A new Magic Band website announces a new Magic Band tour. The new site provides us with a suitably Magic web presence; my favourite bit being the archive of press reviews of many of the reunion shows. It’s a pleasing reminder that the reunion has been consistently booglarising us for over 10 years now, and the tone of the reviews is as equally thrilled and disbelieving in 2013 as it was in 2003. John French, Mark Boston and Denny Walley, along with their bandmates over the last decade, have achieved something truly remarkable. So get yourself out there if you can, witness an unforgettable show, revelRead More →

Gary Lucas and Nona Hendryx

The World of Captain Beefheart is a special concert featuring Gary Lucas with the 60 piece Metropole Orchestra performing symphonic Beefheart. Date: Sunday 17th February 2013 Venue: the main hall of Amsterdam’s Paradiso Special guest vocalist for the night is legendary Nona Hendryx (pictured below with Gary), who is also a big Beefheart fan. This event has been put together by Co de Kloet (the Dutch radio presenter who did the last lengthy interview with Don on the phone in the early 90’s). It will be broadcast live on Co’s radio show on national Dutch radio, NTR. It is also being filmed for possible broadcast. ViewRead More →

Updated: 26 Jan 2013 Woo hoo! Yes, prepare to be booglarized again … the guys are back in the UK for another tour. So far the following dates have been set up: March 2013 1 – Concorde 2, Brighton 2 – Arts Centre, Colchester 4 – The Fleece, Bristol 5 – Robin 2, Bilston, Wolverhampton 6 – The Continental, Preston 7 – Band On The Wall, Manchester 9 – Arches, Glasgow 10 – HMV Picture House, Edinburgh 11 – The Cluny, Newcastle upon Tyne 13 – Erics, Liverpool 14 – The Duchess, York 15 – Sub89, Reading 16 – Under The Bridge, Fulham, London ForRead More →

John French, Magic Band Reunion

We’ve had an email from Magic Band guitarist Eric Klerks with details about up-coming live dates, mostly Europe but also one at ATP New York. September: 23- ATP Festival ‘I’ll Be Your Mirror’, Pier 36, NYC 28- Button Factory, Dublin, Ireland 29- Club Zanzibar, Liverpool, UK 30- Picturedrome, Holmfirth, UK October: 3- Kesselhaus, Berlin, Germany 4- Amager Bio, Copenhagen, Denmark 6- Parkteatret, Oslo, Norway 7- Blues Garage, Hannover, Germany 10- Theaterhaus, Stuttgart, Germany 11- Exil, Zurich, Switzerland 13- 4AD, Diksmuide, Belgium If you attend, please send us your reports, photos, videos and anecdotes.Read More →

The Magic Band will be back in the UK in March (for a mini tour), in Japan in April and New Jersey in September, playing at an ATP event in each of the three countries. So far the following venues have been confirmed: 7 March 2012 – Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth 9 March 2012 – The Phoenix, Exeter 11 March 2012 – ATP Festival, Minehead 12 March 2012 – The Robin, Bilston, Wolverhampton 13 March 2012 – The Continental, Preston 14 March 2012 – The Duchess, York 14 April 2012 – ATP Festival, Tokyo POSTPONED – hoping to reschedule later in 2012 21-23 September – ATPRead More →

John French has kindly sent along his account of the Magic Band’s recent UK tour. 
The Magic Band’s “mini-tour” went well. We stayed in Basingstoke, England at a friend’s house to rehearse.   It worked out perfectly for us, as we were able to rehearse in the living room for three days.  I had gone over a day earlier (November 24th) and sorted out the backline with Malcolm Mills, the owner of Proper Music, who put out my last CD and published my book.  Malcolm let me stay at his beautiful home with him, his wife Miriam, and sister-in-law Hillary. Upon arrival, I realized IRead More →

The Magic Band played at The Scala in London on Wednesday night and blew its stacks, as has come to be the norm at their amazing reunion shows. A couple of videos are available on YouTube (thanks to Ben for pointing these out): Electricity Big Eyed Beans From Venus Ian Archer sent along a scan of the set list which he managed to get John Drumbo French to sign: Ian comments: [wp_quote]What a joyous occasion – great to see the guys looking so well and sounding as good as ever. The band seemed pleased to see us as well. The Floppy Boot stomped down and thatRead More →

In addition to the Beefheart Symposia scheduled in Sweden and Copenhagen later this month, Gary Lucas brings his celebration of all things Beefheart to Liverpool, UK for two nights early next year at the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall: Friday 20 January 2012 Saturday 21 January 2012 Read more about the symposia at Gary’s website. More details when we have them.Gary has also sent a link to a great article on researching the connection between Don Van Vliet and British rebel artist Wyndham Lewis by David Stoker, published in the journal of the Wyndham Lewis Society.Plus he also sent this link to some rare footage of WyndhamRead More →

