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Gods and Monsters Hits Hard in Europe/Gary Joins Forces with Tanger Live in Paris/Lucas and Co. Rip it Up at NYC Jazzfest with David Johansen

Gary Lucas' Gods and Monsters recently returned from their first trans-European tour in many years, which proved a resounding success (see rave review from the Dutch national newspaper De Volkskrant of their Paradiso gig!). Gary, Ernie Brooks and Jonathan Kane unleashed their power pyrotechnics in Norway, Denmark, Germany, Holland, the Czech Republic, Austria and Switzerland with particularly outstanding shows in Berlin, Amsterdam, Dortmund, Prague—and wound up their 3 week jaunt hitting hard in one of their favorite East German haunts, the university town of Jena. All in all the tour was a great proving ground for the band's mettle live, forging a tight group sound that had been developing in the winter months as the boys worked on tracks for their forthcoming Gods and Monsters band album, due out on Knitting Factory Records in October.

Fan response was overwhelmingly positive as the guys made many new friends as well as reacquainting themselves with their longtime supporters, and Gary particularly made the most of the publicity generated by his new "Improve the Shining Hour" release, conducting long interviews with German Rolling Stone magazine, Holland's new CD-rom only music magazine "Spinning Circle", and Prague's Rock and Pop. Happily the tour coincided with excellent reviews for his new album, including 5 stars in Germany's Jazzthetik to go along with his 5 star review in America's Tower Pulse magazine, and a rave in the UK's influential The Wire, which also sported a full page shot of Gary in his Uncle Sam mode (recently copped by Kid Rock on the cover of the current American Rolling Stone). Special thanks should go out to hardworking gal driver Tina Mahtoh who schlepped her van all the way from Lljubljana Slovenia to meet the boys in Denmark, sheparding them around the beautiful European countryside in unseasonably warm weather in fine style indeed.

Then it was Gary's turn to head to Paris solo to join forces with French avantrockers Tanger, whose album Le Detroit which Gary produced last fall for Mercury Records has been all the rage in France, with massive press coverage and beaucoup critical kudos (including a 6 page spread in influential French music mag Rock and Folk, with a photo of Gary included). This classic French band fronted by singer/shaman/poet Phillipe Pigeard and augmented with Gary's guitar firepower made a sensational 3 night stand at underground scene/theater Lavoir Moderne Parisien, with Gary opening their set with a solo electronic fantasia that segued into the opening salvo title tune of the new Tanger CD. He later was given a solo spot in the show where he did his solo exravaganza "Rise Up to Be", which elicited cheers from the sophisticated French audiences who instantly identified it as the musical progenitor of Gary and Jeff Buckley's classic composition "Grace". He accompanied the band on electric and acoustic for the entire set and particularly savored their rendition of "A Toi La Seule" which he cowrote with Phillipe for the new album, as well as "Oui Peut Etre", which is in line to be the group's next single to be released in August. Gary was delighted with the warmth and intense reception both he and the band received and pronounced these shows as some of the most unforgettable nights of his career.He returns to do another evening with Tanger in Paris'`Cafe de la Danse on July 5th.

Returning stateside at last after 5 weeks on the road, Gary rejoined with Jonathan and Ernie for a brilliant afternoon live in Battery Park at the Knitting Factory sponsored Bell Atlantic JazzFest on a bill with Bob Weir's Ratdog. Highlights of their set included guest appearances by Richard Barone, newcomer female vocalist Wiley, and in a showstoppng moment, former New York Doll/Buster Poindexter himself, David Johansen, who performed an intense new Lucas/Johansen song "One Man's Meat" for the ultimate number of the set to a screaming crowd galvanized by his surprise appearance.