Tuesday, June 17, 2014


Bit of a change here, rather than invoking the C word and it's inability to be left, or Zappas entire chain of boarding houses, I thought I'd explore those largely uncelebrated doyens of Noo Yawk noo wave, Martha Davis' exemplary Motels. And what's the first thing I learn? Dang me, but they were from L.A.........
As a boy I was always interested in the arcane and the roads less well travelled, and I think I first came across this band on The Old Grey Whistle Test, the "other" music show from british bygone days, the late late night prog and earnest mumblefest, officiated by, at it's peak, the wonderful Whispering Bob, Bob Harris, who remains the champion of american musics in the UK. I don't believe they were ever that well known over this side, but I loved the spiky and jagged angulations of the guitar, keyboard and squawked vocal interface. This was the song and even hearing it now brings me to a glow of  nostalgic glee. Even the awful grunts and groans of her no doubt burly bandmates. (Edit: Actually, somewhat less than burly, see above!!)

Originally formed in Berkely as far back as 1971, they had rather more chart success at home and in Oz than in the UK, the above mentioned song being, I'm surprised to read, their only UK chartbotherer. I'm surprised it even reached 41, which it did, apparently, not through undeserved worth, but because I thought I was the only person who actually bought the single. It seems that vocalist/guitarist Martha Davis has been the only constant, with a massive cohort of transients over the subsequent decades. Indeed, albeit now officially Martha Davis and, the current unit are either currently touring, recording or both.

As a contrast I was hoping to find something from an LP of childrens music she, Ms Davis, put out at one stage. Unfortunately no-one has seen fit to youtube anything, but here is a spotify link that may or may not divert you, in more ways than one.

A final thought, as I try to shoehorn a further Hotel/Motel reference into this piece, I wonder whether the CEO of Days Inns ever contacted the band, in search of a slogan. Days are OK would surely fit the bill, I feel, for their, um, range? Of course, I expect a fee for this idea, should such a person be reading. I feel sure they are.

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