Transcript: Transcript Echoes of Success: The Martha and the Muffins Story

Martha Johnson, Mark Gane, welcome to A Breath of Fresh Air. How are you doing? Pretty good, Sandy. Pretty good. I wonder if we could just back up.


There are some people who may not know very much about Martha and the Muffins. Can you just give me a little bit of background about Martha, perhaps how you started out, how you joined Martha and the Muffins, and how you got called Martha and the Muffins? Yeah, the curse of the name, but it got a lot of attention. I got into the band, but I’d been in a couple of other bands with high school buddies, and we used to have weekend bands where we would record a song or two just for fun.


And that led to bands being formed at the art college as well. I had friends there too. And a friend of mine, he wanted to start a band.


So David asked me to join, and he knew Martha from previous— you were in another band? Oh, Those Pants. Oh, Those Pants, right. And so we were kind of the founding members of them, Martha and me and David Miller.


And I just grew from there. Right. It was a time, wasn’t it, that everybody wanted to be in a band? You weren’t kind of cool if you weren’t in a band, right? You didn’t need any particular talent either.


Well, it was, you know, in the history of the music business, it was like the doors opened up for a period of years, and everybody at art colleges or people like Martha who hang around or hung around with people in art colleges all over the world, and the door opened and all these weird bands got in. And then a few years later, the door would snap shut, and it went kind of back to normal again. So we got in that way, having been signed by Virgin UK through a whole series of very lucky circumstances.


And, you know, we just got plucked out of our little scene in Toronto and thrown into the London post-punk new wave scene. We were considered very strange for a Canadian band because Canada was known for earnest folk singers and heavy, you know, kind of classic rock bands or, you know, bands like Rush. Love is likely not for them, don’t put them down and say it again.


It’s a reserve of quiet defence, finding out that these events are the rebirth of society. I guess we seemed like we dropped in from another planet because all of our influences, or many of them, were more from… I mean, Toronto was sort of halfway between London and New York culturally. And so we had all those influences, and a lot of the band were into roxy music.


Some of the band, like myself and the original sax player Andy Foz, were into avant-garde improvised music. So the six original people all had very different tastes and somehow got amalgamated into Martha and the Muffins. But we both grew up in Motown and the Beatles and the British Invasion and then James Brown and funk music.


So that all went into the big pot. And I think that’s what Virgin found interesting, so we didn’t sound like anybody else. And how did you decide what would come out of that pot, putting all of those influences in? Did you fight about it? Who had the last say on it all? It all sort of worked out.


You could see by the way we dressed on stage. The bass player would be in a three-piece suit. Mark might be in a leopard-skin shirt rolling on the floor.


We just got along really well, even though we were all very different with different tastes. It was never a musical issue, really. No, no, because I think in the early days, we would bring in a song and we would have ideas about that song and everybody kind of just wrote their parts.


It was a very spontaneous thing, particularly in the earliest version of the band. Everybody brought their influences. So Andy might do a crazy solo in the middle of the song, but that was his influence.


And most of the time, it was all accepted. Miles below a city framed in white A jet plane passing in the night Left behind a life you’ve known too long Just ahead a new horizon glows Day and time of day are quite discarded Lying among the postcards of your draw Day-to-day concerns left by the wayside Forgotten in your quest for something more I can’t go past Echo Beach because you said yourself that’s how we all know and love you. Can you give us a little bit of the backstory to what you were writing about, how that song came about? Well, it was about the third song I ever wrote.


I didn’t know what I was doing. So, you know, if you think about it, there’s no chorus until the very end of the song because I wasn’t sitting there going, okay, so verse one, chorus one, middle A, bridge. I had no idea.


And it was very unconscious, you know, because when the band started, like a lot of bands of that era, we weren’t doing it to become stars. There was a whole atmosphere of people in art colleges or misfits going, hey, yeah, we should be in a band. But you didn’t really know what that meant, you know.


