COLONEL CLAYPOOL'S BUCKET OF BERNIE BRAINS (C2B3)
Premiered as a then one-time-only performance at the Bonnaroo Festival on 06/22/02, the band consists of longtime collaborators Brain and Buckethead, plus legendary keyboard virtuoso Bernie Worrell (of Parliament Funkadelic and Talking Heads fame) - this is essentially the Praxis lineup with Les instead of Bootsy Collins (see Brain page). The success of their all improvisational Bonnaroo set prompted 5 other, essentially all improv shows in late 2002 and early 2003, including an appearance in 5/03 at the New Orleans Jazz Fest. Besides band jams, these early shows usually included a solo from each band member (including a set opener by Bernie), and at least one jam each with Les on upright and Whamola. This early penchant for stand alone jams continued into the fall 2004 tour, with free standing improvs and solo numbers interspersed between composed pieces; and makes this band unique amongst Claypool projects.
In 2004 C2B3 released The Big Eyeball In the Sky, which was followed by a full tour in fall 2004. The sets ranged from 90 min to over 2 hours, and usually included several mid set performances on upright, followed by a drum/Whamola jam, giving the sets a slower middle segment (Claypool has followed a similar pattern in his other solo projects). Bernie's influence was notable not only in his opening solos and funky, layered melodic and harmonic lines in both composed pieces and jams, but also in the first time performance of several classic P-Funk songs by Claypool. Like prior Frog Brigade tours with Galactic, moe. and Deadweight, this tour was notable for a fertile musical cross pollination with opening band Gabby La La. Gabby recapitulated her album guest appearances by sitting in on vocals for all renditions of Hip Shot From the Slab and Big Eyeball In the Sky, as well as on sitar for all renditions of Elephant Ghost; while various members of C2B3 sat in with her band on multiple occasions. Following this tour, Gabby La La joined the Fancy Band, and C2B3 material crept into Frog Brigade, Fancy Band and Holy Mackerel setlists.
Just like the 2003-4 Primus tours, the 2004 C2B3 tour was made available for official download from c2b3live.com, thus official live versions of nearly the entire repertoire are available.
Les Claypool - see Claypool's Unusual Instruments
The Big Eyeball In the Sky
Released Live Originals
- Buckethead - Premiered 09/25/04. A major jam vehicle.
- Thai Noodles - Premiered 09/25/04. A major jam vehicle.
- Tyranny Of the Hunt - Officially released on the 5 Gallons Of Diesel DVD. Premiered 09/25/04. A major jam vehicle.
- Elephant Ghost - Premiered in skeletal form on 02/07/03 and in full glory on 09/25/04. Gabby sat in on this nightly instrumental during the entire fall 2004 tour. An open ended number, its improvisation frequently segued into the Drum/Whamola Jam or other songs.
- Hip Shot From the Slab - Premiered 09/25/04. Frequently improvised. Gabby sat in on vocals the entire fall 2004 tour.
- Junior - Premiered 09/27/04. Occasionally improvised, but usually similar to the studio version.
- Scott Taylor - Officially released on the 5 Gallons Of Diesel DVD. Premiered 09/25/04. While the composed band sections resembled the studio version (but even more chaotic, with the band sounding like it might fall apart any minute), the punchy solo keyboard parts were extended live into whimsical Bernie solos. While these were musically entertaining in their own right, they only diminished the power of the composed section.
- Big Eyeball In the Sky - Premiered 09/25/04. Frequently improvised, with an extended bass and drums ostinato intro over which Les would explain various societal woes, the inspiration for the lyrics, etc. Gabby sat in on vocals the entire fall 2004 tour. Officially released on the Fancy DVD.
- Jackalope - Premiered 09/29/04 and jammed out in its only appearance on the fall 2004 tour.
- 48 Hours To Go - Premiered 09/29/04. A major jam vehicle, its syncopated bass line often prompted Tommy the Cat teases from Les.
- Ignorance Is Bliss - Premiered 09/27/04. Essentially like the studio version. Only played twice on the fall 2004 tour.
- Drum/Whamola Jam - While in the all improv shows of 2002-3 Les and Brain usually got a chance to solo separately, during the Fall 2004 tour the drum solo, followed by a drum/Whamola duel, became a live staple mid-set (same format as 2003-4 Primus shows). Despite the name, occasionally this jam involved other musicians, e.g. a Brain- Bernie duel on 10/02/04.
- Various Solos and Band Improvs: Each show opened with a Bernie Worrell solo. Many shows also included a Buckethead solo entitled Music For the Elephant Man. Both Bernie and Buckethead often teased other songs within the context of their solos. There were also free standing jams during the fall 2004 tour that were released on c2b3live.com, as well as a portion of Jam #2 from the 6/22/02 show on the Bonnaroo #2 compilation CD, and portions of two jams from 9/16/02 on the 5 Gallons of Diesel DVD.
Includes the majority of the first 6 shows from 2002-3 (mostly band and individual jams) and the opening night of the fall 2004 tour (9/24), which for some reason was not made available on c2b3live.com.
Other Les Claypool Band Material
- Holy Mackerel
- Calling Kyle - Premiered 09/16/02, at the time it was the first time C2B3 broke from its original plan to not play any composed material. A major jam vehicle.
