Published by Salt Publishing, September 2005 Salt Studies in Contemporary Literature and Culture Paperback and Hardback Publisher’s blurb A comparative account of the musical and cultural acts of Zappa and his cohort, collaborator and antagonist Captain Beefheart. Written in the iconoclastic spirit of Zappa’s art, this book traces the mixed media experiments of California freakdom through the dada blues of Beefheart, mapping out the pleasures of imaginative excess. This book is not another critical biography, but an interpretive essay investigating what we feel is the cultural and historical importance of Zappa and Beefheart in the context of a wide-ranging network of references that run fromRead More →

Published by Ozit A4 size Thanks to Andy Bean for the cover scan Publisher’s blurb “Hungry But Weird” is one of the definitive books about Captain Beefheart and The Magic Band. 108 pages on glossy art paper with many photographs and illustrations, put together in the style of late 60s/early 70s underground magazines, this is one of the best in-depth collections of writings/jottings/articles/drawings/illustrations about Captain Beefheart and The Magic Band. Full colour card cover with images of Captain Beefheart back and front. Radar Station Review After Ozit’s shameful reprinting of Babylon Books’ ‘The Lives & Times Of Captain Beefheart’ with new title & author credit,Read More →

Published by Continuum (33 1/3 series) ISBN 0 826427812 2007 152 pages Publisher’s blurb In the spring of 1969, the inauspicious release of Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band’s Trout Mask Replica, a double-album featuring 28 stream-of-consciousness songs filled with abstract rhythms and guttural bellows, dramatically altered the pop landscape. Yet even if the album did cast its radical vision over the future of music, much of the record’s artistic strength is actually drawn from the past. This book examines how Beefheart’s incomparable opus, an album that divided (rather than) united a pop audience, is informed by a variety of diverse sources. Trout Mask ReplicaRead More →

It’s been a long time coming. There were times when it looked like this book wouldn’t see the light of day … and what a great loss that would have been for us all. So I have to say ‘thank you’ to John for persevering with it and also to Proper Records for bravely taking on the publishing. The first thing you notice is that this is a BIG book. My review copy was a half-size photocopy and it was still huge, so I hope that the binding on the finished product is strong enough to hold the 800+ pages! The book looks good thoughRead More →

Benoit Delaune - Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band(s)

Published by Le Mot et Le Reste 2011 ISBN: 9782360540211 Paperback 150 pages Blurb from cover Rogue brilliant, tyrannical leader, singer monstrous. Many rumors and legends surround the artist known as Captain Beefheart. A school friend of Frank Zappa he surrounded himself with many often anonymous but brilliant musicians of his “Magic Band”. Captain Beefheart from 1967 to 1982 created – in just fifteen years and a handful of albums – complex polyrhythmic and polytonal music, based on deconstructed blues. Many musicians today continue to avail themselves of this important artist who suddenly and silently quit music in 1982 to devote himself fully to painting.Read More →

This lecture took place at the Gifford Auditorium, Syracuse, 23rd April 1975. Don is fairly quiet throughout the lecture; when asked a direct question he gives not so much oblique answers as abstract statements beamed into his brain from who-knows where. When asked to talk a little about Trout Mask Replica, Don instead quotes sections from Sam With The Showing Scalp Flattop. Unmissable, but not particularly helpful. Frank Zappa, who does the vast majority of the talking, makes considerably more sense with his genuinely insightful ruminations on the workings of the music industry. Lecture part 1(44 minutes 26 seconds) Lecture part 2 (44 minutes 48 seconds)Read More →

Welcome to my very favourite item here at the Radar Station. It’s a streaming audio interview broadcast on the John Peel show on the 24th April 1973. Fourteen minutes long, it is less of an interview than a friendly chat. John Peel states at the beginning that he is notoriously bad at interviewing people, but this is one of the best interview I have ever heard with the Captain and really captures his sense of fun. This tape was sent to me by Peter Cooney, many thanks indeed. Click to hear the show.Read More →

Here you will find streaming audio files which make up a full interview which took place in California, July 1969, between Don Van Vliet and Meatball Fulton. Divided into 5 parts, each part is just over 20 minutes long for your convenience. You may occasionally hear sentences abruptly clipped due to the original tape running out in the machine recording the conversation. I doubt there is a more complete audio version of this interview available anywhere. This is a fascinating interview, with Don making a startling succession of inspired observations about music, art, drugs, literature, human society, nature etc etc. I tip my hat toRead More →

These cartoons were sent to me by Colin B. Morton and are used with kind permission. All except the first are taken from the Colin B. Morton & Chuck Death Book “Great Pop Things”. Click for bigger versions: Note the appearance of a ‘Norton Nicholls’ in both the Zappa story and “Captain Beefheart: The Movie part 1”. Colin explained: [wp_quote] I attended Croesyceiliog School in Gwent (also Colin David Webb who wrote “Captain Beefheart – The Man & His Music” went to this school but a bit before me). In about 1983-4 I was standing at a bus stop talking to some kids from thatRead More →

This cartoon is dated 6th March 1995 and was taken from the Eureka Times Standard. I must say that I can’t work out what the two accompanying questions have to do with anything, let alone Beefheart. Nevertheless, it’s a nice drawing. Many thanks to Sheldon Reber for sending it along.Read More →

One of the many myths surrounding Don’s early years involves his association with a Portuguese sculptor called Agostinho Rodrigues (sometimes written as Augustino Rodriquez). Don’s story is that he trained under this artist and appeared on a weekly television programme with him sculpting wild animals at Griffith Park Zoo. Searches for information about Rodrigues (using variations on the spelling of his name) have come to nothing. However, in 2003 a bit more about Rodrigues, Don and animal sculpting came to light. The Rhino art box Riding Some Kind Of Unusual Skull Sleigh included a book called Splinters, a collection of personal photos and other ephemeraRead More →