Archive for the 'Martin Page' Category



02
Dec
11

12/2/2011 – Holiday Message from Martin

Well, it’s that time of season again to wish you all health and happiness for the coming holidays and new year.  Your support and encouragement over the past year have been nothing less than uplifting and inspiring, and have helped me push on with the recording of my third solo album, “A Temper of Peace”.

The new album is finally finished and I couldn’t be happier or more excited with the results.  We were hoping to release it before Christmas, but, alas, I was a little too optimistic – production constraints made that impossible.  So, “A Temper of Peace” will be released in the new year, when all our ducks are in a row and the remaining pre-release details have been completed.  I truly can’t wait for you to hear the new music – so stay tuned for news of the release date.

Again, I wish you all a very happy holiday season and I’ll see you in 2012 with the new album.

Cheers,

Martin

Martin in the studio with good friend Bobby Summerfield.

 

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01
Dec
10

12/1/2010 – Holiday Greetings from Martin

I’d like to thank everyone for your wonderful support over the last year and to wish you all a happy and healthy holiday season.  See you all in 2011.  Cheers.

– Martin

02
Jul
10

7/2/2010 – Support System – Vanessa Leavitt

            I’d like to introduce you to Vanessa Leavitt, the wonderful girl who runs and oversees my websites at Myspace and Facebook.  Many of you may already be acquainted with Vanessa, as she makes a point of responding personally to the fans who communicate with me through my websites; So, a great deal of you will already know of Vanessa’s warm, affable and accommodating nature.  It’s quite amazing to me that Vanessa was present at my first ever solo live gig in Washington D.C., when I was touring and promoting my debut solo album, “In The House Of Stone and Light”.  We didn’t actually meet up until years later in Los Angeles when Vanessa and I were both guest speakers on my friend’s music podcast (www.audionowcast.com).  I learned then that she had been a great supporter of my music right from the beginning of my career.  We instantly connected, and when I mentioned that I was about to release a new album on my own independent label, Vanessa immediately offered to help me with the set up and organization of a promotional website at Myspace.  It was an offer that I am glad I didn’t refuse, for Vanessa’s experience in the music industry and internet promotion has proved invaluable during my recent adventures as an independent solo artist.

Vanessa got interested in radio at college, and worked at her college station for four years hosting a local music show highlighting unsigned bands from around the D.C. area.  These were special days for Vanessa, as she got to work and meet with some very passionate people within the music industry – doing what they loved just for the sake of it.  During this pivotal time, she also interned with BMG Music Distribution, doing promotions for their college bands.  This then lead her to working for a number of D.C. radio stations as a sales assistant, and a web developer for one of them.  She then landed her current job building websites for groups of radio stations all over the country.

As I have come to know Vanessa better, I have become aware of her many passions outside the boundaries of music.  She is a keen lover of nature, art and literature, and loves nothing better than the warm seasons which allow her to go hiking or camping with friends and family; but her biggest inspiration by far is her beautiful daughter, Kaia, who constantly reminds her how to live in the present moment.  As I mentioned earlier, one of Vanessa’s great passions is books, and she is a truly talented author in her own right.  She started writing stories in college, and she names writers such as Hemingway, Poe, Chuck Palahniuk, Stephen King and Charles DeLint as her strong influences.  She has almost completed her own historical fantasy piece called, “Shaping Fate”, and is presently looking for an agent for the work.  I urge you to check out Vanessa’s creative writing website at   www.vrleavitt.com, where you can view some of her short stories and where Vanessa also talks about the writing process in general.  It’s a great site to visit, and I’m a big fan.

It’s a pleasure for me to work with such an all-‘round, imaginative and genuine person such as Vanessa.  She brings integrity, professionalism and a great work ethic to the creative process.  For her, no task, it seems, is too difficult to accomplish.  And on top of that, she has a terrific sense of humor, which in my book, is a definite Big Plus, indeed!  It is a precious luxury to know as an artist that you have a solid, believing team behind you, and with Vanessa on board, I certainly feel that.

In finishing, I recently asked Vanessa what music artists she likes; she answered that she enjoys all sorts of music from Mozart to Queen to Big And Rich .…. and of course, Martin Page.  Well, she had to say that, didn’t she?!

Thanks Vanessa.

 

Cheers,

Martin

11
May
10

5/11/10 – Inspiration

 

I’m often asked, “How do you write a successful popular song?”  It’s a good question, and after all these years plying my trade in this vocation, I still find it an impossible question to answer.  For me, there is no trusted formula.  Every song that somehow appears to me is born of its own unique set of circumstances and inspiration.  In fact, when I have tried to impose a formula on the conception of a song, nine times out of ten, I have failed miserably!  And when I have tried earnestly to force the issue, the muse has stubbornly refused to obey my wishes.  Songs have always come to me primarily of their own volition – as if they themselves chose the time, place, manner and form in which to be brought into existence.  The alchemy of song construction is truly a mysterious art form and, to a great extent, remains unexplainable to me.  I have heard songwriters say that they feel as though they were conduits for a song to pass through, as though they were the mere instrument of a greater, unconscious force.  On many occasions, I, too, have felt as little more than a midwife to the song’s composition.  If all this sounds rather “other worldly” and spiritual – well, for me it is.  How else to explain how melodies, harmonies and chord sequences can be plucked from thin air and placed within the human brain?

