THE MAGIC BAND Back To The Front (2003)

Back To The Front (2003)
Incredible 2003 Rehearsal Tapes

A reunion of Captain Beefheart’s Magic Band, even though this particular version of the band never actually existed. Back To The Front features fantastic, raw recordings of the 2003 group’s rehearsals for a festival performance, instigated by long time fan and Simpsons creator, Matt Groening. Beefheart fanatics will surely cherish this set, and not just because the material is all prime Vliet. This 21st century Magic Band is brash and aggressive, just like the 20th century version. Drummer John French handles the vocals and his success comes in not mimicking the good Captain, but in filling the monstrous sonic void left by the Captain’s vocal absence – which the music’s mojo has always relied on. These tapes are better than a live show (because they sound great), and better than a studio album (because they sound so live). Listen for yourself below. This 2003 Magic Band includes; Drumbo (John French), Rockette Morton (Mark Boston), Mantis (Gary Lucas) & Feelers Reebo (Denny Walley). For Magic fanatics, Lucas is left channel, Walley is right. Amazon.

My Human Gets Me Blues (3:12)
Click Clack (4:04)
Abba Zaba
I’m Gonna Booglarize You Baby
Sun Zoom Spark
Alice In Blunderland
Steal Softly Thru Snow
Dropout Boogie
Moonlight On Vermont
On Tomorrow
The Floppy Boot Stomp
Hair Pie
Nowadays A Woman’s Gotta Hit A Man
When It Blows Its Stacks
I Wanna Find A Woman That’ll Hold My Big Toe Till I Have To Go/Sure ‘Nuff Yes I Do



  • boboquisp
    February 1, 2009 - 18:15 | Permalink

    Thanks for the Magic Band & Mallard stuff. As always, you give us the good stuff! bbq

  • gkapageridis
    February 3, 2009 - 19:52 | Permalink

    They are special don't you have any doubt about it. They truly learned his master's art through the years by his side and they show it in this special meeting. Try it this is great. And even though i have this one this is another one chance to say A BIG THANK YOU VERY MUCH to this special blog. All the best.

  • illlich
    March 16, 2009 - 13:49 | Permalink

    Man, this is great. The fact that "this particular version of the Magic band never actually existed" is moot– who else are you going to find that can do these songs justice? In fact, the mix-n-match approach to the various Magic Bands presents a perfect distillation of them all. Drumbo's singing is spot-on, and the song selection is excellent (some of my favorites here: "Floppy Boot Stomp" is an underrated classic.)

  • Capt. Willard
    November 13, 2009 - 15:54 | Permalink

    Search HERE

  • October 5, 2011 - 09:18 | Permalink

    This is great stuff. The vocals floor me with their authenticity.

  • Peppingfton
    October 5, 2011 - 22:38 | Permalink

    Awesome post!!!

  • Anonymous
    October 7, 2011 - 08:37 | Permalink

    I gave it a good listen and was struck by how much fun these guys are having. One reason for this is the Captain isn’t there. They have evoked him without having to deal with his difficult personality. A couple of the vocals remind me of Zappa. This seems natural. If they were living, and this was a reunion, we’d want Frank to drop by.

  • Duke!
    April 22, 2012 - 16:44 | Permalink

    Thank you! Can’t get enough of the Beefheart sound..

  • Mongo
    July 26, 2013 - 20:23 | Permalink

    Thanks Willard

  • jewellworks
    March 24, 2014 - 20:17 | Permalink

    this has been on my Amazon Wish List for a LONG time. thanx!

  • Supersonic75
    August 30, 2015 - 10:44 | Permalink

    Totally unfamiliar with this; sounds great. I’m in the midst of slogging through John French’s Beefheart book (in small doses; it’s fun but all over the place). But I’d much rather just listen! Thanks, Willard…….

  • Leave a Reply