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Fan Memories

Page history last edited by PBworks 14 years, 3 months ago

Fan Fantasy and Myth


Gail Martin is as legendary as Sasquatch, a compassionate Republican, or Jesus of Nazareth.  She inspires her legion of devotees to remember her not as she is but how they want her to be.  On a website devoted to comic strip snarking, a few of her dedicated minions began posting comments reminiscing about moments in Gail's life and career.  Some are true; others are not.  Below are the writings that inspired the making of this wiki page.  Notice that most of the comments in the beginning are extremely positive but, as the snowball rolls down the mountain, later commenters turn Gail into a tragic figure.  Gail Martin is to be celebrated for everything she has tried to do to bring about world peace, help children and animals, and rid the elderly of incontinence.


Comics Curmudgeon Writings about Gail Martin


smacky says:

July 11th, 2007 at 6:28 am

Good Lord, I actually agree with today’s Gil Thorp. I was at a They Might Be Giants concert years ago and some asshat in our row scremed “ISTANBUL!!!” after every song. I wanted to say exactly what Bob said today, though I’d probably swap the word “dick” for “friend.”

Of couse the band played “Istanbul” during the encore, so we had to listen to the guy scream it 30 times. He must have thought “Hoooo!” when they played it, like all his hard work was finally being rewarded.

You tell him Bob. Of course Gail is gonna sing “Tarzana Nights.” She’ll also sing “The Ghost Who Walks Fished Me Out of the Ocean This One Time, Then He Never Called Again.”



Harry Paratestes says:

July 11th, 2007 at 6:42 am

(DT)GT: I hate to say it, but Gail Martin looks like Elton John with a Krispy Kreme cruller stuck in his new hair-weave.



The Spectacular Spider-Brick says:

July 11th, 2007 at 7:13 am

Sure, “Tarzana Nights” is great, but I prefer Gail Martin’s early stuff, before she went commercial. Like “Basement Apartment Blues,” “New York Women (Skin and Bones),” “Black Coffee and Toast” and “I’ve Got Something To Say (to the World)”.



Tipsy says:

July 11th, 2007 at 11:17 am

When Gail Martin isn’t wowing the crowds with “Tarzana Nights”, she’s teaching young deaf-mute girls the word for “water”. She’s an inspiration to us all.



Ces says:

July 11th, 2007 at 11:34 am

That “Gil Thorp” strip is hands-down the best three panels committed to newsprint ever. Frankly, I can’t wait to hear Gail’s follow-up hit, the hard-chargin’ “Chamomile Mornings.”



J.P. Patches says:

July 11th, 2007 at 12:08 pm

GT: I especially like Gail’s PA system, which is sitting on a table behind her, and consists of an old intercom speaker that someone took down from a wall in the high school in 1962 and has been keeping in the basement for just such a momentous occasion as this.



Mooncattie says:

July 11th, 2007 at 7:48 pm

Happy 3rd birthday from North of the Border! You shine out like a shaft of gold when all around is dark!

Being told “Ease up, friend” from a complete stranger at a Gail Martin concert….oooooh, them’s fighting words! Mind you, everybody knows she always holds back “Tarzana Nights” til the second encore, unless it’s a Casino venue, in which case it’s the sixth and last number, no encores, and get back to the craps, please. And don’t even think of requesting “My Carpet is Bear” from the Mark Trail soundtrack, since they screwed her on the royalties.



Artist formerly known as Ben says:

July 12th, 2007 at 8:42 am

SFx: I think the dynamic is much simpler. Buzzcut just found out that his kids don’t have the same blood type as him or his wife. And the same dude has been delivering pizza to his house for about eight years.

GT: The only disappointment for me is that they already wrapped up the Gail Martin concert. We didn’t even see her performing “Bakersfield Afternoon.” Of course Ted Turner with the kung fu deathgrip is some consolation.



mere cog in the machine says:

July 12th, 2007 at 10:55 am

Please help settle a family dispute. I say Gail Martin made her first, groundbreaking appearence at the Monterey Pop Festival, delivering a heart-felt, acoustic performance of ‘Tarzana Nights’ right after Ravi Shankar’s sitar set. My wife claims it was two years later at Woodstock, where she was helicoptered in with Crosby, Stills, and Nash. Our son disagrees with both of us, and keeps trying to take away our nitrous oxide and codeine cough syrup. Who is right??



Sugar and Spike says:

July 12th, 2007 at 11:11 am

mwomph daarrsk blaggzsp*

*146: Gail Martin actually made her first appearance at Altamont, and was in fact the cause of the riot that led to the Hell’s Angels beating a guy to death.



mere cog in the machine says:

July 12th, 2007 at 12:49 pm

188 Turtleboy: While I agree that her Comeback Concert was among her best efforts, I still feel that ‘An Evening With Gail Martin; Live from Carnegie Hall’, is her definitive disc. She was re-energized after coming out of rehab, the messy divorce with Michael Martin Murphy was behind her, and the work she had done made her look ten years younger. God bless you, Gail; may your song stylings live forever.



AhClem says:

July 12th, 2007 at 1:13 pm

I’m sorry, but Gail Martin has been dead to me ever since she came out with the disco version of “Tarzana Nights” and sang it with Donna Summer and Michael Jackson on the Carol Burnett Show. I’ve never forgiven her for that.



Brown-eyed Girl says:

July 12th, 2007 at 1:24 pm

I used to like Gail Martin’s music, but I can never forgive her for breaking up the Beatles.



TurtleBoy says:

July 12th, 2007 at 2:19 pm

Cog, Nate, et al: Okay, okay, I’ll admit that the technopop was a little over the top for the time. But it wasn’t her low. I mean, there was that pathetic attempt at relevance in 1986 when she cut the remix “Tarzana Boyz” with Kid ‘n’ Play. I remember seeing the video and thinking, “Gail, how could you do this to your fans?” That was right after her second (third?) stay at Betty Ford, and she swore she was clean, but damn, did she look strung out.



Paperback Rifler says:

July 12th, 2007 at 2:40 pm

203. Holy crap! That’s some good stuff, gh! The scary thing is, it’s actually a pretty realistic depiction of how completely disturbing and insane Gil Thorp is. Now, I’m not one hundred percent sure, but I suspect that an interview with the GT creative team would probably go a little something like this:

Interviewer: So, how do you come up with your ideas for Gil Thorp?

GT Creative Team Member: Well, it helps if you’re really, really drunk. And a few drops of acid don’t hurt anything, either.

And with regard to Gail Martin, does anybody remember if her substance abuse problems happened before or after she alienated most of Middle America when she traveled to Vietnam at the height of the Vietnam War and felt up Ho Chi Minh at a photo op?



AhClem says:

July 12th, 2007 at 2:41 pm

#229 Nate -

She is scheduled to play at the Minnesota State Fair in August. I believe she will be at the free “Leinie’s Lodge” stage at 10:00 AM on Thursday, following a Norwegian tuba quintet and just before the Alderschotte Family Band.



reader-who-posts says:

July 12th, 2007 at 2:45 pm

Gail Martin also just played Live Earth, but no one knows it because no one watched Live Earth.



Uncle Lumpy says:

July 12th, 2007 at 2:49 pm

#237 AhChem –

Did you say free Lienenkugel’s? I am so there, Gail Martin or not.

Really, though, I haven’t forgiven her for all the hell she put David Birney through after his breakup with Meredith Baxter. I know she was wrestling with her own demons, but that business with the Moroccan was just cruel.



Joel says:

July 12th, 2007 at 2:53 pm

Yeah, I agree, the disco era was kind of a down-period for Gail Martin but a lot of bands didn’t do so well then. When I lost interest was when she tried to be a 80’s Glamrock hair band. I mean, its like, if you are going to try to have giant frizzy sprayed up hair while you wail on guitar, at least take it out of the braid first, you know? I know the braid’s like her signature thing, but since nobody knows who the fuck she is, I mean, what’s the big loss?

I did get a kick out of seeing her cover Cherry Pie though.



mere cog in the machine says:

July 12th, 2007 at 2:58 pm

I have a vintage Gail Martin photo, taken at Studio 54 circa 1977, standing in a group with Halston, Andy Warhol, and Tom Sullivan. She is bloated and unhealthy looking, and if you look really close you can see the silver spoon at the end of the chain around her tube-like neck.



reader-who-posts says:

July 12th, 2007 at 3:10 pm

The less said about Gail’s “gangsta rap” phase in the early 90’s the better, especially her doomed affair with Flava Flav.



Nate Bush, Pirate PHD says:


July 12th, 2007 at 3:11 pm

#253 (RWP) - I cheat and use two, but I am such a good martyr for the earth! I mean, two is not alot.

#254 (cog) - I don’t keep pictures of Andy Warhol. He tried to get Gail to join the Velvet Underground, which was absolutely not her thing. Gail sang a song at a concert she called “Above and Proud”, which clearly took aim at Warhol and the VU.

My the way lumpy, I do accept donations that could change my mind about certain pictures I may have regarding Gail.



Nate Bush, Pirate PHD says:

July 12th, 2007 at 3:15 pm

#258 (RWP) I fully support and enjoy Gails rap. She honestly is a poet, and that mode of expression really brings out the honest and insightful and profound side of Gail. Especially in her track “Liquor”, how can you just not scream out the course “Down goes da liquor, gettin up wid da hos/ Down goes da liquor, off goes my clothes”



Mibbitmaker says:

July 12th, 2007 at 3:16 pm



……….Gail Martin’s classic rock-like song “Tarzana Nights” will be the theme song for the like-titled sequel to that “Ricky Bobby” movie again starring Will Ferrell as the fictional racecar driver……….

BEATLES QUESTION: Is the “braaa” on “Ob-la-di Ob-la-da” for the “tit-tit-tit-tit-tit-tit-tit-tit” in “Girl”?



AhClem says:

July 12th, 2007 at 3:17 pm

#245 Nate - #240 was reader-who-posts, not me. Just wanted to clear that up. Even though I still feel she sold out with the whole disco thing, she still deserves my grudging respect for her work promoting the TFF (Terminal Flatulence Foundation) for so many years.

And, coincidence of coincidences, I was flipping through the TV channels late last night, and channel 41 was airing an infomercial for the Time-Life Soft Rock CD Collection. Sure enough, “Tarzana Nights” is on it, and they showed a brief video clip of Gail performing it on the Mike Douglas Show from 1971 or 1972. The two guys from Air Supply, who were hosting the infomercial, commented about how much healthier she looked back then, compared to the later Madonna-cone-bra phase.



Mibbitmaker says:

July 12th, 2007 at 3:45 pm

Rolling Stone magazine has uncovered an old newspaper clip that offers proof that Gail Martin was a vocalist for the early psychedelic garage rock group The Isometric Lipstick Conspiracy, who had only one album before her solo gig at Monterey Pop. Reportedly, “Little Steven” Van Zant is interested in a copy to play on his radio show “The Underground Garage”. Stay tuned…..



Nate Bush, Pirate PHD says:

July 12th, 2007 at 3:48 pm

274 (Mibbit) - That is no secret. It is just pointless, as the album wasn’t printed correctly and only the original plays. Unfortunately, the original was deemed an “enemy of the state” by bush and has since been stuck in an undisclosed location. Secretly, Cheney is a Gail Martin fan, even though he is against lesbians.



Mibbitmaker says:

July 12th, 2007 at 4:12 pm

#276: To be fair, the reason the president did that was the fact that, if played backwards, you could hear one of the singers (not Gail, a male) giving instructions on making bomb materials for a proto-Weather Underground group. It was discovered that it was all an honest mistake by 1978, but it’s reported that Bush played it backwards (he was eating pretzels at the time!), took the “instructions” at face value, and decreed it too al-Quaeda-friendly.

