Sunday, February 1, 2015

Phantom's Divine Comedy - 1974 - Phantom's Divine Comedy part I

Phantom's Divine Comedy
Phantom's Divine Comedy part I

01. Tales From a Wizard
02. Devil's Child
03. Calm Before the Storm
04. Half a Life
05. Spiders Will Dance (On Your Face While You Sleep)
06. Black Magic, White Magic
07. Merlin
08. Stand Beside My Fire
09. Welcome to Hell

- Phantom (aka Tom Carson) - vocals, guitar, piano
- Gary Meisner - guitar
- X (aka John Bdanjeck) - drums, percussion
- Y (aka Dennis Craner) - bass
- Z (aka Mike DeMartino) – keyboards

In 1974 Capitol Records released an album called "Phantom's Divine Comedy Part I" by Phantom's
Divine Comedy. Before longplay, the company issued SP"Calm before the storm/Black Magic,
White Magic" (No. 3857; promo-disc with white  label and serial-disc with orange label).
Music from the album sounded like The Doors. And the lead vocalist really sounded like Jim
Morrison. The cover of record was printed with informations that in group played drummer X,
bassist Y, keyboardist Z and singer Phantom. Officially, the Lizard King died on 03.07.1971 in
Paris. But circumstances of his death were mysterious and quite strange. Some of the
journalists suggested in their writings that Morrison had in fact no died and he returned with
a new band. Capitol Records kept silent while revenue came in from the album. It was leading to
legal action by Electra Records, parent-company of the Doors. The album and the groupvanished
without a trace.Officially  nobody knew really musicians name by many years. Vernon Joyson in
"The Tapestry of Delight" wrote that Phantom's Divine Comedy was the same group called Phantom
(aka Walpurgies)  which recorded other album called "The Lost Album" (bootleg: Flash 49 and CD
by Ghost in 1990) with line-up: Tom Carson-voc, Denis Craner-bg, Gary Meisner - g, Mike
DeMartino-keyboard, John Badanjeck-dr (ex-Detroit Wheels).

 The Phantom line-up made a second self-tittled album in 1978 under the name Happy Dragon Band
(Fidllers 1157). But one thing was intriguing. In 1973,  record company called Hideout,
realeased single-play "Calm before the storm/Black Magic, White Magic" (No.1080) by Phantom's
 Divine Comedy. Is it the same ?In my opinion LP"Phantom's Divine Comedy" is  great.
So I build a little site about Phantom's DC. In October 2003 I received e-mail from GARY

"Dear Piotr !
I wanted to tell you that all info about Phantom's DC are wrong.
Here s the real line-up:

Arthur Pendragon Vocals,Lead Guitar, Piano and writer of all the songs.
James Rolland Drums.
Harold Breadly Bass.
Russ Klatt Keyboard.

Produced by Gary Gawinek and Punch Andrews. All band members and producers from Detroit
Michigan area. Songs were never meant to be like the Doors, but Punch Andrews who is Bob Segers
 and Kid Rocks Manager wanted and sold it that way to Capitol Records. Both Phantom'DC and
Phantom (aka-Walpurgies) have most of the same players, but Walpurgies was done in a home
studio and Phantom's  DC was record at Pampa Studio Warren Michigan and engineered by
Jim Bureses who also recorded a few Bob Seger Lp's. I have  written to the other people who
have Phantom sites, but you are the only one to respone. So you are the only one with the true
story. I have been told that Arthur Pendragon has passed away (almost 5 year ago in March).
Jim Rolland the drummer now lives in Lansing Mi and doesn't play music any longer. Russ Klatt
owns an Art Gallery in Birmingham Mi and I don't know where Harold Beardly  is. Punch Andrews
never got along with Arthur Pendragon so when I brought demo tapes to Punch I didn't let him
know it was Arthur until he said he wanted to record the music.  Hideout is the production
company of ED "Punch "Andrews who is manager to Bob Seger and Kid Rock.. Also Phantom DC lp
cover Art work done by Tom Weschler who did early Bob Seger records
and is still in Photo and lives in Birmingham Mi. GaryGary Gawinek cooperated with
HideoutRecords and "Punch" Andrews. He's always working in musical business.  He was A&R-man,
producer, B.Seger's road manager. At present, he attempts own power as musician. His son,
Christian Colin is guitarist.

