Turned onto Don’s music by his friend and long time bandmate, Ace Farren Ford, Rick became a devoted fan and doggedly learned to play these intricate songs. In the band Ace & Duce he was able to incorporate versions of some Beefheart songs into the free jazz workouts that made up their repertoire.

In the late ’70s he played in a power-pop band called The Shake Shakes but quit them when he successfully auditioned as guitarist in the Magic Band on the ‘Doc At The Radar Station’ tour. John French had played guitar on that album but wasn’t interested in touring as a guitarist. For Ice Cream For Crow Rick moved to bass as Eric Drew Feldman was touring with Snakefinger and Gary Lucas took over on guitar. Rick stayed until Don finally pulled the plug on the band.

Since the Magic Band he has hitched up with Ace Farren Ford again in several bands. He worked for the excellent Poobah Record Store in Pasadena for a while but has now slipped off the radar.

There is an excellent interview with Rick on the Homepagereplica site and another on Benjamin Horrendous’ site.

Magic Band Albums

The Child Molesters

  • 1998 US 7″ (I’m the) Hillside Strangler on Ace & Duce Records. A limited edition of 100 copies repressing of first single.
  • 1989 US 7″ The Legendary Hound Dog Sessions on Sympathy For The Record Industry. A double single set reissue of second session. Tracks are “I’m So (fucked up)”, “13 is my Lucky Number”, “(I wanna see some) Wholesale Murder”, and “I’m Gonna Punch You (in the face)”.
  • 1994 US Vinyl The Legendary Brown Album on Ace & Duce/Sympathy For The Record Industry. Previously uneleased album with parody of Beatles’ ‘White Album’ cover
  • 1985 US 7″ Dairy of Madness on Ace & Duce Records. Last single recorded in 1982 before their break-up issued in limited edition of 500.
  • 1994(?) US 7″ Surfing with The Child Molesters on Ace & Duce/Sympathy For The Record Industry. Tracks are “Pray for Surf” from the ‘”Brown Album” and “Muscle Beach Party”

The Mystery Band

The musicians include Rick Snyder, Gary Riley of the Groovy Rednecks, Pierre Dupuy of Honk If Yer Horny and Ace Farren Ford (apparently a huge Beefheart fan) of Smegma, Crowbar Salvation & the Child Molesters. Rick also produced the album.

  • 1996 US 7″ Tasting the Smell of Light on Sympathy For The Record Industry 23. Includes the tracks “Chow N’ Plow” b/w “Second Time Around” on orange vinyl.
  • 1996 US CD Insert Title Here on Birdcage Records MB 11017. This CD has Beefheart influence written all over it. The spoken poem ‘Wanderlust’ in particular is in the tradition of ‘Orange Claw Hammer’ and ‘Seam Crooked Sam’ but the band manages to cover a number of different styles across the 21 tracks of the album. The CD also comes with a small sticker sheet of different titles so you can ‘insert your own title’!
  • 2000 US Vinyl Leo Gemini Capricorns & Jones Lh1 on Aim Recording Company (ARC-71011). Reissue of The Mystery Band’s debut album with a cover that is a parody of the Monkees classic ‘Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones, Lh1.’ The album contains a lyric sleeve and vintage flyer and is, apparently, a high quality pressing. Note the record number is the reverse of the ‘Insert Title Here’ CD – all the tracks on this album, apart from three, are included on the CD

  • 2000 US 7″ Rebels Without Applause on ???. Tracks are “Espionage”, “Whiskey Johnny” and “Espionage – the original soundtrack”.

Los Angeles Free Music Society

  • 1999 US CD Los Angeles Free Music Society : Blorp Esette on Transparency 0022. A four CD compilation of the much sought after LAFMS vinyl releases. Rick Snyder is involved in several tracks with Ace & Duce or as Lance Growler Richard Snyder; one song is the demo of ‘Your Fish Is My Demand’ later recorded with The Mystery Band.
    The cover, booklet and two of the CDs are illustrated with Van Vliet sketches. Release is dedicated to Don and Jan Van Vliet
    See the artwork.

Help us out

If anyone is able to complete or update any of the information above, then please do get in touch.


  1. […] George Harrison achtige “slidepartij”, zie ook podcast verhaal op VERVORMER!) en Rick Snyder als bassist (bekend van zijn werk met de legendarische Captain […]

  2. […] beautiful George Harrison like “slide part”, see also podcast story on VERVORMER!) and Rick Snyder as bass player (known for his work with the legendary Captain […]

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