Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Coming in from the Cold

drawing by Henry Meyer; Gary and recording engineer Bernard Amaudruz (photos hosted by flickr)

first known photo of Gary with guitar, age 10 (hosted by flickr)

Gary in his parents' backyard, Syracuse NY 1974, note snazzy custom-made Beefheart button (hosted by flickr)

Click on a photo to enlarge

Laid up at home for a couple days now with a spectacular head cold, my second this season...home is okay by me as the streets of the West Village where I live are a sodden miasma of 30 mph winds and chilly driving rains. The sky is crying, Elmore James sang, and in truth the floodgates seem to have opened up in tandem with the sad news of my friend Kevin Coyne's passing. And yet another death just reported to me, that of a fellow Syracusan, Joe Behnke, who did construction jobs in and around my building, killed in Iraq...it truly feels like the universe of absence this week...but perserverance in the face of tragedy, I am more determined than ever to rage against the dying of the light (Lucas derives from Lux, the Latin word for light; and in truth, I have always felt I was on a musical quest to throw light into dark corners). Improve the shining hour...

And indeed we were throwing off much light and heat at the Knitting Factory last Friday night--my longtime band Gods and Monsters celebrating 15 years in action all present and accounted for with the added firepower of our brilliant spiky jazzy horn section (Jason Candler on alto sax and Joe Hendel on trombone), and guest vocalists Ellis Hooks, Amica, and China Satomi augmenting the rhythmic fury of Billy Ficca and Ernie Brooks. We just cut a track with Ellis in the studio singing a new version of "Grace", the song I co-wrote with former Gods and Monster Jeff Buckley (the original version has become an anthem, particularly in France, where they play it every day on the national radio)--and Ellis was in rare form live at the Knit, and gave a spectacular stomping performance. He is truly a modern soul man. We encored with Muddy's Mannish Boy, and rocked the house down...

Much live activity happening soon, getting ready to play a solo performance at a tribute to John Lennon gig at the Bowery Poetry Club this Saturday night, a benefit for New Yorker's Against Handguns...and then Fast 'n Bulbous celebrate the release of our new Cuneiform CD "Pork Chop Blue Around the Rind" next Friday night Dec. 17th there, with special guest Denny Walley sitting in. The new CD is out Jan. 20th, but my co-leader/arranger Phillip Johnston and I thought we'd ring out a little Beefheartian cheer now in order to ring in the New Year properly in NYC...

Meanwhile enjoy the photos herein (webmistress Tanya has promised to size and post them at the top of this blog soon, in exchange for a little Stoli--chocolate just won't do anymore!): the exuberant colorful drawing is by the visionary Swiss artist Henry Meyer who was inspired to create it spontaneously at my recent session in Lausanne with Gerald Zbinden at Artefax studio, Henry sat quietly in a corner and sketched and painted while we we threw thunderbolts ...there's also a shot of sweet and patient studio whiz Bernard Amaudruz.

I hope the other two photos, retrieved by my sister Bonnie recently from the Lucas ancestral manse, and cataloguing various stages of my "fine fine superfine career" (pace Frank Zappa) make you smile as much as they do me.

Stay stay stay warm...



Blogger Professor Batty said...

I spotted your name on the updated blog list, I thought it might be you...and so it is. A while back I had the chance to catch your Beefheart tribute at the Walker Art Center, I brought my 20 year-old son along. Thanks for giving us a chance to hear the Captain's music played live again, we both really appreciated it. I thought I may never get another chance to hear that stuff played live, you (and the band) did a great job, I also enjoyed your comments and Don's poetry. When Don and the Magic Band played across the lobby (The Guthrie Theatre) thirty-some years ago, my life was changed forever. I never took my epiphany as far as you did, but I am most pleased that you are keeping his fire burning. That music is still ahead of its time (maybe only 20 years now?) Thanks again.

12/07/2004 9:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mannish Boy was HOT!! As was the rest of the show, it was a great set. Feel better! --Tanya

12/07/2004 9:35 PM  
Anonymous Fiezta said...

Without any doubts Mannish Boy was HOT!! =)))

5/11/2005 6:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


10/14/2005 8:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


10/14/2005 8:14 PM  

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