Doc's Music Hall

Indiana's Home of Underground Rock

By: Casi Desirea Owens


Mike Martin and Jason "Weeman" Acuna at the Rich Hardesty DVD recording.

Photo Credit: Casi Desirea Owens


Could Doc’s Music Hall in Muncie become Indiana ’s “home of underground rock”? Mike Martin , the new co-owner/manager of Doc’s Music Hall, believes it could happen.

Doc’s Music Hall has been around about 14 years. Doc John Peterson, better known just as “Doc,” bought the venue in 1992 with the purpose of making it a music community and arts center. The venue has had several names: Dead Pigeon Café, Creative Opportunity Center, Doc Holidays and a Non-for- Profit Full Circle Arts Co-Op. Martin says that Peterson always had the intent to create a music venue out of Doc’s. FMMusic, L.L.C., a multimedia production company, bought Doc’s Music Hall in May of 2006.

“FMMusic gets its name from Folly Beach , South Carolina ,” Martin said, adding that the mantra for FMMusic is “Music with a meaning, people with a purpose.” He said the name came from the South Carolina “hippie beach” known as Folly Beach and the laid-back vibe it gives. Martin hopes to capture that spirit of the beach in FMMusic and Doc’s. He added that word “folly” comes from the Bible and has several meanings, such as “to live without a purpose, to live a life free of cares,” none of which relate to what FMMusic’s mantra means. Martin says he did not realize this when he thought of the name.  

With a new mantra and management you might be wondering about the new vision of Doc’s. Martin says his overall goals are to “process good music and have national acts.” FMMusic is now housed in Doc’s Music Hall. Martin says Doc’s is the live venue of what he wants FMMusic to become. Eventually there will be an online version of the venue where people can listen to pod-casting and web-casting of the concerts every night. FMMusic provides artists with various services such as CD production, tee-shirts and stickers. It produces and distributes music and markets and promotes musicians.

Martin believes that Doc’s is a good asset to the Muncie community. He wants to grow with the Ball State technology and music departments, as well as the Muncie community in general. Martin says he has always loved Muncie and the Ball State community. He grew up about 30-minutes from Muncie in Fairmount. He wants everyone in the community and college to feel welcome at Doc’s. He added, “ Muncie has the best fellowship of musicians.”

Martin said his life’s work is to produce and make music. He has his own music groups, The Michael Martin & Friends and The Michael Martin Band. MM & Friends played 125 shows last year and the group is in constant rotation.

“Sometimes it’s just me, other times is Scott Martin on drums, Shotgun Shay on mandolin, Eric Gonzales on harmonic and Dan Seymour, a former Ball State University professor, who plays bass and mandolin,” he explained. “The band is a work in progress.” He says their sound is a “country, roots-rock, Americana ” sound. Martin’s biggest influence is Johnny Cash and he hopes to impact people the way Johnny Cash did with his music. He says two of his songs are on soundtracks. “Take Your Pills” is in a drug documentary and “Sunday Mourning Blues” is in a movie titled “Still Green.” Jagermeister sponsors the band and Doc’s. Martin says his friend Rich Hardesty hooked that up.

Martin is a true music lover and that is one reason why Peterson sold Doc’s to him and FMMusic. “Doc sold to us to because he knew we would keep it a music venue and it’s a good investment for FMMusic,” he explained.

Doc’s offers food items such as cheese fries, nachos as well as cheap, but tasty drinks. Eventually, Martin wants to redesign the interior, to have a digital recording technology put in, as well as a retail store out front and to start a magazine for FMMusic.

Martin wants to be a major asset to the Muncie community by eventually supplying “tech jobs, resources, bigger entertainment acts initially and growing nationally.”

There is a street team the meets every Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. to go over promoting shows and Martin encourages anyone who wants to help to participate. He is giving back to those who help by giving them meet-and-greet passes, backstage passes and free tickets to the shows.

Martin has passion for the business, for promoting good acts and for wanting to help the community in which he lives. Perhaps this is what Doc’s needs, what Muncie and Ball State need. Martin says music wise he is “open to anything that’s from the heart.”

When I proposed the idea of Doc’s being the next CBGB, Martin says, “Doc’s wants to be the next historical venue.”  Perhaps this is a big dream, but Martin is young and appears to be eager about helping those in the music industry, big or small, he dreams big. Martin says his ultimate goal is to “help people who are interested in music and have a passion for creating their own art for a living, to bridge the knowledge gap between art and business side of it.”


For more information on Mike and FMMUSIC visit: