fast 'n bulbous, the captain beefheart project

In 2001, the following message appeared on Philip Johnston's website: "Upcoming: in the spring of 2001, a new band will debut: Fast 'n Bulbous: the Captain Beefheart Project featuring Gary Lucas, arranged and conducted by Phillip Johnston.

The original line-up:

The promo sheet looked like this.

Pictures taken from the Fast'n Bulbous website: Gary Lucas and Phillip Johnston.

The band recorded a four song demo in 2001.

In 2004, the band's line-up had changed to

Their first album, "Pork Chop Blue Around The Rind" got released on Cuneiform in 2005.

August 3, 2012, Fast'n Bulbous performed at the Zappanale festival in Bad Doberan, Germany.


  fast 'n bulbous, the captain beefheart project: 4 song demo
    (2001, cdr, usa, demo) - all compositions by don van vliet
fbdemo01.jpg (15162 bytes)
1 fast 'n bulbous: pork chop blue around the rind
    (2005, cd, usa, cuneiform) - all compositions by don van vliet

2 fast 'n bulbous: waxed oop
    (2009, cd, usa, cuneiform)
- all compositions by don van vliet

fnb_waxed.jpg (27456 bytes)

  various artists: wayside sampler 6
    (2009, cd, usa, wayside music) - incl. ed palermo big band: 'echidna's arf (of you)' (frank zappa), fast 'n' bulbous: 'smithsonian institute blues' (don van vliet)



Gary Lucas - guitar
Jesse Krakow - bass
Richard Dworkin - drums
Rob Henke - trumpet
Phillip Johnston - alto sax
Joe Fiedler - trombone
Dave Sewelson - baritone sax


Gary Lucas-guitar
Phillip Johnston-altsax 
Dave Sewelson-baritonesax
Rob Henke-trumpet
Joe Fiedler-trombone
Jesse Krakow-bass
Richard Dworkin-drums

spring 2009



random notes

2008 04
"Beefheart Night", April 9 at the KNITTING FACTORY in NYC

from the on-line newyorker dot com

Goings On About Town
Night Life

74 Leonard St., between Broadway and Church St. (212-219-3132)

April 9: “Beefheart Night” features, among other attractions, a somewhat rare appearance by Fast ’n Bulbous, the Beefheart band led by the former Don Van Vliet cohort, Gary Lucas, on guitar, and the Microscopic Septet’s Phillip Johnston. A number of downtown luminaries, including Lee Ranaldo, Alan Vega, Roswell Rudd, Kurt Loder, Danny Fields, and Hal Willner, will be on hand to read Van Vliet’s poems and to reminisce about him.

About Fast `N` Bulbous:

Captain Beefheart's music is the quintessential 'outsider art music' of the second half of the 20th century. Despite the fact that he retired from music over 25 years ago, his music resonates more strongly than ever as an influenceon contemporary music. Fast 'n' Bulbous offer a unique slant on the songbook of one of contemporary music's most idiosyncratic musical figures. The band features seven great, well-regarded musicians drawn from the rock and the jazz worlds: co-leaders guitarist Gary Lucas (who was in the final incarnation of

Beefheart's Magic Band) and saxophonist/arranger Phillip Johnston (of the Microscopic Septet) as well as drummer Richard Dworkin, and baritone saxophonist Dave Sewelson (both also of the Micros), trombonist Joe Fieldler (Ed Palermo Big Band and Satoko Fujii's big band), bassist Jesse Krakow (of Time of Orchids and Doctor Nerve) and trumpeter Rob Heinke (also of Doctor Nerve). With a strong, creative line-up like this, you know that you will be getting something more than just a 'cover band' and you indeed are. Heartfelt, exciting and it both rocks and swings!



2009 03 09

a note from phillip johnston, co-leader of F 'n' B

Gary will not be appearing. Unfortunately he will have to lay off playing for a while. But he will make a full recovery. It's not yet clear how long he'll be out of action, but he can't make the tour. He's very bummed about it!

We are still planning to do the tour, with Pat Irwin on guitar. We are still waiting to hear resolution of all the gigs, as some promoters want to cancel the gigs if Gary is not able to play. However, Gary has urged us to do the tour, and we are working very hard to get Pat in shape. I think he's going to do great.

So, as far as I know, it is still in limbo, but we hope to do all of the gigs. If too many promoters cancel, we of course will have to cancel, but that is not our wish. While Gary is undoubtedly the star soloist of the band, there are a lot of other good reasons to see Fast 'N' Bulbous: the arrangements, the many other formidable musicians in the band, who are quite well-known and well-regarded in their own right, and the great music of Captain Beefheart. Also, as I live in Australia and am not able to come north very often, I can't say when the band will be able to perform live again. Possibly someday after Gary's recovery, but also possibly never. It's all hypothetical. But it's possible that this could be the last chance to hear the band live in any form.

So I am urging the promoters not to cancel us.

I hope you can spread the word, and if any fans are in areas near the venues and want to come, please ask them to contact the venues and show support. It would mean a lot to us, and to Gary.

Thanks for your interest and support! And thank to those who are interested in our music!






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