Gary's Festive (and Fruitful) SummerThe summer of 2002 was particularly fruitful for Mr. Lucas, getting his music out live before thousands of folks around the world. Beginning with a Knitting Factory show that was taped for the BET networks's "Live at the Knitting Factory", featuring guest vocalist Elli Medeiros who came all the way from Paris with her new beau, the legendary film director Brian De Palma, plus the Austrian chanteuse Gisburg, featured on Gary's accalimed Chinese pop album "The Edge of Heaven". They were joined by his regular Gods and Monsters crew of Jonathan Kane and Ernie Brooks, here joined by trombone prodigy Joey Hendel and alto sax monster Jason Candler. Gary then was off for a week of performances in Krakow Poland, one of the world's most elegant cities and one of Gary's favorite places to play, at the famed Jewish Culture Festival. After several appearances playing his original music with the Golem film and favorable writeups in several national Polish newspapers (including the famed intellectual newspaper Gazetta Vybroska) and late night jams with klezmer stars David Krakauer, Sophie Solomon, Paul Brody, Frank London, Matt Dariau and Michael Alpert, Gary took to the mainstage solo on the last night before 20,000 revelers in the Old Jewish Quarter of Kazimierz to deliver an incendiary acoustic set, including his new anthem "Jedwabne", dedicated to the Jewish victims of the massacre in Jedwabne in July 1941 (victims including all his European relatives on his mother's side)—and then joined all the musicians for a frenzied midnight klezmer jam televised all over Poland on the national tv, which literally had the crowd dancing wildly in the streets.
Then it was off to Quebec almost immediately where Gary was the artist-in-residence at the Quebec City Summer Festival, where he played in a series of concerts over the week in collaboration with the pipa virtuoso/vocalist Min Xiao-Fen, DJ Spooky, the French band Tanger (Gary produced their last album for French Mercury/Universal), his own boys Gods and Monsters, and with the Golem film. Highlights included Gary and Min receiving a standing ovation from the 600 folks outdoor in d'Youville Square for their afternoon concert of Chinese pop from the 30's, Gods and Monsters tearing it up at the Periscope venue, and DJ Spooky and Gary going off in a wild psychedelic improv rave on the last night to an overflow crowd. It was a thrilling week for Gary with much media and one on one exposure in one of the loveliest cities in the world...special thanks to Jean Beauchesne for making the dream real.
Home again but not for long as Gary headed out to the beautiful Berkshires in earlly August to play the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (Mass MOCA) to a capacity crowd with his live scores for 3 famous surrealist silent classics: Fernand Leger's "Ballet Mecanique", Rene Clair's "Entr'acte", and Ladislaw Starowicz's "The Cameraman's Revenge". He opened and closed the program with a min-solo concert of new pieces and old to the delight of the overflow crowd of 600 or so eager spectators, and broke his own record for post-gig CD sales afterwards in the museum foyer, where he met many old friends from his last appearance there 2 years ago with The Golem.
Then it was off to Europe once again, where Gary performed with his new 7-piece Captain Beefheart project band Fast 'n Bulbous to 5000 cheering fans at the Saalfelden Jazz Festival in the gorgeous Austrian Alps. Fast 'n Bulbous proved to be one of the absolute highlights of the festival which also boqasted luminaries such as John Scofield and Sussan Deyheim. and Gary received much media attention there for his crack, cracked band of madmen co-led by Phillip Johnston.
Next to London where Gary performed a solo acoustic set at the Kashmir Klub, scene of his last BBC appearance on Charlie Gillett's anniversary show. Before a packed, sweaty and adoring throng Gary played his heart out, and was later joined by amazing young vocalists Siobahn and Martin Grech, who did wonderful versions of 3 of his songs co-written with Jeff Buckley, Martin Grech particularly bringing the house down with an impassioned version of "Grace".
Gary flew to Atlanta on Labor Day weekend to play at Dragon Con, the largest American science fiction convention. Before a crowd of 4 thousand crazies decked out in Star Wars regalia and other costumes Gary delivered a definitve Golthen em show in the main auditorium, and a space guitar fantasia played to slides of devastating science fiction art the following day. He also reacquainted himself with ace Zappa slide guitarist Denny Walley, also a fellow Beefheart alumnus, now living in Atlanta with his lovely wife Janet. The program book for the Dragon Con Convention featured Gary's original short story "Me and the Golem" in the front of the program (to be published in Ed Kramer's upcoming anthology of Jewsih-themed science fiction, "Kaballah: The Wisdom of Solomon")—plus several photos of Gary playing his score in front of the projected Golem image on the movie screen. Gary was also interviewed and featuredin a long article that ran that week in Atlanta's weekly arts paper Creative Loafing under the headline "Guitars Gods and Monsters."
Gary came back to NYC long enough to catch his breath and deliver a concert on Sept. 6th at the Knitting Factory of music from his socre for the upcoming tv documentary "Lalee's Kin", which will premiere on HBO on Wednesday Sept. 18th at 7:30pm. In attendance were co-directors Susan Froemke and Debora Dickson, Maysles production chief Xan Parker, and Gary's pal and fan Bishop Paul Moore, former Episcopal bishop at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in NYC, where Gary filmed some of the sequences for his video for "Vampire Circus".
Next up for Gary—a solo acoustic tour of Holland, midwest dates for Fast 'n Bulbous, and a solo acoustic tour of Ireland in early October—check the calendar for dates and venue info.