Martha Davis Interview
2 August 1998



02 August 1998

MARTHA DAVIS, lead singer
for THE MOTELS, who lead the
band to numerous gold albums
and singles (including the
band's trademark songs "Total
Control," "Only The Lonely,"
and "Suddenly Last Summer")
was recently asked that, after
so much time had passed since
her last album, was she sur-
prised that she still has a
faithful following of fans.
DAVIS replied.
"Rock & Roll is notorious for
having followers with very
short memories: 'Here today,
gone today.' The fact that
people are aware of THE MOTELS,
let alone still care, is very

THE MOTELS have been
around since the early 70's,
being formed in Berkeley,
California, as The Warfield
Foxes, moving to San Francisco
and eventually to Los Angeles
where Dean Chamberlain (then
guitarist) suggested the name
"MOTELS." But it wasn't until
1979 that THE MOTELS would get
a recording contract (with
Capitol Records). By then, the
band consisted of MARTHA on
vocals and guitar, JEFF
JOURARD on lead guitar, his
brother MARTY JOURARD on
keyboards and saxophone,
MICHAEL GOODROE on bass, and
As soon as the record was re-
leased, the band hit the road.
It was in Boston where MARTHA
and the band heard themselves
for the first time on the
radio. "If I remember correctly,
the song was 'Dressing Up,'"

DAVIS stated. "The band was on
its first tour and we all heard
it together, and celebrated in
true Rock & Roll fashion!"

While their first, self-
titled album saw more success
in Australia and New Zealand,
and the second album (Careful)
found a British audience, by
album four (album three,
, was shelved) THE
MOTELS had made it big in the
U.S. with the smash single
"Only the Lonely." The album,
All Four One
, went gold and
the band suddenly became hot
property in America.
What made THE MOTELS
successful was MARTHA's
ability to take personal
experiences and translate
them into songs. When
asked what her favorite
MOTELS song was, she gave a
very interesting response.
"That's a hard question.
Songs serve different
purposes at different times.
For example, when I wrote
'Only The Lonely,' it was a
very lost and lonely time
for me,"
she explained. But
she went on to say, "Thank
God I no longer reside at
that address! The song

which had an immediate and
profound meaning to me then
is now like a visit to an
old neighborhood ... you
remember it, but it is
different ... it no longer
has the impact. Right now,"

DAVIS went on to say, "one
of the newest songs is my
favorite; it's a song
called 'True Love.'"

Now, 1998, MARTHA has
a new line-up of musicians:
Mic Taras on guitar, Angelo
Barbera on bass, Kevin Bowen
on keyboards, Michael
Barbera on keyboards and sax,
and Jason Loree on drums.
Dave Paglia is the band's
manager. The band is planning
to tour around August to
promote the new material.
With all the things the
music industry thrusts a
performer to endure, MARTHA
enthusiastically stated that
performing live is the most
satisfying. What MARTHA said
she would like someone to get
out of her music is "trans-
poration, the freest kind;
the kind where you are taken
to different scenes and
situations ... some new, some
old, some familiar, and some
strange. Maybe even back to
that old neighborhood where
things are so much smaller
than they seemed as a
child. I want to leave you
[the listener] with something
you already know and I want
to communicate."
What should
someone get from going to a
MOTELS concert? "A lot of
music and a lot of mood."

For the fans who are
still clinging to their 45
collection and can remember
when vinyl was king, who
still clamour to hear more
MARTHA has this to say: "I
find it very touching and I
would like to thank you,
the fans, for your support
and encouragement. It means
a great deal to me."

And as for "soon-to-be"
MOTELS fans, Martha said
modestly,"I think its [the
music] is better than ever.
If you liked the old, you'll
love the new, besides we play
the old songs too. This is
starting to sound like a Dr.
Seuss rhyme,"
she laughs.
"Bring a friend, bring one,
bring two, and we will rock
your socks for you."