max logo Mike, Kim, Paul, Terry

Bewitched by Max Webster

By Boni Johnson

Carefully listening to Live Magnetic Air (or any of the four previous Max Webster offerings) can be severely damaging to your psyche. I've been dosing this Canadian-crazy music for a couple of years, but it's only now that I'm liking, (rather than resenting) it.

I'm saner because I've stopped struggling, and finally admitted to myself that Max Webster music belongs in that rarified category with yellow cake, double cheeseburgers and "Bewitched" reruns! I gotta have a taste, at regular intervals.

Naturally, the uninitiated should approach Live with cautious anticipation. On the first or second sampling, it just sounds like goodtime music. Well, maybe it sounds like uncommonly well-played goodtime music.

But keep an ear cocked for the landmines. The superbly orchestrated arrangements, the clever turnarounds, the economical solos from guitarist Kim Mitchell and organ master Terry Watkinson, and especially Pye Dubois' evocative nonsense words can turn a good brain to tapioca.

Hell, somehow these clowns have got me convinced that side one of Live Magnetic Air is among the best live rock tracks that I've heard. And side two ain't exactly pig slop.

Sounds ridiculous huh? Well, bug your local radio station to play the stuff and you can be the judge.