Gary !
Thank you very much  for all informations which I got from you by electronic mail.
Many years ago, Phantom was singing: "Black Magic, White Magic...". Now we have a new

Reviews for Phantom's Divine Comedy:
Incredible cd...
Another one that I thought would never make it to cd, One Way Records in their infinite wisdom,
 saw fit to release this title. It is an incredible work of art/prog/psychedelic. Think
The Doors with a much heavier sound and a more polished singer and you have Phantom's Divine
Comedy Part 1. A cd steeped in mystery due to the uncredited musicians and of course, Phantom
himself. Yes, the similarities to Jim Morrison are uncanny: Tracks 1,3,7 will convince you.
The lyrics are also Doors/Morrison territory. But this is not Jim Morrison singing! Phantom is
far and away a more capable vocalist, smoother. Listen to his narration on Track 7, spoken
like a professional narrator. A crack band backs him up effortlessly on every track. Great
guitarwork/keyboards and a killer drummer. I never tire of this cd and anyone I have played it
for wants a copy, that's high praise folks. Sound quality is superb for a 1974 recording, with
the cleanest high-end I have heard in ages. Supposedly there exists a 'lost 2nd album', sadly
I have never been able to find it. Suffice it to say, this is one cd you will treasure.
From the opening track, 'Tales From A Wizard', you know you are listening to something very
special. Blows the doors off anything from this time period, including The Doors.
There's a school of thought that proposes that Jim Morrison didn't die of a heart attack in a
bathtub, but instead staged his own death to see what the reaction would be. This rumor was a
lot more prevalent in the early 1970s than it is now. There was, in fact, an album that was
released in the mid '70s titled PHANTOM'S DIVINE COMEDY which, rumor had it, was actually
Morrison. It didn't sound much like him, and it sucked, but I still have it in storage. Just
in case.

The difference between Andrew McCutcheon's WELCOME TO PERIPHERY and PHANTOM'S DIVINE COMEDY is
that McCutcheon sounds like Morrison. In fact, he sounds like The Doors. I mean, he's got the
whole shtick down, right down to Robbie Kreiger's guitar licks and Ray Manzarek's organ riffs.
The problem is that, even though "Tease" sounds, I swear, like a WAITING FOR THE SUN outtake,
neither it, nor the reminder of WELCOME TO PERIPHERY, passes the s.f.w. test.

McCutcheon starts things out with "Periphery," which comes off like Beck fronting The Doors,
and is maybe the most interesting track on the CD. It goes on for about a minute too long,
though, and besides, who needs another Beck, since the one we've got, the original Beck, is
still alive and well and quite prolific, actually. McCutcheon repeats the mistake with "Hello"
and includes a couple more Beck pastiches as well ("I'm Alive Now," "Twisting and Reeling")
Morrison isn't alive (or at least probably isn't. Or at least he isn't recording anymore.
Never mind), and the subsequent Doors' releases without him established that the whole of that
band was greater than the sum of its parts. But let the dog lie. "Darkening Light," "Never
Break a Psycho's Heart," and "Second Sun" almost come off like those brilliant National
Lampoon parodies that were sporadically released in the early 1970s. Almost. But they knew to
quit. McCutcheon doesn't, as would be obvious, if nothing else was, by the composing of a
track entitled "Hug Your Inner Beast." Where's my Mausberg?

Oh yeah, one other thing. One picture on the CD jacket shows McCutcheon playing guitar
right-handed, but another picture shows him playing left-handed. What does this mean? Morrison
was left-handed. And so was Paul McCartney, before he died, too. Hmmm...

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