Magic Michael

Described by NME writer Nick Kent as "Ladbroke Grove's answer to Wildman Fisher," Magic Michael -- aka Michael Cousins -- was a permanent fixture on the early-'70s U.K. hippy scene, albeit one who seemed destined to court controversy. Again according to Kent, he was once booed off-stage at a Hawkwind concert ("This is believed to be the first and only time such an event has occurred"), while he can also be spotted during the previous year's Glastonbury Fayre movie, performing naked before a decidedly hostile crowd. 1972 saw Magic Michael appearing at the Greasy Truckers Party; both the original limited-edition LP release and the 2007 three-CD reissue capture him in fine form, performing the 20-minute ad lib "Music Belongs to the People." He also recorded an entire album with Nirvana's Patrick Campbell-Lyons, scheduled for release on the Vertigo label, but ultimately canned. By 1973, Michael was working and recording within Brian Eno's orbit; he also auditioned unsuccessfully for the role of vocalist with Can. He also worked with Nick Lowe during 1976, offering up the self-composed "Little by Little" for the Stiff label compilation A Bunch of Stiffs. Three years elapsed before Magic Michael resurfaced, cutting a new single, "Millionaire," alongside Damned members Rat Scabies, Captain Sensible, and Algy Ward. Since that time, he has remained silent. ~ Dave Thompson

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