Michael Chapman: the man who connects Elton, Bowie, Nick Drake and Sonic Youth

This cult guitar great’s career stretches from smoking joints with Drake to inspiring Thurston Moore to form a band – plus at least one gig with a drunk bear...


In a muddy windbreak atop the Pennines, three fields over from Hadrian’s Wall, stands a 19th-century stone farmhouse where Michael Chapman has lived with his partner, Andru, “happily unmarried”, for the past 45 years. It is a dark winter night, and in their crimson-walled parlour, faces lit by the roaring fire, stories are being told. Chapman has just related the tale of the weathered Martin D-18 guitar in the corner of the room, played by Jimi Hendrix in Soho’s Les Cousins club, while Chapman slept, mid-set, in the car outside. Now the couple are recalling the night in Hull in 1969 when Nick Drake came to stay.

A really engaging article by Andrew Male in this week's Guardian, highly recommend taking time out to read that one here.