn’s history of violence towards women. This was never our intention. We abhor & condemn any violence towards women, or any form of domestic abuse. We apologise if anyone has been offended or upset by our original plans. We will now be taking some time out, before deciding our next course of action.

Christine Ross… I though John Martyn had lived in Coburg Place?

John Martyn – Live At Leeds University Album 1975

supplied by Jim Breeds

Jim Breeds…..Melody Maker 13th September 1975 and John Martyn is selling his Live In Leeds album from his home in Coburg Place, Hastings. Island records refused to release the LP but allowed John to do so independently and even gave him an Island catalogue number to use. Production difficulties delayed the release and by the time the orders were ready to be fulfilled he was back out on tour and most of the work fell to Beverley. My copy of the LP is number 3261. This advert is from the book that accompanies the box set “John Martyn – The Island Years”.

John Wilde….I worked with Beverly. Packaging and mailing records, visits to the post office 3 times a day. For anyone that is interested I sat in on the Inside Out recordings where I did the album art which was used in the gatefold cover. A real honour and extraordinary pleasure hanging out with such legendary artists.

Jim Breeds…. I read that he was not at all happy with this ad when he saw it, so perhaps he didn’t draft it?

John Wilde…..Yes pretty sure this was not Johns style. I was his roadie for those dates and then went to europe with him. It was an eye opener and great fun. We know what an original John was and to see him recording with Steve Winwood, Chris Wood (Traffic), Bobby Keyes, Remi Kebaka (Traffic) and Danny Thompson was a dream come true to me. I will never forget it.

Tony Davis… We should get the council to put something up on the address perhaps a blue plaque

Jim Breeds… said similar in the J. M. FB group, but the council wouldn’t be able to help, I don’t think. I think it would be down to the likes of us to try to do it.

Andy James Long… Tony, I’ve been in touch with John Bownas with regard to just this. He’s going to look into it and find out how to go about it. If I hear anything back from him about it I’ll let you know, it’s something I’ve thought about for quite some time!

Jim Breeds… It’s come up before, possibly in this group. The Biddy plaque in West Street is a good example of the community getting it done. We could tap into that expertise.

Tony Davis… Failing that I suppose another possibility is John’s favourite watering hole….The Nelson



John Martyn – photos at The Lugger by Chris Meachen


Tony Davies…. don’t know if Andy or Tony can remember an event that took place in The Nelson one Saturday/ Sunday lunchtime session many years ago. I’d popped in for a beer and The Factory PA system was set up in the corner and the late, great John Martyn getting ready to do an “impromptu” gig. I don’t think it was advertized, but a great treat for the locals who were in at the time,,,,, great days !!

Yvonne Cleland….I rember John and Beverley Martyn doing a gig in the Nelson, but do n’t think it was in the daytime…

Jim Penfold….Lovely to see this…he used to come up to my parent’s pub a lot around 75 / 76…Royal Oak Whatlington….and he sold me his Epiphone Guitar for £30 which I wrote all (and I mean all) my songs on…..might have to sell it soon if you know anyone who will make me an offer I can’t refuse!!!!! He played a gig one night at the Royal Oak and it was packed and my mother gave him free brandy all night….he said it was one of the scariest gigs he had done as everyone was crammed right up to his feet! Amazing night even though my mother said….’I told you he couldn’t sing!’

Mick O’Dowd….I tried to evict him from The Pier once for not having a ticket. I didn’t know who he was!

Chris Meachen….This was downstairs at ‘The Lugger’, & yes, that’s Ginger…. corner of George St & High Street. It was a Portuguese restaurant upstairs, while the cellar was used as a late-night drinking dive, frequently with Min, myself, & anyone else who turned up (Including John, on occasions) providing some sort of musical entertainment. It was probably hideous much of the time, but everyone was usually so hammered, no-one cared. The pay for performing was as much as you could drink, & a taxi home…

Andy Qunta…Was inspiring to have such a great artist living amongst us!

