Martha Davis & The Motels
Rather than being considered a singer/songwriter, Martha considers herself a songwriter/singer. She discovered her singing voice after she began writing songs at the age of fifteen. Born and raised in Berkeley, California, Davis moved to Los Angeles in the early ‘70s with her group The Warfield Foxes. They continued their musical career renaming themselves, The Motels, but soon disbanded.
A new lineup of The Motels was created and they were signed to Capitol Records in 1979. Their debut album Motels, produced the hit single Total Control in Australia. Their 1980 album Careful charted in the U.S. with the single Danger. It was the third album, All Four One, that achieved gold record status with the Top Ten single, Only the Lonely, followed by 1983’s Little Robbers that produced another Top Ten single, Suddenly Last Summer. Their fifth album Shock included the single Shame.Throughout the 1980s The Motels were present on the charts and through their iconic videos and live performances.
Today, The Motels continue to record and perform provocative new material. The lineup of players includes Nicholas Johns, Eric Gardner, Clint Walsh and original member Marty Jourard. Davis describes the current band as “the best Motels ever.” The Motelsare touring the U.S. playing new material, alongside songs from their vast catalogue. Their Twenty-Seven song CD collection If Not Now, Then When was released March 11, 2017, consisting of songs recorded between 2002-2006. Their newest album, The Last Few Beautiful Days, is expected out late 2017
MARTHA DAVIS AND THE MOTELS
Whether you were there when The Motels first burst onto the music scene, or are just discovering them now, 2014 became a year of rediscovery for this iconic artist, which saw more Motels shows than in any year since 1985. Martha began writing songs at the age of 15 and has always known that the songs she writes are her mark. Born and raised in Berkeley, California, she moved to Los Angeles in the early ‘70s, along with the first incarnation of The Motels. The band reformed in 1978 and was immediately signed to Capitol Records.
The Motels recorded six records for Capitol. Their self titled debut was greeted with positive critical reviews in 1979 and exploded in Australia on the strength of the #2 Pop single, “Total Control” (which was later covered by Tina Turner for the We Are The World album). In 1981, their sophomore effort, “Careful” went Top 50. Then, in 1982, the Motels released “All Four One.” The smash single “Only The Lonely” rocketed into the Top 10, immediately propelling the album to gold status and breaking The Motels wide open in the United States. The group dominated the music scene and was voted Best Performance for “Only The Lonely” at the 1982 American Music Awards. In 1983, the “Little Robbers” album went gold due to the Top 10 single "Suddenly Last Summer," as well as their Top 40 hit "Remember The Nights." In 1985, the “Shock” album yielded the Top 20 hit, “Shame” and 1987 saw the release of Martha’s first solo effort, “Policy.”
In 1988, Martha took a sabbatical from the music scene, prompting the question, “Where have you been?” Davis responded, “Looking for my sense of humor. I seemed to have lost it somewhere around 1984. It’s not a business that one should be in without a sense of humor."
Though constantly writing during her sabbatical from performing, Martha worked on various collaborations with artists including Ivan Neville, Arthur Barrow (Frank Zappa), Jeff Daniel, Kiki Dee, Richard Feldman, to write songs for a new musical for the Civic Light Opera and author a new musical of her own entitled Rebecca. Capitol also reissued an expanded and re-mastered edition of the “All Four One” album during this time, which contained previously unreleased bonus tracks. In the Fall of 2000,“TheMotels Anthology” was released, a first ever double disk of rarities, B-sides, soundtrack cuts, as well as live performances. Martha Davis also had several
independent publishing deals, including one with DreamWorks SKG. She wrote a children’s album as well as a forthcoming jazz album.
Beginning in 2012, Martha began touring with the current and strongest incarnation of The Motels. Dates included a landmark performance at the legendary Hollywood Bowl in September, the band’s first ever performance there.