Cheney thought it’d be bad press for the administration, so it was never corrected, even with the info leaked by Scooter Libby. All this caused Gail to write a protest song that even Michael Moore said was “way too unfair” to the president.

As to Cheney hating lesbians, that was b.s. spread by his own daughter, since she was angry over the treatment of the Isometric Lipstick Conspiracy album. In fact, he only hates lesbians in the Democratic party. Common error.

Besides, the post-Gail Martin ILC 45s dating from 1967-1971 (only popular in England and Finland at the time) still float around. “Baby, Groovy Maypo” was even praised by Paul McCartney in 1968 for it’s quintuple-tracking vocals. “Even we never thought of that”, he said then.



Razmytaz says:

July 12th, 2007 at 4:26 pm

I’ve always thought the impressive thing about Gail’s concerts is how when the obligatory TN comes around, each one the fans chimes in with a different version of the lyrics (and tune / tempo as well) . It comes across like the surge and crash of an ocean wave, just channeling all that fan love.

Is it only me, though that remembers how at Monterrey her rendition was so intense that her banjo (she did her own instrumentals in those days, when she still had the finger coordination) spontaneously combusted? Rumors about friction and too much patchouli oil in the braid went around at the time. It just made Jimi’s shtick later seem that much lamer… I mean… lighter fluid?



Mibbitmaker says:

July 12th, 2007 at 4:34 pm

Personally, my favorite Gail Martin moment was in 1985, when she jammed with Spinal Tap and the Rutles. It was released only in a Rutles bootleg LP called either “Isometric Rutles” or “Tap the Rutles”. The former was based on the fact that Spinal Tap had a drummer in 1976 that was also a session musician for The Isometric Conspiracy in 1966. Gail’s original group wasn’t in on the jam session.

The moment in question was at the end of a rollicking version of “Big Bottom”, when Gail shouted out gleefully, “Tap! Rutles! You guys are the real thing, baby! the actual items! Not a fake bone in your bodies!” (She was disillusioned with Hollywood phonies at the time) It’s rumored that Conan O’Brien based the name of his “Actual Items” bit on that quote, though Andy Richter denies it to this day.



Islamorada Girl says:

July 12th, 2007 at 4:36 pm

Back in the day, when I used to hang out at CBGB’s with my neighbors Debbie Harry and Patti Smith, Gail Martin used to come by once in a while when the Circle Jerks were in town. We all used to snort up in the ladies’ room with Laura Nyro and jam after last call. If we’d known she was going to get a 100 lb. monkey on her back, we would have gotten Phil and Joey to stage an intervention.

Instead, I got one of those 3 AM phone calls to come to Bellevue and pick her up. She’d been taken there by the cops when they picked her up on W. 87th having a psychotic episode. Debbie and I drove her up to Silverbrook to get clean and sober and didn’t expect to see her again. Several years later, I ran into her Reno Sweeny’s and she swore she was off the stuff and about to record at Electric Ladyland. I never saw her again, but I heard she’d become a Jesus freak and was doing the tent revival circuit with Peter Popov, that she’d married some civilian and moved to Port Deposit, MD. I dunno; show biz does strange things to people.



AhClem says:

July 12th, 2007 at 4:39 pm

Bush’s hatred of Gail Martin stems from one of her earliest singles about drunkedness, “Alky-Day.” Whether Bush identified too strongly with the theme or if he just mispronounced it as “Al-Qaeda” is uncertain, but he’s hated her music ever since he became Preznit.



Eleusis says:

July 12th, 2007 at 4:43 pm

Honestly, Gail Martin’s solo work has been really uninspired. I liked her much better when she was the lead singer of Dykes on Barbiturates.



Zamboni_Rodeo says:


July 12th, 2007 at 5:21 pm

Does anyone remember the comeback that Gail Martin had in the ’90s when she did that electronic dance track with The KLF? Man, that song rocked.



Mumbles says:

July 12th, 2007 at 5:23 pm

To me, Gail Martin never recovered from her guest-starring role in “The Love Boat” when she sang at Julie’s high school reunion cruise (with Raymong Burr as the drunk English teacher.)



Uncle Lumpy says:

July 12th, 2007 at 5:29 pm

I cherish my bootleg LP of Gail Martin and Margo Guryan at the Cellar Door in 1971.



Islamorada Girl says:

July 12th, 2007 at 6:20 pm

That reminds me. Anyone remember Gail’s appearance with Judy Tenuta on Carson? What a night! I thought Johnny would pee his pants! Legendary.



Trotzenbonnie says:

July 12th, 2007 at 6:43 pm

#302 - Uncle Lumpy

The Cellar Door! Lawdy, that takes me back…sniff! John Denver did “Leaving On a Jet Plane” there. (Gail Martin was NOT singing back-up for that gig. She was too busy posing nude for Gene Davis at the Corcoran.)



Joel says:

July 12th, 2007 at 6:53 pm

There were a lot of great Gail Martin shows, but the best I ever saw was one of her more intimate acoustic appearances at the bucket. Just her and her banjo — she was dressed in a pointy bra, a giant hair-sprayed frizzy braid, a disco outfit, a 32′ Flava-Flav clock dangling around her neck and some Doc Martins. Man, what a show. Too bad it was ruined when an adoring fan who couldn’t get tickets reached in the window from “the Cafe” across the street with a 120 foot arm that protruded from just above his waist and tried to manhandle her. And she was just about to play the acoustiv banjo/hip-hop/lesbian folk/dance remix of Tanzana Nights too.

I thought for sure that would be the last time she would play Milford.



Uncle Lumpy says:

July 12th, 2007 at 7:11 pm

#318 Trotz –

And Richie Havens did both “Follow” and his great cover of “Here Comes the Sun.”

I missed the epic Martin/Guryan gig (but my LP is just about worn through). But I caught Gail in an insane dual bill with Arthur Brown shortly before his death. I’m amazed it wasn’t her, the way she was living. They jammed on Fire for 45 minutes, during which time Gail invented rap, killed it with irony, replaced it with hip-hop, then reacculturated it as reggaeton. And this was live.

I’m delighted to see she’s able to manage even an attenuated career — it’s a miracle she can even function.



stinky pete says:

July 12th, 2007 at 7:15 pm

325 CG: We are the world? Of course, who can forget Gail Martin’s brief duet with Steve Perry on that great song? (She’s hard to see in the video for most of it, standing behind Dan Aykroyd as she is.)



ElSanto says:

July 12th, 2007 at 7:55 pm

Don’t forget Gail Martin’s blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cameo in the movie Zoolander, which oddly also had a cameo appearance from her ex-lover David Bowie. I hear that despite the split, the two still have an amicable relationship.

There was also her incredible overseas stint in the ’80s, which — and most people overlook this — actually made her more popular than Madonna in the Philippines. The Hard Rock Makati displays a painting of her face beside luminaries such as Freddy Mercury and Elvis Presley. When pop-sensation Regine Velasquez braided her hair in the late 90’s, everyone knew who she was paying tribute to.



Ukulele Ike says:

July 12th, 2007 at 7:55 pm

#322: Remember when Gail walked onstage during the great Dead show at the Pyramids in 1979? She harmonized with Donna Lee during “Bertha” and “The Music Never Stopped,” then took the lead vocal in an amazing and unprecedented performance of “Begin the Beguine” !

She and Jerry were hot to do “Tarzana Nights,” but Bobby didn’t know the changes.



skankmonkey says:

July 12th, 2007 at 8:35 pm

When they used “Tarzana Nights” to sell incontinence products, I realized Gail had totally sold out. My love for her died that day.



Arthur Brown says:

July 12th, 2007 at 8:40 pm

It was Gail Martin who said, “Arthur, your world is CRAZY!” The rest, they say, is bloody history.

Last I heard, she was on a shrimp boat in Bayou Labatrie.



Red Greenback says:

July 12th, 2007 at 9:25 pm

Gail Martin also hung with Vanilla Fudge when they were doing bright and bouncy cover songs. Gail told the boys “I think maybe you should do cover songs “All slow and spooky-like’” She also was in on the “mudshark” incident…Good times!



Red Greenback says:

July 12th, 2007 at 9:39 pm

Remember when Gail was on the Merv Griffin show when she said “Minnie Riperton’s cheating, she’s whistling that part”



Joel says:

July 12th, 2007 at 9:50 pm

“Gail Martin also hung with Vanilla Fudge when they were doing bright and bouncy cover songs.”

That was fun, but it reminds me too much of her ill-fated effort to cash in on the Vanilla Ice bandwagon in the early 90’s as MC Tarzana. If I never see another flat-top braid again, it will be too soon.

“Turn out the lights, I rock the mic like a vandal.

Tarzana nights will be too much to handle

Swingin from trees plus another a in my name-o

That Tarzana bitch gets the fortune and fame-o”

And then the part about being a “lyrical gangster” and a “spherical hamster.” Sorry Gail, that shit just doesn’t rhyme.



reader-who-posts says:

July 12th, 2007 at 9:52 pm

Gail Martin is the David Hasselhoff of Lichtenstein. Although her latest single, “Tarzana Nights 2: Put Your Thing in My Koochie” was a flop in the US, she sold 27,500 copies in Lichtenstein during it’s first week of release. That may not sound like much but once you consider that the population is 28,000 it becomes a lot more impressive.



Red Greenback says:

July 12th, 2007 at 9:54 pm

Gail also said in a newspaper article; “I wrote the song ‘Teddy Bear’…not the Elvis one, but the Red Sovine one”



Islamorada Girl says:

July 12th, 2007 at 9:55 pm

I remember the night at the The Glory Hole on Christoper Street when Gail took the stage with Gloria Gaynor for an “I Will Survive” that totally shut down all the leather queens. That was during her brief and ill-advised disco phase. Shortly after that, she checked back into rehab and had her septum surgically repaired. Good times!



andreavis says:

July 12th, 2007 at 9:58 pm

OK now I’m really looking forward to the Gail Martin episode of VH1’s Behind the Music, because I can’t wait to see interviews with David Bowie, Meredith Baxter-Birney, and Vanilla Ice all in the same program.



AhClem says:

July 12th, 2007 at 10:18 pm

#322 joel -

“…There were a lot of great Gail Martin shows, but the best I ever saw was one of her more intimate acoustic appearances at the bucket. Just her and her banjo — she was dressed in a pointy bra, a giant hair-sprayed frizzy braid, a disco outfit, a 32? Flava-Flav clock dangling around her neck and some Doc Martins…”

Ooh, does THAT bring back memories! She wore that same get-up when I saw her opening for the MC5 at the Grande Ballroom in Detroit in October 1970. Unfortunately, the audience was so stoned that after she hit that big, dramatic crescendo at the end of “My Uncle Went To Spain,” there was just a slow clap that never took off. She left the stage in tears. MC5 did a cover of “Tarzana Nights” as a tribute to her during their encore.



Nate Bush, Pirate PHD says:

July 12th, 2007 at 10:33 pm




Mibbitmaker says:

July 12th, 2007 at 10:42 pm

Gail Martin could be quite the joiner. There were a few bands she was a part of besides the Isometric Lipstick Conspiracy and Dykes of Barbiturates. (The latter group was sadly, short-lived, since too many hateful non-fans showed up at shows yelling “Bar bitch!”, and Gail had enough. She’d wish some lout would demand a kiss back then.)

Just in the late ’90s, she spend a year or so in the Ambient/trip-hop group Peasoup Pizza. She practically inspired U2 to return to rockin’ after the ’90s when she did the same. She never regretted her PP song, “Lewinsky Tango”, though.

And don’t forget the 1-hit wonder with the Sparkkleball Stomp, her ill-advised “German disco Style” group in December of 1978. That was definately her disco period lowest ebb.

Her presence in Deth Grab got her banned from SNL by Lorne Michaels. Compared to her behavior, Chevy Chase (that night’s host, since banned as well) came off good, and he almost killed Jon Lovitz!

