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All ready for the 72nd anniversary of Don Van Vliet’s birth, I am delighted to present an all new Radar Station website.

Apart from the content (much of which has been expanded, revised and brought up to date but in essence remains the same) it’s entirely new: new design, new structure, new way of doing things.

I do hope you like it.

It’s been the product of about 18 months of incessant clicking whenever I have been able to around work, family and general life stuff. The new site currently contains a massive 2,610 items which perhaps helps to explain just why it’s taken me so long to get this far.

I’ve felt for a long time that while the old site was adequate 15 years ago when it first went online, it now just looks like a 15 year old website and that’s not a fitting way to remember the unique music, painting, words and personality of Don Van Vliet. To make matters worse, the state of the old site was actually deterring me from making many updates: why bother when it’s just going to get lost in the big pit of a very tired looking site?

I hope that isn’t going to happen any more.

I think this is a considerable improvement, but there’s still quite a long way to go. Still to do:

  • The related records, bootlegs and videos are currently missing from the discography.
  • Art exhibition catalogues need to be split up into individual pages.
  • The bibliography needs a tidy up and “Skeleton Breath, Scorpion Blush” needs to be re-added.
  • If you hover over the date on any posts it needs to tell you the year as well as the day and month.
  • Some sections (e.g. song links from the discography and the live performance links currently have an awkward intermediary page which means you have to do two separate clicks instead of one to get where you want to go.
  • Some of the automatically generated thumbnail images have been wrongly cropped and are missing people’s heads.
  • Various small bits of content still need to be transferred (e.g. the guitar tabs).
  • Metadata for all images needs to be improved; currently it’s a complete mess.
  • The year each painting was completed needs to be visible on the painting’s page.

I hope to gradually put these problems right over the coming months along with any other snags which crop up. If you spot anything which seems wrong in any way at all which is not on the above list please do let me know.

So that’s the bad stuff, what about the good? I’ll let you find that for yourselves!

Thanks all for your support over the last 15 years, here’s to the next 15.

25 Comments »

  1. Arthur de Smet says:

    What a suprise! Congratulations. A long overdue overhaul, but it looks great. The old http://blog.beefheart.com/ address doesn’t work anymore, by the way. Perhaps people need to be redirected to beefheart.com? They might think the blog was closed.

    Cheers, Arthur

  2. gordon shinybeast says:

    I thought the site was down, the blog was my homepage but now I’ve found you again I’m happy once more. Looks good by the way, well done and thanks for all the hard work

  3. Graham says:

    I’ve fixed the blog.beefheart.com address so that’s pointing at the main page now, thanks. If you were accessing the blog via another address which I’ve also managed to overlook please do let me know.

    Thanks, glad you like it!

  4. ljc says:

    Great to see this new and revised entity ~ puts me in the right place every time I visit. Thanks and appreciation for all your hard work.

  5. Dave Hamilton says:

    Nice redesign. They played Orange Skies by Love on WFMU just now. I’m sure 60s music will be of interest to people in the decades to come.

  6. Duckpin says:

    Confusing at first but the more I nose around the more logical it is. When finished, it will be a big improvement on an already great site.
    Thanks for the hard work.

  7. Tracy says:

    Love the new site, I congratulate you on a terrific design!

  8. J Thorne says:

    Graham, new Radar Station looks great, although I’m going to miss all those salacious reds. Lots of valuble information, easy to access. Close to shopping and the cinema. No.

  9. Schrakenbach says:

    Will the guitar-tabs on /datharp/tab/ be renewed too? I am not ready yet with learn.

    Greetings from Germany

    • Graham says:

      Sorry the guitar tabs are currently unavailable. There were only a few of them but I’ll add them to my list of items which still need adding to the new site.

      Thanks.

  10. beep says:

    Hooray! Nice to see the overhaul up and about. Great job, G. Here’s to DVV, bp

  11. Rupert Cocking/Petitwazoo says:

    Graham, Can I suggest you post an example of the two(?) previous page formats for us nostalgiasts?
    Or mibbe you have and I haven’t come across it yet!

  12. Duckpin says:

    Thanks for all the hard work – the site is greater than ever!

  13. ken duvall says:

    The site looks great !

  14. Gary Hunter says:

    Well done on the updates to the site. It looks great. Thanks for all your hard work.

  15. Stewart says:

    CB has been the main musical influence in my life and I can’t thank you enough for everything you do.

  16. Don says:

    Wow! What a nice surprise. I like the new look of the site! I’ve been listening to CB since 1969.
    First became aware of the Captain on Zappa’s “Hot Rats” album. (“Willie The Pimp”)I bought Trout Mask Replica, and never looked back. My only regret is that I never got to see him live.

  17. Mark says:

    Hi Graham!

    Fantastic work!

    Really like the “open feel” to the new site!

    Keep on Booglarizing us!

    Mark

  18. Rupert Cocking says:

    Graham, has anyone else reported how long it takes to access the pages since you reformatted? It’s painfully slow. Not just isolated to a rogue PC, I’ve encountered it on any machine I happen use. Or is it just me?

    • Graham says:

      Hi Rupert,

      No one has commented on any slowness yet and for me it’s fine. I’m just accessing it over the web the same as anyone else.

      There is an occasional slowness loading an image but only occasional and it seems normal.

      Is anyone else having problems?

      I will see if there’s anything I can do to speed things up, perhaps the CMS’s image optimisation is not so optimal.

      Thanks.

      • Rupert Cocking says:

        I’ll withdraw that ‘complaint’, seems it’s only actually the one PC that’s causing me problems. Apologies, Graham!!

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