Gary Lucas: Gods, Monsters and Guitars

Gary Lucas


Don’t typecast Gary Lucas too readily. His wizardly way with the guitar, avant-garde affinities and ever-present felted beaver-fur hat might stamp him as the definitive New York art rocker. He’s got the bona fides, dating back to his formative early-’80s stint as a guitarist in the last edition of the Magic Band, the alchemical engine for the late rock ‘n’ roll visionary Captain Beefheart—whom Mr. Lucas also managed.

“I don’t mind being categorized as an experimental player,” said Mr. Lucas, 56 years old, over morning coffee at the home of a friend near his West Village apartment. “But I’ve written songs that have been Grammy-nominated. How many people out of that scene really have made any attempt to bridge a gap, to try to expand the audience to include people who normally might reject avant-garde music?”

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