The front cover of Strictly Personal was, at the time, quite unusual although it didn’t really hint at the strangeness that lay within those vinyl grooves. However, if you opened up the gatefold sleeve you were confronted head-on with the weirdness that was Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band even if he did say himself that “I may be hungry but I sure ain’t weird”. This certainly wasn’t your usual band photo call, no cheesy smiles, no macho posturing and no dodgy hairdos. Have you ever wondered who was who in that iconic photograph by Guy Webster? Well, we can tell you. Thanks to JerryRead More →

The late Gary Marker, a jazz and session bassist at the time, was a close associate of Don Van Vliet during the 1960s. He produced some demos for the band, as well as early versions of some of the Safe As Milk songs. He also played bass on Moonlight  on Vermont and Veteran’s Day Poppy on Trout Mask Replica. Gary often graced the online forums devoted to chat about Beefheart where he responded to questions and comments freely and extravagantly in his own inimitable way. Here are some of his posts concerning the Strictly Personal album. In 2001 Gary was asked about the lines “Cheese inRead More →

Yes, it’s true the legendary guitarist of the Magic Band and MU has finally broken his silence. Although for years Jeff Cotton has kept a low profile, refusing interviews with Steve Froy for his Space Blues website and even for John French when he was compiling the sleeve notes for Grow Fins and writing his Through the Eyes of Magic book he has now agreed to talk to Samuel Andreyev. Samuel has already won the hearts of many Beefheart fans with his musicologist’s examination of the track Frownland and his video interviews with John French and Bill Harkleroad. Now he has managed to pull offRead More →

This release, Vault Package #36, by Jack White’s Third Man Records has caused a bit of a buzz amongst fans not least because of the way it had to be pre-ordered on subscription via the label’s website and at $60 it was not cheap. Understandably the cost put many people off but plenty more battled with the website and signed up for it. Third Man Records blurb: In full partnership with the Zappa Family Trust and to celebrate the relaunch of the seminal Bizarre label imprint, Third Man Records is proud to announce its 36th Vault package focused squarely on Captain Beefheart and the MagicRead More →

Since his heart surgery Mark Boston aka Rockette Morton, bassist extraordinaire for the Magic Band, has had to take things a bit easier so he has taken up creating art. His elaborate, swirling images of aliens, tubes and streamers are vibrant as well as full of colour and humour. These pieces are for sale. See below for more details. The Radar Station asked Mark a few questions to get the background on his move from musician to artist: Radar Station: Firstly, I think all your fans would like to know how your are healthwise these days. Rockette Morton:  The heart surgery was a success butRead More →

Robert Williams, the Beefheart drummer from 1977 to 1981, recently posted on his Facebook page that he has a serious medical condition that will require major brain surgery. Sadly he has been diagnosed with a Glioma brain tumor which will have to be removed. Fortunately the procedure will be covered by MediCal. However as Robert is self-employed he will be unable to work whilst in hospital and when recovering from the operation. To help him meet his living expenses during this stressful time his son has set up a gofundme page where you can donate something to help him. If you are able help pleaseRead More →

Kristine McKenna is an American music journalist who has written for Wet, NME, Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair, The New York Times, The Washington Post and many other publications. Over the years she has often written about Don, having interviewed him a number of times she was trusted by him and became a friend of his. In 1987 she had Don take part in a phone-in programme with her on her late night KCRW show. Some of this show is included in ‘Electricity: Conversations With Captain Beefheart’ available as part of KCRW’s ‘Lost Tapes’ series. In this Kristine talks about her encounters with Don and alsoRead More →

Probably one of the busiest performers on the circuit, Gary Lucas is coming to the UK in May 2018 with a solo multi-media show entitled “An Evening with Gary Lucas : From Beefheart to Buckley and Beyond”. He will be playing solo except for one show when he will be joined by the legendary former singer from Can, Damo Suzuki! Check out the dates and venues below: Friday, May 4th Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool Saturday, May 5th The Cluny, Newcastle Sunday, May 6th St. Luke’s, Glasgow Tuesday, May 8th Florence Arts Centre, Egremont, Cumbria Thursday, May 10th FOCUS Wales​ 2018, Wrexham – Gary is performingRead More →

(Over The Edge Radio Show & Cassette Only Release) Radio Voices Series Volume Three Ammunition Press (distributed by Beat Books, Berkeley, California) 1995 Contents of Booklet Jack Lantern Eyelid (poem) A Metabiography of Don Van Vliet, Hair Pie, Bake One Doctor Dark Corner (North) BeefQuest (quiz) Doctor Dark’s Penances for Wrong or Right Answers A Metabiography of Don Van Vliet, Hair Pie, Bake Two Doctor Dark Corner (South) Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band (poem) Doctor Dark Corner (East) Beef Art (Crosley Bendix and Doctor Sigmund Void discussion) New Work (poem) A Metabiography of Don Van Vliet, Hair Pie, Bake Three The D.T.’s (poem) SourceRead More →

