Nicky Turner

Martin's recent days Click the flowers to navigate the site


• Not sure whether family band or Jean won that one.

• Thanks for overwhelming support, I hope Martin realised what a fan club he has. Thanks also to my brother-in-law Roland for his organisational abilities and the punishing rehearsal schedule that has kept us busy – much enjoyment, in fact, except when we remembered why we were doing all this. 

• Realised how much I have taken for granted music – live music – and how much I shall miss that day to day. So odd for him not to be here. First encountered Martin about thirty-five years ago, playing a piano I had to sit under as the room was crowded. Seem to remember he spent our wedding party happily playing a double bass. Photos invariably show him clutching a guitar.

• I think Martin was a serious instrument addict, something to do with his generous nature as he could not avoid the compulsion to find homes for unwanted musical instruments – however tragically battered. At one stage we had five tubas and a flugelhorn in the house awaiting re-homing. Guitars were even worse, as Gummo and he could sneak them in without me noticing as there were so many. If I noticed and complained then inevitably there was a good argument for the acquisition – from both of them. The free drum kit was a step too far, however.

• Of course recently he became a music teacher, reluctantly at first – a bit like the dog business. ‘I don’t like children, they make me jump,’ ‘it’s all right for you, you are a trained teacher,’ – I’m sceptical about the training anyway: you can’t improve on passion and encouragement and it soon became clear that Martin did both in spades – teaching music, not just guitar, piano and flute.

• He ended up really enjoying his teaching, in Fairford Primary School teaching under the trees when the music room was double-booked. At home pupils had to deal with the animals, who tend to want to join in. I guess it must have a certain appeal to be taught by someone with a ginger cat on their shoulders or trying to play the piano.

• One very recent memory is of the two smallish children of a colleague. They had just had their first guitar lesson and came rushing out of the sitting-room saying, ‘Can we come back next week?’ – so that had gone well. I then heard that their new game that week became ‘Martin’s guitar lessons’ – no doubt one would sit back comfortably in a chair and say ‘now tune your guitar’.

• Although we used to tease him mercilessly about how he always thought all his pupils were wonderful, it is particularly sad that he really did appear to have something quite special in relating his musical passion to his sometimes very varied pupils. One wrote this – I have his permission to share it:

Dear Nicki and family
I'm so sad to here of Martins passing, I will miss him so much, whenever I play bass I will always think of him, he was wonderfuly energeticly musical he always brightened up my day, a wonderful bass player and a kind friend, someone I could always talk to whether it was about music or not, I will miss him alot.
Your's sincerely

One of Martin’s OUP colleagues said to me that he was ‘the best boss in the world except when he was being infuriating’, which struck us as being entirely accurate – substitute father/husband. We will all miss him and I have a house full of musical instruments in need of exercise.


Martin Clare Music Fund

Nicky and Martin met at Cambridge and were married in August 1985

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