Described by NME writer Nick Kent as “Ladbroke Grove’s answer to Wildman Fisher,” Magic Michael (real name Michael Cousins) was a permanent fixture on the early-’70s UK hippie scene – albeit one who seemed destined to court controversy (he was once booed off-stage at a Hawkwind concert and can also be spotted during the 1971 Glastonbury Fayre movie performing naked from the waist down before a decidedly hostile crowd).
1972 saw Magic Michael appearing at the Greasy Truckers Party at London’s Roundhouse, and both the original LP release and the 2007 CD reissue capture him in fine form, performing the ad lib rant Music Belongs to the People (which details his revolutionary plans for creating a new Jerusalem of peace, love, long hair and beads, via the simple power of communal singing).
He also recorded an entire album with Nirvana’s Patrick Campbell-Lyons (not thatNirvana!) which was scheduled for release on the Vertigo label, but ultimately canned. By 1973 he was working and recording with Brian Eno (and auditioning – unsuccessfully – for the role of vocalist with Can.
Nick Lowe worked with Michael during 1976, recording Little by Little for theStiff 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.