The Motels’ Marty Jourard Recaps Capitol Era, Band Reunions


Sax/keyboard player Marty Jourard of Martha Davis & The Motels recently checked in with a series of nine interviews tracing the world-renowned New Wave rock band’s colorful history, with a spotlight on their classic Capitol Records era (1979-1987) and later reunions.

Jourard also recapped The Motels’ pre-history and lineup changes in Berkeley and Los Angeles in these January-March 2023 conversations with veteran music journalist and Grammy-nominated producer Stephen K. Peeples, who was editorial manager in Capitol’s Press & Artist Relations’ department from 1977-1980 and was involved with the Hollywood-based label’s media campaigns on the band’s behalf.

Often referring to his own daily calendars he kept for gigs each year, Jourard detailed how Davis, the band’s founder, chief songwriter, and lead singer, eventually assembled the classic quintet lineup in 1978 with Jourard, his brother Jeff Jourard (guitar), Michael Goodroe (bass), and Brian Glascock (drums).

The Motels’ Capitol Records promo photo for the band’s eponymous debut album, 1979: Brian Glascock; Jeff Jourard; Martha Davis; Marty Jourard; and Michael Goodroe. Photo: Jeffrey Scales.

Marty recalls the frenzy the band built on the L.A. club scene in the six months leading up to their signing with Capitol in May 1979. He takes a deep dive into each of The Motels’ five albums for the label (“Motels,” 1979; “Careful,” 1980; “All Four One,” 1982; “Little Robbers,” 1983; and “Shock,” 1985). He also compares working on the LPs with three different producers (John Carter, Val Garay, and Richie Zito) who had very different approaches to recording.

Jourard recounts the story behind “Apocalypso,” the original third album that Capitol rejected as “too weird” in 1982 but the band finally released in 2011.

He covers the band’s key personnel changes (including keyboardist Scott Thurston; guitarists Jeff Jourard, Tim McGovern, and Guy Perry; and drummer David Platshon); occasional use of session aces after the first two albums (among them drummer Craig Krampf, guitarist Waddy Wachtel, and bass player Arthur Barrow); major Motels U.S. and international tours (Europe, Australia-New Zealand, Japan) including outings with The Cars and The Go-Go’s and as headliners; their chart successes in the States and abroad; and the much-viewed videos for hit singles like “Only the Lonely,” “Take the L,” and “Suddenly Last Summer.”

Jourard also re-traces the evolution of The Motels’ sound during the Capitol years, just as the analog age gave way to digital. He revisits Davis’ decision to disband the group to go solo in 1987 with her “Policy” LP, and what happened between then and the one-off reunion of the band’s final lineup in 2004 for VH1’s “Bands Reunited.”

He details how Davis rebuilt The Motels yet again in the Aughts, adding new members Clint Walsh (guitar), Nic Johns (keyboards, bass), and Eric Gardner (drums), and how he (Jourard) reconnected with Davis and rejoined the lineup full-time in 2013.

Finally, Jourard expresses how much he and Davis were still enjoying playing classic Motels songs in 2023, with what has become the longest-lived incarnation of the band.

Martha Davis & The Motels, backstage after their “Lost ‘80s Live” set at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles, August 28, 2022, from left: Eric Gardner, Davis, Clint Walsh, Nicholas Johns, and Marty Jourard. Courtesy photo.


Watch the videos below.

1). The Motels’ Marty Jourard: Signing with Capitol Records 

2). The Motels’ Marty Jourard: Deep Dive into Debut Capitol Album, 1979

3.) The Motels’ Marty Jourard: ‘Careful,’ Second Capitol Album, 1980

4). The Motels’ Marty Jourard: ‘All Four One,’ Third Capitol Album, 1982

5). The Motels’ Marty Jourard: ‘Little Robbers’ on 40th Anniversary

6). The Motels’ Marty Jourard: ‘Shock,’ Fifth Capitol Album, 1985 Pt. 1

7). The Motels’ Marty Jourard: ‘Shock,’ Fifth Capitol Album, 1985 Pt. 2

8). The Motels’ Marty Jourard: VH1’s ‘Bands Reunited,’ 2004

9). The Motels’ Marty Jourard: 1987 Breakup, 2010s Reunion

“It’s a very impressive collection of interviews, quite organized,” Jourard said after reviewing them. “For a Motels fan, it’s certainly as much as anyone wants to know about the band’s history.”

Motels superfan and YouTube commenter Carl Rudd agreed: “This is important and absorbing history of the best ‘new wave’ band of all time.”


Stephen K. Peeples is a Grammy-nominated multi-media writer-producer and award-winning radio/record-industry veteran raised in Miami and Los Angeles by career newspaper journalists and music lovers. Based in Santa Clarita, California, he wrapped a 45-year media career in 2021, and as of spring 2024, is authoring a new book celebrating the 60th anniversary in 2024-2026 of Bruce Brown’s epic surf movie “The Endless Summer.” See the “Stephen K. Peeples” page on his website. More original stories and exclusive interviews are posted there and on his YouTube channel.

Article: The Motels’ Marty Jourard Recaps Capitol Era, Band Reunions
Category: News and Reviews
Author: Stephen K. Peeples
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