Biography All Music Guide
All Music Guide:
The Magic Band was the backing group for the legendary Captain Beefheart over the course of his recording career. Of course, the personnel changed over time, so the name simply referred to whomever was backing the Captain at the time. Until 2003, that is. Matt Groening was appointed curator of the All Tomorrow's Parties festival for 2003. As a major Beefheart fan, Groening proposed convening a new version of the Magic Band comprised of Beefheart veterans for the performances. And so, a version of the Magic Band that never actually backed Captain Beefheart was born: John French (Drumbo) on drums and vocals, Mark Boston (Rockette Morton) on bass, and Gary Lucas and Denny Walley on guitars. (Robert Williams manned the drum chair when Drumbo was singing). They not only played the festival, but also recorded one of the rehearsals for the shows that was released as Back to the Front in 2003. In 2011, Sundazed released Oxford, UK-June 6, a live date originally recorded in 2005, that featured the much same lineup as on Back to the Front.