Maartin Allcock - R.I.P.
I first met Maart in 1974 when Fairports were playing Lancaster Uni. He was waiting for us to arrive and offered to help us get the gear in so we gave him a pass and he came back to the hotel in Morecambe after the show to join us for a drink.
The Midland Hotel was a lovely old art deco design with a wonderful staircase which became more optically challenging the more we had to drink. I think Maart and I tried at one point to climb up the underside of it. Yes we were refreshed!
Maart was a music student and we bonded instantly and became great buddies. I invited him to join Fairport when we reformed after the Gladys' Leap album and he moved to Barford St. Michael to be near us and Woodworm Studios. A wonderful musician who could read and write the dots brilliantly and also improvise, write great tunes and play many instruments so well, he was a real blessing for the new Fairport.
I later joined Jethro Tull and managed to get the Fairports on a U.S.A. tour in a supporting role. Ian Anderson was obviously impressed By Maart's ability as he asked him if he would like to tour as a keyboard player with Tull. The piano was not Maart's first instrument and he did a fab job learning some complex keyboard parts in a short timeframe and also was featured on guitar and bouzouki and bass when I played mandolin. He enjoyed his Tull period and I celebrated the birth of his son with him in New Orleans on one tour.
We were all deeply saddened by the news of his terminal illness and he was such a hero at Cropredy - and so brave and courageous to come and say his farewells to us all. He asked us to rent a new Boss pedal for him to use at the festival and he was still programming it on Tuesday before Wednesday's soundcheck. Maart was a genius with computers.
I gave him a copy of my book at Cropredy and he was really chuffed but said he couldn’t read it until he’d finished his. I know he had got up to 1991 last time I spoke to him and I really hope we will see the finished tome - and also hear some new music he was working on.
He loved the Boss pedal and I got one for him as a present and he said, “Peggy I’m so chuffed and I am leaving it to you in my will.” Maart - I didn’t want it so soon. If I find that you programmed your “Metal Matty” effect in it, I will use it in future performances.
I miss you dear Maartin.