Mi-Sex bassist, songwriter and occasional manager Don Martin passed away yesterday (August 10) aged 66 after a long battle with prostate cancer. The band confirmed the news in a post to social media this morning (August 11).
Keyboardist Murray Burns wrote a tribute to Martin, describing him as “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,” Burns said.
“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.”
Read the full statement below.
This morning at 3:30 I lost one of the most important, most influential and, most of all, one of the dearest friends in…
Martin was first diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2010, partly prompting him to reform Mi-Sex in 2011 for the first time in over 25 years.
In January of this year, Martin put on a living wake at his clifftop property on the NSW-Queensland border where he performed his final show. Burns, and other past and present members of Mi-Sex attended alongside Martin’s wife Adele, and his granddaughter Tahya.
Martin began his musical career in New Zealand prog-rock outfits Father Time and Freeway in the mid-1970s. In 1977, he met the metal-interested Steve Gilpin, and formed the band Fragments of Time with Kevin Stanton and Father Time members Alan Moon and Phil Smart.
Moon and Smart were replaced by Richard Hodgkinson and Burns, when the band turned to a New Wave-inspired sound. In 1987, they renamed themselves Mi-Sex, after the UltraVox song ‘My Sex’.
Mi-Sex relocated to Sydney when they signed to CBS in 1979, where they released their first two albums ‘Graffiti Crimes’ and ‘Space Race’. They performed well, but little eclipsed the runaway success of their single ‘Computer Games’, hitting #1 in Australia and charting as high as #51 in the US.
Mi-Sex went on hiatus in 1985, after lagging record sales. In 1992, Gilpin died after spending months in a coma from a car accident on the Gold Coast. In 2017, Stanton passed away after a long battle with illness.