At long last we get a live performance of John Martyn. We are now in 1973, and Martyn has fully arrived with his album Solid Air. What is it? Folk? Jazz? Blues? Pop? It is all these things and none. It is John Martyn. The title tune was written about and for Nike Drake. I mentioned Drake at the beginning of this week, because he and Martyn are similar in many ways. I didn’t realize that they were friends. But the tune is very clear about Drake’s mental problems. But it includes these touching lyrics, “I know you, I love you; And I can be your friend; I can follow you anywhere; Even through solid air.”
But “Solid Air” is actually too depressing to listen to, given that Drake would be dead less than two years later. Anyway, I prefer another song on the album, “May You Never.” It’s a beautiful song about friendship and love. I could interpret it in a number of ways, so I’m not going to go into it. Anyway, the lyrics don’t matter that much. And it would probably only be in the sixth or seventh listen that you started to really grok them. But I’ll bet “may you never lay your head down without a hand to hold” will be going through your head all day.