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"Knowledge is power."
who is marty jourard?
photo courtesy of ROB C. WITZEL/Gainesville Magazine
I have been playing, writing and recording pop music for over thirty-five years. I was born in Atlanta, raised in Gainesville, Florida, migrated to Los Angeles, and finally settled in Seattle, where I teach and play music.
It was my good fortune to grow up in Gainesville, Florida, a town with a lot of bands and live music. During the '60s and early '70s this small university town in North Florida was an amazingly rich musical environment. Two future members of the Eagles grew up there (Bernie Leadon and Don Felder); Tom Petty was born and raised in Gainesville, Steve Stills attended the U of F...there are many great musicians from Gainesville. Live music flourished in this university town, thanks in large part to the hippie scene of the late '60s coupled with a large University of Florida entertainment budget. Many famous acts in varied musical genres played this sleepy Southern town. I can recall seeing and hearing Peter Paul and Mary back in the early 1960s, Donovan, the Doobie Brothers, Ravi Shankar, Janis Joplin, the Beach Boys...
I joined my first band when I was 15 (1970) as the bass player. We did tunes by Creedence Clearwater, Hendrix, the Doors, the Rascals, Steppenwolf, Cream, the Beatles. These were not oldies...they were the current hits! I played in various rock bands throughout Florida and the South on and off from 1970 to 1976. Our circuit went from Tampa and Macon and Atlanta to Athens and even Tuscaloosa. There were plenty of places to play. This environment was conducive to further playing of music, and we did.
After moving to Los Angeles in 1976 I attended U.S.C., where I majored in music, I began playing at recording sessions and gigs in the L.A. area before joining the Motels on keyboard and saxophone in 1978. After signing to Capitol Records in 1979 the Motels recorded five albums, earning two gold record awards and two Top Ten singles (1982's "Only The Lonely" and 1984's "Suddenly Last Summer").
The Motels appeared on all the major music TV programs (Solid Gold, American Bandstand, Midnight Special, Rock Concert, Saturday Night Live), contributed songs for movie soundtracks ("Teachers," "Moscow on the Hudson," "Soul Man") and toured extensively all over the world, including three Australian tours and appearances in Japan and Europe. I counted our gigs a while ago; we played 434. We enjoyed playing live.
After the Motels disbanded in 1987 I moved to Seattle, where I opened a recording studio. In addition to recording and producing music during the fabulous "Grunge" period of Seattle's music history, I wrote extensively on the subject of music as a columnist and feature writer for various music publications, including The Rocket, Gig, Rockrgrl, and Tape Op. I am the author of the how-to book "Start Your Own Band" (1996, Hyperion) and the recently released piano instruction book "The Marty Method."
I now teach keyboard and other instruments (drums, bass, guitar, sax) in my Kirkland, Washington music studio and play keyboard and saxophone in various musical settings. In September 2004 I appeared in an episode of VH1's "Bands Reunited" as a founding member of the Motels.
In 2005 I cofounded a bossa nova/jazz/standards band called Novabossa. featuring the stunning vocals of our Brazilian-born singer Marcia Tavora.
As of 2010 I've also reconnected with Martha Davis and have collaborated on her latest musical project, "I Have My Standards," songs she has written in the style of the standards of the '30s and '40s. I played piano and tenor sax, accompanied by an ace rhythm section on drums and acoustic bass, release date TBA.
I enjoy teaching music and am building a multimedia music education resource on the Marty Method website. Stay tuned.