And so that song from immediately, even when we were playing in small clubs, people loved it. But we still didn’t really understand it until we were signed with Virgin and it came out and it did well all over the world. And that was a mind blower, you know, as a songwriter to send it out into the world and then for 40 years plus, it’s been coming back to us in weird configurations.


It’s a science fiction story. Back to Echo Beach, there is a British dramatic series. There’s a German dub label.


There’s an Irish racehorse. Just this week, somebody put out a game called Greetings from Echo Beach where apparently music has been outlawed and the person, rather than being an office clerk, like the song, their job is to track down musicians and eliminate them, I think. So there’s all these weird permutations and, you know, as artists and songwriters, you just go, I could have never predicted that, but this is so great.


I know it’s out of fashion and a travel uncool But I can’t help it I’m a romantic fool It’s a habit of mine To watch the sun go down On Echo Beach I watch the sun go down For long enough, I’ll have to spend my time at work My job is very boring, I’m an office clerk The only thing that helps me pass the time away Is knowing I’ll be back at Echo Beach someday In summer evenings, the skies align with the lights Our building in the distance is a realistic sight On Echo Beach, waves make the only sound On Echo Beach, there’s not a soul around For long enough, I’ll have to spend my time at work My job is very boring, I’m an office clerk The only thing that helps me pass the time away Is knowing I’ll be back at Echo Beach someday How did that change your lives? Well, it’s changed our lives right up to the present. It’s something that has reached so many people and we still have people coming up to us and saying that song meant so much to me and thank you for giving me this song and we fell in love with that song and it means so much. It changed our lives by a modicum of fame, I suppose.


We’ve never gone out of hand. Well, it changed my life, it might change your life because we’ve been together for a long time. But it was great.


And as a person who wrote this song, it’s unbelievable about how on another level, on a songwriting level, it was kind of, in a way, unfair to have that big a hit that soon because a lot of people only know us for that song. Of course, we’ve done, I think it’s now 11 albums. And we had other hits in Canada, we had a dance hit in the States in 1984 with Black Stations, White Stations.


But Echo Beach is still the biggest one and resonates, as Martha says, still today. But as a songwriter, you go, yeah, but we had all these other great songs. What they call, you know, now they call deep cuts.


In the old days, you’d just call them, oh yeah, there’s songs on the album that you would listen to. So my hope, perhaps naively and fatally at this point, is that I hope there’ll be people that might hear this and go, well, maybe we should check out Martin Muffin’s YouTube site and see what else is on there. Because there’s a lot of stuff after 43 years of pretty much consistently putting stuff out.


There’s a lot of things that we’re really proud of that the deep listeners know. We have quite a fanatical following that way. And people that don’t consider us a singles band at all.


Waiting for the dawn when we dream A chance to lie down That confused imitation of life Eludes me now All roots of resistance Impaired by your face A fugitive hope Will I see you today? In a tunnel, on a bridge, on a viaduct We’ll meet just by chance And in a moment, or maybe just an hour or so We’ll renew our romance And if the charms are boring, the laces go For changing tableaux While we were watching all our paintings and our furniture A jet to the road To Lucifer ECHO BEACH The patterns on the wall never change But shadows roll on There must have been an awful lot of pressure on you to match the success of ECHO BEACH. There was. The record company did it.


To actually say, I don’t hear an ECHO BEACH. I don’t hear another ECHO BEACH. And I think I said, well, I said at one point, well, you’re not going to.


Because I come from art college. And the band, and we have to, you know, we go back to those days when the doors opened and we were bands teaming. A lot of those bands, I think, and you’ve probably talked to bands and artists like this who said, well, we had no idea that we would be commercial or those weren’t our aspirations.


And it was like that in our early band. Nobody thought, oh, we’re going to become entertainers and we’re going to do things to please a wide audience. It was kind of naive.


And in a way, it’s kind of unselfconscious. We just did what we did. And so without motivation, without motivation.


Yeah, it’s the same. And in a way, like being an artist and then getting a record deal is kind of like a clash between music and commerce. So you have these people who go, okay, we don’t hear another Echo Beach.