Of course, while armed with a basic knowledge of the rudiments of music and an unquenchable desire to accomplish the task at hand, a songwriter also needs the tools of his or her trade – be it voice, manuscript paper, guitar, piano, tape/digital recorder, etc. – to allow inspiration to bear fruit.  And for the successful songwriter, there still remains the cardinal rule:  TURN UP FOR THE GIG – and, by that I mean go to work each day and write!

Then, with a bit of luck, there’s every chance that fate will bestow upon the fortunate tunesmith the most treasurable of things – a song!  In my case, some songs are born quietly and peacefully, while others come screaming and kicking into the world.  For example, “These Dreams” (recorded by Heart) took me about 20 minutes to write, while “Fallen Angel” (recorded by Robbie Robertson) took me over a year to complete.  The cool thing is I still feel that I’m learning something new with every new song I sit down to write.  It’s like traveling on a journey down a different path every time.  Sometimes the path leads to somewhere wonderful and rewarding, while other times, it leads to a dead end, frustration and no result; but I think it’s the gamble of the unknown that I find so exhilarating and addictive – and, as the saying goes, a song is never finished, it is only abandoned.

Cheers,

-Martin

 

“We – are we not formed as notes of music are, for one another, though dissimilar?”

 – Percy Bysshe Shelley

MARTIN, at the taping of his recent guest appearance on the German reality TV show “FlatStar”, talking to the contestants about his songwriting experience.  (The show also aired on the internet, where this segment from the 2nd Episode can be viewed in 4 parts.)

05
Feb
10

2/5/2010 – Support System – Diane Poncher

I thought I’d take the opportunity of this blog to introduce you to my manager of 25 years.  Her name is Diane Poncher.  It is, without doubt, a fortunate artist who is able to join forces with a manager he or she trusts and respects.  I consider myself to be one such artist.  Let me give you a brief history of Diane’s career so far.

She was raised within the music and entertainment industry, as her father was Lennie Poncher, a renowned and successful manager who, during the 60’s and 70’s, handled the U.S. careers of such legendary artists and performers as Donovan, Jethro Tull, Ten Years After, Stevie Winwood, Jan & Dean, Brook Benton, Spooky Tooth and the Spencer Davis Group.  Between 1967 and 1971, Diane learned the ropes of the music business by becoming secretary at her father’s management company (International Management Combine), and a Product Manager at Epic Records/Columbia Custom Labels (’71 – ‘75).  From 1975 to 1978, she lived in London working, as Executive Secretary and Coordinator, for Motown Records International, whose roster included such notable artists as Stevie Wonder, The Temptations, Thelma Houston and Junior Walker and the Allstars.  While in London, she also worked as Tour Promotions Manager for Mervyn Conn Promotions, which promoted and organized UK/European concert tours for American country music artists, and which was largely responsible for the country music market in England.  Diane returned stateside, and from 1980 to 1985, was working as Associate Manager for Bob Cavallo of Cavallo, Ruffalo & Fargnoli Management in Los Angeles.  Clients included Prince, Earth, Wind & Fire, The Time, Appolonia 6, Weather Report, Ray Parker, Jr. and Little Feat.

It was during this period that I first met Diane.  I was in L.A. with my then writing partner, Brian Fairweather, promoting our band’s (Q-Feel) single, “Dancing In Heaven”, which was getting strong airplay on the local alternative and influential radio station, KROQ.  Diane introduced us to Bob Cavallo, who was looking to manage a new wave band such as ourselves.  Although we didn’t eventually sign with Bob, we decided to officially link up with Diane, as we could see how much she believed in our songwriting, our ambition and the musical direction that we were forging for ourselves.  So, with Cavallo’s blessing, Diane became independent at this time, in order to manage us exclusively.

Being in L.A. during the 80’s was a pretty magical time, and with Diane’s help and connections, we soon found ourselves collaborating and working with our musical idols and influences.  Diane immediately recognized that the material we were writing – not only suited our own band – but was crying out to be recorded by all kinds of popular mainstream artists.  She had the vision to see that we were traditional songwriters at heart, so she planned and successfully paved the way for me to ultimately regain ownership and control of all of my songs.  And what an education I personally received during this time – writing with people such as Bernie Taupin, Maurice White, Hal David, Jon Lind, Diane Warren and Robbie Robertson, to name but a few.  This truly was my musical apprenticeship.  From this point on, Diane and I never really looked back – enjoying the success of two No.1 records in our very first year of linking up.

