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Gary Gets a Buzz From The Boss as Gods and Monsters Rocks Light of Day Charity Concert / The Magic Band Gets "Back To The Front" at All Tomorrow's Parties LA

Gary and his longtime band Gods and Monsters (Jonathan Kane and Ernie Brooks) rocked Asbury Park's legendary Stone Pony club on Saturday Nov. 1st in honor of Bruce Springsteen's favorite charities, the Parkinson's Disease Foundation and Muscular Dystophy Association.

After schmoozing with the New Jersey rock elite next door to the club at Jimi's, Gary and his boys made their way into the Stone Pony. The packed club was treated to a stellar variety of guests many of whom had contributed to the new double CD album of Boss cover versions entitled "Light of Day", including Garland Jeffreys, Mike Rimbaud, and Joe Grushecky and the House Rockers. Gary's band did a ripping slide guitar dominated version of the Bo Diddley meets The Yardbirds groove of "Ain't Got You", the lead off track from Springsteen's "Tunnel of Love" album, plus a new psychedelic original instrumental entitled "One Man's Meat" before a very vocal and appreciative crowd. Afterwards, Gary met and shook hands with the Boss, who told him he thought both Gary's guitar playing and the Gods and Monsters version of "Ain't Got You" was "phenomenal". Gary is still over the moon about this compliment coming from one of rock's greatest, and one of his longtime heroes.

The next day Gary was off to Los Angeles with the reformed Magic Band for their US debut at the All Tomorrow's Parties Festival, curated by Matt Groening—creator of The Simpsons, all around good guy, and champion of outsider music. It was held right next to the dry docked Queen Mary in Long Beach California. Gary "Mantis" Lucas, John "Drumbo" French, Denny "Feelers Rebo" Walley and Mark "Rockette Morton" Boston, along with new auxilliary drummer Michael Traylor tore the roof off the sucker on Saturday Nov. 8th with an incendiary hour-long set illuminated on the outdoor mainstage by a partial lunar eclipse.

It was a Magic hour indeed, kicked off by a speech to the crowd by Matt Groening in which he pronounced the Magic Band his "favorite band"—and the word among the many thousands of ATP festival goers there to see performances by headliners Sonic Youth, Iggy Pop, and others, was that the Magic Band set was indeed "the set to beat". Many critics there agreed, including writers from Billboard, Variety, and the LA Times, and you can read the LA Times rave review by clicking here (795k JPEG image, will open in a new window).

Backstage visitors congratulating Gary and the guys included former Magic Band bassist Richard Snyder, the lovely Fireparty correspondent of Angel LaCanfora, Gary's sister and brother-in-law, husband and wife journalists Laurie and Ezra Greenhouse, and two of Gary's old Yale cohorts, the actor Bill Moseley (currently on view in HBO's "Carnivale") and film producer Sarah Pillsbury. Observing the concert from out in the parking area due to a slipup at the door was former Magic Band drummer and soundtrack composer Cliff Martinez—who cell phoned-in his enthusiastic approval of the set, even from that vantage point.

And a splendid time was had by all! Thanks to Barry Hogan of ATP and soundwhiz Bob Weston for the good festival vibes.