Her studio work with Billy and the Boingers was just a fluke, though.



Nate Bush, Pirate PHD says:

July 12th, 2007 at 10:43 pm

By the way, I am glad you all have come to recognize the importance of Gail in my community. She has been close to such supergaystars as Madonna, Cyndi Lauper, Gloria Gaynor, and of course, myself.

You may scoff at such queens, and he disco phase, but remember, everyone struggles, and everyone has idenity crisises. Just remember, your’s weren’t put into a record to be replayed and replayed like hers. All those mistakes have gotten her to where she is now…. (ignore that fact she is now in GT)



Joel says:

July 12th, 2007 at 10:47 pm

“at the end of “My Uncle Went To Spain,” there was just a slow clap that never took off. She left the stage in tears. ”

Yeah, she was not normally so sensitive to audience criticism, but around that time she had just learned of her own diagnosis with “the slow clap.” “Braid Fondler: The Unauthorized Gail Martin Story” suggests that she got it from Chochey from Happy Days.



Joel says:

July 12th, 2007 at 10:51 pm

“Her studio work with Billy and the Boingers was just a fluke, though.”

You mean “U Stink But I’ll Braid You”?



Gail Martin says:

July 12th, 2007 at 11:00 pm

My sweets. I have come. I will say, I am quite flattered to be so well known. Agreeing to be in Gill Thorpe was a huge stress, I thought that would have been selling out. The choice was a lot better than agreeing to be one of the six differences in Slylock Fox, but as the rock and roll Carole King I dread selling out.



Matt McIrvin says:

July 12th, 2007 at 11:06 pm

In 2002 Gail Martin was working as an assistant human resources coordinator at eQUX (formerly Geryon Integration Technologies) in North Billerica, Mass. I visited her cube once to redo the withholding on my W-4. She had one of her LP covers pinned to the cube wall next to a bunch of Dilberts; some psychedelic thing, I think it was “Weevil Tournament”. I don’t follow music that closely, to be honest, and I had no idea who she was until I saw her name mentioned on a web site somewhere and Googled.



Joel says:

July 12th, 2007 at 11:12 pm

Oh God, Gail? The Gail? Oh God, so many questions. Gee. Ok Ok. Really, Gail?

I just have to know, was the name for Tarzana Nights focus grouped? And are you, um, um, related to Crystal Gail? Wait, last names not first, stupid, God, I’m so flustered. Think Joel, Think.



TurtleBoy says:

July 12th, 2007 at 11:14 pm

Hey, anyone: so tonight, after all of this talk of Gail (especially her German stuff), I was looking through my old LPs and for the life of me I couldn’t find the experimental album that she cut with Kraftwerk. Anyone got that one on MP3? I’m dying to hear “Die grüne Banane” again. Thanks in advance!



Gail Martin says:

July 12th, 2007 at 11:14 pm

My dearest Joel, breath.

The song was written in the 60s, no one could focus on anything. There was a group involved in the writing of it. I rather not go into things too indepth, but it was an underground lesbian meet up.



Joel says:

July 12th, 2007 at 11:18 pm

Really, wow. Cool. Really? Wow. Cool. Wow.

Hey, sometimes people say your famous braid is really a rolled up wet towel that you use to snap the ultra-mellow expression off the face of your banjo-player. http://joshreads.com/?p=1153

That’s not true is it Gail? Say it aint so.



slinkimalinki says:

July 12th, 2007 at 11:19 pm

now that we’ve seen the (dt)gt “kids” (or “humans”) outside “pub” and then dining at “cafe” i think we should accept that we were all wrong and “the bucket” is just that, a bucket.

personally i gave up on gail martin after she claimed that her lesbianism was just a phase brought on by “exhaustion and confusion and bad advice from people i really thought i could trust”. i hear melissa etheridge refuses to play at concerts with her now, although of course you’d never hear her publicly admit it.



Skulking on the Outskirts says:

July 13th, 2007 at 12:17 am

Wow–Gail Martin. I had no idea, really, that she’d been around so much. My mom picked up a couple of cassettes of her work as Xmas stocking stuffers for me one year, and quickly came to regret it, as I played the durned things incessantly until I wore them out. Later, I picked up a couple of others on my own, but she was still in that same phase of folk/rock/bluegrass/weirdness blend that Fleetwood Mac would later flat out steal. All I know is that when she guest starred on that mid-80’s album of Weird Al Yankovich, I could never quite get into her stuff the same way again. Something about the parodies of Judy Collins–I don’t know, they were just so mean-spirited, or something. Plus she wasn’t sounding so good, right then. Wasn’t that around the time she was diagnosed with shingles? I think that would explain the strange lumpy distorted look of her face on the album cover. Weird Al was the prettier of the two, right then.

Anyway, I’m glad she’s feeling and doing better, but I think I’ve outgrown her work. And oddly enough, ‘Tarzana Nights’ was always my least favorite of all her songs.

Boy, I hope I’m not hanging on a thread, here.



Joel says:

July 13th, 2007 at 12:20 am

“I know is that when she guest starred on that mid-80’s album of Weird Al Yankovich, I could never quite get into her stuff the same way again. Something about the parodies of Judy Collins–I don’t know, they were just so mean-spirited, or something.”

Yeah, I hate mean-spirited parody.



Skulking on the Outskirts says:

July 13th, 2007 at 12:32 am

Aww, you know what I mean, Joel. There’s teasing or poking fun at the work and then there’s vicious mockery at the artist. If they just wanted to riff on Judy’s songs, no big deal, but they were actually sniping at Judy–her weight gain, etc. It wasn’t really funny. Well, not to me, anyway. And Gail wasn’t in a position to be throwing rocks at anybody for their weight problems back then, if you know what I mean.



Mibbitmaker says:

July 13th, 2007 at 12:46 am

Yeah, the Weird Al experience had alot to do with her outburst on the Martin/Spinal Tap/Rutles bootleg. The final straw, if you will.

Um… while we have you here, Ms. Martin, I’ve been dying to ask this since the ’70s: On “Junior’s Farm”, the line “We were talking ’bout the president, we all chipped in for a bag of cement”? Was that a sly reference to Watergate, as in keeping Ford in office unlike Nixon, or Nixon, himself, being bound in cement as punishment for his crimes? It was 1974, and….

Wait…… that was Paul McCartney & Wings, wasn’t it?




Dingo says:

July 13th, 2007 at 12:47 am

It was late. The concert had ended on time but tonight there was a crowd outside of the stage door waiting for autographs. Gail’s assistant helped her by holding a leather folder beneath the pamphlets, album covers, and concert posters so that her Parkinsons-riddled scribblings didn’t show. All had gone well. The audience thought the shaking was simply the emotive outpouring of a rock-and-roll Carole King when in truth Gail’s days were spent shaking viciously like either Katherine Hepburn walking with a cake or Nicole Ritchie being gangraped on a BowFlex in prison. The crowd dwindled to a few aging fans who felt the need to be photographed with the former ne’er-do-well of Poughkeepsie in poses reminiscent of their wilder youth. The banjo player was already asleep in the Prius. As Gail and her assistant, Taffy, walked toward the car, she smelled the aroma of chocolate in the air.

“Where’s that coming from?” she asked.

“It’s Blommers,” said Taffy. “They’re on the near west side. Fills all of downtown with the smell of chocolate. Believe it or not, someone moved into a condo near there and asked the city to close them down. Close them down after sixty years. The new woman on the block doesn’t like chocolate.”

“Then she ain’t no woman. She’s a drag queen. Now I’m hungry. Taffy, let’s find a place for some chocolate. Or coffee.”

They walked out of the alley and saw the Central City Cafe down the block. It was late at night yet open, like a young whore’s legs.

“I need a jolt of espresso,” Gail said. “My attic is full of squirrels. How many times did that guy yell out for Tarzana Nights? And who was that woman in the front row wearing a shirt that read ‘I know where Mom keeps the good scissors’? What the hell does that mean?”

Insert quarter for next three paragraphs



Joel says:

July 13th, 2007 at 12:48 am

Mibbit, she was one of Wings’ founding members. Of course, its not something she likes to talk about. I mean, who would?



Trotzenbonnie says:

July 13th, 2007 at 12:59 am

Dingo -

Here’s two bits. (And I won’t even ask where to insert)

Gail opened for the Police at Sal’s Last Chance Saloon in Poughkeepsie. Gordon had Stew’s drumstick shoved up his butt and Gail said “Is that your stinger?” The rest, they say, is herstory….



Nate Bush, Pirate PHD says:

July 13th, 2007 at 8:16 am

Gail was not killed by her own, marvelous braid (and certainly, it’s not a towel, I have held it in my hands. It is the most wonderful thing in the world.

Instead, she was sentenced to life in paraguay for strangling someone with her braid. It was in self defence because the guy was trying to get her pants off of her.

She wrote a song about it, which she has yet to release on an album, but the lyrics were leaked to the internet. I cannot find them, if someone does, please post them.



Perky Bird says:

July 13th, 2007 at 8:31 am

I must be younger than most of y’all, because my first memory of Gail Martin was her appearance on “Sesame Street” back in the mid-70’s, singing a poignant tribute to the letter “Q”. I don’t remember much, except that she strangely had both an Afro and that long braid. That creeped me out as a child. Since then, I’ve never been able to look at a capital Q without a shiver of horror.



Nate Bush, Pirate PHD says:

July 13th, 2007 at 8:35 am

# 484 (P-Bird) - Actually, she invented the capital Q. It was a tribute to HER, because it symbolized her braid trailing off ther left side (our right side when looking at her). She went on Sesame Street as part of a publicity run for her new letter. I knew her talent was wasted on the audience.



Nate Bush, Pirate PHD says:

July 13th, 2007 at 8:53 am

In Rasputina’s song “Our Lies”, Melora sings

“I went for a ride on a carousel. I was on a yellow horse.

Right behind the swan.

In the swan, a man and woman - they were doin’ it.

I didn’t want to look. I wished I’d brought a book.

I looked down at the chip in my horse’s red mane.

He had a high, soft beautiful voice.

I got down and ran around, and then I asked him his name.

He said out loud. He said it was First Choice.”

There are rumors melora was singing about a situation where Melora was riding the horse, and Gail was in the swan behind her. Gail was “doing it” with Melora’s imaginary friend. Your post, Lumpy, reminded me of it.



Josh says:

July 13th, 2007 at 9:20 am

Sorry everybody, but this thread will be stumbling on into the late afternoon. Was too tired at 1 am this morning to post and now have some dealines to meet before I can return to my true love of comics-mocking.

On the bright side, though, I am lovin’ the Tales of Gail.




Kip W says:

July 13th, 2007 at 9:34 am

Gail Martin was applauded for her integrity in never changing her name to anything interesting or memorable. For a brief time, she was like an Angelina Jolie of famous people, but now she’s more of the Bob Lind of has-beens.

#369 (Nate) - This is actually a misapprehension dating back to the lawsuit by the estate of Edgar Rice Burroughs, the “Doc” Smith of writers, who claimed the song infringed on their copyright.

#430 (Kronkina) - John may be pathetic as a human being, but he’s a great dentist! Look at the great job he did on Julie. Or Julia, whatever her name is. She shows it to everybody! The tooth, I mean.

I start writing my comment before I read them all, but I don’t post until I get to the end. I have to take things out when brain thieves steal my ideas in advance sometimes, but that’s more than made up for by all the extra stuff that comes to mind reading all the comments.



Dingo says:

July 13th, 2007 at 9:47 am



It was late in the afternoon and Gail was spread over the bed covers like a flesh swastika. Taffy entered the room with a pot of Earl Grey, some lightly-buttered rye toast, and a small plate of vegan sausages.


