Members of an early line-up of The Magic Band (who performed without Vliet at Blue Lakes) also formed the short-lived Mallard. After Vliet's retirement, in 1982, members of the The Magic Band were reformed in 2003 by drummer John French, who also took on the vocal role.
The original Magic Band, formed by guitarist Alexis Snouffer in the mid-sixties, had become a popular rhythm n' blues group "Captain Beefheart And His Magic Band". By the release of their debut album "Safe As Milk" there was much conflict within the group, leading to dramatic changes in its musical direction. With the founder members gone and a troubled trail of label-changes and contract disputes, Don Van Vliet emerged to take control in new directions with his Frank Zappa produced opus "Trout Mask Replica". This was followed by eight further official albums, released under his Beefheart persona, until his retirement in 1982.
On completion of the album "Unconditionally Guaranteed", on which Magic Band founder Snouffer reappeared, the entire band once again had disputes with Vliet and departed. A replacement ensemble was quickly formed for the album's 1974 tour. Lacking full understanding or rehearsals of the Beefheart catalog, this line-up is often cuttingly referred to by passionate followers as 'The Tragic Band'.