Magic Band

Peel with the Magic Band in 2004

The Magic Band are a reformed version of Captain Beefheart's backing band. The Magic Band reformed in 2003 with John French on drums, lead vocals and harmonica, Gary Lucas and Denny Walley on guitars, Rockette Morton on bass, and Robert Williams on drums for the vocal numbers. The initial impetus came from Matt Groening who wanted them to play at the All Tomorrows Parties festival he was curating. For their subsequent European tour, Williams left and was replaced by Michael Traylor. They toured the UK in 2005, playing a selection of small venues. They played over 30 shows throughout Europe, and one in the United States. The group disbanded in 2006 but reformed in 2008. The Magic Band still continues to tour to this day, although with line-up changes.

Links To Peel

John Peel was initially skeptical about the re-formed Magic Band. He played a live recording of the band recorded at the 2003 All Tomorrow's Parties festival on his radio show; afterwards he couldn't speak and had to put on another record to regain his composure. Later the band did a live session for him.

When the band disbanded for two years in 2006, John French issued a public statement on which, among other things, thanked Peel for his support and payed hommage to him.[1]

"July 2004 was the John Peel show and it was such a happy reunion for me as I had not seen him since 1968. The following October, he died of a heart attack, which I can truly say crushed my spirit for a few days. We sent out a song to him in 2005 on each night – Electricity – which had been performed on his original show back in 1968 and was again performed in 2004. He told me it brought tears to his eyes. His death brought tears to mine"

Festive Fifty Entries


The Magic Band - Electricity (Peel Session)

The Magic Band - Electricity (Peel Session)

One session. No known commercial release.

1. Live from Maida Vale: 2004-07-07. First broadcast 07 July 2004. Repeated: None

  • Diddy Wah Diddy / Circumstances / Nowadays A Woman's Gotta Hit A Man / Hair Pie: Bake III / Gone Bops Over Mount Kilimanjaro / On Tomorrow / Steal Softly Thru Snow / Abba Zaba / My Human Gets Me Blues / Alice In Blunderland / Hair Pie: Bake II / Evening Bell / Electricity / The Floppy Boot Stomp / Mirror Man/You're Gonna Need Somebody on Your Bond / Moonlight On Vermont / Big Eyed Beans From Venus


Live from the All Tomorrow's Parties Festival. Recorded: 2003-04-06. Broadcast: 29 April 2003

  1. My Human Gets Me Blues
  2. Abba Zaba
  3. Hair Pie: Bake II
  4. Gone Bops Over Mount Kilimanjaro
  5. On Tomorrow
  6. Alice In Blunderland
  7. I Wanna Find Me A Woman That'll Hold My Big Toe Till I Have to Go 
  8. Floppy Boot Stomp 
  9. China Pig 
  10. Nowadays A Woman's Gotta Hit A Man 
  11. When It Blows Its Stacks 
  12. Circumstances 
  13. Click Clack
  14. Sun Zoom Spark
  15. Dropout Boogie 
  16. Sure 'nuff 'n Yes, I Do 
  17. Big Eyed Beans From Venus 

Other Shows Played

  • 12 June 2003: 'Click Clack (LP- The Magic Band)' (ATP Recordings)
  • 18 June 2003: 'Abba Zaba (LP- Back To The Front)' (ATP Recordings)
  • July 2003 (FSK): Sun Zoom Spark (CD - Back To The Front) ATP
  • 03 July 2003: 'Sun Zoom Spark (LP- Back to the Front)' (Touch )

See Also

External Links

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