Martha Davis

- Martha Davis, the lead singer, reformed a version of the band called The Motels featuring Martha Davis, in 1998; as of 2009 she continues to appear under Martha Davis & The Motels or The Motels with various line-ups.

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About Martha Davis

The Motels were a New Wave music band from the Los Angeles area best known for "Only the Lonely" and "Suddenly Last Summer", each of which peaked at #9 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1982 and 1983, respectively. Their song "Total Control" reached number 4 on the Australian charts in 1980. Martha Davis, the lead singer, reformed a version of the band called The Motels featuring Martha Davis, in 1998; as of 2009 she continues to appear under Martha Davis & The Motels or The Motels with various line-ups.

First incarnation

The Motels The first incarnation of The Motels formed in Berkeley, California, in 1971. Lisa Brenneis (bass) coaxed Dean Chamberlain (lead guitar), Chuck Wada (rhythm guitar) and Martha Davis (vocals, guitar) into forming a band (then called The Warfield Foxes). Hoping for better exposure and seeking a recording contract they made a move to Los Angeles in 1975. While in L.A., Lisa Brenneis left and the band changed its name to "Angels of Mercy" and then to "The Motels", with all band members contributing original songs to the repertoire. The band acquired two new members around this time to fill vital slots; Richard D'Andrea on bass and Robert Newman on drums. The Motels and two other local bands, The Pop and The Dogs, kicked off the local band scene with a concert at a self-produced show, 'Radio Free Hollywood' held at the old theatre, Troupers Hall. Prior to this show, few if any unsigned bands played local high profile clubs like the Whisky and The Roxy. The band guested on Rodney Bingenheimer's popular radio show and, after recording a demo for Warner Bros., which was turned down, they were offered a contract with Capitol Records. Carter from Capitol Records attended a gig at the Starwood and expressed interest in the group in 1977, sadly that evening the group disbanded citing musical differences amongst themselves. One song from their Warner Bros. demo, "Counting", was included on the Rhino Records compilation Saturday Night Pogo, released in 1978. Chamberlain was heard again in his band Code Blue which signed to Warner Brothers Records. Richard d'Andrea joined The Pits and later enjoyed almost three years with The Know. Robert Newman is a successful art director and designer. Chuck Wada still writes and performs and is a financial advisor. Lisa Brenneis has written a series of books about Final Cut Pro editing software and grows pixie tangerines in Ojai, California.

Second, most successful incarnation

In March 1978, Davis and Newman were working to reconstruct the band enter future lead guitarist Jeff Jourard (formerly of a pre-fame version of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers). Due to personal differences between Newman & Jourard, Newman chose to leave the band. Then Davis and Jourard, after extensive auditions formed a new line-up consisting of Jourard's brother Marty who played both the saxophone and keyboards, Michael Goodroe on bass, and Brian Glascock on drums. Short on funds, the band shared rehearsal space with The Go-Go's at L.A.'s notorious punk basement, the Masque, and they played in Chinatown, at Madame Wong's restaurant/nightclub with such regularity, they were nearly the house band. The Motels began to draw a faithful crowd around the L.A. music scene and on Mother's Day 1979 the group signed with Capitol and four months later released their debut album The Motels. Their first single, "Closets and Bullets," made no impact on the charts, but their second single, "Total Control," found its way to the Top 20 in France and the Top 10 in Australia.

In 1980 Jourard was replaced as lead guitarist by Davis' boyfriend Tim McGovern and the band went back into the recording studio to record their second album, entitled Careful. Released in June 1980, the album climbed to the #45 spot on the U.S. album charts. In Europe and the UK, the songs "Days Are OK" and "Whose Problem?" were Top 50 hits; "Whose Problem?" was also a top hit in Australia and "Danger" was a Top 20 hit in France. The band hired record producer Val Garay for their third album, Apocalypso. It was scheduled to be released in November 1981, but after Capitol Records heard the final product, they rejected it for being "not commercial enough" and "too weird" The band attempted to go back and re-record the entire album but in the process, Davis and McGovern's relationship dissolved and by December 1981 McGovern was no longer in the band. (McGovern subsequently formed the band Burning Sensations.) The rest of the members forged on to finish recording the new album while using studio musicians to fill in for the vacant guitar spot for several of the tracks. Adrian Peritore (who went by the name Guy Perry because his former producer had misspelled his name on an album cover) was hired in late January and played lead guitar on some of the tracks, including "He Hit Me." The album, now titled All Four One, was released April 5, 1982.

