Loretta Martin


What can you say about Loretta Martin that hasn’t already been said?  She was one of a kind.  The brash singer from Port Aransas, Texas took the Bay Area scene by storm when she joined Acme Consolidated Inc. in 1967, leading to a still-talked-about performance at the Monterrey Jack Cheese Festival.  She subsequently recorded and toured under her own name, with various backing musicians--ultimately settling on a sound that was decades ahead of its time.  (It was a then-strange combination of what would later be called riot grrrl, with a healthy dose of grunge and speed metal.)  Her sassy persona and aggressive manner (not to mention her strangely masculine voice, which created some confusion) were off-putting to some people, but most who experienced her live performances never forgot them.  Even if they tried.

A woman of voracious appetites, Martin unfortunately overdosed in the summer of 1971 (after accepting a challenge and consuming a 32-ounce ribeye and four baked potatoes at a steakhouse in Amarillo).  She is still missed.