In the beginning:

Martin Gordon began his career in the Seventies as bass player with the American band Sparks, who found success in the UK with hits ‘This Town Ain’t Big Enough For The Both Of Us’ and ‘Amateur Hour’ from their 1974 album ‘Kimono My House’. Following his dismissal for reading the newspaper while rehearsing, he moved swiftly on and formed Jet, described by All Music Guide as ‘the first supergroup of glam’. Jet were also described as ‘clambering aboard the glam-rock bandwagon just before the sparkly wheels fell off and deposited the occupants in the cosmic ditch’.


Jet featured Gordon, singer Andy Ellison and drummer Chris Townson from legendary proto-punks John’s Children. They released a solitary, eponymous album (working with Queen- and Foreigner-producer Roy Thomas Baker) and dissolved in a welter of ill-feeling and lack of interest. In recent years, the re-released album has established Jet as the ‘missing link between glam and punk rock’. The release of a collection of material recorded for their projected second album (‘More Light Than Shade’) was stymied by idiots.

Radio Stars

And then:

After the demise of Jet, the band reconvened as Radio Stars and achieved a modicum of success with two well-received albums (‘Songs for Swinging Lovers’ and ‘Holiday Album’). Ousted in a savage dental coup, and not forgetting our old friends ill-feeling and poor judgement, Gordon moved to Paris to work as house producer for Barclay Records. During this period, he also played bass for the Rolling Stones, recording in Paris at the time.

He returned to the UK in the early 80s and, after forming the short-lived Blue Meanies, began working as keyboard player and studio hand with such sensitive artists/blithering idiots as George Michael, Boy George, Blur, Primal Scream, Kylie Minogue, S’Express, the Tiger Lillies and many other whose names are lost in time and space.


At the beginning of the nineties, ‘world music’ beckoned – Gordon’s ensemble Mira recorded an album, created an extravagant dance theatre show, performed at the Montreux Jazz Festival and expired. He worked in Bombay with the legendary Hindi film singer Asha Bhosle, in Istanbul with epoch-defining Turkish diva Sezen Aksu and became a sought-after location recordist, working in such cosmically-well-starred locations as Bali, Egypt, the Gambia, Ghana, India, Morocco and Pakistan. Simultaneously, and also at the same time, he helped out some old acquaintances in a 20th century revisitation of John’s Children.

The Baboon in the Basement


Following his return to pop territory in 2003 with the release of his first solo CD ‘The Baboon in the Basement’, he has never looked back, although he will not say why. Gordon, oddly but presciently described in 2009 by Classic Rock magazine as being “like Brian Eno fronting 10cc at a cleverness convention”, released the sixth and final part of the Mammal Trilogy ‘Include Me Out’ in 2013. A selection of Gilbert & Sullivan faves was released in 2016. In 2017, Gordon focused unsuccessfully on Dumping the Trump and continued the theme in 2018 with the album ‘Thanks For All the Fish‘. Continuing the theme still further was ‘OMG‘ in 2020. Following Gordon’s dalliance with the Ensemble Modern in west Africa in 2019, he presented his mini-opera ‘Another Words‘ in summer 2021, with an expanded version following in 2022.

Quick reference:

31 thoughts on “Biography

  1. Hello Martin! I hope you had a wonderful Christmas! In the words of one of the Beatles, “O U T spells out”! When can the music loving public expect a new album from you dear sir? I have heard you are preparing to enter the studio as we speak! I have a semi-creative thought for your consideration. What is the one thing that could have improved the Beatles music? They needed, screamed for actually, the addition of bongos! Was it George Martin’s fault? Were they afraid of incurring the cost of a world class bongo player? Hell, they could have fired Ringo if that was the case! I understand Beethoven was considering a bongo extravaganza for his 9th symphony to replace the choral section. Damn it! It would have been a classic! Anyway, have a happy new year and don’t forget to “ring out the old, ring in the new”

    1. Hello Ponce! (You don’t mind if I call you Ponce, do you?) The last I heard was that bongos are going to be ‘in’ next year, as young people say. Well, I don’t know about that, I’m sure, but I am in something of a bongo fury myself, not to put too fine a point on it.

      I will be working off my existential angst with a bongo-only effort, you can be sure of this much. The current line-up is Rish! Bongo (bongos), Jacob Rees-Bongo (bongos), Liz Bongo (bonkers) and Bunter Bongo on lead vocals (and bongos). And me, of course.

