A Beautiful Day at Amoeba Music with The Motels
It was a sunny day in the City of Angels, and The Motels were in town, presenting a special live concert and signing at Amoeba Music in Hollywood! Celebrating the release of The Last Few Beautiful Days – their latest and greatest pop rock manifesto – The Motels would present rapturous new songs from the album such as Punchline and Lucky Stars. Those wanting a journey into the rich back catalog of The Motels were treated to glorious live renderings of Suddenly Last Summer and Only The Lonely.
The afternoon was magical indeed, concluding with a meet and greet where Martha Davis and The Motels stayed long after the show, making sure each fan had their copy of The Last Few Beautiful Days signed as well as giving hugs and posing for selfies!
In the midst of this vibrant celebration, Martha Davis took take to chat backstage with Highwire Daze Online about the creation of The Last Few Beautiful Days, the upcoming Like Totally 80’s Festival, her love and appreciation for the fans, and a whole lot more! Read on…
Is there any story or concept behind the title “The Last Few Beautiful Days?”
The Last Few Beautiful Days was a song I wrote after reading a book by a guy named TC Boyle. He’s a pretty great author, he wrote The Road to Wellville, if you remember that movie? It was called A Friend of the Earth and it was about climate disaster, which we might be experiencing now. And as soon as I put that book down, it was very shortly thereafter I wrote that song. So it was inspired originally, that’s an older song, by this book pretty much. Then when we were doing this album, it just wanted to be on this album. When a song starts telling you something you don’t argue with it.
“I know you hate me now; I see your face and all the reason why.” What’s the story behind that lyric in the song Punchline?
Well, that’s the thing about these damn songs, they’re your confessionals. It was a conversation I was having with my youngest daughter. Still to be resolved, if it ever will be. It’s pretty much right there in the song. As a young mother that was trying to be a rock and roll star, I definitely didn’t make better homes and gardens. There’s a lot – it’s hard being a parent under the best of conditions but certainly wasn’t, and I’m not making excuses. I will just always apologize if I couldn’t give what I should have.
Lucky Stars sounds like a big hit in the making. Story behind that song?
That one just sort of came about, the whole thing about this album – it sort of started creating itself. We started writing some stuff, I originally started writing about the world and where I thought we were. All the stuff that’s – what is this greed? What is this vanity? All the things we’re sort of suffering from now, there’s sort of an absurd world quality to life now. People aren’t talking to each other, so I started writing from my looking at what appears to me to be dysfunction. The more I wrote it, and the more deeper we got into the album, the more it turned into a very personal story. These mass effects that we’re seeing are all things that happen to each of us individually and so – it became a very personal story.
“You sir have no honor. You sir are a poison pill.” Did you write Criminal about anyone in particular?
It started out about someone but the mantel, [laughs] it’s one of those things where you can pass it on. And it’s like, oh now that’s not the criminal, you’re the criminal! No, you’re not, no you are! [laughs] Sadly there’s many people that song can fit pretty adequately.
Where was the cover of “The Last Beautiful Days” shot?
That was a photo we purchased from a wonderful guy named Matt Lambros – his whole thing was taking pictures of old rundown theaters – these beautiful gems that have just gone to ruin and no one could save them. He would go around and take pictures of these places that were just – and some of them are heartbreaking because these places were palaces. Now they’re just rotted and ruined, the roofs have caved in and stuff like that. But, I don’t know. I think they’re beautiful.
Overall, how do you feel “The Last Beautiful Days” compares to the classic Motels releases?
Well, I’ve been hearing from people and I kind of feel myself that you won’t feel like you didn’t have a Motels album, but you will feel like you have a brand new album that’s contemporary and makes sense now and is not going to sound like some old, dated thing. it doesn’t sound dated, but it sure sounds like Motels. I think we did it.
What are you looking forward to the most about the Like Totally 80s Festival in Huntington Beach on May 12th?
Ahhh well those are just fun because it’s mostly nostalgia. It’s seeing friends that – old buddies, stuff like that. I always look forward to just play music.
Any messages for Motels fans?
I love you. Thank you for everything. I did a Facebook post yesterday. I had to thank the fans because Motel fans are specially loyal. They’re here and they’ve been waiting a long time but now that the album is here, so are they and that’s something you don’t find in the music business these days. A lot of fans are fairweather friends and not Motels fans. You guys are great!
The Motels are:
Martha Davis: Vocals, Guitar
Eric Gardner: Drums, Percussion, Programming
Nicholas Allen Johns: Bass, Synths, Guitar, Piano, Programming Percussion, Background Vocals
Marty Jourard: Saxophones, Piano, Clarinet
Clint Walsh: Guitars, Synths, Recording
(Interview by Ken Morton – Photos by Joe Schaeffer)