2014 has proven to be the most exciting year yet for Ms. Davis and the band, with the above mentioned returned to Australia/NZ, a major summer tour in the US, new recordings for the first major studio album in decades, and a much anticipated Blu-ray/DVD release of their January 19, 2014 performance, “Martha Davis and the Motels Live at The Whisky A GoGo’s 50thAnniversary.” Fans will get to see Martha and the band introduced by BAFTA winner and Golden Globe Nominee Rosanna Arquette, and Grammy nominated singer/songwriter Linda Perry. 2014 started with their January 9th show at the prestigious Crystal Ballroom in Portland. This concert film is set for a major release in January of 2015.
Some recent highlights were: January 25th, performing at NAMM in their “Living Legends” special concert series on their Main Stage with some of the most significant musicians of the 21st century backing her performance. The Motels also gained a significant social media presence for the first time, enhancing their tickets sales with consistently packed venues and sold out shows. Tour dates included the East Coast swing at the prestigious Bergen Performing Arts Center in New Jersey, and a 4th of July headline for the final night of the San Diego/Del Mar County Fair. One of the band's biggest shows was their September 2nd Labor Day concert with The Bangles, for roughly 10,000 people, at the Los Angeles County Fair, the largest fair in the United States.
Martha continues her passion for writing, currently co-writing several songs for the new album with her current band, as well as an exciting and diverse group of collaborators. One of those new songs is a co-write with multiple Grammy winner Charlie Colin, the co-founding member of TRAIN (and co-writer of mega hits, DROPS OF JUPITER and CALLING ALL ANGELS) and with San Francisco based Tom Luce.
The current band line-up includes Brady Wills on bass, Nicholas Johns on keyboards, and former Gnarls Barkley touring band members Eric Gardner and Clint Walsh on drums and lead guitar, respectively. They have been together for 10 years, longer than the original Motels. As icing on the cake, original Motels sax player Marty Jourard has begun touring with the band again and is also playing on the new album, which has a highly anticipated major release planned for April 2015.
The latest news: Martha Davis and the Motels joined The Go-Go’s for a US Summer tour this July, which started at the Hard Rock Amphitheatre in Florida. Venues included the 15,000+ seat DTE Energy Theatre in Michigan, formerly Pine Knob, one of the first such amphitheatres in the US. On August 25th, Davis and the band also marked their return to Manhattan, for the first time in many years, at one of the city’s top venues, The Iridium. Critical response was fantastic, with East Coast reviewers such as Christian John Walker in NY saying, “Davis Doubled on vocals and guitar, fully personifying her role as one of rock’s most commanding front persons,” and Brett Milano in Boston saying, “If she can keep pulling the Motels in this direction, Davis will be more intriguing now than she was in 1980.”
2017 promises to be a productive year for the Nick Sherwin solo artist project with three new releases of all original music scheduled. Nick has performed in world famous venues sharing the stage with nationally recognized artists such as Lisa Marie Presley, The Atlanta Rhythm Section, Jefferson Starship, Badfinger, Phil Keaggy, Burton Cummings, The Missing Persons, James McCartney and Ben Taylor.
Southern California’s Gunboat Kings are an absolute Original! Delivering their own high energy Groove Oriented brand of Rock and Soul. The Band was formed back in 2005 under the name of 'The Night Creatures'. In December 2008 the group changed players and then re emerged as 'The 7th Sons'. In July of 2010 the band became GBK.
GBK has been supporting act for: Terri Nunn & Berlin, Billy Vera, Leslie West & Mountain, Rick Derringer, Rod Piazza & The Mighty Flyers, Wishbone Ash, Coco Montoya,The Tubes, Scott Paige's Hang Dynasty, Motley Crue, The Blasters, Gary Hoey, Jeff Scott Soto, Black Flag, Joe Walsh, John Entwhistle, Fear, Peter Tosh, Eric Burdon & The Animals, The Original Coasters, The Psycedelic Furs, The Marshall Tucker Band, Eddie Money, Mitch Ryder and The Detroit Wheels, Bachman Turner Overdrive,Vernon Reid, Craig Chaquico, Ambrosia, HONK, Martha Davis & The Motels, Dave Mason, Johnny Winter, Leon Russell, Paul Cotton & many more.