We were kind of going, well, we’re going on to other things now. And we did have other hits, but I think it horrified them, really, that I actually said that. And I know our first producer on the first two albums who did Echo Beach, I think he wrote somewhere that he couldn’t believe that I actually said that, that I didn’t actually want to write another Echo Beach.


Miraculously, we’ve still made tons of albums. And it allowed us to do that. They allowed you to do that.


That’s right. Was Echo Beach a real place for you? No. And the interesting thing is that when it came out at the time, because of course there was no internet, people would write letters and go, oh, you must mean the one in Australia or the one in Ontario.


I go, no, but thanks for letting me know about that because it’s so cool that you’re telling me this. No, it was about state of mind, the place that we all have. It’s a symbol of that place that you want to go back to.


And so many people got something out of it. What made it resonate with people all over the world, do you think? Well, my father and I had a discussion about this probably 25, 30 years ago. And he said, you know why this song is so popular? He said it’s because it’s nostalgic.


If we all think about our pivotal moments in our lives, you go back to those moments, and he said it has a nostalgic quality. Any song that has that is going to be moving to people and popular. So where were you when you first heard Echo Beach? Do you remember? Let me know if you do.


This is a breath of fresh air with Sandy Kaye. It’s a beautiful day. Echo Beach was written by band member Mark Gane.


It got to number 5 in Canada, 6 in Australia and 10 in the UK. It also won the Juno Award, the Canadian equivalent of a Grammy, for single of the year. Mark says at the time he wasn’t nostalgic about anything.


I didn’t even think about that. The main impetus for the song came about when I had a summer job as a student in a wallpaper factory. And my job as a summer hire was to, the huge printing presses for the wallpaper would sometimes start wrecking the wallpaper and the presses would grind to a halt.


They’d send off this big reel over to me and I had to sort the parts of the reel that were okay from the damaged stuff. So it was the kind of thing you could just do mindlessly. And I was going, it’d be sure nice to be somewhere else.


And I couldn’t go, my job is very boring, I’m a wallpaper inspection guy, you know, that wasn’t going to work. So I thought, what would work? How about an office clerk? And that was the gist of the song. We do work really well together, even though we have very different, I think, approaches to writing.


Yeah, Mark starts with the lyrics, sort of like poetry, and I start with a title and some music and work on the lyrics. We also bring different sensibilities to it as well. I’m probably less commercial.


I think somehow we do complement each other, and it’s been a very strong basis to our relationship. Of course, there’s the romantic element to it. We have to be friends, the person you’re with.


And the fact that we write together is pretty fabulous. Cutting threads and sending out a counter-glow All they do is walk, talk, bid songs, whine clocks Crawl on their bellies like a reptile I have no idea at all I have no idea at all I have no idea at all I hear a sound You didn’t tell me about how you got the name Martha and the Muffins. We had a show to do, first show.


Yeah, the first show was… We had no name. The summer that we were getting together, people who came in and out of the band trying out things, and we tried out names, and we brought lists of names. Nobody liked any of them.


That was one of the things that we couldn’t agree on, was a name. The first show we ever did was at the Ontario College of Art Halloween Party in 1977. And they were going, look, you’ve got to have a name for the poster.


So one of the people that had been briefly in and out of the band during its formation said, well, what about the Muffins? It’s such an antithesis to the whole punk thing. It’s not like the Slits or local band names, like the Vile Tomes or the Ugly, because we were art students. It was kind of conceptual.


And then somebody said, well, let’s put Martha’s name in front of it. And that was the name on the poster. And then we got a review in the big local paper, the Toronto Star, that had a readership of four million people or something.


And we went, well, God, we can’t change the name. Now we’ve had a write-up. And of course we could have, right? We only had one gig.


So we never came up with a cool name like Talking Heads or Voice of the Beehive or something that actually would have suited us better. Mark, what was it about Martha that she got the job? What did she add to your artsy-fartsy guys in art school? Well, when she first walked in for the first rehearsal, my brother and I were like checking her out, if you know what I mean. But beyond that, and you still are, but she was pretty hot.