Yvonne Cleland….Dave Reinhart was about at that time. Django’s nephew I think. Played the violin. Will took me down the Lugger and played the piano while Dave played.

Alan Esdaile…. I remember Dave Reinhart. Brilliant musician but very eccentric and difficult to get him together. Paul Casson managed him for a while and if he had a gig we virtually had to lock him up and make sure he didn’t disappear.

Steve Kinch….Chris, you must have photographed just about everyone that was around in the 70s. Well done for recording a bit of Hastings (and our) history.

Tony Court-holmes….good times still listen to him now

Wesley Magoogan… How sad he is no longer with us.

Jim Breeds… Whoever that is sat in front of him has the world record for the fastest growing beard ever

Yvonne Cleland… It’s different people. The one on the right is Ginger.

Angela Frances Gardner… It looks like Shuggy?

Mick O’Dowd… This must have been a time-lapse picture Jim!

Alan Pepper… Great man great voice sadly missed that’s for sure ! Would fit in today I think ?


John Martyn with Phil Little & Joe Rytlewski. Day after the Beach Concert 1991.

jm 1

jm 3 jm 2 jm 4

jm 11 jm 8 jm 10

photos © Eddie Hazell Estate 

Tony Court-holmes….i was there well missed

Jim Breeds….I love that man.

Yvonne Cleland… That looks a bit like Monkey on the bongos.

Chris Baker… Was never a big fan. He lived just up the road from me in Cobourg Place. However, Bev Martin was an angel. An amazing voice that never got the limelight it deserved. I played with her a couple of times and she was one of the sexiest jazz / blues singers I’ve ever known. I always swore he copied my Watkins Copycat techniques!

John Wilde… John was a brilliant guitarist with a unique technique. In life he was a violent angry man capable of a heartfelt sensitivity when he performed. I worked for him for two years touring europe. Rock on John. Beverley is super talented and still playing. She is a beautiful woman whose career was cut short by pregnancy and Johns refusal to allow her to work. She lives in Hove. She has a website which you can subscribe to. A wise lady.

Alan Esdaile… Always got on well with John Martyn but your right about Beverley being talented, should have been a lot bigger in her own right.

Lauren Gower… Was just listening to John Martyn…spooky.

Gerry Fortsch… Nice guy, so sad.

Favourite cover versions – post suggested by Terry Huggins & more John Martyn chat.

Terry Huggins… What are people’s favourite cover songs by unlikely artists. This is one of mine – Melanie and Purple Haze. Others include the Nightwish cover of Walking In The Air (the snowman song) and the Children of Bodom’s cover of Britney Spears Oops I Did It Again. Anyone remember Therion Summer Night City?

Jim Breeds… The Smoke Fairies – Largely unknown, sadly. They deserve more recognition. They’ve done a few covers – here’s one. If I Were A Carpenter Tim Hardin cover. My favourite cover of Oops! is Richard Thompson. I saw him do this live on the 1,000 years of popular music tour a few years back. Hang in there for a bit near the end played 16th c. style and John Martyn Somewhere Over The Rainbow.

Alan Esdaile… Both Leonard Cohen covers… If It Be Your Will Anthony & The Johnsons, Song to The Siren This Mortal Coil and REM first we taken Manhattan.

Colin Bell… Rasputin by Finnish Metal band Turisas, barmy and bloody brilliant! and Yngie Malmsteen doing Abba’s Gimme Gimme Gimme..priceless!

Tony Davies… If it Be Your Will – Webb Sisters.

Phil Gill… The Beatles Complete on Ukulele.

Ian Ellis… UOGB – Anarchy in the UK.

Jim Breeds… To bring in a Hastings theme – a cover of John Martyn’s Over The Hill, written about him returning from gigs and tours to his home on the Old Town. Although it doesn’t say so on this YouTube post, the artist is one Ted Barnes (who he?). From the tribute album Johnny Boy Would Love This.

