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Baker's Dozen

There's Always A Story: Martin Carthy's Favourite Music
Patrick Clarke , November 8th, 2023 10:32

Martin Carthy speaks to Patrick Clarke about his 13 favourite records, his love for the new wave of traditional musicians, encounters with Bob Dylan and The Beatles and more


The Beatles – ‘Come Together’

The folk scene loved The Beatles. It was a far more tolerant affair than some of its adherents would have you believe. We thought we were better than all that, but it’s no good trying to dismiss some of that stuff because some of it is extraordinarily thoughtful. ‘Come Together’ sums it all up for me, a brilliant piece of imagination. I think this is a sensational piece of music. I fell in love with it when I first heard it, I thought it was the greatest song that they ever wrote. I loved where John Lennon would go in a song, right into the craziest parts of his head, and I think ‘Come Together’ knocks almost all of his other songs into a cocked hat, I really do.

I met The Beatles very, very briefly in Bob Dylan’s room one year. I was very much dazzled, because I’m pretty starstruck around people like that. I can’t help it, I’m afraid. I was visiting Bob at the Savoy Hotel, and they were just a couple of kids who came up to the desk. They rang upstairs to Bob, ‘You’ve got John and Paul downstairs, do you want to meet them?’ I just basically shut up and let them get on with the conversation.