But beyond all that and far more importantly, she had a great voice. And as it turns out, a lot of talent too, because this is how we’ve managed to go as a couple, but also as a creative team all these years, is that you have to have the talent. And I have great respect for her vocal approach.


She’s not a trained singer, but she doesn’t sound like anybody else. And she’s written some fabulous songs. I think of that first album that Echo Beach was on, Paint by Number Heart remains one of her best songs, but there’s a whole pile out there.


Of course, she did a kid’s. There was a lot going for her at the time and continues. I love your relationship.


You are so nice to each other. It’s amazing. Are you always not? Not always.


No, no, no. We’ve had our stats. And one thing we used to fight a lot over was, I’ve just complimented her on her vocal approach, but we used to have big fights while we were recording because I was always trying to push her further, whatever that means.


And we finally figured out that it was better if she did her vocals on her own without me being around, and rightfully so, because I was not helping her get to her best performance by going, no, no, no, Martha, you’ve got to go. That’s not the right approach. So I finally got wise enough to go, you go, do it, and then we’ll talk about how it is.


When you were doing all of your early stuff back in 81, you had a hit album, This is the Ice Age, the single from that, Women Around the World at Work. Were you working on those together? That album was, for whatever reason, was mainly me. I mean, you had some songs on, but I think that was before we actually decided to become co-writers, like seriously.


It wasn’t until the fourth album, Dance Park, that we started really writing together. But on This is the Ice Age, that was a lot of my songs, along with Women Around the World at Work, which people always go, well, it’s so weird that a man wrote that, but it really is. My mother was kind of a second-wave feminist who was a writer and a novelist, but being a woman growing up in the 40s and 50s, it wasn’t a good time for women’s careers because after the war, they were all expected to go back and be housewives, and I think she had conflicts with that.


But I grew up surrounded by strong women like my mother and my grandparents and aunts and older cousins, so I never thought of it as being weird. I thought this is the state of the world, and it continues to be a shameful kind of state of affairs when women are still being treated like second-class citizens all over the world, and we all know what’s going on in the States, which seems unbelievable. It’s like we’re all stepping backwards, in some cases by 60 years, and going, no, women don’t have control over their bodies anymore, or they don’t have a say because a whole bunch of men are telling them they can’t.


So maybe we should reissue that song, I don’t know. In a hundred wars across the earth Men and guns are fought to build their world Women stay behind and grow their food Placing soldiers in a dangerous mood Women around the world at work Women around the world at work Women around the world at work Working, working There’s a man who must be 65 Makes his living running There’s something to see Was it difficult for you to cross the border to gain success in the US? Well, we didn’t get a proper release of mental music in the States. Virgin set up an office.


They didn’t follow through with it. They didn’t actually work the record, and it came out for about a month or something, and then it just disappeared. And it was a hit everywhere else, but it was released around the world.


Our lives would have been quite different if we had had a proper release, I think. You really weren’t supported properly by the record company. No, and I think what happened is, the story goes that Virgin at that time, which would have been like 80, they were having money problems, maybe because they were expanding too fast, or Richard Branson’s grandiose ideas were upstripping reality for a while.


And they withdrew. Virgin actually withdrew back to England and left Metro Music with Atlantic Records, and Atlantic Records went, who’s this, who cares, it’s somebody else’s signing. And as Martha said, that just died.


And had we had proper support in the States, we probably would have been way more visible and way more successful, because we had kind of what I suppose you would call cult following in the States. We did tour down there, and in those cities where we were getting really good airplay, we were more popular than bands like Simple Mind. Don’t you please stand above me Look my way, never look down You changed the name soon after.


You became Eminem instead of Martha and the Muffins. Well, that was Mark’s idea, and it was kind of a mistake, I think. Nobody really put the two names together, Martha and the Muffins.


It was them plus them. Yeah, it was a really bad mistake. It was a huge PR error, and it came about from me being sick of being called a Muffin, because probably at that time, were we in our 40s at that point? You’re going, oh God, like really? Here’s Martha, and you must be a Muffin.