“I thought after shoving all of that pork up your puss last night something vegetarian might be in order.” Taffy tittered.


“Wha-? Huh? What are you talking about?” Gail removed the sleeping mask from her face and noticed her naked body beneath her.


“That bartender, Jamus, that you met at the Central City Cafe last night. He’s in the media room watching one of your old concerts right now. So far, he’s seen the concert for bangled hash and even danced along to your number from that pig roast you did for the sorority girls who died on that amusement park ride that went out of control.”


“Oh, yeah.” said Gail. “That was a good show. They called it ‘We Are the Whirled.’”


Gail looked down at her belly. “What does this say, Taffy?”


“Um… it reads ‘Feed the Black Hole of Calcutta!’”


“Did he write that on me?”


“No… you did. After your third raspberry mocha frappuccino. You really need to switch to decaf.” Taffy opened the drapes. The blazing Arizona sun burst into the room like Jane Russell in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.


“Well,” sighed Gail, “at least this time it wasn’t a tattoo.”

Nate Bush, Pirate PHD says:

July 13th, 2007 at 9:53 am

#523 (Ate Gails Baby) - I thought she was still a Vegan! She was a memeber of Peta some years back. I guess she fell back to her meat eating ways. Atleast she isn’t on the rag anymore.



rich says:

July 13th, 2007 at 9:59 am

“Tarzana Nights”?

(Remember that famous plagiarism trial? When they caught Gail Martin “unintentionally” combining lines from Frank Bonham’s essay with the melody from “He’s So Fine”?)



Katherine says:

July 13th, 2007 at 10:07 am

While clearly the inspiration for Lick my Decals Off Baby, Gail is actually regarded as the Yoko Ono of the Magic Band, and is generally considered to be to blame for Beefheart’s truly execrable experiment in soft rock Bluejeans and Moonbeams. It is thought that without Gail’s influence, and the hypnotic power of her braid, Beefheart would not have even known what soft rock was.



Nate Bush, Pirate PHD says:

July 13th, 2007 at 10:13 am

#539 (KathERINE) - While I respect your opinions, and your wish to not be called Kathy, I have to disagree. It was Beefheart’s pressure from the Animal Liberation Front that caused him to move into soft rock. He said he couldn’t change his name (which was their demand) without changing his image. They said “then change your image, or else feel the wraith of a thousand recently released lab mice!”

The Braid is to blame, for it was wearing a wire at the time, which the ALF listened to.

Because he was no longer followed by a cult of fans, his new name, GardenVeggiePatties®heart was never noticed.



Winnie Winkle says:

July 13th, 2007 at 10:15 am

Personally, Gail Martin turned me off when she did that appearance at Wrestlemania XX as Triple H’s guest manager and subsequently did the subsequent hot oil match with one of the WWE divas. That’s when I realized that she had sold out.



Winnie Winkle says:

July 13th, 2007 at 10:45 am

Did anyone watch the VHI-Behind The Music: Gail Martin? Her career took a sad decline after appearing that one fateful night in Central City.



Dingo says:

July 13th, 2007 at 10:50 am

Gail Martin, genius /

Tarzana Nights made me cry /

Autograph my heart!



Gail martin says:

July 13th, 2007 at 10:53 am

Dingo, I was made aware by the American Heart Association that I was no longer allowed to preform open-heart-tattoos. I would love to do it, though, for an adoring fan. If you have plans to go to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, I can do it there.



ElSanto says:

July 13th, 2007 at 10:54 am

#546 — She didn’t sell out, Winnie. She did that appearance as a favor to her former bodyguard, future WWE champion Batista. He took a bullet for her in Columbus when some crazy drunk screaming “Tarzana Nights!” started to open fire. She originally was just going to be a special front row guest for the evening, but then Jazz called in sick, Vinnie Mac was desperate, and the rest, they say, is history.

Also, back in a 1998 Rolling Stones interview, she DID mention that her secret fantasy was “Rolling in a vat of oil with Trish F—in’ Stratus.”



reader-who-posts says:

July 13th, 2007 at 10:56 am

I remember attending Gail’s concert in Cut and Shoot, Texas at Jim Bob’s Bingo and Dance Hall.

It was a difficult concert for her since the crowd wanted her to sing country songs and didn’t care one whit about “Tarzana Nights”. Gail’s professionalism managed to show through, though, when she whipped off her shirt, chugged a Lone Star, and regaled the crowd with a rousing rendition of the 80’s dance song “I Wanna be a Cowboy”. The crowd was cheering wildly due to the mechanical bull riding contest in the back, but in her drunken state Gail thought she had won them over.

After the concert I stumbled across her puking outside her trailer. I stopped to tell her how wonderful she was what a big fan I am of hers, and how I listen to “Tarzana Nights” at least three times a day.

Gail finished vomiting, stood up and looked at me a long time. Then she peed in her pants and said two magical words - “Captain Katmandu”. I have no idea what she meant, but the next thing I knew she was in my hotel room (at the world-famous Billy Bob’s Hunting Lodge) giving me the most wonderful night of my life.

Then next morning, as we lay in bed with the floor strewn with our clothes, her vomit, a colostomy bag, and something that looked vaguely like a kidney, Gail looked into my eyes and said “who the &*%$ are you?”

The next week I received a notice of a restraining order, and that was the last time I ever saw her in concert.

Ahh, good times….



Dingo says:

July 13th, 2007 at 10:59 am

ElSanto, I remember that night. Gail walked on stage amidst the hush of the crowd and began singing, “Please just let it be. Please just let it be. I ain’t free and you ain’t free. Please just let it be.” And just like getting your head smashed between Condileeza Rice’s breasts, it all didn’t matter. We just began to sing along with her. I was sitting next to Carole King and she commented that Gail rocks.



Nate Bush, Pirate PHD says:

July 13th, 2007 at 11:05 am

#574 (Ate Gail’s Baby) - Carole King is a fan of wrestling? Go figure.

I will say that Gail stole the wrestling idea from Cyndi Lauper, but it was only fair, since Gail was the first to shave a checker pattern in only one side of her head. Cyndi just refused the Braid, making it her own.



Nate Bush, Pirate PHD says:

July 13th, 2007 at 11:09 am

Oh my, in the bathroom break I just took, something amazing happened.

I walked in, and it smelt like Lemon Heads. You know, the candy? It was released as a perfume, although it was not bought by very many people, under the name “The Smell of Braid”. It was a scent by Gail Martin.

The scent sent me back in my mind, as I approached the stall, and in it, a half spilt bottle of the perfume was in the stall. Next to it a photo of Gail. Above me, a body hanging from the rafters. The body was of Gail’s first girlfriend, the one she wrote about in Tarzana Nights.

Why did she pick the men’s room?



Anonymous says:

July 13th, 2007 at 11:11 am

I heard she bit the head off a bat while masturbating on stage.



Nate Bush, Pirate PHD says:

July 13th, 2007 at 11:12 am

#580 (No name) - She is always masturbating. Always… That article about the incedent was trying to point out that the bat was masturbating while she bit his head off.



Little A. says:

July 13th, 2007 at 11:15 am

Yeah, Gail Martin’s been around. I remember a concert in Central Park one summer about 25 years ago. I can’t remember a thing she sung or performed, but I do remember that she was wearing a Nancy and Sluggo tee shirt, nicely filled, too.



Gadge Cubic, Mole Preener says:

July 13th, 2007 at 11:52 am

Has anyone considered the possibility that Gail Martin is simply a fictitious character?

That would be hilarious.



commodorejohn says:

July 13th, 2007 at 11:54 am

#600 Gadge Cubic - Don’t talk such nonsense. She’s even shown up to post here, and you dare to doubt her? Good gravy, what a rude person you are!



Nate Bush, Pirate PHD says:

July 13th, 2007 at 12:01 pm

Think, our 600th post was some person claiming Gail was not real!

Just remember buddy! You wouldn’t have had a 600th post if it weren’t for Gail Martin and her wonderful experiences!



Skullturf Q. Beavispants says:

July 13th, 2007 at 12:02 pm

Has anyone noticed that Gail Martin sounds just like Aldo Kelrast?



Perky Bird says:

July 13th, 2007 at 12:15 pm

#605 Skullturf Q. Beavispants–

Yes, Aldo and Gail sound very much alike. In fact, the two were very close. When Gail once got laryngitis while on tour, Aldo agreed to stand backstage and sing, while Gail lip-synched. The audience was none the wiser.



Allie Cat says:

July 13th, 2007 at 12:53 pm

When I was a student at the local university, I got drunk on pedestrian wine - I believe it was an oaky merlot, and I lost my virginity to a dashing young doctor in the backseat of his two-toned car (blue up front, brown in the back). I’ll never forget that Gail Martin’s cover of Whiter Shade of Pale was playing on the radio.



Dingo says:

July 13th, 2007 at 1:01 pm

Allie Cat, I lost my virginity under my parents’ ping-pong table in the basement while Gail Martin’s “Smell the Sunshine” album was playing. I believe ejaculation happened somewhere around the second chorus of “Knicker Twist.”



Dennis Jimenez says:

July 13th, 2007 at 1:13 pm

I was one of the original Martinets - I’ve still got the whip, strings and the ears.



Dingo says:

July 13th, 2007 at 1:40 pm

Curious trivia: Gail Martin played Bob’s dinner date in Michael Nesmith’s Sorority Girls from Hell. It seems that she and Nesmith were thisclose back in the late 70’s after Nicolette Larson stole some of her songwriting ideas.



Paperback Rifler says:

July 13th, 2007 at 1:42 pm

And speaking of Gail Martin in the movies, wasn’t she a Bond girl in one of the James Bond films? I seem to recall that she was a SPECTRE agent who could swing around her long braid to incapacitate opponents in hand-to-hairdo combat. That didn’t stop 007 from seducing her, though; I think that there was a fireplace and brandy, and James quipped before the discreet cutaway, “Why don’t I help you get untressed.” Oh, that Bond! Such a silver-tongued devil!



Joel says:

July 13th, 2007 at 1:51 pm


She is the only actor to play both a Bond girl and a Bond villain in consecutive movies. You remember the scene where she tried to suffocate Sean Connery by implanting him in a giant rising bubble? That’s where Patrick McGoohan got the idea for the Prisoner.



Trotzenbonnie says:

July 13th, 2007 at 2:04 pm

Back in the early 80’s, a Gail Martin interview on NPR was briefly interrupted when Nina Totenberg thought she was fielding a call-in question from a “Fern Q. of Ames, Iowa” but it was really Stuttering John who managed to blurt out before being cut off, “Did you ever f-f-f-fart in the drummer’s face?”



Buck Ripsnort says:

July 13th, 2007 at 2:58 pm

And the Gail Martin masturbation rumors are a VICIOUS LIE!! She had a rash at the time, and THAT was what she was doing w/ that garden rake!



AhClem says:

July 13th, 2007 at 3:28 pm

Here’s a really obscure tidbit for you Gail Martin fans. Do you recall “Tarzana-Rama!”, the exercise video she did in 1978? I found a dusty copy while cleaning the basement last week. It belonged to my (now ex-)wife; she apparently left it behind when she moved out. It didn’t sell very well, probably because Gail was very overweight at the time, and could barely reach down and touch her knees. Kinda defeats the point of an exercise video. Still, she could really whip her hair around, which was of course the inspiration for Todd Rundgren’s mega-hit “Swing that Braid!”

My Betamax player bit the dust many years ago, so there’s no way I can watch it again. Maybe I’ll try to sell it on eBay.

(Hollywood trivia: Gail’s weight problem was an asset when she was cast in a re-make of “Three in the Attic” with Totie Fields, Roseanne Barr and John Goodman. Sadly, due to financial and structural problems, the film was never completed).



Anonymous says:

July 13th, 2007 at 4:21 pm

I’m surprised no one’s mentioned that Gail originally spelled her name “Gaile” but the suits at EMI made her change it.

