MALLARD Mallard (1975) & In A Different Climate (1977)

Mallard & In A Different Climate (1975/1977)
A Thankless Captain Beefheart Called Them “A Bunch Of Quacks”

RE-UPPED The only two releases from Mallard, a revamped version of The Magic Band, without the services of vocalist/leader Captain Beefheart. Features Mark Boston (Rockette Morton), Art Tripp (Ed Marimba) & Bill Harkleroad (Zoot Horn Rollo) – Mallard’s core trio – along with John French (Drumbo), John Thomas, Sam Galpin, John Bundrick and a few others. The band line-up changed, not just from LP-to-LP, but sometimes track-to-track, as French left halfway through Mallard and Tripp was replaced before In A Different Climate. What you’ll hear are echoes of what made The Magic Band great; aggressive rhythms, halting time shifts, the patented guitar/marimba interplay… plus, some not-so-convincing stabs at crossover appeal. Vocalist Galpin, however, is a poor substitute for the good Captain – a role John French would inherit (and nail) in future Magic Bands. Includes a re-working of “Peon,” from Captain Beefheart’s still out of print, Lick My Decals Off, Baby. The debut was reportedly financed by Jethro Tull’s Ian Anderson. This is the 1995 reissue containing both releases. Amazon.

Back on the Pavement
She’s Long and She’s Lean
Road to Morrocco
One Day Once
Desperados Waiting for a Train
A Piece of Me
Reign of Pain
South of the Valley
Winged Tuskadero

Green Coyote
Your Face on Someone Else
Mama Squeeze
Old Man Grey
Texas Weather
Big Foot


  • 1
    January 31, 2009 - 15:15 | Permalink

    Never heard of the band though I've been a Beefheart fan since I was 15.
    Much much better than Safe as Milk

  • 2
    roy rocket
    February 1, 2009 - 17:37 | Permalink

    Known as the 'Tragic Band' at the time; wasn't this the band responsible for those dodgy commercial hit seeking albums Beefheart made in the mid 70s? 'Bluejeans & Moonbeams' was particularly dire if I remember rightly.
    Drumbo (john French) was always an interesting character, though.
    I just love the way he turned up on 'Doc at the Radar Staion' as a guitarist! Magic!

  • 3
    Capt. Willard
    February 1, 2009 - 19:08 | Permalink

    No… this isn't the so called Tragic Band (you can find them on my Captain Beefheart – London '74 post). In fact, THESE original Magic Band members left the good Captain over disagreements in direction, just prior to Beefheart's commercial period (Unconditionally Guaranteed & Bluejeans & Moonbeams), making it necessary for Beef to hire all new guys… the Tragic Band you mentioned. Fans should also check out the John French solo album. Links are on the right. Thanks for commenting.

  • 4
    February 1, 2009 - 19:56 | Permalink

    That 2nd LP used to turn up in cutout bins and thrift stores all the time (I found one recently mixed in with a pile of old-school hip hop and Miami Bass: the one odd-man-out), but although I had a tape of the first LP for years I'd never come across one, not even mixed in with Beefheart LPs at the record shops that had a seperate Vliet bin. Odd. Might just be dumb luck.

    For shame to confuse this with the "tragic band"– just one listen should convince you otherwise.

  • 5
    February 2, 2009 - 15:04 | Permalink

    thanks for that
    my old lp is too cracked to be listened to anymore
    desperados waiting for a train is a GREAT song

  • 6
    February 3, 2009 - 19:54 | Permalink

    I was looking for them and what can someone say? Nothing else but a million thank you once more.

  • 7
    February 7, 2009 - 14:19 | Permalink

    That first Mallard album is brilliant, the second one is merely very good. It's too bad they didn't go on with John French (Drumbo) in charge. The recent reunion proves he's a capable frontman.

  • 8
    Roger Camden
    February 11, 2009 - 18:31 | Permalink

    Didn't know this existed.


  • 9
    October 16, 2009 - 22:39 | Permalink

    Thanks for this-nice to replace the crappy tapes I've virtually worn out over many years.

  • 10
    November 20, 2009 - 20:13 | Permalink

    I listened to both albums 30 years ago in a little town in Bavaria, Germany- they had 10 fans- all my friends.
    Anyone who does know what the musicians are doing now/since then?
    Esp. the singer?

  • 11
    November 20, 2009 - 18:32 | Permalink

    I very excited to hear about this band though being a husge fan of the things they did with Don.

  • 12
    Capt. Willard
    November 20, 2009 - 18:58 | Permalink

    Search HERE

  • 13
    January 10, 2012 - 16:02 | Permalink

    Thanx, been meaning to get around to Mallard for months [er, a year or more, as all i had saved was the old MU link], and appreciate you keeping an active source for them.

    • 14
      January 10, 2012 - 17:52 | Permalink

      Thanks for hitting the archives.

  • 15
    April 22, 2012 - 16:47 | Permalink

    I’ve just fallen into heaven. Thanks!

  • 16
    May 1, 2012 - 18:30 | Permalink

    I regularly circle back for a listen to Mallard. Bought the first one as in import when it came out. As much as I like all the Captain’s music (barring the Tragic Band), “Spotlight Kid” and especially “Clear Spot” are my favorites, so I was pretty psyched when Mallard originally came out. And, it still sounds pretty fine to me today. Obviously they lost focus on the 2nd one, but Green Coyote and Ol Man Gray are up to the quality of the 1st one.

    Here’s a bit of super-geeky trivia: George Dragotta, drummer on “In a Different Climate”, is G. Whiz, drummer for the super-obscure Christopher Milk, who made one album in ’71, “Some People Will Drink Anything”. John Mendelsohn, better known as a rock n roll critic, was the singer/keyboardist. Apparently Mendelsohn was involved with an early incarnation of Halfnelson/Sparks, and the smart-ass, sarcastic pop of Christopher Milk shares a bit with early Sparks. However, there’s one tune on that CM album worth hearing: In Search of R. Crumb. That one’s a keeper.

  • 17
    Huib Jans
    October 5, 2013 - 15:45 | Permalink

    Bought both albums back then, although the captain was absent they still have a special place in my collection. This really is a magic band!

  • 18
    August 31, 2014 - 10:57 | Permalink

    I can’t thank you enough for these albums… I have been looking for them for years!!

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