I’m going, geez, what a stupid name. The band has a lot of serious music, and so I thought, I’m done with this. And the thing was, it was supposed to be M plus M. We always told people it was M plus M, and nobody ever said that.


As you just did, it was Eminem. Yeah, like the candy. Well, there you go, you see? Or the rapper, yeah.


At some point, when people came up, we conducted sort of an informal poll. We’d say, okay, do you like M plus M, or Eminem, or do you like Martha and the Muffins? And they all said Martha and the Muffins, so subsequent albums, we went back to it. I have a list, which I’m not going to roll out, because there’s about 200 names on it, but I’ve been keeping it.


Every time we think of a cool band name, we add it to this list. I think when either we write a book about the history of Martha and the Muffins or get our website more expanded, we’re going to publish a list and say, anyone is welcome to take whatever name they like. I thought you were going to get them to vote on it and maybe follow the popular vote.


No, I think we’ve had one PR disaster. We have to live with it. Yeah, you’re a muffin from here on in forevermore.


Indeed, yeah. But you did have a hit album as M + M, didn’t you? Well, when we released Black Stations, White Stations, that was on an album called Mystery Walk, and that was done under M+ M, as was the following album. And yeah, we had several hits off those albums in Canada, and of course, Black Stations went to number two on the US dance chart.


He was, he was White Stations, break down the doors Stand up and face the music This is White Stations, be on the floor Stealing what does he dream and be It was really controversial, wasn’t it, Black Stations, White Stations, at the time? Yes, and again, we just did what we do. People thought this was going to be a career killer. And again, I don’t think we’ve ever even thought of ourselves as having a career.


We just do what we do. In Billboard, that week that it came out, it said all of America is talking about Black Stations, White Stations, and are they insulting the record industry, and are they doing this, and are they doing that? And it basically came from our naivety, because there were no such formats in Canada called Black Stations and White Stations. We were just shocked, though.


We’ve grown up with all this amazing music made by Black people in the States, and then we found out as we toured down there, it was segregated between these formats. And Michael Jackson blew that wide open, because I think the thriller came out. It was all this controversy about whether he was going to transition over to White Stations.


It sounds like jumping over the Berlin Wall or something. Of course, as we all know, music is just music, and it’s one of the greatest ways of bringing people together. So he was the one, I think, mainly responsible.


I’d never thought of Michael Jackson having bridged a gap between Black and White before, but I guess it makes sense. More in a sec.



This is a Breath of Fresh Air with Sandy Kaye. It’s a beautiful day. Because of the kerfuffle it caused in the US, the Martha and the Muffins track Black Stations, White Stations was banned on several radio stations.


It didn’t get huge amounts of radio play on commercial radio, but interestingly, it broke in New York City at a black gay club and then kind of went out into black clubs and then from there into the wider mainstream dance clubs. And we did a promo tour down there and for one evening we visited all these places and it was just fantastic going to these different clubs. And the club that broke it, interestingly, the DJ there was some white skinny little college student looking guy in spite of it being a black gay club.


And the speakers were like about five stories high and it was so loud it didn’t feel like music. It felt like a whole other dimension. And you were being thrown off your feet because the subwoofers were so powerful.


It was like a whole other sensory experience. So that was kind of interesting. Unfortunately, they ushered us around in a white stretch limousine which didn’t suit the style of the song or the clubs or anything.


Yeah, the last club of the evening was this old black club. So we drive up in this white limousine. The optics are just terrible, right? And the guy, the dance guy said, I don’t know if this is going to be cool because it’s all these black people lined up to get in the club.


Yeah, are we supposed to get out of a white limo being white people and going, hey, you know, we’re going to the front of the line because dot, dot, dot. And we just said, you know what, this is just not cool, right? On so many levels. So we didn’t go in.


