Alex Snouffer aka Alex St Claire, Alex ‘Pyjama’ St Claire

Alex was a fine slide, lead and rhythm guitarist. He could also play drums and trumpet.

In the mid to late 1950s he hung out with Frank Zappa and played in an R&B group called The Omens. In 1964 he pulled together the musicians that would become Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band. To all intents and purposes Alex was the original ‘Captain’! It was his determination, organisation and leadership that made this an exciting blues band. But as time went on Don took control of the band and grew into the persona of Captain Beefheart marginalising Alex’s influence.

Alex quit the band in 1968 because of lack of money and worked mainly in bar bands around the gambling spots of Lake Tahoe and Reno. He rejoined in 1972, toured with the band during 1973 and recorded the Unconditionally Guaranteed album. Along with the rest of the band he left Don on the verge of the 1974 tour after a dispute over money. Unfortunately Alex played very little from then on and never recorded again.

There is some great guitar work to be heard on Safe As Milk, Mirror Man, Strictly Personal and Grow Fins. He also contributed to fellow Lancaster musician, Denny King’s album in 1972.

Sadly Alex passed away in January 2006. Read our obituary.

Magic Band Albums

Denny King & The B.O. Boogie Band

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