#176: Echo Beach by Martha & the Muffins
Martha Johnson was born in Toronto, Ontario, in 1950. Johnson worked in Toronto as a medical receptionist. She started her career playing the organ with cover band “Oh Those Pants”. She then was part of Toronto band the Doncasters in the early 1970s. Johnson joined David Millar, Mark and Tim Gane, and Carl Finkle to form the band Martha & the Muffins in 1977. Martha & the Muffins emerged from the early punk/new wave/art pop scene which was centered around various clubs along Toronto’s Queen Street West and the Ontario College of Art, where Millar and Mark Gane were students. Martha Johnson played keyboards, David Millar and Mark Gane played guitar. Gane’s brother, Tim, was the band’s drummer. And Carl Finkle played bass guitar. The band had their debut performance at the Ontario College of Art Hallowe’en party in October 1977. Some of the clubs they played at included the Beverly and the Rivoli. Regarding the name for the band, Mark Gane recalls “We decided to use it as a temporary name until we could all agree on something better.” They had wanted a name that was edgy, but not aggressive like the Sex Pistols.
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