Star’s long battle with stage fright
A new biography of one of Scotland’s most celebrated singersongwriters will reveal the star’s battle with stage fright throughout his illustrious career spanning four decades.
The life tale of Michael Marra – the Bard of Dundee – explores his battles with shyness, neurosis and a fear of performing live, before his death in 2012.
The book is written by Marra’s long-time friend and author James Robertson.
Robertson has created “imagined” conversations with Marra for the book, which features tributes from fellow performers like Ricky Ross, Rab Noakes, Karine Polwart and Liz Lochhead.
In one passage, Marra is quoted saying: “Performance is an act. You’re like an actor and that’s what an actor has to do: become someone else.
“I admired anyone who could do that, but it wasn’t a straightforward process for me. When I had a gig, this whole neurotic process would begin at 8am and go through until long after the gig was over.
“It was to do with shyness, but also it was about wanting to perform well for the people who had paid to hear you.”
Born in Lochee in 1952, Marra rose to fame in the 1970s in bands Hen’s Teeth and Skeets Boliver before forging a solo career.
The singer – who died of lung cancer – toured with the likes of Van Morrison, Patti Smith and The Proclaimers.