DEMO TAPE ( Fall of 1974 )

song list ( as written by John "DRUMBO" French )

1. A Piece of Me -- (we changed it from Deja Vu) Harkleroad music / French Lyrics.
2. Let That Child Live -- Music and Lyrics French
3. Reign of Pain -- Dan Moore -- Lyrics / French, Harkleroad -- Music
4. One Day Once -- Harkleroad, Music / French, Lyrics
5. Hot Ice ( Instrumental) Harkleroad
6. Hot Ice (Vocal) Harkleroad, Music / French, Lyrics.

band members
Bill Harkleroad...Guitar
Alex Snouffer.....Guitar
Mark Boston.......Bass
John Thomas.......Keys
John French.......Drums & Vocals

total time approx . . 22:33

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transfer by mcchocchoc

Wow. This one is really special. . . . .

Digging through the Archives here I found this tape, which I had totally forgotten about. It was labeled " Mallard Demo ". I was soon to find out that it was not actually a Mallard
demo, but instead THE MAGIC BAND Demo ( ! ! ) . . . recorded shortly after the guys all left CAPTAIN BEEFHEART & THE MAGIC BAND in 1974. The music here is really great and I am thinking that it will be "new" to many folks. Enjoy !


The following notes about this tape were written by John French. August/September 2010.

**( This first paragraph was written after I sent an email to John asking about this tape.
I also asked about the riffs I heard on this demo that I knew were used on Captain Beefheart's " You Know You're A Man " ). . . .

That demo was recorded in two places. The instrumentals were recorded in Bill's "shed" house in Arcata. He had a loft bed, and the drums were underneath. That was the "drum booth." The vocals were added in Malibu at the beach house of some famous DJ ( can't recall which one, but it could have been Casey Kasem). Ted Alvy, as I recall, did the technical stuff using the DJ's tape decks. I think the shower was my vocal booth!
The personnel was Bill Harkleroad, Alex Snouffer, Mark Boston, John Thomas ( keys) and myself. We were planning on getting a drummer and I would just sing, but it never happened. BTW -- we were never called Mallard then. That was a name they chose after re-forming without me. We were "The Magic Band."
I noticed that "Hot Ice" riffs were later used on "You Know You're a Man." Probably, Don just used a riff of Bill's and claimed it as his own. I know Bill would never do that.
It must have been the Fall of 1974. We rapped it a couple of months later. I came back to Lancaster from Northern California on November 21. I was 26.

**( The following two paragraphs were written in two different messages after I sent John a copy of this tape ). . . .

I've never been much on lyrics and would have much rather played instrumental music, but I think that the music ( mostly Bill's) really was the shining moment in that music. I had been in theater for three years when they called me to play and so had to start over with the singing. I can't remember much about this, but will give a listen on my iPod while working and see what comes back.

We recorded this music in Bill's shed -- where he was living with his girlfriend at the time. We borrowed a Teac 3340 -four-track tape recorder and begged a bunch of mics and a mixer off some friends. Bill was the main impetus of the group when I showed up. The first thing I heard was "One Day Once" and I went outside and wrote lyrics in about 10 minutes. Art Tripp was still playing drums at that point but he left shortly after -- burned out from the music business. Most of the stuff was in the wrong key for me. All the stuff that says "Harkleroad, Music" was written before I arrived with the exception of "Reign Of Pain" which was a song I did with another band . Bill added the middle section.
Hot Ice may have been a collaboration on the lyrics.
That's about all I know. Just don't call it a "Mallard Demo." It was The Magic Band then. Mallard was something they came up with after I left.

*End of John's notes.


There is also a short paragraph about this tape on page 602 in John's recent book
" Beefheart : Through The Eyes Of Magic ". Copies of this amazing book can be purchased
directly from John. Find him on myspace.

Much thanks to John for taking the time to write some notes and provide the proper
track listing. I can not express how much I appreciate that. Much love and respect to
Mr. John " Drumbo " French.

. . . also thanks to "blackpage" for his ears & eyes.

upped at dimeadozen on September 04, 2010.