Man, talk about your backstage parties. They don’t call it “Martinizing” for nothin’…



Forthillrox says:

July 15th, 2007 at 1:24 am

# 387 Matt McIrvin In 2002 Gail Martin was working as an assistant human resources coordinator at eQUX (formerly Geryon Integration Technologies) in North Billerica, Mass…

Oh. My. God. That was Gail Martin that I used to see regularly on the MBTA 350 Bus, she used to get on at Woburn Four Corners and go to the end of the line in Burlington and transfer to the LRTA bus to Lowell via Billerica. I never transfered to the Lowell bus, so I didn’t know where she got off, but I would occasionally see her in LaCascia’s Bakery when there was enough time between buses for her to run an errand. I was such a big fan of hers when I was 13-16 or so, in the late ’80s. I am kicking myself for never thanking her for making such life changing music (I even forgave her for that song she recorded with Captain and Tennille). That’s the best thing since my dad told me that he used to ride the old Lowell-Burlington-Kendall Square-Downtown Boston bus with Betty Davis’s sister in the 1970s.



trooper6 says:

July 15th, 2007 at 8:03 am

I’m really frustrated with all this “selling out” talk on this message board.

People started calling Gail a sellout when she went electric, and then two years later when Dylon went electric in homage they called him a sellout too.

Gail has never been a sellout, she has always been a musical genious. For heaven’s sake, she’s the Rock’n'Roll Carole King! Her musical style is always changing because she is always at the forefront of the musical world. If she really were a sellout, she never would have left the Brill Building or The Wings!

And seriously? Her disco stuff was great! I mean, Georgio Moroder got his entire style from her.

I’m a Musicologist, and I’m writing my Dissertation on Gail in the late 70s/early 80s–I’ll be arguing that Eurodisco, Krautrock, Experimental Disco, Experimental Rock and Progressive Rock all can be traced back to Gail Martin’s Breezes, Freezes, and Diseases protest album of 1967.

People she went electric…on the banjo! Decades before it was done by others. I was in Berkeley attending a Bela Fleck concert, and he related a story that all of Newgrass was because of Gail…and then he and the Flecktones did a crazy be-bopish jam on “Tarzana Nights.”

By the way…there was a Gail 45 that came out and then was recalled by her record company in 1966…the A side was her “Garden Parties don’t stop the Shingles,” and the B side was a version of Tarzan in Yiddish…does anyone have a copy? I’ll trade…



Eleusis says:

July 13th, 2007 at 4:23 pm

I have Gail Martin’s whole 70s discography, but in my opinion she really didn’t find her true voice until she was the lead singer of Dykes on Barbiturates in the early 80s. That was some quality rage, man. Now it’s all Tarzana Nights and Reseda Evenings. Lame!



michael farris says:

July 13th, 2007 at 4:23 pm

Anyhoo… getting back to Gail Martin (I’ll always treasure her Three Tenors and Gail concert), maybe we could have a Gail-tugging-at-her-braid-while-emoting photo(shop) contest?

It would be equal time for the ladies (and selected gentlemen). What do you say?



Islamorada Girl says:

July 13th, 2007 at 4:29 pm

Speaking of Gail, does anyone remember when she and Tony Bennett sang “I’ll Be Glad When You’re Dead, You Rascal, You” at her induction into the Kennedy Center Honors? There wasn’t a dry seat in the house. Of course, that same night she was arrested in Georgetown for driving down Wisconsin Avenue at 75 MPH with

Newt Gingrich clinging to the windshield of her Jag, and that caused some stir.



Harry Paratestes says:

July 13th, 2007 at 5:00 pm

#4 Michael Farris

Let Elton John bind a cruller in his hair-weave, and he’d win the Gail Martin contest easily.

#7 Islamorada Girl

That concert is almost as legendary as the time that she sang the national anthem at a baseball game in North Dakota while backed by Mini-Kiss, the Kiss tribute band comprised entirely of midgets. The ensuing riot led to much injury and loss of dignity.




--MC says:

July 13th, 2007 at 5:05 pm

Ah, God. I think that was Gail Martin who was in the unlucky position of following Sparks on “Don Kirsher’s Rock Concert” when they had the sexy dancers dressed as Nazis. Remember that? I was still looking for my brain after seeing that, but I think it was her, singing her near-hit “If They Tore Down Drucker’s General Store (I’d Still Be In Love With You”.



Harry Paratestes says:

July 13th, 2007 at 5:07 pm

Didn’t Gail once play a benefit concert for homeless nutria in Bugtussle, LA?



ElSanto says:

July 13th, 2007 at 5:19 pm

I just re-read that Gail Martin-centric comment thread. Craziness. It’s like I’ve been to one of Gail’s fabled allnighters.

However, I think this Nate Bush comment sums it up: “Anyone ever wonder if josh thinks we are all a bunch of cracked out losers?”




lesles says:

July 13th, 2007 at 5:57 pm

i don’t want to ruffle any feathers or get cock-pitted, but what did people here think of gail’s spoken word album with jello biafra? i like jello, and i used to like gail, but i think she just went way off course with this project. like it was some sort of desperate lunge for cred amidst a personal artistic crisis of self-doubt. and i could never work out whether jello was really serious about it, or whether he was taking the piss.



Islamorada Girl says:

July 13th, 2007 at 5:57 pm

Speaking of Springfield reminds me about the time Gail was a guest voice on The Simpsons. #675: “Homer Phone Home”. She played Kang and Kodos’ boss Kelrast, the Director of Human Resources on their planet who wanted Homer as her love slave. It wasn’t one of the better episodes, but it was fun to hear her love duet with Principal Skinner.



Stranger… says:

July 13th, 2007 at 6:08 pm

#3 - I preferred her “Dykes in White Satin” album, which had blues-y type of desperation to it. Each song was so long, they could only fit three songs on the whole album, splitting the second on to both sides. Which was better than what they did on the 8-track.



Ribinin says:

July 13th, 2007 at 6:09 pm

I don’t think it is Gail or anybody associated with her who is deleting Wikipedia, it is Dean Martin’s daughter. After losing the court case about who could use the name professionally, she has remained bitter.



michael farris says:

July 13th, 2007 at 6:15 pm

Some personal favorites:

Xtabay nights: her Yma Sumac tribute that received mix reviews.

I sing the body Tarzana: Why didn’t more people take acapella beatbox versions of her greatest hits seriously?

Least favorite:

62.18: yeah, yeah, yeah, ‘minimalistic and brilliant’ according to Rolling Stone, but when I pay $12.49 for a CD I want more than 62 minutes and 18 seconds of dead silence….

Galt!: It was nice for her to try her hand at broadway, but is Atlas Shrugged really an appropriate subject for a musical?



The Divine O’F says:

July 13th, 2007 at 6:20 pm

Thanks Ribinin and El Santo for the explanations, I’m sure one of you is right about Wikipedia. But it’s still a shame.

And now I have to make a confession: I feel about Gail the way I do about many great artists. Perhaps it’s my age, but I really prefer the original–quintessential if you will–Gail, pre-Tarzana Nights, when she was still acoustic and sang mostly sweet ballads and folk songs. I still get a tear in my eye (or somewhere) when I hear the haunting chorus “Why Didn’t Anybody let the Duck in Out of the Rain?”



Islamorada Girl says:

July 13th, 2007 at 6:22 pm

Then there was the time Gail got into a knockdown, dragout fight with Joan Baez over Bob Dylan right there in Cafe Wha. . . but that was early in her career; she’d just come into NYC from some high place in the road near Bypass, NC and the hippie free love scene was pretty new to her.

But I think her environmental work on saving the Marianna Trench Smoker Worm is what people will remember her for in years to come. That and her film work with Elvis.



Islamorada Girl says:

July 13th, 2007 at 6:53 pm

All this talk about Gail Martin made me go down to the basement and look for my old LP’s. I was reading the liner notes on “Crushed Strawberries of the Broken Heart” when I discovered that she had been an Ikette, a backup singer in the Ike and Tina Turner Revue.

Also, she did some uncredited backup vocals on “Dark Side of the Moon” when she and Roger Waters were a thing.



NotThatGuy says:

July 13th, 2007 at 6:56 pm

I thought Gail went electric about the same time Bob Dylan did; she was the opener at that concert in the Fillmore and they boo’d her offstage and then Dylan didn’t show up anyway? This was pre-”Tarzana Nights” but after she’d gone to India and had that LSD revelation.



Jamus The Bartender says:

July 13th, 2007 at 7:08 pm

75. Yeah….Gail…damn…I should call her…wait..no. No call yet. Damn. Yeah….she said something about being a singer…had some videos….hippie chicks rock folks, don’t let anyone tell ya different.

I asked if she met Pink Floyd…she said no….we had some drinks…..honestly folks….I’m remembering bits and pieces here….no rash, so that’s good….i’ll be back….shit…i’d better give her a call…..



Dingo says:

July 13th, 2007 at 7:11 pm

Hmm… interesting choice of words from Jamus since Gail Martin’s first top 10 hit was “Give the Girl a Call” back in 1965.



Daisy Doodle says:

July 13th, 2007 at 7:18 pm

I really liked Gail when I was younger, but my Mom burned all of my Gail albums when she heard that if you played “Tarzana Nights” backwards you would hear, “I’m bigger than the Beatles, I’m bigger than God,” over and over. I actually did play “Tarzana Nights” backwards once, but I only heard, “Taffy sweeeeeet Taffy ooooooohhhhh Tafffyyyyyy!” I thought it was about candy at the time. Ah, sweet, naive youth!



PeteMoss says:

July 13th, 2007 at 8:40 pm

I recall meeting Gail Martin backstage at Thorpstock ’87. I was filling in on bass guitar with Sock Puppet Pinochet. After Gail’s set, she offered our drummer, Itchy Smacks, and me some of her own, organic acid. It just gave me a headache and I threw up all over David Lee Roth’s catsuit. But Itchy really got disoriented and got behind the wheel of a catering truck. He drove the damn thing into all of the port-o-johns, knocking every one of them down, along with any occupants and contents. He then jumped out and tried to dry-hump his Simmons electronic bass drum. Gail and I just laughed and laughed. Good times.



Joel says:

July 13th, 2007 at 9:37 pm

“I don’t think it is Gail or anybody associated with her who is deleting Wikipedia, it is Dean Martin’s daughter. After losing the court case about who could use the name professionally, she has remained bitter.”

I get all the Martin v. Martin litigation confused. She sued Dean Martin’s daughter over the rights to the name “Martin” and won, but Steve Martin sued her over the right to do the Braid through the skull gag and Steve won, right? And then she sued Martin Lawrence for libel to make him stop doing the “you so crazy bit” because she was actually much crazier, but the case was dismissed as moot because Martin Lawrence’s career died.

Which one of those went to the California Supreme Court again? I know there were some more suits she was involved in…



Tim McDonough says:

July 13th, 2007 at 9:40 pm

As many of you may have guessed by now, I am Gail’s son, the product of her disastrous “lost weekend” with, depending on the story, Keith Moon, Barry Goldwater or Roman Gabriel. It’s tough not knowing who my real dad is but anyway I just wanted to say that me and my mom are enjoying all the anecdotes and to keep her in your prayers. PRAISE GOD.



Mibbitmaker says:

July 13th, 2007 at 9:54 pm

Gail never really released anything electric after the Bob Dylan incident, she just went right from acoustic recordings (barely noticed until her rise to fame in ‘67, after which her old recordings were rereleased) to the Isometric Lipstick Conspiracy in 1966. She was most responsible for the more psychedelic cuts on their one complete album even before her Maharishi experience, the rest of the band created the “garage” cuts. The latter are most likely to appear on “The Underground Garage”.

