Brian Beattie made his first record when he was a junior in high school with his band Tapeworm. 1978 Stamford Connecticut Proto Suburban Punk. He moved to Austin Texas in ’79 and started going to Raul’s, absorbing the sounds and playing with various bands. In ‘80, he joined his ex-Tapeworm bandmate Tom Flynn in Berkeley, California and formed the band Fang. They made a 7”, went on a cross country 13 city tour in Brian’s grandma’s LTD station wagon. When the tour was over, Brian ended up back in Austin, and Tom returned to California and continued with Fang as it evolved into a ferocious hardcore outfit.
Brian started the band Glass Eye with Kathy McCarty and Scott Marcus in ‘83. Soon Stella Weir joined and in ‘85 they released their first record, “Marlo”. Around that same time, Daniel Johnston had been handing his tapes out to bands around town, and Glass Eye was the first band to give him a gig, a quick 3 song set at the Beach Cabaret. While performing, Daniel looked as if he was going to spontaneously combust. After the 3rd song, He said “thank you” and walked over to the bathroom, locked himself in, and climbed out of the window. Soon Daniel and Glass eye were featured on the Austin episode of MTV's "The Cutting Edge".
Glass Eye made 4 more records ( "Huge", "Bent By Nature", and "Hello Young Lovers") and various singles and ep’s, with Sheri Lane and Lisa (Dave) Cameron replacing Stella and Scott for a couple of years in the era of their 3rd record ,“Bent By Nature”. They took their angular, minimal, explosive music all over the US, gaining loyal audiences from San Francisco to Philadelphia, and winning the Austin Chronicle’s “Best Avante Guard Band” award for years in a row, much to the band’s confusion. Brian also won “best bass player” in the Chronicle’s ’89 poll, so he came in and posed with a shovel for his photo, holding it like a bass. No one thought it was funny or interesting but him. They didn’t run the picture.
Soon Brian started working with the Dead Milkmen, producing “Bucky Fellini”, “Beelzebubba” (Punk Rock Girl!), and Metaphysical Graffitti, while the rest of the Glass Eye became famous film stars in Richard Linklater’s “Slacker”.
After Glass Eye broke up in ’93, Brian began working with Kathy McCarty on her album of Daniel Johnston songs, “Dead Dog’s Eyeball”. That’s where he really figured out how to make an album. He has since produced Daniel Johnston, Okkervil River, Shearwater, Aimee Bobruk, Lee Barber, Grace London and Sahara Smith, among others. He’s done arrangement work, mixed and played on the last 4 Bill Callahan records.
In 2014 Brian released “Ivy and the Wicker Suitcase”, the world’s first Illustrated Earmovie Musical. It’s 74 minute audio drama that comes in a lavishly illustrated 62 page book, featuring Daniel Johnston, Bill Callahan, Will Sheff, Kathy McCarty, James Hand, and starring Grace London as Ivy Wire. Set in Austin in 1938, it’s the story of a 10 year old girl who falls into the underworld. Brian wrote the story and the songs, and his wife Valerie Fowler illustrated the book. She also created a series of “Crankie Scrolls”, 30 foot long illustrations that work as hand drawn “videos” that she cranks along as Brian performs the corresponding songs. Valerie and Brian toured the east and west coasts, playing their 2 person version of “Ivy” at clubs, bookstores, and small theaters. On November 8th, 2014, they produced a one night only sold out full cast production of “Ivy and the Wicker Suitcase” at the State Theater in Austin.
In addition to being a freelance record producer, Brian also does soundtrack, commercial work and custom ringtones for the super-mega wealthy elite. Or he could, at least, if anyone asked him, jeez… His production work has been featured in all sorts of surprising places. Sometimes he’s the last to find out!