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The Past Sure is Now!

The critically acclaimed, and immensely influential, Captain Beefheart flew under the Radar Station during his 22 year musical career. Styles and tastes have evolved since his retirement in 1982, and as a direct result of his vision, what was once viewed as "chaotic" and "weird" is now considered strangely accessible.

In 2002, Doctor Dark formed as a one-off musical experiment, performing Beefheart's music at Ideat Village, New Haven's Annual Alternative Art and Music Festival.

Later that summer, drummer Steve Chillemi attended Zappanale, the annual Frank Zappa tribute Festival held in Bad Doberan, Germany. Upon returning, he called singer Saunders and excitedly said, "Hey kid, I have found our audience. We need to keep doing this... No one else is... This music is important!"

And so the journey began....

One year later, Doctor Dark performed at Zappanale. The audience had no idea what was in store for them. The band's rampaging performance, coupled with Saunder's powerful voice, immediately cemented Doctor Dark as a crowd favorite, garnering a fifteen minute ovation from their new European fans, as well as high praise from Zappa/Beefheart alumni, including Jimmy Carl Black (from the original Mothers of Invention, who performed "Sure Nuff, Yes I Do" with the band), Napoleon Murphy Brock, and Mike Kenneally.

Over the next several years, Doctor Dark continued to play in the Northeastern U.S., opening for Project/Object, The Paul Green School of Rock, The Voice of Cheez, and collaborating with renowned American improvisor Eugene Chadbourne.

In 2005, the band returned to Zappanale, and was thrilled to be joined on stage by Napoleon Murphy Brock to perform the Zappa/Beefheart collaboration "The Torture Never Stops", a song which Napoleon actually played with "THE MAN" during the Bongo Fury Tour.... A very great honor, indeed!

In 2007, Doctor Dark took a hiatus so members could pursue their own musical/artistic projects. Drummer, Steve Chillemi, founded the experimental Doot! with then Doctor Dark Bass bass player, Pete Brunelli. Guitarist, Joe Nolan, went on to record several albums of original music with his band, Kimono Draggin'. Singer, Bill Saunders pursued his passion for painting, and continued in his role as co-director of the Ideat Village Festival.

On December, 17 2010, Don Van Vliet (Captain Beefheart) died from complications of Multiple Sclerosis, a disease he had been suffering from for the past twenty years. In loving tribute, Saunders painted a portrait of THE MAN, which was put on public display in his hometown of New Haven, CT on Valentine's Day.

Two weeks later he received a call from drummer, Chillemi..:"Hey Kid, we gotta put this band back together. I miss playing Beefheart's music."

Saunders agreed. And so the hard work began anew, and the journey continues....

Doctor Dark strives to accurately recreate the live Beefheart experience. Whether you are familiar with his catalog, or not, Doctor Dark will either take you back in time, or introduce you to a phenomenal and legendary American composer.