In 1982, she attempted to mimmick the Plasmatics by smashing TV sets in concerts (her clumsy attempt on “Late Night with David Letterman” led to Paul Shaffer almost getting hit with the sledgehammer) , but soon after a few months of this, Wendy O. Williams visited Gail at her summer home and smashed her TV, shouting, “COPY-CAT! HYPOCRITE! FATSO!!”

Gail dropped that part of the act after that incident.

And I think we can overlook the embarrassing 1988 situation: the test results did prove she wasn’t related to Steve Martin after all!



Mibbitmaker says:

July 13th, 2007 at 10:04 pm

#106: That lawsuit was, in fact, a big reason why the lab tests were done. And don’t forget that both run-ins with Steve Martin had alot to do with the 1990 restraining order Steve obtained afterwards.

In fact, between that and Aldo Kelrast’s involvement with Gail, she became known as stalker-bait. It’s no wonder that dark-haired fellow was harassing her in Gil Thorp!



Islamorada Girl says:

July 13th, 2007 at 10:13 pm

But Gail and Mad artist and legend Don Martin are related. I think he’s her father. Figures.



AhClem says:

July 13th, 2007 at 11:18 pm

Gail wasn’t only involved with Roger Waters; she hung out with the entire group in the mid-1960s. It wasn’t until that tragic incident with the mailbox, the three German shepards and the jackhammer that she drifted away from the group. Syd Barrett really had a thing for her; after she left, he went a little nuts and … well, the rest is history.

In fact, Syd wanted to title their first album “Gail at the Gates of Dawn” but was overruled by the rest of the band. A later album, “Ummagumma,” is named for a stunt she used to do with her mouth and a bag of stale marshmallows.



Harry Paratestes says:

July 13th, 2007 at 11:26 pm

Does anyone recall hearing that Gail Martin’s upcoming CD is a celebration of blues yodeling?



NJP says:

July 13th, 2007 at 11:51 pm

I’m embarrassed to admit this now, but I was first exposed to Gail Martin when I bought the Tarzana Nights II: The Morning After. Everyone knows that album is terrible, but I had to get it because of her duet with Ronnie James Dio on “Will You Be There (The Mists of Eternity)”. I still have a soft spot for that one song and “Braided, Not Faded” which was of course written by Jim Steinman. What can I say? Even though I appreciate the artistry of her early stuff, her 1980s cheese stuff appeals to me too.

And back in the free-for-all Napster days, I downloaded “Tarzana Knights”, also called the lute n’ flute version that Gail recorded but never released,. I lost that in a hard drive crash, but I’d give just about anything to hear it again. Maybe if we’re lucky she’ll include it on one of the retrospective box sets she releases from time to time.



AhClem says:

July 13th, 2007 at 11:55 pm

#130 Trotzenbonnie -

That was her! Strangely enough, she had woken up that morning in an acid-induced fog, and gargled with toilet-bowl cleaner instead of her usual mouthwash. As a result, the voice on that cut was all hers, without any electronic modifications. She also did the high-pitched squeals in the psychedelic middle section of “Meddle.” A versatile singer, our Gail.

Nice pictures, BTW! I’ve only been in the area twice - both times work-related trips to a steel fabricating yard in Slidell — but I’d love to go back someday and really see the city. In January, NOT in June.



American Idle says:

July 13th, 2007 at 11:56 pm

#46. Galt! was an ill-conceived venture from the start. It was necessary to divide the magnum-opus over nine performances (surpassing Wagner’s “Ring Cycle”), four of which alone were John Galt’s radio address solo.

Gail Martin was just not prepared for the demanding role of Dagny. And she was not at all happy playing the love scenes with Ricardo Montalban (whom she thought was too old) as Francisco, after having fiercely lobbied for the casting of newcomer Lorenzo Lamas in the role.

Casting Meat Loaf in the title role of John Galt was tantamount to signing his death warrant. The Jim Steinman treatment was so bombastic that it took Mr. Loaf six weeks of R&R to recover from his performance in the show’s premiere (which was also its swan-song).

The critics reviews were mixed, but by the end of the ninth and final installment, the remaining audience consisted of only Nathaniel Branden and Alan Greenspan. They gave a standing ovation.

Tragically, there was only one master cut made of the original cast album. The Department of Energy exerted great pressure on the producers to NOT release the album commercially, for fear that the amount of vinyl required to produce commercial quantities of the massive boxed-set would trigger another oil shortage.

It has been long-rumored that those master discs are in the possession of Gail Martin, and that they may be released to the public twenty-five years after her death.



Zamboni_Rodeo says:

July 14th, 2007 at 12:08 am

Say what you want about Gail Martin’s experimental streak, but I found her collection of romantic piano duets with Burt Bacharach to be absolutely sublime. Who could forget their stirring rendition of Neil Diamond’s “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers?”

And then, her later appearance on MTV’s Unplugged, where she made a return to the music that made her famous? Just brilliant. What I especially loved about that show was a rare acoustic performance by special surprise guest Slash. Man, they really tore it up on “Mississauga Weekends.” Until that show, I had no idea she could even play the hammer dulcimer.



Zamboni_Rodeo says:

July 14th, 2007 at 12:14 am

Oh, while I’m thinking about it, does anyone know if there’s any truth to the rumor that Gail has been involved in a long-term dispute with Chrissie Hynde? A friend of mine says it has something to do with a bad batch of split pea soup and a dinner party at Jackson Browne’s house, but I think it’s all just rumors. So, is my friend right or not?



Dub Not Dubya says:

July 14th, 2007 at 1:33 am

I’ve been mostly offline for the last several days because I’ve been out of town helping my father (Dad Not Dubya), who is in the hospital again and keeps having new complications. Also, there was a double murder-suicide here involving a family whom I knew when I was a kid. So I have a hell of a lot on my mind currently but justs wanted to stop in and say that the wonderful Gail Martin saga is giving me many, many much needed laughs at this difficult time. Thank you all. You are almost as awesome as that Gail concert I saw at Great Woods back in ‘87, which was the last time I ever smoked pot.



Joel says:

July 14th, 2007 at 2:02 am


My understanding is that the dispute with Hynde involved Hynde’s decision to endorse the Sunny Bono candidacy rather than her own. Is it in poor taste to bring up Gail’s string of failed Southern California mayoral bids in the late 80’s? Frankly, I thought “tax incentives for gettin’ mellow” was a pretty good platform.



Dynamite XI says:

July 14th, 2007 at 2:32 am

Gail Martin was there the night Jimi Hendrix died. And Terry Kath. And Bon Scott. And Mama Cass. And John Lennon. And most of Lynyrd Skynyrd.

Watch out for Gail Martin.



Jack Parsons says:

July 14th, 2007 at 4:04 am

Breaking news: Gail Martin did not die in a freak stage diving accident, as reported before. Heino was one of the catchers, and he managed to revive her.

Man, I remember back when she went on tour with Dean Read in Siberia. Everyone in the health clubs loved those shows, even that notorious grump Solzhenitsyn.



Jack Parsons says:

July 14th, 2007 at 4:11 am

The Gailapalooza disaster left a generation of mourners. It was worse than Altamont.



Islamorada Girl says:

July 14th, 2007 at 7:25 am

Gail’s debut in “Norma” at La Scala was unforgettable. They say her “Casta Diva” equaled that of Callas. Unfortunately, a claque of

Joan Sutherland fans had to be escorted out of the theater for boo’ing her. Later, she and Sutherland became good friends and even appeared together on Laugh-In.



Patti says:

July 14th, 2007 at 9:16 am

This is my first post evah on this site (yes, I’ve been influenced by the seminal band 4evah), but I had to chime in on Gail Martin.

You see, I am a special education teacher and I live in Ann Arbor, Michigan, which is very close to Milford, Michigan. Last semester, Gail was in Milford doing some publicity interview or another, and I drove up to see her and to ask her to come to my class. Without hesitating, she drove all the way to Detroit and spent the day with my students and me. My students have visual impairments, and Gail was so patient and kind! She taught them how to play the guitar, she braided the girls’ hair and told us stories about how she was inspired to write Tanzana Nights. (I believe she gave us the G-rated version, but no matter). She even had special Braille T-shirts made up (which didn’t really work, because the Braille letters weren’t raised, so the kids couldn’t read them, but it’s the thought that counts).

So I want you to remember THIS Gail Martin. When you see pictures of Gail with the coke spoon hanging out of her nose, or Gail and the donkey or Gail being hauled away by the police, please remember MY Gail Martin: the Gail Martin who taught a bunch of blind kids the real meaning of music.



Dingo says:

July 14th, 2007 at 9:31 am

Someday I’m going to have to sit down and gather all of the comments made about Gail Martin in the last four threads and create a timeline. Altamont, Kennedy Center honors, the 80s… such a career she’s had! I’m surprised to have not read that Sandra Bullock bought the rights to her story yet.



Laura Jane says:

July 14th, 2007 at 9:40 am

But Gail and Mad artist and legend Don Martin are related. I think he’s her father. Figures.

Funny, I heard it was Dick Martin (from Laugh-In.)

She also did the high-pitched squeals in the psychedelic middle section of “Meddle.”

Speaking of high-pitched squeals, did anyone else see Gail’s special on TV, Singin’ With The Whales, with Jaques Costeau? I’m starting to think I dreamed it because nobody else ever admits to having seen it. I remember Gail was wearing a rainbow-colored pancho.

Speaking of TV shows, she also had that short-lived Saturday Morning Cartoon Gail’s Garden of Good Times. I remember the rumor in elementary school was they yanked it off the air because there were hidden nipples in the animation but it was probably just too weird for little kids and it was canceled because nobody was watching it.

I was obssessed with her for a couple of years and I remember my 8th birthday I got a “My First Braid,” a suede purse with a picture of The Big, Yellow, Fat Cat on the side, and a jewelry box that tinkled out Daddy’s Little Dancer. I wish I still had that stuff– it would bring in a fortune on eBay!



Calico says:

July 14th, 2007 at 9:49 am

I remember now that 30 years ago, Gail did the most awesome vocals in counterpoint to P. Collins’ drums and Robert Fripp’s wailing guitar on the song “Exposure.”

There was a hair-fight between Gail and the Roche sisters for the part, and Gail won, thrashing them with her ubiquibraid, then her voice.

That’s the REAL reason Phil lost his hearing for a while.

You rock, girl!



Dingo says:

July 14th, 2007 at 9:52 am

Laura Jane, whatever happened with Gail’s lawsuit against Shirley Jones for Whale Song. I remember watching that episode of The Partridge Family with Bert Convy (um… he was IN the episode, not watching it with me) and thinking, “Damn. She’s rippin’ off Gail.” At least Star Trek paid homage by having her as one of the people in the crowd during the whale show with George and Gracie in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, the same as The Greatest Show on Earth — the worst movie to ever win the Best Picture of the Academy Awards until Crash — had Bing Crosby and Bob Hope sharing popcorn and jism.



beergoggles says:

July 14th, 2007 at 10:22 am

dingo, why did you have to bring up shirley jones?

I was going to post an MP3 of Gail’s earliest recording - her in the chorus of her high school production of Carousel. Seems she couldn’t get any feature roles but her voice really stands out during ‘this was a real nice clambake’….

then i got a threatening call from her attorney Michael Brandow about copyright protection and everything… god, that guy scared me to delete my only copy…



Little A. says:

July 14th, 2007 at 10:41 am

GAIL MARTIN: During the summerof 1968 I worked as a camp counsellor at Camp Vacamas, Butler New Jersey and I remember that several of the counsellors, who hailed from Minnesota, had tapes of a concert at the University Of MInnesota that had headlined Ms. Martin, the previous May. Her version of Stone Soul Picnic was the greatest thing I had ever heard in my life, up to then, but what the hell did I know, I was only 19 at the time, and had led a very sheltered life up to then. I hadn’t even smoked a joint, yet, until that summer.



