There was this dark haired Italian girl. She lived across from us and had three passions I knew of, red wine, John Martyn and chocolate. At least once a day she played One World and smoked sat on the stoop. Her hair was raven black and curled provocatively over her shoulders, her skin was olive and perfect and her lips were the deepest red and always on the edge of a smile. During Small Hours she would sway along with the music as the guitar loops swelled and echoed down the street, during this part of the day it seemed her stereo had one setting loud and the weather was always sunny.
She took my then girlfriend Michelle under her wing and introduced her to the joys of real chocolate, and red wine, they would dance to John Martyn and cook together, sometimes at the same time. At least two or three times a week we would eat together and she would play John Martyn albums and try and explain the attraction, the passion, sensuality, rawness of the music. How the actual lyrics were unimportant, it was the sound of the voice.
Eventually her work at the university in Brighton ended and she left. There were kisses and promises to keep in touch, this however was at a time before cell phones, email and you were just one move away from losing touch. Inevitably this happened and we all continued our lives.
I like to think somewhere in Naples or Florence there is a beautiful Italian woman sitting on her stoop blaring out One World as she sits and sips her wine, sways and smiles. Maybe some gray in her hair and laughter lines around her eyes but it’s always sunny and her lips are on the edge of a smile.
Some nights if I play John Martyn and Michelle is walking around she will unconsciously start to dance and smile with a far away look in her eyes as she thinks of those warm evenings in Brighton in the 80’s.
Oh yeah you really should take the time to listen to One World by John Martyn, it’s a trip worth taking.