The Radar Station is sad to hear of the passing of Gary Jaye in Roxboro, North Carolina. Our thoughts are with his family and friends Gary was the drummer with the Magic Band during 1976 and 1977. In his book John French recalls seeing Gary play at the Troubadour in 1976: [wp_quote]I was really impressed with [his] mastery of the beats and thought he was a great player.[/wp_quote]Read More →

Gary Lucas brings his celebration of Don’s life to Montreal, Canada as part of the Pop Montreal International Music Festival. It starts at midnight on 24 September at the unlikely venue of the Cinema L’Amour. Guests include Mary Margaret O’Hara , Dan Levitin, Chloe Lum, Jonathan Cummins plus others.Read More →

Some great news just in from Sundazed Records (thanks to Andy Bean for passing it on): *LIVE RECORDING OF THE LEGENDARY AND INNOVATIVE MAGIC BAND’S 2005 REUNION! Famously forged in a cauldron of intense artistic pressure, the Magic Band emerged as a group unlike any other in popular music. Under the tenacious tutelage of Don Van Vliet, better known as Captain Beefheart, this strikingly innovative unit took their music to unexplored places, creating a musical language all their own. Throughout the band’s chaotic history with Beefheart, drummer John “Drumbo” French served as the chief translator, deciphering the Captain’s often cryptic instructions into a discernable directionRead More →

John French, Magic Band Reunion

John French has just confirmed these dates for a Magic Band tour at the end of the year: Wednesday 30 November – The Scala, London Friday 2 December – Button Factory, Dublin Saturday 3 December – The Kazimier, Liverpool Sunday 4 December – All Tomorrows Parties, Minehead Monday 5 December – The Pavilion, Falmouth Wednesday 7 December – The Rescue Rooms, Nottingham Thursday 8 December – The Irish Centre, LeedsRead More →

Victor Hayden artwork

If you don’t get the chance to visit the exhibition – INK – of Victor Hayden (aka The Mascara Snake) artworks at the East Austin Art Gallery in Texas then you can get a look at some of them which are currently being sold on ebay by the gallery. Here’s the series of recent ink drawings being sold at a reasonable price and here’s some older more elaborate stuff for those with deeper pockets I blogged about this rare exhibition of Victor’s work last month.Read More →

Don Van Vliet and Gary Lucas

Friday 8 April at the Knitting Factory Brooklyn. Featuring Gary Lucas “Ice Cream for Crow” video clip producer (and uncredited director) Ken Schreiber UK journalist Vivien Goldman CultureCatch.com’s Dusty Wright Fireparty’s own Brainpang avant-punk icon Genesis Breyer P-Orridge Film Society of Lincoln Center director Richard Pena Ramones/Iggy Pop manager Danny Fields vocalist Felice Rosser journalist Billy Altman pundit Byron Coley music and film critic Glenn Kenny poet Bob Holman and more Full info, tickets, etc at The Knit.  Hurry!  It’s tonight!Read More →

Electronic Church Muzik

Ant-Bee, aka Billy James, has a new cd out. It’s called Electronic Church Muzik on Barking Moondog Records and includes guest appearances from many notable musicians. Former Magic Band members Bill Harkleroad (Zoot Horn Rollo), Mark Boston (Rockette Morton) and Jimmy Carl Black (Indian Ink) all make an appearance. Other well-known names include Jan Akkerman (Focus), Peter Banks (Yes/Flash), Daevid Allen and Gilli Smyth (Gong), Michael Bruce (Alice Cooper), Napoleon Murphy Brock (Zappa), Don Preston, Bunk Gardner, Buzz Gardner, Motorhead (Mothers of Invention), Moogy Klingman (Todd Rundgren’s Utopia). Check out these videos: ‘Child of the Moon’ by Ant-Bee (1997) ‘The Girl With The Stars InRead More →

Victor Hayden artwork

Here’s a rare event … Victor Hayden, aka The Mascara Snake, has an exhibition celebrating his work from the past 30 years. There is also an opportunity for the first time to buy one of the 150 drawings he has decided to let go for $150. Venue: East Austin Art Gallery 2235 East 6th Street Unit 105 Austin, TX 78702 Date: 16 March through April 2011 The opening night event, which Victor will be attending, is on 16 March and starts at 7pm (until 12am). Beer and wine will be served. A documentary is currently being filmed about Victor at the same time. In theRead More →