TurtleBoy says:

July 14th, 2007 at 11:37 am

#192 Patti: That is definitely the sort of story we need to hear more of. It’s all the negative publicity she was getting that threw her into virtual seclusion for the first few years of this millennium. If only the press could make as big a deal of Gail’s strength as they have of her frailty, the whole world would appreciate her for one of our most human artists.

By the way, I’m still wondering if anyone’s got any cuts off of that album she made with Kraftwerk? MP3 would be great, but Ogg Vorbis would be better. Let me know.



The Divine O’F says:

July 14th, 2007 at 11:51 am

And speaking of Gail… as if there were any other topic of conversation these days, if anyone is doing a chronology of her appearances, the Berlin Ring/Erda performance was the same year that Linda Ronstadt appeared on Broadway in Pirates of Penzance. I remember because the New York Times did a whole disapproving thing on crossover music, opining that pop musicians should stick to what they did best. And this was without even HEARING Linda, let alone Gail. It still ticks me off.



Zamboni_Rodeo says:

July 14th, 2007 at 12:11 pm

Joel @ 156: Thank you for expanding on the Hynde story a bit more. I always thought there was something fishy about the Jackson Browne story, especially given that, in the famous 1979 Rolling Stone interview, Gail professed to never again eating peas after spending a summer shelling them with migrant workers on a farm in Escondido.

Holy cow! I can’t believe it–did we all forget about Gail’s appearance on Hee-Haw? She did a rousing performance of “Dueling Banjos” with Roy Clarke, only instead of a banjo, she played a kazoo. It was amazing! I’m amazed that I forgot, particularly since it followed on the heels of her guest spot on The Muppet Show.



GailMartinFan says:

July 14th, 2007 at 12:16 pm

I remember reading Gail’s advice column in 16 magazine that ended abruptly when she kept talking about her obsession with Micky Dolenz. I think she finally got backstage at a Monkees show and wound up sleeping with Mike Nesmith instead.



Dingo says:

July 14th, 2007 at 1:31 pm

You’re right, Tabby. Y’know, that Mason was pretty hot even when he was drunk. I wouldn’t be surprised if Mason has been spirited away to some other galaxy to dance naked for Emperor Chennux to Gail Martin CDs. Perhaps “Sunshine Saturday” or “Embrace the Serpent.”



Wellsey says:

July 14th, 2007 at 1:33 pm

I remember her numerous appearances on the Dick Cavett Show where she first came out publicly about her work with ring-tailed lemur sanctuaries. She really would go on and on about that. Fascinating interviews, sure, but that was Dick’s style. At the time though I thought, Shut up about the monkeys! Play “Tarzana Nights!”



Trotzenbonnie says:

July 14th, 2007 at 2:36 pm

#138 - True Fable

C’mon down! New York may be the city that never sleeps but in New Orleans they let you drink on the streets. We’ll have jambalya, crawfish pie and file gumbo!

And I hear Gail Martin is going to take a stab at stand-up with a gig at Oswald’s Speakeasy. It’ll be a gas.



OneMore says:

July 14th, 2007 at 6:40 pm

Wait a minute…who is this Gail Martin that everyone’s talking about…she sounds absolutely tremendous…

Just kiddin’ y’all. Gail fan from way back! Just another cog in the braid. She never ceases to amaze me. Just had to chime in. Here’s to 1001 more “Tarzana Nights.” LOL. ;) :9 :@) ;()0)



Joel says:

July 14th, 2007 at 7:21 pm

#217 - Zamboni Rodeo

I don’t think she was guesting on the Muppet Show - I think that was the year she was actually in the cast. It was such a travesty when they replaced her with Janice http://www.muppetcentral.com/articles/editorials/janice.shtml

I mean, could you imagine being replaced with a muppet that was so transparently based on you yourself? I could see it maybe happening to Geraldo, but the muppet would probably be more understated. To anyone else in showbiz it would have to be quite an insult.



FortyTwo says:

July 14th, 2007 at 8:22 pm

I just caught a re-run of Match Game PM featuring none other than Gail Martin! There she was, seated beneath Charles Nelson Reilly and next to Richard Dawson. I think they tailored one of the clues to her: “A donkey went to the proctologist. As soon as the examination began, the donkey ___________.”



C.H. says:

July 14th, 2007 at 9:03 pm

Why do we have to create a chronology? The Gail story should just remain fragments, imaginable differently by each teller.

Of course, a Rolling Stone tell-all would be to delicious to pass up.

The one thing I will always remember about Gale is her many telethon appearances. Like her appearance at the 1986 Jerry Lewis telethon, where a newfound political awareness of hers led her to wear a “The Kids Are Alright” T-shirt during her entire set, or the 1994 Lew Rawl’s Parade of Stars, where she performed a ill-planned swing cover of “F— tha Police”.



Artist formerly known as Ben says:

July 14th, 2007 at 9:05 pm


I think I saw that one when I was a kid. They came back from commercial break and she was laughing as Kookla and Ollie massaged her boobs. Gene Rayburn looked a little uncomfortable.



Uncle Lumpy says:

July 14th, 2007 at 9:12 pm

#288 AfkaB –

You aren’t thinking of the Lamb Chop Incident, are you? Gail damn near got Shari Lewis banned from TV for life!



odinthor says:

July 14th, 2007 at 9:12 pm

Did anyone else attend the famous Stockholm “Comix Aid” Concert of June 10, 1972, which featured a very young Gail Martin as part of a trio with Pippi Longstocking (alias “Pippi Långstrump” as she was at that venue) and Mamma Katzenjammer? Attendees can in particular never forget their stirring vocal medley from the musical “Hair,” which ended with the three of them on stage standing one in front of the other, their coiffeurs pointing in different directions, giving an effect somewhat like a dancing Shiva, only with hair? At times, I feel as if the rest of my life has only been a postscript to that moment. (Sigh.) Does anyone have a copy of the poster for the concert? I can’t find mine.



The Spectacular Spider-Brick says:

July 14th, 2007 at 9:32 pm

Interesting story about “Tears of a Mime,” by the way. According to an article I saw in in Rolling Stone some years back (I’m writing some memory so forgive me if some details are fuzzy), the haunting wordless vocals were an improvisation. There were supposed to be lyrics for the song, penned by Bernie Taupin. But when she and Elton had a falling out after the incident at Au Petit Garage, Bernie backed out. (Had to pony up something like $50 grand for breaking the contract, too, which was a considerable chunk of change back then.) But she couldn’t put out “Reseda Dreams” with a 6:26 hole on side B. So partly out of desperation and partly to spite Bernie, she went ahead and recorded the song anyway, only with the now legendary, floating “oh whoa whoooah” in place of the words. The song never got any radio airplay, nor do many people rank it high on their list of favorites, but it’s on mine. And it also earned Gail an undisclosed cash settlement in 1975 when Pink Floyd settled out of court over her claim that the wordless vocals on “Great Gig in the Sky” were a ripoff of “Mime.” Kind of a happy ending for what Rolling Stone ranked as one of its “25 Saddest Rock Songs of All Time.” (Another bit of trivia: Bobbie Gentry’s “Ode to Billie Joe” came in sixth on the same list. Gail covered it on her acoustic album “Strings Attached” in 1981.)



willethompson says:

July 14th, 2007 at 9:35 pm

#289 UL: If you look closely at the Zapruder film, that’s Gail on the grassy knoll singing her hit, “Dealey Plaza Blues…”



Patti says:

July 14th, 2007 at 9:50 pm

Personally, I’m a little bummed that everyone is forgetting Gail’s awesome appearance at Live Aid, in the summer of 1985. Remember…she performed at Wembley in England and then hopped on the Concord jet to perform at the RFK stadium in the US? Amazing. I still recall Martha Quinn commenting how Gail “made time stand still”. I was only 13 at the time, but I knew I was watching history.

And, IIRC, her banjo player played back up with Duran Duran on their set.



Trotzenbonnie says:

July 14th, 2007 at 10:30 pm

Oh good lord, Dean! That Hollywood Squares pic just reminded me - Gail was an understudy for the part of Vera in the Broadway revival of Pal Joey that starred Dixie Carter at the Circle in the Square Theatre back in ‘76. I have an autographed copy of the Playbill right here. Many years later, Gail refused to appear on the remake of ‘Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered’ done by the Smoking Popes in 2003 citing “artistic differences”.

Gail sure had some scruples, man.



Zamboni_Rodeo says:

July 14th, 2007 at 10:44 pm

#273, Joel: Ah, yes, that’s right. She did one season and got rave reviews, but she was going on tour at about the time they were getting ready to film the next season and wasn’t available for taping. Of course, it was so great that she let bygones be bygones and appeared a few years later singing a duet of “I Got You, Babe” with Janice.

Not many people realize that it was Gail who first really pushed the idea of a double-live album. Almost everyone credits Peter Frampton’s”Frampton Comes Alive” for really putting ambitious live recordings on the map, but Gail had actually recorded her own “Gail Martin: Live and Barefoot” the year before Frampton did his. It was just her bad luck that her producer died in that freak woodchipper accident when they were doing the post-production and mixing in the studio. She suffered a terrible lapse and the album was put on hold until she had a chance to get over the shock and they could find another producer. As a result, her live album came out six months after Frampton’s, and people accused her of being a hack and stealing his concept when in fact it was the other way around. Lots of people speculate that Frampton himself was actually present for the shows she recorded that ultimately ended up being the tracks for “Gail Martin: Live and Barefoot,” and that it was a backstage conversation with Gail during one of her performances that gave Frampton the idea to do his own double-live album.



Trotzenbonnie says:

July 14th, 2007 at 10:58 pm

#302 - Zamboni Rodeo

Yes. Gail was a musical visionary as well as an innovative entrepeneur. According to a 1979 issue of Popular Science, she developed an amazing new line of microphones with built-in tape recorders that doubled as personal vibrators. She called them “Vagina Dialogues”. I hear the court battle with Eve Ensler in still going on.



Joel says:

July 14th, 2007 at 11:01 pm

#291 SpiderBrick

“And it also earned Gail an undisclosed cash settlement in 1975 when Pink Floyd settled out of court over her claim that the wordless vocals on “Great Gig in the Sky” were a ripoff of “Mime.” ”

I knew the IP lawyers who litigated that suit. They said that Roger Waters was adamant to the end that Great Gig in the Sky was NOT a rip-off of Gail, but that they finally settled when Gail’s lawyer’s convinced a mock-jury that Pink Floyd got the idea of synching Dark Side of the Moon to the Wizard of Oz from the uncanny synch between Reseda Dreams and certain items of Dutch Lesbian Porn.



pesch says:

July 14th, 2007 at 11:03 pm

Oh, and if you’re looking for a contest, you could try an album cover contest. I’d love to see designs for “Smell the Sunset” “Martinique” “Dykes in White satin” and the Three Tenors concert.



AhClem says:

July 14th, 2007 at 11:20 pm

This is REALLY freaky!

My band was playing at a small bluegrass festival in Cameron, Wisconsin (northwest part of the state, near Rice Lake) this afternoon. The headline band followed us, playing real hard-core Bill Monroe-style bluegrass. What really blew me away, though, was that they did a bluegrass-style cover of — you guess it — “Tarzana Nights!” I couldn’t believe it!

As a mandolin player, I was amazed at how their player worked out the soaring harmonies of that tune on his Gibson F5. I talked to him after their set, and he’s going to send me an MP3 of his arrangement, which I plan to learn.

I just thought that was a pretty amazing coincidence, considering all the Gail Martin discussion here the past few days.