- Highball With the Devil - Premiered 10/06/04, then played twice more on the fall 2004 tour.
- Holy Mackerel - Premiered 11/07/04 in its only tour performance.
- Precipitation - Premiered 10/02/04, and was the most performed non-C2B3 composition of the fall 2004 tour. Typically included some improv.
- Do That Stuff (Parliament Funkadelic) - Premiered 10/01/04 (although it's mis-titled "Jam" on c2b3live.com) in an extended instrumental version (with Les singing only the chorus refrain "I want more of that funky stuff"). First played by Claypool with this band.
- Hair (Graham Central Station) - Premiered 10/27/04, then played once more that tour.
- Hard Work (?) - Premiered 11/01/04 in its only tour performance. First played by Claypool with this band.
- Let's Get Small (Critters Buggin') - Premiered 11/01/04 in its only tour performance. First played by Claypool with this band.
- Machine Gun (Jimi Hendrix) - Premiered 09/28/04 in its only tour performance (it was played by Praxis earlier that summer at Bonnaroo). First played by Claypool with this band (Les must love Band of Gypsies, as in Primus he used to tease Who Knows, and Oysterhead played Them Changes).
- Maggot Brain (Parliament Funkadelic) - Premiered 09/29/04 in its only tour performance.
- Red Hot Mama (Parliament Funkadelic) - Premiered 11/03/04 in its only tour performance. First played by Claypool with this band.
- Roundabout (Yes) - Premiered 10/25/04, then played once more that tour. First played by Claypool with this band. Reportedly one of the first songs Les ever learned on bass.
- She's Got Balls (AC/DC) - Premiered 09/25/04. First played by Claypool with this band.
- Stick Pit (Buckethead) - Premiered 10/23/04.
- Suspicious Minds (Elvis Presley) - Premiered 10/30/04, then played twice more on the fall 2004 tour. First played by Claypool with this band.
- Claypool originals - My Name Is Mud, Tommy the Cat
- Covers - Another Brick In the Wall (Pink Floyd), Dueling Banjos, Ghostbusters (theme song), I Want A New Drug (Huey Lewis and the News), I'll Be There (Jackson 5), Jumpin Jack Flash (Rolling Stones), Smoke On the Water - Bernie only
- Claypool originals - Granny's Little Yard Gnome
- 5 Gallons Of Diesel: included Scott Taylor and Tyranny Of the Hunt from 9/29/04, and 2 jams from 9/16/02.
DJ Disk (turntables)
G Dubya (vocals, Melodica)
Gabby La La (see Fancy Band for more details) - Appeared on every fall 2004 performance of Hip Shot and Big Eyeball on vocals, and on every performance of Elephant Ghost on sitar.
Dawn Silva (vocals) - Has performed with P-Funk, Bride of Frankenstein and Sly and the Family Stone.
- 06/22/02 - Band Improvs #4 and 5
- 10/01/04 - Elephant Ghost
Historically Important Shows
Radio/TV Appearances - None known.
- 06/22/02 - The premier performance at the first Bonnaroo festival; and Les' first time performing with Bernie Worrell.
- 05/03/03 - New Orleans Jazz Fest performance, with Ween opening! Also, the last of the all jam shows.
- 02/07/03 - Arguably the best of the all improv shows.
- 11/01/04 - Arguably the best of the fall 2004 shows, with a variegated setlist.
A spoof band that played some real shows in order to provide material for the Quest for Festeroo movie (and accompanying album) that poked fun at the jam band scene, the quartet (under aliases) included Adam Gates on bass, Brian Kehoe on guitar, Jonathan Korty on keyboards and Claypool (as Lapland "Lapdog" Miclovik) on drums; all four members sang. The band played a series of shows in summer 2005, including an appearance at the High Sierra festival, and several other scattered shows. All of the songs live included a healthy dose of jamming.
Claypool is the drummer!
Quest For Festeroo
· Back Roads of My Mind - Premiered 05/25/05
· Hey Are You Going To Burning Man? - Premiered 05/25/05, various parts of this show up most often during the actual movie.
· Sugar Train Blues - Premiered 05/25/05
· Uncle Petes Party - Premiered 05/25/05
· Yog Sagoff- Premiered 05/25/05, this lengthy, multi part piece has a 70s Spinal Tap, prog rock vibe that makes it stand out from the rest of the bluegrass/blues based, Dead like material. The album cut is a live rendition.
· Future - Premiered 05/25/05
· Pancakes - Premiered 05/25/05
Covers - None to date.
Teases - None to date.
Vocal Teases/Lyrics - None to date.
Official Video - Quest for Festeroo movie: although the actual amount of live video footage within the movie is relatively modest, bits of Apricot songs provide some of the musical soundtrack, and there is spoof footage of them rehearsing Burning Man ad nauseam in the studio.
None to date.
Historically Important Shows
· 07/02/05 - Band makes its only appearance at sizable festival in High Sierra (the rest of the shows are at smallish clubs); this performance serves as the basis for the live Burning Man in the movie as the band completes its mission by performing at Festeroo. Les had premiered the Fancy Band 2 nights earlier.
TV/Radio Appearances - none to date
· 05/25/05 - Les stated in interviews that this show was particularly enjoyable, and that part of the audience was in on the secret, while others thought Apricot was just a good bar band.