Martin was born in Rochford, Essex, England in December 1958 and immigrated to Perth, Western Australia with his family in January 1968. Martin played his first ‘gig’ in a school hall (Morley High) in 1972 with fellow students. He can remember playing Apache & Peace Pipe by the Shadows, I’m a Believer – The Monkees and some Beatles songs.
By age 14 he was doing professional gigs playing songs by The Beatles, Stones, CCR & hits of the time. Around age 15 or 16 Martin was playing professional gigs with some older guys (they were around 20 or so) often playing 5 gigs a week. He recorded some demos and played in various bands until 1979 when he went to London for a year. He joined original pop/rock band Urban Clearway with whom he recorded a couple of demo tapes that were shopped around the record companies. The band had some interest from Island records in London, but tired of eating baked beans, he returned to Australia & played in various Perth band line ups.
In 1982 Martin joined Perth band ‘Invasion Force’ later to be called ‘Force’ where he met Alf Demasi & Lloyd Allanson with whom he formed the legendary Perth band “The Flying Fonzarellis”. The Flying Fonzarellis released several recordings & toured the “Eastern States” in 1984. The band had some chart success holding the number one spot in Perth for a few weeks.
After the Fonzarellis he went on to play in Dave Warner’s “Sensational Sixties” & then with Midget & the Farrellys who were popular in Fremantle throughout the Americas Cup yacht race. He went on to tour & record with Dave Warner’s band “Dave Warner’s From the Suburbs”.
Martin moved to Sydney late in 1989. He played & recorded with The Brookes. He thinks they were a good band, but probably not right for that time. He toured Western Australia in 1993 with the “Big Land Big Heart” tour. That band contained Dobe Newton (Bushwackers), Ernie Dingo, Dave Warner, Greg Macainish (Skyhooks) Paul Hitchins (Sports) Dave Clarke & Martin. They toured Vietnam with a similar concept in January 1994 .
While in Sydney Martin performed with Slide McBride playing anything from jazz to rap and everything in between. The band literally had hundreds of songs in its repertoire.
In 1998 he started recording some instrumental guitar songs. Bosco Bosanac, the bass player with legendary Australia group “The Atlantics” heard one of his demo tapes. One Friday afternoon Bosco called Martin. He said “you sound all right on the recordings but can you play live?” His band’s guitarist had just called in sick. Martin did the gig and must have done ok because Bosco told the other guys from The Atlantics about him – the rest is history.
Since then the Atlantics have gone onto record many of Martin’s songs, which have appeared in feature film soundtracks, surf movies, playstation games, the list goes on. The album ‘Flight of the Surf Guitar’ has become somewhat a classic.
In August 2007 Martin released his solo album Revenge Of The Surf Guitar, with all tunes composed by Martin. This album has received positive reviews from here and overseas and continues to sell well to this day.
Since that time he’s released seven more albums The Odd One Out (2009), Surfersaurus (2011), Going to Kaleponi (2103), Electric Christmas (2015), Sleep Walk EP (2016), Espresso Martino (2018) & Shadowman (2019).
In 2013 Martin toured Europe with The Atlantics for their 50th Anniversary of Bombora tour. After that tour finished he went on to a West Coast tour of America with his own band.
When The Atlantics retired from touring in late 2013 he was invited to join Mental As Anything where he toured both nationally and internationally. He recorded an EP and live album with the band, which included a song co-written with Greedy Smith “We Get to Kiss”. The band toured constantly from 2013 – 2019, but left the road due to the untimely death of lead singer Greedy Smith.
2020 saw the release of an Australian ‘all star’ surf band album ‘North Melbourne Surf Club’. The Supergroup consists of Martin and Tony Naylor (Avalanche) on guitar, Geoff Cox (Little River Band) on drums and James Gillard (Mondo Rock) bass.