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17th January 2010
Mike's world: The Two Martin Decents
by Mike Scott

In the late 1990s I wrote a song called Martin Decent. A recording of this is available on the download album Kiss The Wind, a collection of ragtag recordings collected together and released in 2008. Martin Decent is about a London journalist who visited The Findhorn Foundation posing as a guest, and did a week-long spiritual course then wrote a dodgy, shallow, missed-the-point-but-pontificated-anyway article about the experience in a lads' mag.

I was interested in this because I'd done the same spiritual course (Experience Week) myself several years earlier, and because I knew several people mentioned in the fellow's article, including the facilitators of his group. These individuals felt betrayed that the journalist came in disguise, deceived all his fellow group-members, then broke the agreement that all participants in these courses make: that they will keep the contents of the week private unless they have everybody else's permission to write about it.

The journalist's real name was Martin Deeson, and I see from a quick google check that he's still around. I don't re-tell this story in order to bash him, though it's worth noting that I changed his name in the song to Martin "Decent" precisely because his behaviour regarding Findhorn wasn't; and that I set my lyric to what I felt was the most appropriate sonic style for his story: kindergarten music.

And that would be that. But last week The Waterboys website received an email from a REAL Martin Decent; a chap whose first name also is "Martin" but whose last name really is "Decent". (A quick google hunt reveals that "Decent" is an old English name.) This real Martin Decent lives in Sheffield, and is a professional and exhibited artist with his own website.

Martin recently downloaded the Kiss The Wind album and was amazed to see his name as one of the song titles. When he heard the song he was understandably perplexed, never having done the things outlined in the lyric and not wishing people to think he was the villain of the piece. He wrote to me asking that I clear his good name so that people finding his website wouldn't take him for the scurrilous Martin Deeson/Decent of the song, which I am very happy to do.