  2. Hi Martin! Is there any chance you might record an ode to Vlad Putin? I think he could use a little positive yet humorous criticism to help improve his image.

    1. Yes, poor ol’ Vlad can hardly put a foot right these days, can he? Everybody’s banging on him, you’d think he’d done something terrible like killing someone or something. Here he is with a funny clown face, just to cheer you up: . Just remember – there are no Russians in Trussia.

  3. Hello Martin. I wanted to comment on the cover of “The Baboon In The Basement.” To my well trained eyes, the subject looks suspiciously like my daughter, Debbie, after her successful treatment for terminal acne.

  4. After due consideration and long time admiration, I have now come to the conclusion that the Radio Stars ‘Dirty Pictures’ poster is one of the greatest works of art from the 20th Century, mind you, my eyesight doesn’t appear to be as good as it once was.

  5. Hey Boss, hope you’re all good. Was listening to Jet today and it suddenly occurred to me that the Rolling Stones would certainly have been a different beast if you had joined them permanently. I know the songs are as rare as hens teeth but Jagger/Richards did collaborate so I’m sure you’d have had a go. Imagine Mick trying to get his copious lips around Whangdepootenawah? Imagine the Stones having a hit with it?? 😂. Actually how about composing a song in the style of the Stones but with some of the Gordon genius sprinkled over it?

      1. REALLY ANGRY MOST DISPLEASED. (Shirtless from Cleethorpes)

        Just looked at a video on YouTube showing ‘This town ain’t big enough’ and you and Adrian were swapped for two amateurs. Your ‘replacement’ wasn’t even playing a Rickenbacker!! Complete b*****d. I’m lobbying a select committee in parliament to get the video banned and to also get mole no. 2 some dental work done.

        Hope you’re ok ❤️

        1. But on the other hand, amateurs don’t get a very good press these days. I mean look at the UK government. If nobody had voted for them, where would they be? Nowhere, that’s where. Go amateurs!

      1. I am sorry to hear that, although I wasn’t there and it was a complete surprise to hear about your situation. In fact I am furious about your inability to get Whangdepootenawah and will be burbling on about it at great length for some considerable time at some point.

  6. Hi Martin
    As a long time Sparks fan (yeah, I know, it’s so 1970’s, but that’s where I satrted buying pop/rock music)
    I wanted to ask, are you playing bass in the video for Thank God It’s Not Christmas.
    I’m conviced it’s Ian Hampton, mainly because his bass looks like a Fender Jazz, and you usually use Rickenbacker’s, don’t you?

    1. Ah, the 70s. You are right, it’s not me but a miming Brexiteer. Rickenbackers were too good for just any old Tom, Dick or Harry, know what I mean? I’m sure the upcoming Sparks film will have much more on this topic (fnar fnar).

  7. “… sensitive artists/blithering idiots as George Michael, Boy George, Blur, Primal Scream, Kylie Minogue, S’Express, the Tiger Lillies …”

    So true, so true. I too have worked with similar big names in studios. If people only knew what some of these “artists” were/are really like.

      1. Some of the “artists” you mention may have actually been intelligent enough, or bemused, to see their “art” gaining recognition (as well as amassing shed loads of cash). Their enthusiastic fans, however, might not want to believe the truth if even if it jumped up and knocked them over.

          1. “ …. your point is rather opaque. Care to clarify?”

            Well, it’s unreal that people with no discernible talent can get a record deal (those days have gone I know) then get exposed/exploited to the extent that they believe the hype, and their own publicity. Unbelievably this dross can sell and some of these inadequates become elevated to star status.

            Conversely there are artists who have talent, skill and ability but go unrecognised.

            A music business lawyer in London once said to me: “There is no justice”, adding that he didn’t in the legal sense.

  8. Hello Mr.Martin,
    you might remember me: a Sparks fan from Italy who still thinks that the best sounding work from Sparks is Kimono My House. Perhaps because of Adrian Fisher and Martin Gordon in the line-up……. perhaps….. If you remember my name you might remember that we swapped messages long before the Daryl Easlea book because I wanted to know how the Mael bros. put together such a great line-up and in a few months they completely detroyed it.
    I would like to ask you another question so, if you feel like writing back to me, please do it. I’ll wait for your e-mail. All the best from

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