Sunday, April 15, 2012


Trikk (1988)
Clockwise from top: Patrick Smith, Donte' Smith,
Al Martinez, Mark Martinez

Al Martinez interview conducted March 2012.

In 1988 Al Martinez’s life changed forever when he received a phone call from a radio station deejay in Pueblo.

“Magic FM disc jockey JJ Valentine played a record we made, and he said the phones lit up,” he said.

That record was actually a cassette demo of “Tonight You’re Mine,” a song he and childhood friend Patrick Smith put together with Patrick’s brother Donte', and Al’s brother, Mark. The group sent out the demos to local stations in hopes of getting airplay.

Calling themselves Trick (Patrick’s nickname), the Colorado Springs-based group, which formed just a year earlier, quickly released “Tonight You’re Mine” as a 12” single (Upward Thrust - Trick01 - 1987). The disc was recorded at Startsong Studios, in The Springs, and produced Rich Mouser.

“We shot the cover of the single out at Prospect Lake. The original picture had us standing on the ice in the middle of the lake, but the shot really didn’t work. So we used my 1976 Corvette.”

“Tonight Your Mine” caught the attention of the Aanco record label (which in 1983 released Norbie Larsen’s I’d Rather Be in Colorado). The record brass liked the sound, but not the spelling of the band’s name – changing it to TRIKK.

Side One:
I Can't Wait Forever
Tonight You're Mine
Do You Like It

Side Two:
Never Say Never
Midnight Lover
I Can't Get Used to This Feeling
Still Waiting

Al Martinez, along with Rich Mouser, produced the group's first LP, Never Say Never (Aanco 28802-1988), and quickly released it to a national audience. After getting favorable attention from Radio and Records magazine, the album would generate three singles from the mellower cuts on the record, "Never Say Never," "Tears," and “Tonight You're Mine," and one of the dance tracks, "Midnight Lover."

“Tears” would go on to be #1 on Magic FM’s countdown,” he said.

The band caught the attention of Bertie Higgins (“Key Largo” fame), who wanted to record the song “I Can’t Get Used to This Feeling.”

“Our record company tried to put that deal together, then Bertie wanted us to sign the publishing rights over to him. I told Aanco, that if Bertie records a demo, and if it’s better than mine, then he could have it. He didn’t take the deal.”

In 1991, A&M records called a meeting with the group in Denver.

“They told us we were very marketable, and that our sound was good, but they were moving more toward alternative music, more grunge. They asked if we could go that route with our music. We tried that sound, but it just didn’t work. They ended up going with the Gin Blossoms and Blind Melon.”

"That same year we went to Seattle and recorded what was to be our next release, This Time."

The LP spawned two singles, “I Love Italian Girls,” and the title cut.

“Both got airplay in Iowa,” Martinez said.

After six years together, the band decided to take a break. Patrick headed to law school; Al got married and opened his own studio. The hiatus would last four years, when, in 1998, Trikk reunited with Eddie Adkins on guitar, and Dave Copeland on bass. The group would soon welcome Dave’s brother, Lyndon.

“About the time we went into the studio to record The Final Battle, I started concentrating on songwriting, engineering and production,” said Martinez. “The band felt that Lyndon brought a vocal style to the group that would elevate us up one more notch—which it did.”

“The album can be best described as kind of a 80s retro sound – stuff that influenced us when we were kids. We put out samplers around the Colorado Springs area, and felt really good about the project.”

But friction among the members started to unravel the group, and the final CD was never released.

“The real issue the group was having, was a divided loyalty over which songs would be on the album. I think Dave felt pressure to side with his brother, Lyndon. Hence you have a lost of interest, and that’s when Lyndon and I began to work on solo projects. I then had an opportunity to get to Los Angeles, and I took it, and that was pretty much it.”

Of the original members, Al Martinez went on to open his own studio (Innovative Studios), where he continues to record his own music. Patrick Smith is a lawyer in Portland. Mark Martinez has his own landscaping company in Colorado, and Donte' is an executive for Popeye’s Chicken.

Last year the band received a resurgence of interest, thanks to – Justin Bieber.

“His fans would Google his hit “Never Say Never” and our song would come up. Of course, they aren’t one in the same.”

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Dave Jackson

Jerry Dolby and Clara Reida interviewed March 2012.

On my most recent trip back home to southern Colorado, Pueblo-based record dealer, and dear friend, Joel Scherzer presented me with an album for my collection – one that would turn out to be probably my favorite find of the weeklong record search.

Dave Jackson Singing Folk Style Music - Morning Town Ride (Valerie VR 7000) is a collection of 16 songs of the genre. "Many of the songs selected are personal favorites, but there has been no attempt to display any of my own views or personal feelings," he writes on the back cover.

Included are Jackson's renditions of songs penned by Donovan ("Colours"), Tom Paxton ("I Wonder Where I'm Bound"), Rod McKuen ("Two-Ten, Six Eighteen"), Pete Seeger ("Turn Turn Turn"), as well as several traditional folk numbers.

The LP isn’t produced well. In fact, I dare say there is any production whatsoever to this album. It almost sounds like the recording was made in a closet. But the sad, loner vocals, and the barely audible guitar easily makes the record memorable.

I had to find out who Dave Jackson was. But there were few clues to go on. The album appeared to be a product of the Custer County Independent School District, based out of Westcliffe. The school’s science teacher, Jerry Dolby, is listed as the school sponsor of the recording.

“I did find the 1969 yearbook for Custer County High,” Dolby said. “The picture of Dave Jackson is the same as the one for a sixth grade teacher of the same name. I can find no evidence of his being on the faculty for more than one year.”

According to Dolby, the annual also shows a “Mrs. Dave Jackson” on the faculty, who was the pep club sponsor.

“I'm confident the class sold Dave's album as a fund raiser for a class trip.”

The cover art was done by Margaret Locarnini.

“Margaret was quite an artist, she was a super talented person,” said Clara Reida, who also worked at the school, and later bought a ranch with her, to raise horses. I remember there was a big brewhaha in the area, and she had to leave her job at Custer County, to go teach in Florence. Apparently the valley was being developed and a billboard was cut down, and how it was pinned it on Margaret I don’t know. But she had to leave her job.”

Attempts to locate Dave Jackson were unsuccessful.