Publicity Without a doubt the most challenging artist of the rock era, the man formerly known as Don Van Vliet still retains an almost biblical dedication amongst the ever-increasing fanbase of ‘those who get it’. You either do or you don’t; the good Captain doesn’t attract the casuals! Captain Beefheart – Under Review is a two hour documentary film tracing the roots and history of this iconic musical legend. Featuring rare live and studio performances of Beefheart, interspersed with contributions from virtually all members of The Magic Band – along with a panel of esteemed experts.The film also features rarely seen promo films, interview footageRead More →

Now here’s a thing … a whole podcast about the Trout Mask Replica album … and not just one podcast but one podcast for EACH track. This is being bought to you by the Prince Track by Track Podcast set up by Darren Husted (see below for more information about the origin of this podcast series). Darren asked some friends if they’d be interested in creating a podcast for a favourite album and Joel Bakker suggested Trout Mask. Joel then set about convincing assorted Beefheart fans to choose a track, and with him hosting recorded their discussion about the track, the album, how they gotRead More →

As you may know Gary Lucas has been regularly busking via his Facebook page during the lockdown. He has already devoted a couple of those sessions to the music of Beefheart. To celebrate the 40th anniversary of its release Gary will be focusing on the album Doc At the Radar Station during his sessions on Tuesday 1st September, Thursday 3rd September and Saturday 5th September starting at 3pm EDT which is 8pm BST. Find Gary’s Facebook page here – https://www.facebook.com/gary.lucas.5836Read More →

Song List Drink Paint Run Run Seam Crooked Sam (version 2) Dirty Blue Gene (version 1) Sun Zoom Spark (version 3) Kiss Me My Love Funeral Hill (version 1) Harry Irene (jazzy guitar version) Open Pins Dual & Abdul Semi-Multicolored Caucasian (version 2) Balladino Clear Spot (instrumental) Circumstances I’m Gonna Booglarize You, Baby (instrumental) Low Yo Yo Stuff (instrumental) Semi-Multicolored Caucasian (version 1) Little Scratch (version 2) Recorded at Record Plant Studios Los Angeles, CA, October / November 1971 Radar Station Overview According to the sleeve notes “… this collection finally brings together in one place the previously unreleased outtakes from Spotlight Kid …”. Indeed itRead More →

There is an excellent article by Sean Kitching on The Quietus website marking 40 years since the release of Doc at the Radar Station. It includes insights about the recording of Don’s penultimate album from new interviews with Gary Lucas and Eric Drew Feldman. Read the article here – The Best Batch Yet? Captain Beefheart’s Doc At The Radar Station RevisitedRead More →

Just unearthed from Gary Lucas’s archives: A phone interview Gary conducted with Don Van Vliet broadcast on Yale University’s radio station WYBC FM January 18th 1972 three days before Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band’s show at Yale University’s Woolsey Hall January 21st 1972. Gary was Music Director of WYBC at the time, and had seen Beefheart’s first gig in NYC at Ungano’s the year before, a show which changed his life–as after witnessing that concert he vowed that if he ever did anything in music professionally, his number one priority would be to join Beefheart’s Magic Band–which he eventually did in 1980. This interviewRead More →

Yet another interview with John French. This time it’s with Joe Wong from the Trap Set which is a weekly podcast and terrestrial radio show about the lives of drummers. Amazingly John manages to keep it interesting by recalling ever more detail of his time with the Magic Band. You can hear it here :  Read More →

Song List My Human Gets Me Blues Interstellar Overdrive A very rare bootleg single released in Japan. It’s a 10 inch metal acetate and it’s believed there may only be 20 copies of it in circulation! Side One runs at 45 rpm and included Frank Zappa introducing Don and the Magic Band to the festival crowd at Amougies, Belgium in October 1969 before they storm into ‘My Human Gets Me Blues’. Side Two, running at 33 rpm, features Pink Floyd playing ‘Interstellar Overdrive’ at the same festival with Frank joining them on guitar. Releases 201? acetate on Magic Market MM-10-A/BRead More →

In 1993 Gerry Pratt started publishing his amazing fanzine ‘Steal Softly Thru Snow’. It ran to only eight issues sadly but was an important source of information for many Beefheart fans in the days before the internet. Various problems caused its eventual demise and although it has now been superseded by websites such as this one (which owes a debt of gratitude to SSTS) copies are still highly sought after. It has always been an idea at the back of my mind to scan all the issues and make them available here on the Radar Station. This is a project that has been bubbling awayRead More →

A&M Days Published March 1993 Note: The original printed version of this issue had several blank pages where images were missing. I have reinstated them and have taken the liberty to replace some of the other images with better colour versions where possible. Click on the image for a larger version.Read More →

Delta Fusion Published September 1993 Note:  I have added an image that was missed off the original printing and have taken the liberty to replace some of the other images with better colour versions where possible. Click on the image for a larger version.    Read More →

During the pandemic lockdown Gary Lucas has been live-streaming performances on Facebook from home several times a week. In a special three part series of performances in June 2020 Gary featured a Beefheart tribute. If you missed those streams or don’t like wading through the morass that is Facebook then hurry on over to Gary’s website to catch videos of all three of his Beefheart shows. You will also find there a selection of paintings and drawings by Don Van Vliet from his personal collection, including the backstory behind each piece. And there’s more … Gary writes about his Top 5 Captain Beefheart albums whichRead More →

In June 2020, to keep himself amused during the pandemic lockdown, Gary wrote about his five favourite Beefheart albums. We’re pleased to present them here on the Radar Station —————————————————- CAPTAIN BEEFHEART: I’LL GIVE YOU A BUNCH OF FIVES 5-count them-5 seminal albums by CAPTAIN BEEFHEART AND THE MAGIC BAND As a follow-up to my 3 Part Tribute to the one and only DON VAN VLIET a/k/a CAPTAIN BEEFHEART just completed on Facebook, as promised here are my 5 recommended favorites of the 11 studio albums Don released with his truly MAGIC BAND. I’m gonna dole them out as the week progresses, okay? And hereRead More →

One of Gary’s top ten albums from his list compiled for a Facebook challenge in 2020 … Rolled round de corner comin’ up SEVEN Come Eleven My lucky number Lord Ah feeeeel like I’m in Heaven Ah said –“Ah Feel Like Ahcid”, Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band And **LUCKY SEVEN** it is today in the Bang On A Gland Roll-Call of the Ten Most Happenin’est, Earth Shakin’est Albums reverberating still in the hippodrome and flippodrome of my skull, until the last syllable of recorded time even (or something like that–I keep revising my list to try and keep it fresh due to multiple listsRead More →