The Magic Band have launched two Indiegogo campaigns!
The first is for ‘Magnetic Draw,’ a 2DVD set. Recorded in 2014 at The Engine Shed in Lincoln, UK, the first DVD features the band’s concert performance. The second DVD contains interviews with all of the band members. To learn more, watch previews and pledge, CLICK HERE.
The second campaign will fund ‘Singing Through You,’ a live concert DVD recorded at Chelsea Under The Bridge in 2013. In addition to the concert, the DVD also features footage from John French’s book signing and Q&A at Rough Trade in London, taken while he was promoting his book, ‘Beefheart: Through The Eyes Of Magic.’ To learn more, watch previews and pledge, CLICK HERE.
Hi everyone! We’re excited to announce a bunch of new UK tour dates in November and some exciting news from the band.
Here’s a note from John “Drumbo” French:
November tour Lineup
It has been an unusual year to say the least. Starting with last August, 13 months ago, when Denny Walley quit the band. I know he has wanted to focus on his own music, and also cover Frank Zappa music, which has a much wider appeal and presents more opportunities for Denny. So, I understand that aspect of his departure and wish him well.
Max Kutner – probably best-known as The Grandmothers guitarist, expressed an interest in replacing Denny, and so became the “other” guitarist for The Magic Band. Max is a great showman, an extraordinary guitarist, and all-around nice guy. I got acquainted with him a bit in Australia, when we toured together, and then again in Germany, July 2014, at Zappanale.
I had already discovered that no one in the UK wanted to book The Magic Band until the Fall of 2015. There’s actually this sort of “unknown rule” that no band should be hired more than once every two years.
Since Max hadn’t yet started working on MB material, and wouldn’t be available to do so until May, I really thought hard about whether or not to continue. At the same time, I tried living a somewhat “normal” life. I took evenings off, and worked during the day on my house, which still needs a lot of TLC.
Then, in April, Mark “Rockette Morton” Boston called me with the serious news that he needed coronary bypass surgery. The doctors stressed that it was imperative that he not wait, as it was quite serious. Fortunately, due to the Doctor catching this in time, he had no damage to his heart and is recuperating quite well, but it became “iffy” about him being able to tour this Fall, and at a point in time a few weeks back, we decided that he should not tour this November, as it was up in the air whether or not he would be properly-recovered and able to handle touring.
In lieu of this, I had two choices: Cancel the tour – throwing all the work done so far down the drain — or finding someone else and moving ahead. A little scary, as I have no idea how people will react, but didn’t want to throw all the planning out the window. I decided on the latter and was able to persuade Brian Havey, a highly-recommended keyboardist, to take on the role, mostly of covering bass, which he shares with Eric, who, by now you should know is an excellent bassist. I’ve met Brian and worked with him on material and I am sure that he will fill Mark’s shoes quite well, musically speaking.
I’ve been working since April on a Magic Band book of transcriptions of Beefheart material. As a project just to give Max charts, and then later Brian. When I founded The Magic Band back in 2001, no one actually read music, but now everyone reads, so it made sense to go back to the original recordings and get everything notated as accurately as possible. Through the years, I’ve heard certain mistakes – albeit minor – so, it made more sense to me to notate everything as accurately as possible rather than sending out separated tracks that were slightly-inaccurate here and there. It was quite time-consuming, but I think the finished result will be worth it.