Here’s something special for you all. The first full length interview with one of the original Magic Band members, bass player Jerry Handley. Jerry has been very generous with his time to answer a whole heap of questions I asked him plus he sent me some previously unseen photographs of the early Magic Band to be included with the interview. So what are you waiting for? Read the interviewRead More →

Back in 1964 when Alex Snouffer was looking to start up the band that would ultimately become Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band the first person he contacted and asked to join him was Jerry Handley. They had already had some experience of playing together, enjoyed the same blues-based music and got on well together. Jerry was to become the bass player. He played on all the early singles plus the “Safe As Milk”, “Strictly Personal” and “Mirror Man” albums. By all accounts he was an easy going and modest kind of guy (still is, in fact!) Incredibly Jerry has never been interviewed before … unlessRead More →

Okay, so why am I reviewing a book about Jeff Buckley here on the Radar Station? Well, it’s written by Gary Lucas who had, and still continues to have, a big part to play in the music of Don Van Vliet, and I think, should interest a lot of Beefheart fans. Jawbone Press : London 2013 Paperback 318 pages 22 Illustrations Originally published in Italy in Italian this is an updated English version of Gary’s story of his “time with Jeff Buckley”, in which he wants to correct the many previously published errors about their relationship and to counter the attempts at airbrushing him outRead More →

This isn’t a review of this recent release by Chrome Dreams this is a warning. It’s not a new documentary about the relationship between Don and Frank it’s just a repackaging of the two previous titles “Under Review” and “From Straight to Bizarre” although there is nothing to tell you that on the new package or on the Chrome Dreams website. So if you already have these two DVDs don’t bother wasting money on this release, the new packaging is the only thing new about it. The card box opens up to reveal copies of the earlier DVDs in their original packaging. It smacks ofRead More →

It’s almost 40 years since Don played the Troubadour in Los Angeles… and far too long since the Magic Band have played in the US. At long last a venue has had the commonsense to book the band so some of our American cousins can see what they’ve been missing. The date of the show is Monday 7th April. Find out more on the Troubadour’s Facebook page for the gig.Read More →

Dutch radio presenter and Beefheart fan, Co de Kloet, will be hosting a special Beefheart Night on 17 November 2013. You don’t have to be in the Netherlands to listen to it as it can be heard online in his show CoLive – www.radio6.nl/colive/ – from 20.30 till 2300 hrs. The Beefheart Night show will include: 1. the full “World of Captain Beefheart” show performed on 17 February at Amsterdam’s Paradiso by Gary Lucas with the Metropole Orchestra and special guest, Nona Hendryx 2. an interview with Gary Lucas 3. excerpts of “I Have a Cat” – a phone interview Co did with Don to whichRead More →

Thanks to Groucho Kangaroo we are able to post this warning to all Beefheart fans about this latest vinyl atrocity. Captain Beefheart: “The Rarest Previously Unreleased 1970s Live And Studio Tracks” Ozit-Morpheus / Dandelion Records, LP, 2013 Side 1: 1. Steal Softly Through Snow – obviously not the Magic Band, newly recorded? 2. I Wanna Find A Woman… – Pepperland Ballroom, San Rafael, Sept. 18th 1970 3. Hair Pie Bake – Pepperland Ballroom, San Rafael, Sept. 18th 1970 4. Golden Birdies – BEAT CLUB session for Radio Bremen, Bremen, April 12th 1972 5. Space Age Couple – Pepperland Ballroom, San Rafael, Sept. 18th 1970 6.Read More →

Following on from his involvement with the Magic Band reunion, Fast ‘n’ Bulbous and the series of Symposia Gary Lucas continues his celebration of Don’s music with his latest project “The World of Captain Beefheart”. This is based on the show of the same name performed featuring Nona Hendryx (LaBelle, Talking Heads) and several Dutch singers at Amsterdam’s Paradiso in February 2013 with the 65 -piece Metropole Orchestra, which was produced by Dutch radio presenter and Beefheart fan, Co de Kloet. All the musicians involved in the new project – Gary Lucas, Nona Hendryx, Jesse Krakow, Eric Slick and Jordan Shapiro –  have busy schedules so they willRead More →

The Sundazed label is continuing its run of quality Beefheart with the release of a ‘definitive’ MONO version of “Safe As Milk”.  Many fans prefer the original mix of the band’s first album and this looks like THE one to pick up if you can’t afford one of the 1967 copies. The album is going to be released on 180 gram vinyl and on CD. The vinyl will have all the artwork, including the bumper sticker, that graced the original Buddah disc. There will be liner notes by David Fricke. It’s already being listed by some online sellers for pre-order although the official release dateRead More →

