Magic Cyclops began making himself known to audiences outside of Fort Collins around ten years ago. Whether he was putting on a show or running Championship Karaoke Night at the hi-dive, he always left some kind of impression. Magic's British accent and spoiled-rock-star stunts alternately made you think that a) he was a jerky hack, or b) you were witnessing a fine moment of performance-art comedy. Either way, Magic has been a fixture of the Colorado music scene for years. A handful of years ago, he went to the Devo convention in Cleveland and did Kiss covers. He also had a "live via satellite" DVD that was probably too deep a joke for some people to fully appreciate. His most inspired prank to date, though, was his recent appearance on American Idol. We spoke to Magic about the experience, live via telephone, while he was late-night shopping at Walmart.
Westword: What were the American Idol tryouts like for you?
Magic Cyclops: It was awful. It's a lot of waiting, and waiting more. When you think you're done waiting, you're waiting even longer, with sixteen-year-old girls who won't shut up. They have it at ungodly hours, and you have to be there at seven in the morning and be ready to go. Then you wait for twelve hours, and then you're seen. Then they tell you to come back at seven in the morning the next day and do it all over again. Eventually I got to go to Aspen — which is the most expensive place on the face of the earth — so I was really stoked. I had to raise money to get to Aspen just to do it.
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Magic Cyclops Sells Out, with Mr. Pacman and Total Ghost, 7 p.m. Thursday, March 1, Bluebird Theater, 3317 East Colfax Avenue, $5, 303-377-1666.
How did you beat out any of the other contestants?
Just plain talent, obviously. What's funny is that people in line knew who I was. I think I was the only one there who didn't sing Adele. I think you could have asked anyone in that line who Neil Diamond was, and they wouldn't have known who he was. In Aspen, Jimmy Buffett was playing in the lobby, so that was a last-minute decision, because I didn't have another song to sing. What appeared on TV took out that my whole premise for being there was that I was standing in line for Broncos tickets and got in the wrong line. I think Steven Tyler said something about "donkeys," and that was bleeped out. He's a Patriots fan. You meet the hosts when you head out, but you have no real contact with anyone but the awful people you've been auditioning with. You have to sign tons of paperwork, but I signed in bubble letters as Magic Cyclops.