Gary Lucas

From being a Beefheart fan Gary became Don’s manager along with his then wife, Ling. He occasionally performed on stage during the 1980/81 tours – reciting a poem (usually “One Man Sentence”, sometimes “Untitled”) or performing the solo guitar piece “Flavor Bud Living”. For the album “Ice Cream For Crow” he took up lead full-time alongside Moris Tepper while Rick Snyder moved to bass.

Since the end of the Magic Band he has been very prolific in his own right, solo and within a band, releasing almost an album a year since 1991. His virtuoso solo live shows are awesome in the sounds he extracts from his guitar.

For more in depth information about his career see Gary’s website.

Below is a list of the recordings featuring his playing. Apart from these Gary has other songwriting credits with folks like Fred Schneider (B-52’s), Sissel, and most recently Warren Haynes (Gov’t. Mule, Allman Brothers); also numerous tv and film composing credits.

Magic Band Albums


  • 1991 US CD Skeleton At The Feast on Enemy Records EMY 126-2
  • 1997 US CD Evangeline on Paradigm Records PME 0012-2
  • 1998 US CD Busy Being Born on Tzadik Records TZ7121
  • 1998 US CD @Paradiso on Oxygen Music Works OMWCD11
  • 2000 US CD Street of Lost Brothers on Tzadik Records TZ745
  • 2001 US CD The Edge of Heaven on Indigo Records
  • 2003 US CD Operators Are Standing By: Essential Gary Lucas 1988-1996 on Knitting Factory Records KFW316-2

The Magic Band Reunion

Fast ‘n’ Bulbous: The Captain Beefheart Project

A seven piece tribute band put together in 2001. Led by alto sax player, arranger and conductor Phillip Johnston.

  • 2004 US CD Pork Chop Blue Around the Rind on Cuneiform Recordss

The Du-Tels

A venture with ex-Holy Modal Rounder and Fugs member Peter Stampfel billed as ‘psychedelic folk’.

  • 2001 US CD No Knowledge of Music Required on Shimmy Disc SHM-5103

Gods & Monsters

It’s diffcult to decide where Gary Lucas ends and Gods & Monsters begins because the first two of the albums below are credited to Gary Lucas but are apparently Gods & Monsters releases. The Gods & Monsters concept of playing ‘psychedelic art rock’ has been going since 1989 revolving around Lucas with many musicians passing through the band, including, of course, Jeff Buckley.

  • 1992 US CD Gods & Monsters on Enemy Records EMY 133-2
  • 1994 US CD Bad Boys Of The Arctic on Enemy Records EMY 146-2
  • 2000 US CD Level the Playing Field – Early HurlyBurly 1988-1994 on Last Call Records is a collection of early band tracks with Gods and Monsters. Includes the original guitar instrumentals that would become the Jeff Buckley songs “Grace” (titled here as “Rise Up To Be”) and “Mojo Pin” (titled “And You Will”)

The Killer Shrews

Gary Lucas joined forces with Jon Langford (from legendary band The Mekons and short-term member of Gods & Monsters) and Tony Maimone (from Pere Ubu) for a one-off album.

Langford also had a band called The Three Johns that recorded a version of “Moonlight on Vermont”.

  • 1993 US CD The Killer Shrews on Enemy Records EMY 141-2

Peter Gordon

Gary plays National Steel Guitar on these releases by an artist I know nothing about.

However, I’m pleased to say Todd Jenkins (Contributor to Down Beat/All About Jazz) sent me this potted introduction to Peter Gordon:-

Peter Laurence Gordon is an avant-garde/experimental saxophonist, keyboardist and composer who has worked with Laurie Anderson, David Van Tieghem, Mark Isham, the Dead Milkmen, and even the Canadian Brass. He wrote and performed the incidental music for “Joe vs. the Volcano” and has done several other cinematic and theatrical projects. His concept-group, the Love of Life Orchestra, has varied in size from a trio to a big band. The other performers on “Innocent” include (in various combinations) Van Tieghem, Anderson, “Blue Gene” Tyranny, Tony Levin and Lenny Pickett. Lucas plays only on the track “The Day the Devil Comes to Getcha” and co-produced it as well.

  • 1986 US vinyl Innocent on CBS 42098
  • 1986 US 12″ The Day The Devil Comes To Getcha on CBS FM MAS 2306


  • 2004 Holland CD Jozef Van Wissem : The Universe of Absence on BV Haast Records. A second guitar and lute collaboration described as a “trance- inducing web of dark beauty”.
  • 2003 Holland CD Jozef Van Wissem : Diplopia on BV Haast Records. Van Wissem’s original medieval style lute pieces are accompanied by Gary’s 1927 National Steel Duolian slide playing, live and in the studio.
  • 2002 US CD Songs To No One 1991-1992 on Evolver Entertainment/Knitting Factory Records. Gary with Jeff Buckley developing the songs that would later appear on Jeff’s “Grace” album plus other sketches, demos and live stuff.
  • 2000 US CD Improve The Shining Hour. Rare Lumiere 1980-2000 on Knitting Factory Records KFW-265. This is a collection of tracks Lucas has recorded over a 20 year period with a number of different artists including Nick Cave, Mary Margaret O’Hara, DJ Spooky as well as some fellow called Captain Beefheart. Also includes a hitherto unreleased Beefheart instrumental piece “Oat Hate”.
  • 2000 US CD issued with book Cucamonga (Émigré Books 2000) A collection of photographs of the High Desert area associated with Beefheart. There is a short CD with one track by Lucas called “Hurly Burly Comin Down”. There are also single track contributions from Bill Harkleroad and John French plus a recording of the ambience around the Woodland Hills Trout Mask house.
  • 1999 US CD Klezmer Festival 1998-Live At Knitting Factory on Knitting Factory Records. One track from Gary on this celebration of Jewish music
  • 1998 US CD Francis Dunnery : Let’s Go Do What Happens on Faust Razor & Tie 82834 Gary plays guitar on one track with the ex-It Bites frontman.
  • 1996 US CD Urfaust: The Ghosts of Prague on Faust Records FRO62331 Gary co-wrote several songs as well as playing guitar on this collaboration with Czech band, Urfaust.
  • 1995 US CD Joan Osborne: Relish on Polygram Records 526 699-2 plays guitar on (and co-wrote) “Spider Web” and also arranged and played slide guitar on her cover of Sonny Boy Williamson’s “Help Me”.
  • 1994 US CD Jeff Buckley: Grace on Sony/Columbia. Gary co-wrote the title track and “Mojo Pin” as well as playing guitar on both. Jeff had been part of the Gods & Monsters band for a while.
  • 1988 US CD Various Artists: Live At Knitting Factory 2.

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