Her voice is unique, unmistakable and timeless – The Los Angeles Times’ Robert Hilburn called her “arguably the most charismatic female performer in rock.” And about the Hollywood Bowl concert just a few months ago, The Hollywood Reporter wrote: Martha Davis, of the Motels, was still strong in voice and admirably delivered hits like “Only The Lonely” and “Suddenly Last Summer.”
For Martha Davis, the most important thing has always been the songs she writes. Martha began writing songs at the age of 15. 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 in 1979.
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 propelled the album to gold status and truly broke The Motels 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.
1983’s Little Robbers album went gold on the Top 10 single “Suddenly Last Summer” and the second 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?” “Looking for my sense of humor,” she says. “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, Martha left center stage to work 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 reissued an expanded and remastered edition of the All Four One album, which contained previously unreleased bonus tracks. In the Fall of 2000, The Motels Anthology was released, a first ever double disk of rarities, B-sides, soundtrack cuts as well as live performances. Additionally, Martha Davis had several independent publishing deals, including one with DreamWorks SKG, wrote a children’s album and an upcoming jazz album.
Beginning in 2012, Martha began touring with the current and strongest incarnation yet of The Motels. Dates included a landmark performance at the legendary Hollywood Bowl, where she and the band shared the bill with The Go-Go’s.
2013 is proving to be the most exciting year yet for Ms. Davis and the band, with new recordings, exciting new music videos of both her hits and new tracks, a revitalized touring schedule in the US, a return to Australia and, for the first time in several decades, a return to Europe. She began the year, on January 25th, with the honor of performing at the NAMM convention 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. For the first time, she and the band have a significant social media presence, and this enhanced profile has seen their 2013 tickets sales up with consistently packed venues, including an East Coast swing that included the prestigious Bergen Performing Arts Center in New Jersey, and a 4th of July headline show as the closing band for the final night of the San Diego/Del Mar County Fair. Upcoming shows include the September 2, 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 is currently co-writing several songs for the new album with multiple Grammy winner Charlie Colin, co-founding member of TRAIN, and co-writer of the mega hits DROPS OF JUPITER and CALLING ALL ANGELS. The current band line-up includes bass player Brady Wills, Nicholas Johns on keyboards and former Gnarls Barkley touring band members Eric Gardner and Clint Walsh, on drums and lead guitar, respectively. The new album is highly anticipated, and details will be announced in the last quarter of 2013, in what can only be called a banner year for Martha and the band.
a long time ago in a galaxy far, far, away… Berkeley Calif.