Mi-Sex bassist Don Martin has passed away, age 66.
In a statement from bandmate Murray Burns and former band manager Bob Yates today, it has been shared that Martin passed away yesterday morning following a battle with prostate cancer.
"With profound sadness we announce that our friend and bandmate Don Martin, bass player for chart-topping band Mi-Sex, passed away peacefully at his home in Northern New South Wales as a result of prostate cancer at 3.30am on 10 August 2020," read the statement.
"His life partner Adele, son Damian and daughter Nadia were at his side. He was 66 years old."
Burns has also paid tribute to Martin in a statement to the group's Facebook page, saying "I lost one of the most important, most influential and, most of all, one of the dearest friends in my life".
“Don Martin has bravely fought cancer for several years now. During these years, since we began our journey making music, we have had some of the most exciting and fun-filled moments as members of Mi-Sex...”
"Those who have been fortunate to have met Don Martin, or been a part of his amazing life, know just what a special man he was," continued the statement.
"Don was a strong man, yet a caring and angelic soul, who always invited a warm embrace. From the moment that I met Don, in Wellington in 1977, and was invited to join the Mi-Sex adventure, I felt secure with him; no matter what was going to happen to us on our amazing journey.
"Just three days ago, before he left, we laughed, reminisced, and simply enjoyed each other in solitude. Don was present until the very end, looking out from his beautiful home, at total peace in leaving this world.
"I’m blessed to have had you in my life Don, and I love you always…"
Mi-Sex formed in New Zealand in 1977 - with Martin, Burns, drummer Richard Hodgkinson, guitarist Kevin Stanton and frontman Steve Gilpin - and moved to Sydney the following year. They found chart success with their albums Graffiti Crimes and Space Race in the late-'70s and early '80s, and are best known for their track Computer Games.
The group remained active until 1984 and reformed in 2010, with Noiseworks' Steve Balbi stepping in as vocalist following Gilpin's death in 1992. Stanton passed away in 2017 at the age of 61.
See the full statements from Mi-Sex below.
Statement from Murray Burns & Bob Yates
With profound sadness we announce that our friend and bandmate Don Martin, bass player for chart-topping band Mi-Sex, passed away peacefully at his home in Northern New South Wales as a result of prostate cancer at 3.30am on 10 August 2020. His life partner Adele, son Damian and daughter Nadia were at his side. He was 66 years old.
In mid ’78 Don arrived in Sydney with Mi-sex band members from New Zealand. Within a year their debut album had gone platinum and their blockbuster song Computer Games had rocketed to #1 nationally (#2 in New Zealand) and was charting in countries around the world. Massive selling albums and more high-charting songs followed, putting Mi-Sex amongst the top grossing bands in Australia and New Zealand during the late seventies/early eighties.
A tour of USA and Canada followed in 1980, headlining shows and opening for Iggy Pop and The Ramones. In July ’80 there was an all-conquering tour of New Zealand. Prime Minister ‘Piggy’ Muldoon was invited to attend a concert after making front page news stating that Mi-Sex had ‘as much culture as a wrestling match!’ He accepted the invite, enjoyed the show and went backstage to congratulate the lads afterwards. (photo attached).
Away from the Mi-Sex rockstar lifestyle, Don was a vegan, teetotalling family man, dedicated to partner Adele who he’d eloped with when they were teenagers.
When Mi-Sex finally called it a day in ’84, Don got a job as production accountant with a film and documentary company. From there he was head-hunted to be General Manager of fledgling pastry manufacturing/distribution business ‘Bob & Pete’s 100% Yum.’ Over the following 25 years Don’s organizational genius helped take the company to being the biggest privately owned bakery/distribution concern in NSW, with over 300 staff and a 1000 retail customers.
After Don was diagnosed with Cancer in 2010 and he retired from Bob & Pete’s, a decision was made to reform Mi-Sex to play at the staff’s farewell party. Former singer Steve Gilpin had died from a car accident 15 years before so Steve Balbi was recruited to be frontman for the gig. The band went over a storm, and so Mi-Sex marque 2 was born. From then to the present, Mi-Sex have once again stormed across the stages of Australasia, gathering new fans and reigniting passions in old ones. It was a dream come true for
Don, once again prowling the stage playing bass guitar in his unique and flamboyant style. However, in October last year the dreaded cancer bogeyman caught up with him and, no longer able to travel and perform at peak energy, he reluctantly retired from the band.
In February 2020, Don and his family put on a ‘living wake’ at their beautiful rainforest lair on the Queensland border. On that night, Steve Balbi, Travis New, James Van Cooper, Jordan McDonald, Tahya, (Don’s granddaughter), and Murray Burns brought their old bassist onto the makeshift verandah stage. As the drummer yelled “One two three four” the band launched into their first song, transforming Don into the dynamite bassist of his heyday years, as if performing to a packed-out venue once more.
Signed: Murray Burns, Mi-Sex keyboards, and Bob Yates, former band manager.