Diane also believed that I was gifted with a voice that connected directly to the emotions, and she encouraged and gave me confidence to become a solo artist.  Presently, we have embarked on a new adventure – the forming of our own independent record label, IroningBoard Records, allowing me the vehicle to release my own work – on my terms.

Over the years, Diane has consistently given me un-biased feedback in all aspects of my career, and offered me a true shoulder to lean on through the good times and the bad.  I genuinely feel that we are more a partnership than a management arrangement – and in my long experience in this volatile music industry, I know this to be pretty damn rare!  I know that my songwriting has the very best possible support system it could have.  And, to top that, she’s also blessed with a great musical ear …. and even plays piano!!!!!!  In fact, come to think of it, we’ve even written a song together, and had it recorded by an international artist.  Not bad …

Cheers.

– Martin

14
Dec
09

12/14/2009 – Season’s Greetings from Martin

I’d like to wish you all a wonderful and healthy holiday season.  Thank you guys for your amazing support over the last year.

 

Cheers everyone!

 

– Martin

20
Nov
09

11/20/2009 – The Beautiful Game

Aahh – the beautiful game – known to most of us Brits as “football” and to most Americans as “soccer”.  To me, it is most certainly “the beautiful game”!  As early as I can remember, I have had a passion for the sport.  At the age of 16, I represented my home city and county (Southampton and Hampshire) back in England, at schoolboy level – having become the captain of both sides.  I was also selected to play for the South of England schoolboy team, and it seemed that my dream of becoming a professional player was about to come true when Southampton Football Club signed me as a youth player and apprentice.  I was being groomed to become a full professional, and during this time with “The Saints” (Southampton F.C.’s nickname), I found myself training with such international legends as Terry Paine, Ron Davies and Mike Channon.  These were my boyhood heroes whom I had watched from the terraces of Southampton’s famous stadium, “The Dell”.  The manager of The Saints during my time there was Lawrie McMenemy, renowned for leading the team to F.A. Cup glory in 1976.  It was he and ex-Saints “Hardman” defender, John McGrath, who signed me; I have fond memories of McMenemy calling me “Big Man” during training sessions.

Southampton’s unique stadium, The Dell, was a wonderfully compact ground.  The spectators were located very near the field of play, which made for a very intense atmosphere.  During my days playing for the youth team, I was fortunate enough to score 2 goals at each end of that famous stadium, one with my head, and the other with my feet.  These are memories that I cherish.  This period in my early life was an exciting and magical time.

Alas, it was not to be that I would go all the way and make it as a professional player.  After about 4 years of playing for The Saints Youth Team, I found that my heart’s desire and passion were being diverted towards music.  Of course, there was no guarantee back then that I would have made the grade, and my performances on the field were beginning to suffer due to my increasing interest in pursuing a career as a musician.  I have never regretted letting go of my boyhood aspirations – it was the right decision to move on, as music spoke to me in my late teens in a much deeper and more significant way.

This brings me up to the present day and the improbable, unlikely fact that I am still getting my kicks (no pun intended) playing football today – and enjoying it immensely – in and around the Los Angeles area, where I now live.  I have been able to hook up with a vibrant community of other “footie” fanatics who play semi-competitive games at least twice a week.  I regularly turn out for two teams – the first going under the appropriately given name of “The Geezas” – largely comprised of a motley crew of expatriate Brits.  The Geezas contain three of my dearest friends who, like me, make their living in the entertainment industry.  These mates are Bobby Summerfield (music composer, producer and sound designer), Eddie Sanderson (professional fine photographer) and Jim Piddock (actor, writer and producer).  The other team that generously allows me to kick a ball around with them is BAFTA LA (British Academy of Film and Television Arts).  I was invited to play for the team by Julian Stone (theatre and film actor, writer, producer), who runs and organizes the BAFTA LA squad.   The BAFTA side are truly a great bunch of lads who play the beautiful game with just the right blend of spirit and enthusiasm.  Often, celebrity guests join The Geezas and BAFTA for the odd game or two:  Robbie Williams, Gordon Ramsay and Rod Stewart, to name but a few.  Needless to say, I have made some exceptional friends within these two teams.

In finishing, my mind jumps back to 1966 when, as a boy, I was glued to the TV set watching England win the World Cup.  Now I look forward with great hope and expectation that England achieves the same success in 2010 in South Africa.  Aahh – the beautiful game – long may it entertain, excite and inspire us!

 

Cheers.

 

– Martin

 

“… man is made God’s play thing, and that is the best part of him.  Therefore every man and woman should live life accordingly, and play the noblest games … What, then, is the right way of living?  Life must be lived as play …”

 

– Plato, Laws.

Martin Playing for Bafta