All Four One (1982) was the band's best-selling album. The first single from the All Four One, "Only the Lonely," reached number nine on the Billboard Hot 100 and number six on the Billboard Top Tracks chart. The song "Mission of Mercy" also had enough airplay to reach number 23 on the Top Tracks chart. Two other singles, "Take the L" and "Forever Mine," also made the Billboard Hot 100. Their first successful U.S. album coincided with the emergence of MTV, which led to music videos for both "Only the Lonely" and "Take the L." Davis won a "Best Performance in a Music Video" at the American Music Awards in 1982 for her performance in the "Only the Lonely" video. For the 1982 tour the band added keyboardist/guitarist Scott Thurston. Val Garay was now firmly in control of album and video production and, upon the firing of Fritz Turner Management, became the band's new manager. The Motels returned to the recording studio in February 1983 and released the album Little Robbers in the fall. The first single from the album, "Suddenly Last Summer," was a Top 10 hit in the United States, and the album went gold in the U.S., Canada, and several other countries. In January the band appeared on Saturday Night Live.

In August 1983, at the insistence of producer/manager Garay, David Platshon was added on drums with Glascock reluctantly moving over to percussion. The first leg of the Little Robbers tour started in January 1984 but ended abruptly in February with the firing of Garay as manager for personal reasons. Drummer Platshon was dropped and Glascock resumed his spot on the drum chair. The band continued performing under new management with stops in Japan and Hawaii, and they recorded songs for two film soundtracks: "Long Day" was recorded for Moscow on the Hudson and "In the Jungle" was recorded for the movie Teachers. By mid-summer they were back in the recording studio to work on new material. In late 1984 Capitol Records brought in producer Richie Zito to help maintain the band's commercialism. It took well over a year but with the finishing touches done at Giorgio Moroder's hi-tech studio in the San Fernando Valley, the group released their fifth album, Shock, in September 1985. The first single, "Shame," reached #21 on the U.S. pop charts and #10 on the U.S. rock charts. Two other singles were released, "Shock," and "Icy Red." From early 1986 to February 1987 The Motels worked on songs for a sixth album that was not to be. Citing that the group was broke, on February 14, 1987, Martha Davis took each member in turn to a local bar to say she had decided to dissolve the band and go solo. All members of the 1982-1987 version of the band reunited in 2004 for an appearance on VH1's Bands Reunited; rejoining Davis were Michael Goodroe, Marty Jourard, Brian Glascock and Adrian Peritore (aka "Guy Perry.")

Martha Davis solo

Davis released her first solo album entitled Policy in October 1987. Musicians who worked with her included Clarence Clemons, Kenny G and Charlie Sexton. In November, she had a number 8 hit in Australia with "Don't Tell Me the Time", but in the U.S. the song only reached #80. While reviewers still loved her voice the album was panned as too lightweight and having no atmospheric punch. Soon afterwards, Davis asked to be released from her contract with Capitol.

After leaving Capitol Records, Davis focused on different music styles, and recorded songs for several movie soundtracks but it seemed her music career was coming to an end. Then, in the early 1990s, she started getting occasional surprise gigs that found Davis experimenting with new songs she had written. In late 1994 she played at some old haunts in Ventura, Los Angeles, and San Juan Capistrano, California.

Third incarnation: The Motels featuring Martha Davis

In 1997 Martha Davis began appearing live with a band composed of Erik Lemaire (guitar), Adrian Burke (bass), Jason Loree (drums), and David Van Pattoen (keyboards/guitar). This grouping began calling themselves Martha Davis & The Motels in March 1998. After 1998, the lineup was: Mic Taras on lead guitar, Angelo Barbera on bass, Kevin Bowen on keyboards, Michael Barbera on keyboards and sax, and Jason Loree and later Ty Dennis on drums. The gigs consisted almost entirely of new material. In 2001 the band changed to a compact, four piece ensemble with Davis, Taras, Fritz Lewak (drums), and David Sutton (bass). By 2004 the band had performed more than 70 concerts and toured in the U.S. and Australia. As of 2006 the band included Davis on vocal and guitar, Nick Johns (keyboard), Eric Gardner (drums), Clint Walsh (guitar), and Jon Siebels (bass). In 2005 Davis and the new Motels released an independent CD titled So the Story Goes. All cd copies sold out. Sony Records released a live album titled Standing Room Only, which was recorded live in 2006 at the famed Coach House Club in San Juan Capistrano, a small suburb seaside town about an hour out of Los Angeles. Martha Davis and the Motels still tour and record, and they have plans for more music releases in the future. The Motels featuring Martha Davis appeared on the U.S. version of Hit Me Baby One More Time and toured the U.S. and Australia in 2007. In 2005, Martha Davis performed at Seattle, Washington's Teatro ZinZanni, for which she collaborated with TZ Maestro Norm Durkee to make the special CD Omnium, which is available only through the Teatro ZinZanni gift shop. In August 2007, she joined other 1970s and '80s acts for the Australian concert series Countdown Spectacular 2. She sang three Motels songs solo.

The album Clean Modern and Reasonable, issued in September 2007, was the first release under the banner "The Motels" in 22 years. The album contains acoustic versions of past hits, B-sides and Martha Davis solo material including new takes on "Take The L", "Only the Lonely" and "Suddenly Last Summer". In April 2008 The Motels released two new albums on the same day, This and Beautiful Life, the latter taking the listener on a dark journey through Martha's life.

On April 9, 2008, Martha Davis and the Motels performed on the reality TV program High School Reunion shown on the TV Land channel. The program staged a mock prom for the show's participants on the last evening. The two songs performed were Only the Lonely and Suddenly Last Summer. The Motels 2009 summer tour found Martha Davis once again surrounding herself with all new Portland musicians: Felix Mercer (keyboards), Matthew Brown (bass), Matthew Morgan (drums) and Matt Miller (guitar), however previous Los Angeles based band members continue to play also in a mix-and-match arrangement depending on the venue. In 2010 The Motels tour line up includes Nicholas Johns (keyboards), Clint Walsh (guitar), Brady Wells (bass) and Tig Moore or Kevin Harp (drums).

In January 2010, Davis released a children’s CD entitled “Red Frog Presents 16 Songs for Parents and Children” as well as a single called “Mr. Grey” which will be included on the forthcoming  jazz/standard solo CD entitled "Martha Davis: I Have My Standards.".  On this project, Davis is reunited with Motels band member Marty Jourard who will play sax and keyboards. Also, Fuel Records has released a CD called “Atomic Café” – various live broadcasts recorded in the early 1980’s. All CDs can be purchased online from our merchandise page or downloaded from Itunes and

Also in June 2010, Martha joined forces with her manager, Gaye Ann Bruno and lead singer of  BERLIN, Terri Nunn, to create and co-host a very funny, honest, topical and controversial podcast called "Between The Sheets" which can be found on and Itunes.  A new show gets posted every Friday evening at 8 PM PST.  Tune in each week to hear them talk about music, topic to hot for these girls to handle.  Past guests have included Leah Remini (KING OF QUEENS and THE TALK), Richard Blade (KROQ and SIRIUS/XM RADIO),  Pamela Des Barres (I'M WITH THE BAND), Grace Slick (JEFFERSON AIRPLANE), Diana Ossana (BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN), Jerry Casale (DEVO), Stephen Perkins (JANE'S ADDICTION), Howard Bloom (THE LUCIFER PRINCIPAL), Debora Iyall (ROMEO VOID).  “BETWEEN THE SHEETS” is your backstage pass! Not only does this show feature two rock stars everyone knows and loves (or hates!), TERRI NUNN, MARTHA DAVIS and a well respected entertainment executive GAYE ANN BRUNO, this show talks no-holds-barred about everything from music to pop culture to sex. Uncensored, fun and irreverent, these are the girls you’d invite in the locker room! As two multi-platinum artists and a major entertainment executive, they’ve been around the block - and the world - a few times! You’ll hear road stories, special guests and one-of-a-kind music performances! You’ll also get a behind-the-tatts look into how to succeed and find happiness in the entertainment business!

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