We’ve said goodbye to some of the most memorable characters in Denver’s fertile music community in the last few weeks, and here are our remembrances.
Late, and never quite great, Magic Cyclops departs scene
Magic Cyclops was a strange, funny and occasionally offensive rock ‘n’ roll character who DJ’d parties and clubs throughout Colorado, competed in air guitar competitions all over the U.S. and made music — most notably the almost-hit “Unicorns in Space.”
Cyclops died in late-July, when his real-life alter ego Scott Fuller decided it was over and buried the persona along the banks of the Mississippi River in Cyclops’ hometown of Davenport, Iowa. Inside the shoebox: Cyclops’ Hulkamania-styled headband, a pair of sunglasses, his last CD, “Best of Synthesizer Hits,” and his last DVD, “Live Via Satellite (Previously Recorded).” Cyclops was 42.
Cyclops is survived by Fuller and his evolving new creation, Magic Roboclops — a cyborg version of the character, which debuted last week at Fort Collins bar Surfside 7.
“I kinda got bored with it,” said Fuller, who managed to keep his pervasive alter ego a secret from his Front Range family members for more than a decade. “I’ve been doing it for 11 years, so it’s been a long time. I just got sick of doing it.
Fuller created Cyclops while living in Denton, Texas. He took the name from a song by the group Centro-matic, and he “wanted to start some sort of weird Andy Kaufman-type art-rock deal that probably no one would understand but I thought was funny.” As Cyclops would sometimes play to rooms of heckling fans, Fuller accomplished that goal.
“Nobody gets Magic in the live setting, except for a few people, but since the advent of (comedy troupes) ‘Tim and Eric’ and ‘The Mighty Boosh,’ some more people get it,” said Fuller.
“But mostly you’re dealing with anger from drunks, and I didn’t want to play live anymore. It’s not fun to try and be funny when people want to fight you.”
Cyclops reached a certain level of fame here and abroad. He’s appeared on “Jimmy Kimmel” and “Tom Green,” and he’s DJ’d parties for Devo — the namesake of his song “Mark Mothersbaugh Is a God.” He appeared on bumpers that screened before every movie at the Denver International Film Festival a few years back. And he also DJ’d a party during the Democratic National Convention that hosted the Black Eyed Peas, Susan Sarandon and Anne Hathaway.
But Cyclops’ lows were legendary. One of them involved an opening slot at a sold-out, all-ages Dan Deacon show at the Hi-Dive in 2007, where a “really large guy” threw Cyclops across the packed dance floor. He tried to catch himself, but he broke both wrists. He ended up in the homeless ward in the hospital because he was still wearing his costume -— a black wig, a headband that said “MAGIC” and sunglasses.
Cyclops, who had no health insurance, wore casts on both wrists for three months.
“He’s only caused me pain and grief and sorrow, so I don’t miss that,” Fuller said. “It’s funny how the people who make you laugh, how horrible their lives can be. And it’s so true. The funnier you are, the worse your life is. And some people would argue that my life must be pretty great because I’m not that funny.”
Cyclops will be remembered as one of the great tragic —- and comedic —- figures of the Colorado music community.