In a crowd, sitting up and walking Undercover on the edge of the road There’s a step across that leap With eyes that look but cannot see Out of reach, out of luck, stepping out of bounds Every day it’s tomorrow land And I never know what tomorrow will be Every day it’s tomorrow land I feel someone moving close to me Every day it’s tomorrow land And I never know what tomorrow will be Every day it’s tomorrow land To dance is all I need Dance for me Dance for me It was soon after that that you guys went over to the UK, wasn’t it? Yeah, in 87 we actually moved to Bath, England for about two and a half years because we had done the World is a Ball album there and at the same time our former co-producer was doing the Gabriel album in Bath which is eight miles down the road from Bath and we just liked the city so much we just decided to move there and we did another album in our bedroom there over two and a half years called Modern Lullaby which died a very quick death but I think it’s great anyway You were still recording as M+ M then, yeah? No, that was the first time when we went back to Marth and Muttons when we did put it out we just said we’re back to Marth and Muttons How did that come about? We just decided that M+ M or M and M wasn’t the right name and we realised that if we were going to put out another album it should be under the original name and the original name had some boat to it and some waves So it took you a few years, Martha before you could convince him to go back again? Yeah, it did I don’t think she needed to convince me I saw what was happening because with the success of Black Stations White Stations, as M+ M as Martha said earlier there were whole groups of people in whole parts of the world that didn’t know the connection I mean, it’s essentially we are Marth and Muttons and it was the same people under M+ M doing this but a lot of people did not get that and the record companies weren’t particularly helpful in outlining that transition or explaining it so we just went, we gotta go back to the original name and when we did reissue those M+M albums if you buy the CD it says Marth and Muttons slash MplusM and we told radio stations in Canada they said, so what do we call you now? It’s Marth and the Muttons no matter what we’ve put out in the past Due to lots of volatility in the band Martha and Mark made another decision and that was to go it alone and pick up session musicians on an as-needs basis There’s been so many band members over the years that it’s kind of like King Crimson, you know Robert Fripps, the only guy who’s actually gone through the whole variations of the band and we’re kind of like that with Marth and Muttons It’s a band entity but we’re the core of it and if things come together and we need other people we bring them in and some of those people have been people in the past So you kind of slowed it down a little bit, I know you had your beautiful daughter during that period and in 2008 you released your first new studio album in 16 years Tell me how that one came about We got together with Jocelyn again, a new musician and we worked together on some songs The dynamics, the personalities It was a very difficult album to make For a number of reasons, yeah, hence the name Delicate and I think it had been 18 years since we’d done an album because within that time we did your kids album and we did a number of things that weren’t really part of the band or the music industry that we had been in Film things, television But Delicate is a crazy album and it reflects you know, we were having problems we were having problems with the band If we were to write a book well that album would be like an intense television series There was a lot of crazy stuff that happened during the making of that album and when it came out it was kind of getting more obvious that maybe Martha was going to have problems playing live I did some shows for my solo album, which came a little bit later 2013 and I was not up for it anymore It takes a long standing to do that. Parkinson’s is very unpredictable from day to day. If we went to a tour it would be insane Martha’s Parkinson’s disease made it impossible for her to perform any more live shows They were simply too taxing Point me to your favourite song from Delicate I think we would both agree from Delicate, Love Began With Eve which is a song when Dan came up and he said that’s one of the most beautiful songs I’ve ever heard and Jocelyn said he was actually crying when he heard it You brought the summer’s heat and the cooling rains There’s no serpent in your past to confound or confuse The serpent was a myth with your seashell ears hurricane air perfect rosebud mouth your cheeks are landing pads for kisses It’s about our daughter being born and Eve, our daughter sang on it too and she was just 12, 13 but her voice just captures that being on the cusp of womanhood It sounds beautiful and of a certain age that doesn’t happen after that What about your solo album Martha? Why did you decide to make a solo album? I just wanted to make something that wasn’t dictated by someone else’s opinions and likes.


I just wanted to do something on my own and I had a lot of things to get off my chest I wrote three songs with Ron Sexsmith. He came over one day and we wrote three songs in one afternoon. Which is your favorite song on that album? I think Show Me How.


