We talked to Music Everywhere author Marty Jourard about his thoughts on the Gainesville music scene, his musical career and influences, and what inspired him to write his book.
What was living in Gainesville in the ’60s and ’70s like for you?
It was a musical paradise, more or less. My musical education grew from listening to the large variety of live acts that came to town and by playing in a cover band that eventually began performing our own songs.
You’ve been a member of The Motels since 1978. What’s it like to still be playing with them, and how has the band’s sound changed over time?
It is still exciting to play music with Martha Davis and the current Motels. The sound changed as guitarists and other members came and went over the years, but the core sound of the group has always been the songs and the voice of Martha Davis.
Have any particular artists or musical albums influenced you and your music?
The Beatles, The Hollies, Jr. Walker & the All Stars, Todd Rundgren, Little Richard, Miles Davis’s Kind of Blue. My all-around favorite band is Traffic, featuring Steve Winwood.
Where do you see your musical career taking you next?
I never see where it’s going; I’ve been following where it leads me all my life. My interests move to different genres, and each one seems to inform the other. Pop music is my favorite genre of them all.
What do you think of the music scene in Gainesville today?
I left forty years ago and don’t really know, although I researched three bands from Gainesville—Sister Hazel, Less Than Jake, and Against Me!—so I know it is still viable and quite varied.
When did you know that you wanted to write this book?
When I participated in a 2006 panel discussion about Gainesville’s music scene and was impressed with the excitement and response of the audience. I decided someone should write a book about it and then realized that someone was me. I couldn’t not write the book.
If you had one thing to tell your students and other musicians, what would it be?
Learning how to play music never ends, and you really do get better and better if you play a lot.
What do you hope readers will enjoy the most about your book?
The overall narrative and some of the unexpected facts about Gainesville’s music history.
Marty Jourard, a Gainesville native who released five albums and two top-ten singles with the 1980s band The Motels, is the author of Start Your Own Band. He teaches songwriting classes at Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle.