Small Hours: The Long Night of John Martyn



“Martyn, the difficult musical visionary, thoroughly deserves this painstaking and eloquent biography [which] balances the fan’s assiduousness with a critic’s seiving action.” – Observer

“[An] excellent biography.” – Independent

“Insightful and beautifully written… unflinchingly critical of Martyn’s failings and his substance-fuelled excesses [yet] equally glowing in its praise of his finest achievements as a genre-blurring performer.” – 4/5, Shindig!

“Tethers the sometimes golden music to the often savage man, retaining sympathy for his subject and the casualties he caused.” – 9/10, Classic Rock

“Attention to biographical detail is pleasingly matched by astute critical appraisals [and] forensic flair…. [a] compelling portrait.” – 4/5, Record Collector

Small Hours is an intimate, unflinching biography of one of the great maverick artists. Though Martyn never had a hit single, his extraordinary voice, innovative guitar playing and profoundly soulful songs secured his status as a much admired pioneer.

Covered by Eric Clapton, revered by Lee Scratch Perry, produced by Phil Collins, Martyn influenced several generations of musicians, but beneath the songs lay a complicated and volatile personality. He lived his life the same way he made music: improvising as he went; scattering brilliance, beauty, rage and destruction in his wake.

Drawing on almost 100 new interviews, Small Hours is a raw and utterly gripping account of sixty years of daredevil creativity, soaring highs and sometimes unconscionable lows.

About the Author

Graeme Thomson has written acclaimed studies of Elvis Costello, George Harrison and Philip Lynott. Under The Ivy: The Life & Music Of Kate Bush was described by The Irish Times as ‘the best music biography in perhaps the past decade’. He lives in Edinburgh and writes regularly for many publications.

Published worldwide June 9, 2020 – this book will be shipped to arrive with you a week before publication date:

256 pages


Additional information

Weight 1.5 kg
Dimensions 15.9 × 23.5 × 1.7 cm
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