That’s one song that I wrote with Ron and he sings it with me What did you want to be showed how? I think it was Show Me How to Love We listened to it when we were coming home from a long trip and hadn’t heard it in years and I thought it held up quite well The day is new but nothing changes No expectations or an end in sight Birdsong left me long ago When love took flight To trust in something I can’t see No hesitation or a friend in sight The summer left me long ago The cold and restless nights I smile when I’m sad I laugh too loud On sunny days I still see clouds This is how it is right now Only time will show me how This is how it is right now Only time will show me how Show me how Show me now How are you managing with your Parkinson’s today? It’s a progressive degenerative disease so it is getting worse on many levels but you just have to adapt, you have to keep adapting and I do. I have good days and bad days and good hours and bad hours even It’s something you have to deal with The one thing that remains constant though is your positive attitude. Yeah, but you have to have that Your latest offering you’ve got a new song out called Slow Emotion and it’s dedicated to Parkinson’s sufferers isn’t it? I wrote this song to raise awareness of Parkinson’s and it’s been very successful doing that since it was released last month and my neurologist who suggested me getting together with another patient of his who was a musician and had Parkinson’s so we went off and each wrote a song, we put them together and came up with Slow Motion People are moved by the song which is what I wanted to do to touch people’s hearts give them hope but in a subtle way, in a poetic way and I think I’ve achieved that Do you feel that there is not enough awareness around Parkinson’s disease today? It’s a growing disease because of the ageing population and people don’t know when they see somebody on the street walking in a strange way, with a head like I do, closing your eyes when they talk and all these things, they don’t know what ailment that’s attached to or what causes it I just wanted to make people more aware and more sensitive to my position So I can see that look in your eyes Empathy not sympathy that’s where we wanna be Take it slow and then you’ll know how to be kind how to free your mind that’s where we wanna be I’m moving slow motion I’m moving I’m moving I’m moving slow motion now I’m moving I’m moving slow motion I’m moving I’m moving slow motion now I’m moving Mother says the song is all about wanting people to feel empathy not sympathy She wanted it to be a hit of emotional oxygen for those living with Parkinson’s.


This time she’s used soothing keyboard pads and an easygoing R&B feel to send a message about the need to stop, listen and relate. It’s a far cry from the tunes of her punk heritage, but it does seem to be doing the trick for the nearly 10 million people worldwide living with PD. It’s more about how to create an interior sense of calmness, which would apply to all of us in this crazy, hectic world.


And I wanted to involve other people who had Parkinson’s in the recording, which I did. I got a chorus of five people to be a choir in the song. So you hear them sing la la la la la la la.


What’s your message for Parkinson’s sufferers? Well, I think the message is that life doesn’t end with a Parkinson’s diagnosis. It’s just a different way of living. You can still be creative.


You can still contribute to society. And you’re not alone. There’s others out there who are experiencing the same thing.


You can support each other. And I would add that this whole song project serves as a great example of how you have PD, your co-writer had PD, the five people in the chorus had PD, your co-writer also played acoustic guitar and bass on this, your neurologist played keyboards on it. It’s a fantastic example for other people to go, OK, these people all have Parkinson’s and some, like Martha, have had it for a long time.


There’s a doctor in the choir who was diagnosed at 29 and still went on to have three children. And as a major advocate for PD awareness associated with the Michael Fox Foundation. So that serves as an example of how people with these challenges made something beautiful.


We all rose to the occasion. Well, congratulations, Martha. Congratulations, both of you on everything that you’ve done today, but particularly this project.


Wow, you’re really showing the world what you can do. Thank you. Thanks, Sandy.


Thank you so much, guys. Take care. What an amazing pair they are, Mark Gane and Martha Johnson.


I don’t think it’s the last we’ll hear from them. Thanks for your time today. I hope you’ve enjoyed the story of Martha and the Muffins.


I’ll look forward to being back with you again same time next week. Bye now. Beautiful day.


You’ve been listening to A Breath of Fresh Air with Sandy Kaye. Beautiful day. Think that you’re going away.


It’s a beautiful day.