Rockette Morton with the Magic Band at The Fleece, Bristol, in 2013
|Birth name||Mark Boston|
|Born||July 1949 (age 65)
Salem, Illinois, U.S.
|Genres||Rock, alternative rock|
|Instruments||Bass, guitar, keyboards, backing vocals|
|Associated acts||Captain Beefheart
Rockette Morton (real name Mark Boston; born July 14, 1949 in Salem, Illinois) is an American musician, best known as a bass guitarist and guitarist for Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band in the 1960s and 1970s.
In 1963, after moving to Lancaster, California, he joined up with future Magic Band member Bill Harkleroad aka Zoot Horn Rollo in a band named B.C. & the Cavemen. Later, while performing in the Magic Band, he played on such critically acclaimed albums as The Spotlight Kid and Trout Mask Replica produced by Frank Zappa.
While working with Captain Beefheart, Boston received his nickname by which he was most often associated for the duration of his career. He performed on five successful albums, which include Trout Mask Replica (1969), and Lick My Decals Off, Baby (1970), which spent eleven weeks on the UK Albums Chart, the most commercially successful of Captain Beefheart's recordings. Following them, 1972 saw the release of two albums: The Spotlight Kid, and Clear Spot, and last, Unconditionally Guaranteed (1974), which was Beefheart's eighth LP, but failed to climb the Billboard Top 200, perceived by the Magic Band's fans as too commercial.
In the book Lunar Notes: Zoot Horn Rollo's Captain Beefheart Experience, guitarist Bill Harkleroad details some of the tensions that arose between Don Van Vliet (best known by his stage name, Captain Beefheart) and members of the band. These tensions led to a split in 1974, when Rockette Morton left to form Mallard with bandmates John French, Bill Harkleroad, John Thomas, and Art Tripp. Following the demise of Mallard, he continued performing in various bands as guitarist and bassist. A featured article was published in the music magazine Stomp & Stammer in October 2012, titled The Ring of Rockette Morton. The article contains an interview with Mark Boston (aka Rockette Morton) who was 52 years old at that time. He was working on his solo album, under production at his music studio in Aiken, Georgia. He self-identified as "a Space Nut" and being "pro-Space." He was living in a mobile home, decorated with alien and rocket ship models. At that time, 14 songs had been recorded, many with a space theme, including: "Gonna Take A Rockette To The Moon", "The Space Shuttle, You’re So Subtle," and "Black Hole Boogie." From 2003 to 2006 members of the Magic Band regrouped and performed on a world tour. Morton has also released a solo album, Love Space, in 2003. Of this album he wrote, "If you enjoy listening to this music even half as much as I enjoyed recording it, I did my job."
Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band albums
- Trout Mask Replica (1969)
- Lick My Decals Off, Baby (1970)
- The Spotlight Kid (1972)
- Clear Spot (1972)
- Unconditionally Guaranteed (1974)
- Love Space (2003)
- Harkleroad, Bill (1998). Lunar Notes: Zoot Horn Rollo's Captain Beefheart Experience. Interlink Publishing. ISBN 0-946719-21-7.