Bill Harkleroad’s recollections of his time with the Magic Band and Mallard – Lunar Notes written with Billy James  – has been out of print for a number of years and has commanded stupid prices on eBay. If you don’t have one, there’s now the opportunity to pick up a copy for only £9.99, thanks to the excellent Gonzo Multimedia who republished it on 22 July. (Note: This is a straight republish and doesn’t contain any new or additional material.) Check out the Radar Station review of the original publication Buy it from Gonzo Multimedia Listen to Gonzo’s phone interview with Billy JamesRead More →

Gideon Coe

BBC Radio 6’s Gideon Coe will be playing a Beefheart concert on his evening show Wednesday 22 May (starts 9pm BST). It’s not clear what it will be although our best guess is the 1968 Peel sessions. If you miss the show I think it should be available via the BBC 6 website – http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01sjs73 (Thanks to Nulsh for the heads-up)Read More →

To celebrate the launch of the new improved Radar Station I have a couple of interviews to share with you all – one is from one of the newest Magic Band members, the other is with one of the original founder members. First up here is an interview I did with Eric Klerks at the end of 2012. Eric gives up a bit of background about himself, how he came to be in the band and what he thinks about listening to and playing Beefheart’s music. Read the interview with Eric I was particularly interested in some of Eric’s explanations of the Magic Band music in technical terms (althoughRead More →

If you have been lucky enough to catch any of the Magic Band reunion shows since 2009 you will have seen two new faces in the band – drummer Craig Bunch and guitarist Eric Klerks. These guys have taken on the daunting task of stepping into some big shoes and playing this complex music live to audiences of committed Beefheart fans. And if you have seen them, then like me you will know they have both acquitted themselves extraordinarily well, playing with passion, precision and commitment. I thought it was about time we found out what it was like for them being a part of the MagicRead More →

If you’re in Portland, Oregon on Thursday 17 January take a trip out to Belmont Station “Portland’s Premier Beer Store and Bier Cafe”. In one of their regular beer tasting evenings you’ll be able to sample a Captain Beefheart Beer. Here’s how they describe it: Captain Beefheart is a collaborative brew between Jason McAdam of Burnside Brewing and Alex Ganum of Upright, both of whom can be described as meat enthusiasts. In their own words: “The idea behind Captain Beefheart was to create a complex beverage with savory flavors rooted in the kitchen. We started with a malty copper colored base and added Turkish bayRead More →

Gary Lucas and Nona Hendryx

The World of Captain Beefheart is a special concert featuring Gary Lucas with the 60 piece Metropole Orchestra performing symphonic Beefheart. Date: Sunday 17th February 2013 Venue: the main hall of Amsterdam’s Paradiso Special guest vocalist for the night is legendary Nona Hendryx (pictured below with Gary), who is also a big Beefheart fan. This event has been put together by Co de Kloet (the Dutch radio presenter who did the last lengthy interview with Don on the phone in the early 90’s). It will be broadcast live on Co’s radio show on national Dutch radio, NTR. It is also being filmed for possible broadcast. ViewRead More →

Updated: 26 Jan 2013 Woo hoo! Yes, prepare to be booglarized again … the guys are back in the UK for another tour. So far the following dates have been set up: March 2013 1 – Concorde 2, Brighton 2 – Arts Centre, Colchester 4 – The Fleece, Bristol 5 – Robin 2, Bilston, Wolverhampton 6 – The Continental, Preston 7 – Band On The Wall, Manchester 9 – Arches, Glasgow 10 – HMV Picture House, Edinburgh 11 – The Cluny, Newcastle upon Tyne 13 – Erics, Liverpool 14 – The Duchess, York 15 – Sub89, Reading 16 – Under The Bridge, Fulham, London ForRead More →

If you haven’t got a copy of the Beefheart/Zappa Commemorative box set put together around Freddy Banister’s book “There Must Be A Better Way” then there are perhaps further reasons to get a copy. Two more stealth recordings of Frank Zappa concerts have now been added to the set: 1970 Frank Zappa at the Bath Festival and 1978 Frank Zappa at the Knebworth Festival. This makes it a total of 10 CDs (7 Captain Beefheart and 3 Frank Zappa), plus the T shirt and poster which are still included … and the price remains £49.99.Read More →

There’s a new book available which has compiled over 40 written pieces about, and interviews with Don. It’s called ‘A carrot is as close as a rabbit gets to a diamond’. In this online world it’s a refreshing retro artefact. Read my short reviewRead More →

I’ve had some enquiries about whether there’s a vinyl version of the recently remastered Bat Chain Puller. As far as I can make out the Zappa Family Trust will not be releasing one … many Zappa fans have already been upset by the absence of vinyl versions of Mothers and Frank titles so it’s nothing personal towards us Beefheart followers. Inevitably though, bootleggers have stepped in to fill the gap. So, there is now a (white) vinyl version of Bat Chain Puller available. It’s dubbed from the remastered CD and sporting artwork based on it too. It’s even claiming to be a zappa.com Vaulternative release …Read More →