Formed in the west country of England in 1970, Magic Muscle mixed classical nuances with Blue Cheer noise levels, thus creating a musical paradox enhanced by the band's peculiar abilities. With so many musicians passing through over the years, Magic Muscle were more of a community than a band, but at the centre of all activities was guitarist and vocalist Rod Goodway (ex-PACK, Artwoods, White Rabbit, J.P. Sunshine, Rustic Hinge) and Adrian Shaw (J.P. Sunshine, Rustic Hinge; later Hawkwind) on bass. Working with Android Funnel and Drachen Theaker (Crazy World Of Arthur Brown) and members of High Tide they began to gig and record, coming to the attention of disc jockey John Peel, who nearly signed them to his Dandelion label. By 1971/'72 they had built a strong cult following in the West Country and later earned themselves the nickname "Bastard Sons Of Hawkwind" when they joined the latter on their British Space Ritual tour (tracks from which are present on the 'Laughs & Thrills' album). They also started a partnership with Keith Christmas. This brought them to the attention of Island Records - though proprietor Chris Blackwell eventually chose to promote Jamaican music at this stage instead, signing Bob Marley. In 1972 Magic Muscle gigged with the Pink Fairies and for a while were joined by John Perry (Only Ones) and violinist Simon House (High Tide/Third Ear Band/Hawkwind/David Bowie). By the end of the year Goodway was gravely ill in hospital and ended the band. It was 1987 before the name returned, thanks to the surge in interest in the recording activities of many ex-members connected with Hawkwind. After the relative success of 'Laughs & Thrills' Goodway undertook the compilation of an album named 'The Pipe, The Roar & The Grid' (featuring artwork by original drummer Kenny Wheeler) which was released on VINYL ONLY in 1988 and featured 1970-1972 recordings. A year later he reformed the band with Gower/Shaw/House and drummer Twink (Pink Fairies/Pretty Things/Tomorrow). Their warm-up gigs in Bristol, Brighton and Birmingham culminated in a concert held at Moles Club in Bath on 1st August and was recorded and released as 'One Hundred Miles Below'. (Vinyl LP on One Big Guitar in the UK and LP and CD on Skyeclad in the USA). Riding high on their new found fame Goodway released a second compilation set, 'Living Weeds From Ancient Seeds', some of the tracks therein featuring members of Elias Hulk ( 'Big' Pete Thorpe) and Dr. John's band. In 1991 he returned with a new line-up which featured Steve Broughton on drums (Edgar Broughton Band) and guitarist Nick Saloman (aka Bevis Frond), alongside original bassist Adrian Shaw and violinist Simon House. (The Goodway, Shaw, Saloman line-up had already played as Magic Muscle at the Hawkwind All-Dayer at Brixton Academy in 1989, before doing some major gigs as The Magic Bevis Muscle Frond.) In 1990 the entire gang became The Bevis Frond LIVE band and toured Europe extensively, cutting a 12"/mini-LP called 'Earsong' … but by 1994 Goodway had returned to other pursuits, namely his solo sonic adventure Ethereal Counterbalance (cutting 2 albums and gigging in Belgium, London and the USA), while the rest of the band effectively became the new line-up for the Bevis Frond.
In 2008, Rod Goodway and Adrian Shaw (now in their 60's) wrote and recorded an album together called 'Oxygen Thieves', released in Germany on the September Gurls label ( vinyl LP and CD) in 2009. They continue to write and record. ( Shaw also plays in a LIVE capacity with the re-born Hawklords. )
Later in 2010, a Pink Fairies / Deviants tribute album included an old Mick Farren song called 'Half Price Drinks' , performed by Rod Goodway, Adrian Shaw and John Perry !!
"Firstly, great to see the boys still remembered in cyberspace, which, had we had access to in 1970/71 would have been home to many of us.
Band listing does not include the great Pete Thorpe whom I had the pleasure of playing with in a band in Bournemouth and going to Glasto 71 and hanging out with in Freemantle Road.
Anyway, I digress. Although I only had a bit part in Muscle in 70/71, I had the greatest moments in 'Cotham Brow' as it was then known (or is that more Sandoz amnesia) not only partaking of the Boschburger, jamming with Dik Mik, Del Dettmar (Hawkwind) in the basement and attending what was for me the penultimate gig when Muscle supported Dr John in his full night tripper stage show. However, my fondest memory is of Muscle on the top of the Glastonbury Hill site playing full review Rick Rutkowski
Please excuse the additional information but I still play in a band that does original and covers material called the 'Earl Grey Whistle Test'. We do a number of garage style psych tunes so if anyone is in the vacinity of London, Hanwell W7, we play the Fox in Green Lane once a month.
Thanx for your indulgence.
Rick the Poleaxed Polack. Rick Rutkowski"
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