Mind-Numbskull Trip-Bombastic Classical Chamber Marching Band
[1972 ~ 1973]

Larry Miller: Composer, Bb Clarinet
Ben Miller: Composer, Alto Saxophone
Julian Catford: Composer, Alto Saxophone and Flute
David Swain: Alto and Tenor Saxophone
Mackey Ives: Bb Clarinet


Where it all began!

Ann Arbor's First OZONE PARADE "director's cut"

Ann Arbor Public Library Edit Version


Laurence first began writing music note for note on manuscript paper in the summer of 1972.  He was 18 and had no conventional idea as to what he was doing.  This came as a great relief.  Sure he'd written songs before, but these weren’t songs.  These were compositions which didn't follow traditional format and were in fact jam packed chock full of the absurd.  Instrumental and solo breaks were not in the form of chord progressions (yawn) but rather hallucinogenic noodling drawn to inspire the player.  "Why not?"

Laurence formed MARSH CRABBITTS & HIS CLAPFOLD PLATUNE in August 1972 comprised solely of clarinetists & saxophonists -- good friends and family of his.  Although some had been formally trained, none were particularly proficient on their instruments, nor was he.  With no composition theory, Laurence began a wonderful time composing bombastic numbers with complete naivete. Several of his band mates pitched in with equally interesting compositions. Good times.

This experience lasted thru the summer of 1973 where MARSH CRABBITTS & HIS CLAPFOLD PLATUNE merged with David Swain's CRUZONIC JAZZ ENSEMBLE for Ann Arbor's Community Television Network broadcast production. [Note: THE CRUZONICS was a wild horn based Ann Arbor band lead by good friend David Swain early 1972-74. One might argue influences ran along the lines of Sun Ra, Frank Zappa, and Albert Ayler. David still performs today as bandleader for his more down-to-earth big band, The II-V-I JAZZ ORCHESTRA.]

Although purely instrumental at it's initial inception, MARSH CRABBITTS & His CLAPFOLD PLATUNE eventually saw lyrics enter the arena near the end of it's hay day. A vast collection of similarly absurd material written and recorded in the mid '70's, was released decades later under the radar on FarFetched Records in 2002 as a CD collection, named after one of his compositions ~ TURN A LEFT AND DOWN THE HALL.

Cuneiform Records released two collections of THE FOURTH WORLD QUARTET
'1975' in June 2021 and 'GRAND BLAND VAPID RAPIDS' in September 2022.
Laurence & Benjamin then recorded a new collection of compositions written
from that time period in 2022. This brand new double CD collection was
then released on Cuneiform Records 7/28/23. Will wonders ever cease?


Roger Miller
"I saw Marsh Crabbitts and his Clapfold Platune at Ann Arbor's People's Ballroom
in October of 1972. That was the only time I saw a full set by
Marsh Crabbitts, and I was knocked out!"

Benjamin Miller
"Marsh Crabbitts had a significant influence on me"

Laurence Miller
"...Marsh who?..."

This group of hooligans seen below head off to a grand start leading the 1st ANN ARBOR OZONE PARADE Fall 1972
 An odd cross breed mix of members from both MARSH CRABBITS and David Swain's CRUZONIC JAZZ ENSEMBLE

                  Andy Overmyer      Larry Miller    David Swain   Ben Miller  John Harris

      Seen here below The Cruzonic Jazz Ensemble         performing at The Battle of the Bands circa 1972.                      We actually won the first match.

      Ben Miller     Larry Miller    David Swain

                                 David Lizard



3 very short video snippets from that October 1972 Ozone Parade Event


[ two original compositions performed on Ann Arbor Cable Television Network's FIRST EVER broadcast - August 1973 ]

                                               THE STOLEN GULF
                                                  (c) 1972 Laurence Miller 
(c) 1972 Tom Grimes

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