former MOTELS member
MARTY JOURARD14 September 1998
BELLBOY: Hey Marty! I have a few
questions for you.
MARTY: O.K., Alan, let's take a
deep breath and I'll share with
BELLBOY: Cool. Oh wait, this
is a formal interview ... COOL!!!
O.K., Marty, what have you been
up to since the band broke up in
MARTY: Since the band broke up
in 1987 I formed my own band,
"LOCOMOTIVE," that played R&B
style originals and a whole slew
of my favorite soul and R&B
songs, including a bunch of
instrumentals by great
saxophonists like King Curtis,
Jr. Walker, Earl Bostic, Jimmy
Forrest and, as they say, many,
many more. It lasted about a year
and really helped my transition
from THE MOTELS to civilian life.
I also got married, had a couple
of kids (actually my wife did),
and recently divorced. For the
last three years or so I've been
writing as a free-lance music
journalist in local publications
as well as GIG Magazine, a
national music mag, and I also
wrote a book called Start Your
Own Band, published by Hyperion.
Other than that, nothing much.
BELLBOY: When did you "officially"
become a member of THE MOTELS?
MARTY: I sort of started
showing up at rehearsals around
August 1978, but I was more
interested in going to the beach and
stuff until we started gigging and I
noticed what a great response MARTHA
got from the audience. Plus I really
enjoyed the keyboard/guitar interplay
that [my brother] JEFF was arranging.
There was no "official" moment I
joined, but when we signed in May of
1979 and I was still in the band I
guess that made it official, huh?
BELLBOY: Did you have to audition?
MARTY: I didn't have to audition;
my brother JEFF, who was the first
guitarist in the band (and who helped
arrange most of the songs on the first
album), brought me down to a rehearsal
to have me play a three-note sax riff
on a song called "Dressing Up." I did,
and I noticed a synthesizer in the
rehearsal room, and claimed I could
play it. MARTHA and JEFF, sensing they
could get me to do the work of two
musicians asked me to start playing
keyboard as well. I didn't have a clue
how to play a synth, but through trial
and error, mostly error, I slowly
BELLBOY: What instruments can you play
besides the keyboard and saxophone?
MARTY: Technically, I am a keyboard
player and saxophonist. These days I
don't play synthesizer, I play piano,
although at gigs it is actually a
Kurzwell digital piano. I mess around
on guitar, banjo, harmonica, and my
bongo chops get better every decade!
BELLBOY: Who were your musical
influences, your musical "idols"?
MARTY: Musical influences. On sax,
I started out listening to Junior
Walker, who is, in the final
analysis, my favorite sax player.
King Curtis Earl Bostic, Wayne
Shorter, John Coltrane, Gene Ammons,
Sidney Bechet, Johnny Hodges, Benny
Carter, Boots Randolph, and Sam
Butera are all sax players I admire.
On keyboard, probably Steve Winwood,
Erik Satie, and Ray Charles are my
favorites. Oh yeah, on synth, Thomas
Dolby, and Greg Hawkes from The Cars
BELLBOY: Looking back, at what moment
did you know THE MOTELS had "arrived"?
MARTY: There were many "arrival"
points. Getting signed to Capitol was
certainly one. Going to Tower Records
and seeing out first LP was another.
Selling out the Universal Ampitheatre
for three nights wasn't exactly a low
point either. In terms of touring,
when we opened for The Cars in the
summer of 1980 that was incredibly fun
BELLBOY: Listening to THE MOTELS
catalog, it is obvious your saxophone
solos played a major role in many of
the band's songs. How much influence
did you have in the recording studio
as to the arrangements of the songs?
MARTY: I wrote my sax solos, if
that's what you mean. I first puzzled
them out, notewise, and then worked
on getting a good "take" in the studio.
I took advice, though... for example, I
wanted the big nasty high note in "Only
The Lonely" to be a major seventh, and
it was gently suggested that playing
the root note would be more ballsy. They
were right. Other than that, it was
whatever I could come up with. The song
influenced what I would play.
BELLBOY: What is your favorite
MARTY: I like some of the more
off-the-wall songs, I don't have anyone
favorite, although I am biased toward
songs I wrote or co-wrote, like
"Careful." "Whose Problem?," "Forever
Mine," "Slow Town," and "Change My Mind"
are also among my favorites.
BELLBOY: What were your fondest
memories being in the band?
MARTY: My fondest memory was
probably the recording of "Take The L"
in exactly one take, but playing live
in front of a good audience was my most
favorite thing about the band.
BELLBOY: When your brother JEFF
left the band in 1980, why did you
decide not to leave as well?
MARTY: I decided not to leave
after a lot of flip-flopping as to what
I should do. I felt a tremendous
loyalty to my brother both musically
and personally. I finally decided that
I was my own man and I should at least
check it out for a while. I didn't
think it was going to last as long
as it did! Rationalization is a
wonderful thing! I stayed.
BELLBOY: What was your reaction when
the band broke up in 1987?
MARTY: When the band broke up it was
like having the proverbial rug pulled
out from under me. Being a "Motel"
was what I had done for close to nine
years, and it took me a few years to
get a new direction going.
BELLBOY: Are you surprised that there
are still MOTELS fans?
MARTY: On one level, I am a bit
surprised that there are still MOTELS
fans. After all, we broke up twelve
years ago. No new product! But on
another level, I'm not surprised,
because a good song has a life of
its own, separate from the career
of the artist. MARTHA wrote and
sang good songs, and, thanks to
the miracle of recording, they live
on. Believe me, record companies
don't keep albums in print to sooth
the feelings of the artist. They
must be selling.
BELLBOY: Do you ever get recognized
as being a former MOTELS member?
MARTY: I don't get recognized at all.
I wasn't the lead singer! But when I
mention the name of the band to
people over thirty, they often do
recall something about THE MOTELS and
ask the same two questions: "Who was
that singer?" and "What ever happened
BELLBOY: How do you feel about MARTHA
starting up a new band under
THE MOTELS name?
MARTY: MARTHA has the rights to the
name and I don't have any problem
with her using it.
BELLBOY: How would you like "Marty
Jourard" to be remembered in the
annals of rock history?
MARTY: I'd like to be remembered as
a good sax player.
BELLBOY: Any last words you'd like
to say, Marty?
MARTY: Hey, we made some great
recordings, it lasted longer than I
ever thought it would. I got to see
a lot of the world and survived the
whole thing with my health and most
of my sanity intact. I'm quite aware
what I contributed to the overall
sound of THE MOTELS, and am proud of
all them synth noodles, squeeks and
honks. I can go to a record store
with my kids and show them CDs of
this band I used to play in before
they were born. All in all, it was
a great experience.
BELLBOY: Thanks for allowing me to
interview you, Marty. It's been fun.
Thanks for sharing your memories
about THE MOTELS. Now, uhm, take the
ashtray out of your pocket and put it
back or I 'will' have to charge it
to your room.