GAVIN Martin was still a student at Bangor High School when his first musical articles were published in NME.
He would go on to have a successful career at the magazine and numerous other publications, interviewing artists ranging from Marvin Gaye and Meat Loaf to Madonna and U2.
He started as the punk scene was booming in Ireland and was co-founder of the fanzine Alternate Ulsterwhich spawned the Stiff Little Fingers song of the same name in association with the band.
Lead singer Jake Burns said “enthusiasm was seeping from every pore for new music and the times we were all living in”.
Gavin moved to London as a teenager to work as a screenwriter for the NME and later served as music critic for the DailyMirror.
He never pulled any punches in his songwriting, a trait that endeared him to some bands but was adored by his colleagues and his many fans.
In recent years, he has held live events with interviews with Talking Musical Revolutions and released a spoken word album of the same name, while writing his own music.
However, he suffered from advanced heart failure and died aged 60 on March 10 while on vacation in Barbados.
His civil partner Kate said he woke up that day excited about a poem he had written, snorkeled in the Caribbean, sunbathed listening to Tug of War by Paul McCartney and had completed the plan for his next radio show.
She said he had a “beautiful sunny disposition” and despite the pain and fatigue he suffered, he was “very happy in his life, because he surrounded himself with the things and people he loved”.
Tributes have since been paid throughout the music industry.
The Pogues said: “We are so, so sad to hear that Gavin Martin has passed away. A brilliant writer, great company and a great friend.”
Mike Scott of The Waterboys tweeted: “He was not only a fantastic writer, he was a fantastic person. I loved this man. Keep up the journey my friend. See you on the other side.”
Jake Burns said: “We came out of a timeshare. We lived a similar life. We will miss him. And he ‘grabbed it and changed it’ because it was his. RIP, mate.”