Five minutes with… Martin Turner Ex Wishbone Ash

Published: Thursday 21st September 2017 by Courtney Farrow

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Martin Turner, former member of Wishbone Ash, is bringing the sweet sounds of the 70s to Fruit this Friday.

We caught up with the seasoned musician to find out more about the show and his eventful time in the popular and legendary band.

It’s wonderful to chat with you, Martin. Can you tell us a little bit about your gig at Fruit?

My band and I are performing the Wishbone Ash ‘Argus’ album, which is now 45 years old. It was first released in 1972 and we’ll be performing it in its entirety. We’re also going to be playing some other Wishbone Ash tracks, and possibly some songs from my recent ‘Written in the Stars’ album.

Sounds great. So how did you first get into music?

In the 1960s, I was doing, what I like to call, my apprenticeship. I was playing covers in the West Country, in Torquay mainly – The Queen of the English Riviera. I’m referring to the town, not myself, when I say that.

In the summer of 1969, we met Miles Copeland and he became our manager. He went on to manage The Police and Sting.

So we were quite unusual. We were a British band with an American manager, signed to an American record label. It wasn’t the norm back then.

During the 70s, we spent many a month scurrying backwards and forwards between the USA and Europe, playing gigs and tours.

WowQ How did you find that?

An American tour is pretty heavy duty; you’re on the road all of the time, you’re in a new place every day. After six weeks, you don’t know where you are! The only bit you ever see is the gig and the hotel.

I was in the band for the whole of the 70s. The official reports say that I left the band in 1980, but, really, the band left me. I think that they were a bit frustrated with the lack of commercial success we were having and wanted to change the lineup. I didn’t agree, so we parted ways.

We reformed again around 1987, released three albums and toured extensively until around 1991. After this, it all kind of fizzled out somewhat.

Andy Powell continues to play under the name Wishbone Ash. He’s the official Wishbone Ash. Whereas I am Martin Turner, Ex Wishbone Ash.

So what would you say to any new fans wanting to come along to your show? What can they expect?

Firstly, how did you get into Wishbone Ash music. Wait, don’t tell me, in your dad’s car, right? We have quite a few of those fans.

And are you looking forward to playing in Hull?

Yeah, I always look forward to Hull. It’s a good rock and roll town. It’s got a great musical history – it is, of course, where all the Spiders from Mars are from. It’s a pleasure to play there.

I can remember, in the early 70s, we were doing a gig in Redcar in the evening. We had a call from our agent asking us if we could stop off in Hull on the way and play a free festival in the park in the afternoon.

So we drove across to Hull, did the festival and then drove to Redcar and did the gig. After, I think we drove back down to London. We had better levels of energy back then!

You can catch Martin Turner Ex Wishbone Ash at Fruit on Friday 22 September. For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit the Fruit website.

Image: Scott Choucino

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Published: Thursday 21st September 2017 by Courtney Farrow

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