Maartin Allcock - R.I.P.
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.