Eric Drew Feldman

Eric Drew Feldman (born April 16, 1955) is an American keyboard and bass guitar player. Feldman has worked with Captain Beefheart, Fear, Snakefinger, The Residents, Pere Ubu, Pixies, dEUS, Katell Keineg, Frank Black, The Polyphonic Spree, Tripping Daisy, Reid Paley, Charlotte Hatherley, Custard and PJ Harvey.

Eric Drew Feldman
Birth nameEric Drew Feldman[1]
Also known asBlack Jew Kitabu
Born (1955-04-16) April 16, 1955 (ageĀ 64)[1]
Los Angeles, CA
Associated actsCaptain Beefheart
Pere Ubu
Black Francis
PJ Harvey

He was already an experienced keyboard player when he joined Captain Beefheart's Magic Band in 1976, in which he also played bass. Like other members of the band, Feldman was expected to capture (on tape or notepad) Beefheart's musical ideas. Once instrumental parts had been created, the band members had to play them exactly as composed: "I never had a problem with that. I felt like I was getting parts dictated to me from one of the best, especially when they were designed for me. You just feel like a model in a fashion show wearing a really nice dress, I guess." During his time in the Magic Band, he was also given a nickname by Don, Black Jew Kitabu. Feldman worked on the acclaimed trio of Beefheart albums in the late 1970s and early 1980s that turned out to be the last of the Captain's musical career, Shiny Beast (Bat Chain Puller) (1978), Doc at the Radar Station (1980), and Ice Cream for Crow (1982).

In May 1984, Feldman collaborated with Steve LeGrand of the band Times Beach to compose and perform the score to Sam Shephard's "The Tooth of Crime" in an acclaimed production at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre.

After working with The Residents' Snakefinger, in 1988 Feldman was drafted in to replace departing Pere Ubu keyboard player Allen Ravenstine. He worked on their album Worlds in Collision (1991).

Feldman met the Pixies' Frank Black in 1991, when Pere Ubu were touring as the Pixies' opening act, and later played keyboards on the Pixies' Trompe le Monde (1991) and toured with them. He can also be seen in the video for "Alec Eiffel". Eric's brother Jef also played on the song "Space (I Believe In)" from the same record and was the inspiration behind its lyrics.[2] After the Pixies split, Feldman worked with Frank Black on his solo albums Frank Black (1993) and Teenager of the Year (1994), producing, arranging and also playing bass and keyboards.

In 1994, after two Frank Black albums, Feldman applied for a job with PJ Harvey, who was putting together a band. He played on Is This Desire? (1998), White Chalk (2007), the PJ Harvey/John Parish album A Woman A Man Walked By (2009), and has regularly toured with her. His band kNIFE & fORK has opened for her.

While in Australia touring with Frank Black he met the Australian band Custard. He recorded two albums with them in the USA; Wisenheimer (1995) and We Have the Technology (1996).

In 1996, he produced In a Bar, Under the Sea by Belgian band dEUS. Two years later, he produced Jesus Hits Like the Atom Bomb by Dallas group Tripping Daisy. He later produced Together We're Heavy (2004) by The Polyphonic Spree, a 24-member troupe containing three ex-members of Tripping Daisy. He also produced the album Revival (2000) by Brooklyn singer-songwriter (and sometime Frank Black songwriting collaborator) Reid Paley.

Through the 1990s Feldman continued to tour on and off with Frank Black and the Catholics and joined the band in the studio to make Dog in the Sand (2000), Black Letter Days, Devil's Workshop, and Show Me Your Tears, as well producing the unreleased album Sunday Sunny Mill Valley Groove Day. In the song 85 Weeks from 1999's Pistolero Frank Black retells a story about Captain Beefheart as told to Black and other band members by Feldman (the opening lines of "Once Eric said, 'Come gather 'round. I'll tell a tale that is sure to astound'" make a clear reference to Feldman). Since Feldman did not participate in the production of Pistolero the incident may date back to an earlier recording session.

On April 25, 2008, Eric performed live with Black Francis at the San Francisco International Film Festival at the Castro Theatre. Black Francis and his band performed the original score The Golem, which Eric produced, for the 1920 silent movie The Golem: How He Came into the World. In 2009 he co-produced and played on a new collaboration entitled NonStopErotik, released March 2010. They toured together briefly as a three-piece to support the album.


Mike Barnes, "The Sideman's Saga", The Wire, December 1996

  1. ^ a b California Births, 1905 - 1995, Eric Drew Feldman
  2. ^ "Pixies - Space (I Believe In) Lyrics | SongMeanings". SongMeanings. Retrieved 2017-05-31.