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Gary Enjoys Busiest and Best Year Ever—'The Edge of Heaven' Picked as One of The Best Albums of 2001

The year 2001 ended with quite an uptick for Gary as his album of mid-century Chinese Pop "The Edge of Heaven" (Indigo/Label Bleu) was cited as one of the Best Albums of 2001 in influential French newspaper Liberation and also in Jazz Magazine (France). This coincided with the conclusion of the Du-Tels (Gary and Peter Stampfel) first ever European tour, which took them to tremendously well-received shows throughout Ireland, Scotland, England, and Holland and live appearances on the national Dutch VPRO radio, the BBC's "Mixing It" show live from the Ocean Club in London, and Charlie Gillet's famed BBC radio show "A World of Music" where they engaged in a bout of Radio Ping Pong with the knowledgeable host, swapping rare records from their collection in a bout of guest DJ'ing (Gary brought along Bob Dylan and the Band's classic Basement Tapes out-take "Banks of the Royal Canal" among other gems). Standout Du-Tels gigs was a rowdy show at Whelan's in Dublin (this was Gary's first ever appearance in Ireland, and Peter Stampfel's first ever appearance in Europe) and the Cockpit Theatre in London, where the crowd was heavily salted with rock writers from around the globe eager to catch this show by the legendary duo (including former Rolling Stone editor and writer Ed Ward, now an ex-pat freelance journalist in Berlin for The Wall Street Journal and No Depression Magazine, where he's working on a Du-Tels feature story... and the legendary Pete Frame, the venerable Rock Family Tree creator/designer and editor of the famous British 60's music fanzine Zig-Zag—the prototype for Mojo Magazine—in whose cottage in Aylesbury Gary stayed for a few days on his very first trip to the UK in '73, fresh from his appearance in Vienna playing lead guitar in Leonard Bernstein's 'Mass'). The Du-Tels were rewarded with a laudatory writeup in the British daily paper The Guardian (see raves and reviews section) by John Aizlewood, who gave Gary's solo appearance at London's The Borderline a 4 star review in The Guardian last January.

This tour was but one highlight of a fall season chockablock with highpoints for Gary. Since the end of August, Gary has flown back and forth to Europe 5 separate times to take his music to the people...other standout events included Gary's double- billed solo appearance with the German band Faust in front of a huge cheering crowd at London's Royal Festival Hall on October 12th as part of RFH's ongoing psychedelic music festival Mind Your Head; the European debut of his Captain Beefheart 7-piece horn-driven tribute band Fast 'n Bulbous with extremely well- received October dates in Italy, Belgium, and Germany (including a smoking live set broadcast on Radio Bremen—thanks Arne!); a month of solo dates in Holland, Belgium, and Germany in September, including a live collaboration with Gary's old friend Kevin Coyne at an outdoor Captain Beefheart Festival in Holland; and the definite highlight of them all—an amazing 2 hour Sunday night solo concert in Paris in early November that drew hundreds of fans who lined up in the street outside Le Reservoir to get into Gary's highly touted concert (with must-see picks and previews in Le Monde, Liberation, Le Parisien et al.), a concert billed to promote his new Label Bleu album "The Edge of Heaven". With a house packed with new devotees and old French fans, some of whom had actually seen Gary play in his Paris debut in 1980 at L'Elysee Montmartre with Captain Beefheart and had followed his career ever since, the audience sat spellbound while Mr. Lucas unleashed the full effect of his acoustic and electric playing, dipping heavily into the new Chinese album for the first half of the concert, and then ranging far and wide into his limitless solo repertoire, with special guest appearances from the cream of the French pop and alternative music scenes, including Tanger (the French band Gary produced and collaborated with last year for Universal/Mercury ) vocalist Philippe Pigeard, plus his old friend Elli Medeiros, the legendary French/Uruguayan vocalist and astonishing beauty whose career in France has spanned singing with the original French punk rock band The Stinky Toys to solo hits in her own right.

The live performance year ended with Gary bringing it all back home to NYC with a tumultuous Dec. 20th Gods and Monsters show at his homebase The Knitting Factory in downtown Manhattan, where Gary, Jonathan Kane and Ernie Brooks ripped through their G&M bandbook with incendiary versions of old favorites like "King Strong" (where they were joined by young rising sax star Jason Candler on alto) and new crowd pleasers like "One Man's Meat". And the Du-Tels recorded a rousing new song, "We're Still Here", for inclusion on a Village Voice compilation album to be released in March to benefit the families of the firemen killed on Sept. 11th—other artists on the sampler include Moby, The Mekons, and more music luminaries.

All in all, a stellar finish to Gary's busiest and most successful year in music to date!

And 2002 promises to be even busier and better, with plenty of live appearances just round the corner—including a rare solo acoustic set at the Knit on January 19th; a Beefheart Night at the Knitting Factory NYC Feb. 9th as part of the Knitting Factory's 15th Anniversary celebrations, where Gary will unleash for the first time in America his Fast 'n Bulbous band (plus rare Beefheart videos and a live appearance by UK Beefheart biographer Mike Barnes, who will read selections from his newly-published -in -America Van Vliet Biography "Captain Beefheart" (Cooper Square Press); plus a show by Gods and Monsters later that month as part of the KF anniversary celebrations. In mid-March, Gary returns to Europe for more solo dates (many gigs are in the process of being confirmed, check the calendar section periodically for updates, right now there are shows being planned in Marseille, Paris, Amiens, Fribourg, Modane, Arras, Bordeaux, and Toulouse, for starters). The tour will also coincide with new recording dates in Amiens for his followup album for Label Bleu (Gary is one of only 3 American artists signed to this prestigious French world music/jazz label, which boasts a rostor of many choice African, Middle Eastern, and European artists—the other American Label Bleu artists being klezmer clarinet star David Krakauer and jazz saxophonist and M-Base founder Steve Coleman).

In conclusion—Gary would like to sincerely thank his fans round the world for their continued support for his work.

Message from Mr. Lucas: "In these perilous times especially, you guys just have no idea of just how AMAZINGLY important you are to me...

It's your loyalty, appreciation, and love that has really sustained me and given me the strength to continue to make music for you for over twenty one years now...I truly am blessed to have you in my corner.

God Bless You...and may 2002 bring you all better days ahead".