The Spectacular Spider-Brick says:

July 14th, 2007 at 11:44 pm

Trotz @ 303: Thanks for the link to PBWiki. I’m using it to start up a Gail Martin page now. I’ll give you guys the address and password once I’ve given it a structure and put up some preliminary content.



willethompson says:

July 15th, 2007 at 6:20 am

#319 SSB: Damn. Nice work, except that it negates the Gail Martin history I was compiling last night figuring I could finish it up in the morning, and the I look up your wiki page and see it’s already been done. Better.

…Except you forgot Gail at SummerJam at Watkins Glen in ‘73. She stowed away on the helicopter that brought in The Band, absolutely wasted on ‘ludes and Genesee. Jerry Garcia and Bob Weir were passing her back and forth like a day-glo Frisbee. Yet when it came time to do the “oh whoa whoooah” that doubles the guitar in the ‘Ramblin’ Man’ solo, she was dead on. And she even did it while giving head to Dickie Betts. That’s the kind of pro Gail Hunter was.



True Fable says:

July 15th, 2007 at 8:04 am

I didn’t get in on the Gail Martin Chronicles and I’m glad I didn’t: I couldn’t come up with anything, while there were so many brilliant comments from everyone else. I was just totally outgunned at every turn.

Oh, I typed out plenty of comments, but then I’d preview them and they all got deleted because I couldn’t bring myself to run with the big dogs. Hell, I couldn’t even drag along behind, the best I had was a quote from her Uncle Zelig and a reference to the Rutles tour when Gail flashed her unleashed cleavage at Margaret Thatcher from the top of a double decker.



The Spectacular Spider-Brick says:

July 15th, 2007 at 8:34 am

On the Gail Martin wiki, Uncle Lumpy wrote:

Martin appeared with Shari Lewis and her puppet, Lamb Chop, in an October, 1956 airing of the Captain Kangaroo television program. While details of the incident are uncertain, Martin, apparently intoxicated, claimed that the show’s host, Bob Keeshan, was an alcoholic stalker, and made other comments of an explicitly sexual nature. The resulting publicity caused problems for Lewis’s career, and may have delayed her own network television program, The Shari Lewis Show, until 1960. Martin and Lewis were estranged for years, but later reconciled.

Damn! Gail was old enough to drink in 1956? If she was 18 then, that would make her 32 at Woodstock and 69 today! She doesn’t look 69. Or was she 21 at Woodstock, and already getting drunk and making sexual comments at age 7? We need to establish her date of birth before building more of a chronology.



Dean Booth says:

July 15th, 2007 at 8:49 am

Brick, the Gail Martin wiki is great stuff. Regarding the timeline, it might be best if someone covers Gails career as a precocious child star, on the verge of alcoholism at the age of 9.



Winnie Winkle says:

July 15th, 2007 at 9:36 am

Spidey, I love the wiki page! The only thing you forgot was her wild night with Jim Morrison. It was after this he penned “Wild Child”. Also, I remeber her as a guest host on Solid Gold. She sang a duet of Tarzana Nights with David Soul. The high from the quaaludes kicked in and she thought she was one of the Solid Gold dancers. It was one of the saddest Solid Gold shows ever.



Dingo says:

July 15th, 2007 at 10:23 am

Ah, Islamorada Girl, you took me back to 1977 with that comment when Gail starred in the short-lived The Girl With Something Extra… Minty. That was the series in which Martin played a young detective who purchased a pack of Wrigley chewing gum only to find that the spirit of the Pakistani grocer killed in a shootout with robbers inhabited the pack of gum he had held in his hands at the time of death. I used to laugh so hard when he would plead with Gail to “put him in her mouth.”

Too bad they scheduled it next to Happy Days. Also, having Robbie Rist play her secretary/assistant in a aquamarine spandex unitard was disconcerting to many.

At least she got that Emmy for Eve Plumb: Portrait of a Teen Actress.



Dingo says:

July 15th, 2007 at 11:19 am

Spec-Spi-Bri: credit must be given where credit is due and that wiki article you put together is wonderful. I laughed so hard while reading it and thank you for including my recollections of Gail. I tried to fix two things on the site but haven’t figured out how to do it.

1) She’s “The Rock & Roll Carole King” and not “The Carole King of Rock & Roll.”

2) Sunshine Saturday was released in 1968, not 1986. I can understand that typo.



Uncle Lumpy says:

July 15th, 2007 at 12:11 pm

#378 AfkaB –

Martin is said to have identified with the song because her own father worked in the stag film industry in the early 1950’s

In Tarzana.

Ben touches on the tragedy that defined Gail’s life and art, drove her obsessive alcohol and drug dependencies, and rendered her incapable of any but the most brutal, fleeting, and theatrical sexual relationships.

She is building a better place for herself at last, and our hearts are with her.



Remus says:

July 15th, 2007 at 12:50 pm

Nothing in Gail’s massively storied folklore compares, though to the day in 1967 she recorded bits on Abbey Road and Piper at the Gates of Dawn (her loud humming was ultimately mixed out of Interstellar Overdrive but her mouse noises in “Bike” famously remain) , then flew across the ocean to NYC’s Garrick Theater to begin a week in residence with The Mothers of Invention …usually helping out on “Trouble Every Day,” “Who are the Brain Police?” and “Help I’m a Rock,” but remembered mainly for the inflection and sincerity she put into the bebop parody “Wowie Zowie,” due to her recent popularity in that very genre, which is what later spurred Frank to hire Flo and Eddie (Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman) from the Turtles just two years later.



Poteet says:

July 15th, 2007 at 1:01 pm

When I mentioned Gail Martin to a friend last night, he told me that she showed up in central Iowa one hot summer afternoon back in 1976 (before I moved here) when her small plane had engine problems and had to land just outside Boone. She spent the afternoon at a local barbecue joint with her pilot and signed autographs and sang a little. Locals were agog. My friend told me some story about how she autographed the leg cast of one little kid and his leg turned out to be totally healed just three days later, but of course that’s ridiculous.



Patti says:

July 15th, 2007 at 2:05 pm

3 cheers for the Gail Wiki!! Thanks for the hard work :) Now, others will be able to share the love. I really hope that some more pro-Gail stories appear…she’s had such a hard time of it (the alleged molestation–which I never believed, but still, the porn-making dad)…I often wonder how she finds the strength to get out of bed in the morning. Her dedication to her art will never die.



Dingo says:

July 15th, 2007 at 2:19 pm

Say what you will about Gail’s father and his stag movies but I still believe that Harlots of Hoboken and Party at Kitten & Bud’s (starring a young Ronald Reagan wearing a ski mask) are classics.



Trotzenbonnie says:

July 15th, 2007 at 2:41 pm

#12 Dingo

I was unimpressed with the sequel to ‘Party at Kitten & Bud’s’ - ‘Hoodang with Princess, Bud & Kitten’ starring an old Robert Young.



AhClem says:

July 15th, 2007 at 2:58 pm



Trotzenbonnie (#392 yesterthread) -

I was going to post something about Gail Martin and Ignatius J. Reilly being an “item” in the late 1960s. However, Reilly is a fictitious character, and I didn’t want to damage my credibility regarding my other Gail Martin stories.



The Spectacular Spider-Brick says:

July 15th, 2007 at 4:42 pm

GASP!!! Gail Martin is a stage name! According to the wiki, her given name is Chastity Gail Martinsky.

Also, someone added that her recording of “Why Didn’t Anyone Let The Duck In Out of the Rain?” was made in 1960, when she would have been 12 or 13 years old. So I just added a backstory for that recording. Turns out she was quite the little musical primadonna, even as a tweener.



The Divine O’F says:

July 15th, 2007 at 5:44 pm

Congratulations to all the brilliant winning snarkers, none of whom is me. Truth is, I’m in awe.

Yesterthread Spider Brick: thanks for adding more backstory about the “Duck” song. I just added even more, about the little-known fact that Gail felt Jimmy Webb stole her title (”Won’t Anyone Let the Duck in Out of the Rain?”) for the song that was later made famous by Richard Harris as “MacArthur Park.” There is some evidence for this, as earlier, unrecorded versions of Webb’s song have the title and recurring lyric, “Someone left the duck out in the rain.”



Daktari says:

July 15th, 2007 at 6:18 pm

I just got back home,and I must share this with you. I went to Cleveland to see Bob Dylan in concert Saturday night, and before he sang “Like A Rolling Stone” he said, in that raspy voice of his,”This is for Gail, wherever she may be.” ? I might have been the only one there who caught that reference. She must have been his inspiration for that song. I just can’t believe it.

Also, did you know there is not one mention of her in the entire Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? How do we get her nominated?



Jack Parsons says:

July 16th, 2007 at 3:21 am

The Gail Martin page does not mention her short-lived conversion to Christianity under the tutelage of Bob “Dylan” Zimmerman. He discovered her tattoo, and his peculiar, but understandable, confusion between Judaism and Christianity forced him to excommunicate her.



Jack Parsons says:

July 16th, 2007 at 3:32 am

In Velvet Goldmine was that supposed to be Gail as Lucky Pierre in the fabled Jagger/Bowie night of passion?

BItchin’ soundtrack, btw. Anyone who covers “Baby’s On Fire” is a-1 in the Parsons world view.



True Fable says:

July 16th, 2007 at 3:36 am

The Gail Martin page also doesn’t have the time she was to have joined the Traveling Wilburys. That is no surprise because she didn’t actually play any dates with them and Dylan considered her marginal since her excommunication. She got drunk just before their first recording session and joined a jazz-punk infusion band called the Traveling WildBoys, who dumped her at the side of the road because she cleaned out their booze supply. Happily, she was picked up by a small educational troupe called the Traveling Wildebeasts, where she earned her keep by cleaning up after the animals until she got to a city where she had friends. Unfortunately by then, the Traveling Wilburys considered her bad luck and Dylan refused to call her back. Orbison, Harrison - Dylan did not want to make the Late Wilburys a trifecta and to this day he blames Gail for the loss of Roy and George.



Little A. says:

July 16th, 2007 at 6:23 am

The only time I saw Ms. Martin in person (unfortunately I missed her concert in Central Park in 1971, I was bumming around Europe that summer), I saw her selling a box of paperback books in Strand Book Store on Broadway in Manhattan early one Saturday morning around 1980. Neal, the floor manager, had offered her six dollars for a carton of books. She yelled at him, “Six dollars for a whole box of fucking books? Six fucking dollars? Do you know w ho I am?” He yelled back, “I’d offer five if you were my grandmother! Take it or leave it!” “I’m Gail Martin!” she yelled back. “I don’t care if you’re Billy Martin! Take it or get out!” She took the money and stomped out, tossing her braid over her shoulder. As I passed by the counter I carefully peeked in the box to see what she had sold. One of the volumes on the top of the box was Great Canadian Short Stories of 1959.

You had to be there.


 TeacherPatti says:

Before I started teaching, I obtained a law degree.  It was a horrible experience all around, but my worst memory was when I wrote a brief and cited the Martin v. Martin case.  We had a moot court problem that dealt with artistic license, trademarks and, oddly enough, objects through one's head.  I thought the case was a slam dunk on point case.  The professor disagreed and gave me an "F" on the paper.  I was crushed, and went to talk to him.  He refused to talk to me, maintaining that I was a horrible writer and suggesting that I drop out of law school immediately.  That pissed me off, so I went to the Dean and a hearing ensued.  During the hearing, the truth came out.  Apparently, the professor lived next door to Gail's family while growing up and was featured as an "extra" in a movie or 12.  He was still bitter about it, and seeing Gail's name in a court case sent him into a spiral of PTSD-type flashbacks.  The Dean changed my grade to an "A", the professor went on sabbatical and was recovering quite well until he woke up one morning next to a bloody braid.  I was called in for questioning, but I had an alibi for the time in question.  Eventually, it was learned that another disgruntled student was responsible for the prank.  The professor retired soon after, and his whereabouts are unknown to this day.



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