Chris Meachen…. Jim, don’t be taken in by the ‘official story’ sleeve notes regarding ‘Over the hill’. – It’s about walking via the footpath over the railway bridge & then up st. Mary’s terrace, from his Girlfriend’s in Hughenden Road back to his home.. At the time I was working with Ray Ballik in the pump house. He had the flat above, & we always popped in after finishing work, frequently finding John there… We were sworn to secrecy at the time….

Read more

Keith Tooke talking about Twinkle, Don Partridge, John Martyn and Nick Drake.

Here’s Keith Tooke’s letter from Hastings Observer a couple of weeks ago. Talking about Twinkle, Don Partridge, John Martyn and Nick Drake.


Andy Qunta.. Excellent.

John Wilde…  Its NICK DRAKE

Colin Norton… Met Don Partridge in Bern, Switzerland about 25 years ago, talked about the old days and drank a couple of beers together. He was a really nice bloke!

Geoff Peckham… I played in a pick-up band with Don Partridge for a wedding reception in Haywards Heath about 12 years ago. He still enjoyed a few beers and was good company. He spent his twilight years in Seaford.

Chris Meachen… Not the real story behind ‘over the hill’ either.. that was about the walk from a young lady’s flat in hughenden road…

Yvonne Cleland… Well I’m blowed, Jaffa! I’d forgotten all about Don Partridge! He was excellent! You say ‘twilight years’? You mean he’s not with us now?

Colin Norton… Don died from a heart attack in September, 2010 in Seaford, Sussex.


John Martyn – Solid Air – now on iTunes


Solid Air is on iTunes right now for £4.99. A seminal album at a incredible price!

Peter Fairless… Or, can we buy it from a real record shop?

Andy Qunta… Great album! I think John Wilde did artwork on the next album, Inside Out.

Alan Esdaile… Agree.

Will Cornell… Drink destroyed this guy….he could’ve been so great. He performed at my college in the 70s and it did not go well at all. Very sad.

Jim Breeds… I might be a bit of a fan … 🙂

Mike Curtis… I remember a gig he did at The Carlisle in 74 or 75, using Stallion’s PA system. With Danny Thompson. John was pretty wasted but wonderful all the same. Miss him.

John Wilde… I did the artwork on the Inside Out album which I completed in the recording studio over four days. In the company of John, Stevie Winwood, Chris Wood from Traffic, Remi Kebaka Traffics percussionist and Danny Thompson. It was quite the experience. The ink work I did aptly reflects my state of mind. Thank you John.

Andy Qunta… And thank you, John W! Brilliant artwork you did, btw! Love that cover!

Jim Breeds… Yes, Inside Out artwork is excellent. Have always liked that John. Congratulations 🙂 Although Our Price did their best to distract from your efforts on my copy! 🙂


supplied by Jim Breeds

Alan Esdaile… I was at the Carlisle gig Mike and I thought he was great. Got an idea this was a charity gig and promoted by Alan Jensen?


John Martyn – ‘Big Muff’ Hastings Beach 1991

With the Hastings Beach Festival approaching this weekend, good time to post this video by Glenn Veness, of the great John Martyn singing ‘Big Muff’

I have fond memories of John when I worked in Stylus Record Shop. He used to pop  and chat about music and records. One day we had a surprise visitor in the shop ‘Art Garfunkel’ . He was in town to record with John. Also remember a great gig by John at The Carlisle. I think Alan Jensen from the Disc Jockey promoted it and was a warm up to his tour.  Brilliant night.                                                          Johnny Mason

Martyn Baker comments…. The film also features cameos from Minn, Liam Genockey and Roger Hubbard.

Joe Knight comments…. spotted PAT THE HAT!!!! lol

Appearing at this years 2013 Event are:

Saturday 3rd August  1.00pm – 9.00 pm – Harry Osbourne, Tusk,  Anita Jardine, King Bathmat, Dead Rabbits, Vindickers, Ugenix, Rhythm Section.

Sunday 4th August 1.00pm – 7.00pm – Star Scream, Fabulous Red Diesel, Under The Covers, 90% Proof, Blair.