Martin Turner

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Martin Turner
Birth nameMartin Robert Turner
Born (1947-10-01) 1 October 1947 (age 74)
Torquay, Devon, England
GenresRock, hard rock, progressive rock, art rock
Occupation(s)Singer–songwriter, musician
InstrumentsBass guitar, vocals
Years active1963–present
LabelsDirty Dog Discs, Mystic
Associated actsWishbone Ash
Martin Turner's Wishbone Ash

Martin Robert Turner (born 1 October 1947) is an English musician best known for his time as the bass guitarist, lead vocalist and a founding member of the rock band, Wishbone Ash.[1]


Turner was with Wishbone Ash, known for their twin lead guitars, melodic songwriting and complex instrumental style, from its inception in 1969 until 1980, during which time he was a key songwriter and creative force within the band. He played on their classic album Argus to which he also contributed vocals as well the bulk of the album's lyrics. Turner's melodic basslines, where the instrument was often used as a third lead guitar, were an important part of the Wishbone Ash sound during the 1970s.

In 1980, a decision by the rest of Wishbone Ash to introduce a frontman led to Turner parting company with Wishbone Ash. The frontman never appeared and Turner was replaced by John Wetton, who was formerly with King Crimson, Uriah Heep, Family and Roxy Music. Turner went on to a career in studio management and record production and also formed his own band The Wolfgang (also known as Bamboo and Martin Turner's Stolen Face). The Wolfgang recorded new material, although this was not released until 1996, when it appeared on Turner's solo album, Walking The Reeperbahn.

In 1987 the original quartet reformed, and Turner produced and performed on the albums Nouveau Calls, Here to Hear and Strange Affair as well as undertaking worldwide touring with the band between 1988–1991. In late 1991 Wishbone Ash decided to continue without Turner. He has, however, appeared with Wishbone Ash on several occasions since, most notably the band's 25th anniversary celebrations in 1995/96, as well as being involved in the mixing and remastering of several back catalogue, compilation and archival Wishbone Ash CD titles.

In 1996, Turner released Walking the Reeperbahn, featuring material spanning the years 1981–1996.

In 2005, he formed a new band, Martin Turner's Wishbone Ash to perform music from the definitive era of Wishbone Ash. The band's first line-up included guitarists Ray Hatfield and Keith Buck plus drummer Rob Hewins. Their current line-up now includes guitarists Misha Nikolic, Danny Willson (former member of Showaddywaddy) and drummer Tim Brown. Their debut release, entitled New Live Dates Vol.1 was released in 2006, followed by New Live Dates Vol. 2 in 2007. Both featured a guest appearance by original Wishbone Ash member Ted Turner.

Martin Turner's Wishbone Ash have since released Argus: Through The Looking Glass, a 2008 re-recording of Wishbone Ash's seminal album, and Life Begins Tour a 2CD/DVD recording of a performance at Leicester Y Theatre in March 2010.

In July 2012 Martin Turner published his autobiography No Easy Road – My Life and Times With Wishbone Ash and Beyond through his website. The book chronicles the classic Wishbone Ash years, as well as Turner's personal journey, and contained contributions from former Wishbone Ash members Ted Turner (who also wrote the foreword to the book), Laurie Wisefield and Ray Weston, as well as other key figures in the story.

Following court action pursued by Andy Powell to prevent Martin Turner using the name "Martin Turner's Wishbone Ash", in 2014 Martin Turner's touring activities were re-branded as "Martin Turner plays the music of Wishbone Ash". This was later changed to "Martin Turner Ex Wishbone Ash".

In 2015, Martin Turner produced a new album, Written In The Stars. The sound is reminiscent of the classic Wishbone Ash sound from the 1970s, and has received mostly favourable reviews. The album won the "Album of the Year 2015" award in the What's On magazine 2015 awards.


Turner was known for playing a Jetglo Rickenbacker 4001 bass guitar during Wishbone Ash's most successful spell in the 1970's. The tone obtained from his set-up was an integral part of the band's early sound. Martin now regularly performs playing a white Gibson Thunderbird bass guitar, which he bought from Peter Overend Watts of Mott the Hoople.

Solo discography[edit]

Studio albums:

  • Walking the Reeperbahn (1996)

Track Listing (all songs by Martin Turner except as shown) -

  1. Fire Sign
  2. Walking the Reeperbahn
  3. Hot Surrender
  4. My Brother
  5. Strangers (Turner/Price-Davies)
  6. Psychic Flash to Ginza
  7. You
  8. Passion
  9. Lean On Me (Bill Withers)
  10. Kelly's Away With The Fairies
  11. Where Will I Go ?
  12. The Naked Truth
  13. Heaven Is
  14. Broken Down House


Recorded live at Liscombe Park Buckinghamshire, 31 August 2012

  • Martin Turner - bass and lead vocals
  • Danny Wilson - guitars and vocals
  • Ray Hatfield - guitars and vocals
  • Dave Wagstaffe - drums


Track Listing

  1. Standing In The Rain
  2. Rest In Peace
  3. Haunting Me
  4. Lady Jay
  5. Fire Sign
  6. The Pilgrim
  7. Way Of The World
  8. No Easy Road
  9. Doctor
  10. Broken Down House
  11. Valediction
  12. The King Will Come
  13. Prelude
  14. In The Skin
  15. Why Don't We
  16. Living Proof
  17. Jailbait

Track listing Intro: The big bang (overture) The Beauty of chaos Written in the stars Lovers Vapour trail The lonely star For my lady Falling sands Pretty little girls Mystify me Interstellar rockstar The pilgrim Lady Jay Blind eye The king wiull come Warrior Throw down the sword Sometime world FUBB You see red Living proof Blowing free Doctor Jailbait


  1. ^ "Is it real or is it". Retrieved 19 August 2011.

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