The Magic Band – Peel Sessions, July 2004

Besides being an avid collector of Frank Zappa and Mothers of Invention bootlegs and field recordings – as well as a collector of Captain Beefheart‘s various and sundry recordings (and a collector of all the related recordings of the various alumni who, at times, played in both groups) – I’m also an avid collector of live radio broadcasts. I’ve always found something intrinsically interesting about an artist’s and group’s live radio performances (as though they put on that little extra show for the benefit of the radio listener).

Take the late John Peel‘s presentation of the reformed Magic Band in session at the BBC on July 7th, 2004, for instance. While apparently dismissing them as nothing more than a tribute act, at first, Peel quickly changed his tune after hearing them and invited them to perform a session at Maida Vale Studios in London, UK. While the physically ailing Don Van Vliet is not present, his spirit definitely infects the studio, and the music itself. In addition, one receives insider information about the creation of certain songs not found any where else:

Diddy Wah Diddy

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Abba Zabba

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My Human Gets Me The Blues

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Electricity

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The Floppy Boot Stomp

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Mirror Man

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Big Eyed Beans From Venus

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For a complete download of The Magic Band – Peel Sessions, July 2004 performance, click here (note: megaupload)

The band consisted of John French (Drumbo) on vocals and drums, Gary Lucas and Denny Walley on guitar and Mark Boston (Rockette Morton) on bass. and Robert Williams on drums. At the start of their only European tour, Williams left and was replaced by Michael Traylor. The band released two albums, Back To The Front and 21st Century Mirror Men before ceasing their activities in 2006.

6 Responses to “The Magic Band – Peel Sessions, July 2004”

  1. mtiberio says:

    As far as wrinkle rockers go, better than The Who during the Superbowl halftime.

  2. urbangraffito says:

    A quote from mtiberio:

    As far as wrinkle rockers go, better than The Who during the Superbowl halftime.

    I think The Magic Band proves here that age has nothing to do with ability – especially when you compare their BBC performance with The Who’s Superbowl Medley of Hits. I was a big fan of The Who and Pete Townshend back in the day, mtiberio, and that halftime performance – if one can even call it that – was pretty hard to take.

  3. exile says:

    This is fantastic, of course, and not wishing to seem churlish (I am very grateful for it), but is there a version without the squashed dynamics and clipping that begin about 1/3 through the 2nd track and continue to the end? Does anyone here have access to the BBC master tape?

  4. urbangraffito says:

    A quote from exile:

    This is fantastic, of course, and not wishing to seem churlish (I am very grateful for it), but is there a version without the squashed dynamics and clipping that begin about 1/3 through the 2nd track and continue to the end? Does anyone here have access to the BBC master tape?

    I’m always on the lookout for better quality versions of many of the Radio broadcasts I’ve collected. They are difficult to come by since the masters usually languish forgotten in the bowels of radio stations, or are on vinyl acetates (at least many of the older shows are I have discovered) which were sent from station to station. Given this was a John Peel Session, I figure the master for it is either still with the BBC, or the heirs of the Peel estate. Hey, there’s still money to be made from them masters methinks. At best, we can hope for a excellent quality 1st or 2nd generation recording.

  5. Graham says:

    Hey folks, head back over to Zappateers.com and I will torrent my recording from the radio. It’s a good recording, there may be better out there but at least I recorded it straight to wav so there has been no compression ever put onto it.

  6. urbangraffito says:

    A quote from Graham:

    Hey folks, head back over to Zappateers.com and I will torrent my recording from the radio. It’s a good recording, there may be better out there but at least I recorded it straight to wav so there has been no compression ever put onto it.

    Excellent, Graham!

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