The remastered Trout Mask Replica is at last getting a vinyl release. It is in the capable hands of Jack White’s Third Man Records. Not only are they releasing the double vinyl album but also the mega-rare France-only single “Pachuco Cadaver / Wild Life”. Other bits and bobs are included in this package. Like all Third Man Records this will not be available in a store. You will have to sign up for a subscription on their website … and to get this Beefheart release (Vault Package #36) you’ll need to do it before 30 April 2018. The cost is $60 plus shipping. For moreRead More →

A great collection of photographs taken by Paddy Bergin at the 1975 Knebworth Festival are now available online and to buy. Some of these may already be familiar to fans but there are several here I’ve not seen before. Sadly they don’t include a good shot of the whole band onstage though. Check out Paddy’s GalleryRead More →

Don will be the subject of the BBC Radio 4 programme ‘Great Lives’ on Tuesday 3 April at 4:30 pm (BST). The programme will then be available online at the BBC iPlayer radio. He has been chosen by comedian Jim Moir, better known as Vic Reeves one half of the surreal and barking mad comedy duo Reeves and Mortimer. He will be accompanied by Beefheart biographer Mike Barnes. Should be well worth a listen. Find it here – http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b09xjx30  Read More →

Find out who has recorded which of Don’s songs through this list arranged by the song title. If you prefer you can return to the list arranged by artist   25th Century Quaker  –  Matthew Lewis _________________________ A carrot is as close  –  Black Gang Brokeback Fast ‘n’ Bulbous The Fourfathers Benjamin Horrendous Henry Kaiser Eli Litwin Gary Lucas Meridian Arts Ensemble Rosa Ensemble & Hans Dagelet Swedish Tribute Band _________________________ Abba Zaba  –  Azalia Snail Big Eyed Beans From Venus Built To Spill Fast ‘n’ Bulbous John French Lisa Kelly Radio I Ching SF Rock Project Voices of Africa _________________________ Alice In Blunderland  –Read More →

Find out who has recorded which of Don’s songs through this list arranged by the artist’s name. If you prefer you can return to the list arranged by song title   The 012  –   Blabber ‘n’ Smoke  25 Suaves  –  Dachau Blues A Warm Palindrome  –  Orange Claw Hammer Nel Aspinal  –  Sugar ‘n’ Spikes Azalia Snail  –  Abba Zaba Baby Woodrose  –  Dropout Boogie The Balancing Act  –  Zig Zag Wanderer Les Bandits du Vidourle  –  Frying Pan The Barely Works  –  Tropical Hot Dog Night Tom Barman & Guy Van Nueten  –  Harry Irene Basketcase  –  Ashtray Heart The Beasts of Bourbon  –  HardRead More →

On the 19 November 1977 Captain Beefheart and The Magic Band played a gig, Fete du P.S.U, at Le Nouvel Hippodrome, in Paris. This was a two-day music festival in aid of the French National Socialist Party. An audience of about 10,000 under a big top! Other acts included Buffy St Marie, David Allen’s Gong, Tim Blake’s Crystal Machine, Tania Maria and the Mike Westbrook Orchestra. The Hippodrome de Pantin, Le Nouvel Hippodrome, was a permanent circus located in the Parc de la Villette, near the Porte de Pantin metro station in the north-east of Paris. This was the only performance by the band in UKRead More →

Gary Lucas will be presenting another of his Don Van Vliet tribute shows on Monday 22nd January 2018, 8pm at the City Winery, New York City. The performance will follow a similar format to previous events hosted by Gary and will feature screenings of rare video clips of Beefheart, projections of Don Van Vliet’s stunning paintings and drawings, live readings of his surrealist poetry, rare tracks and spoken word pieces, plus more surprises. This special evening will include a performance by Lucas’ latest ensemble The World of Captain Beefheart, which includes expert Beefheart practitioners Jesse Krakow on bass, Richard Dworkin on drums, Jordan Shapiro on keyboardsRead More →

A new book about Don’s work looking at his music, words and paintings. Currently only available in Italian. Published by Arcana Edizioni Price: € 25 Year: 2017 384 pages Contact: moderndance78@yahoo.it Publicity blurb: Captain Beefheart, born Don Vliet, is one of the most important and mythologized artists in the entire history of rock music. Starting from a solid blues basis and armed with a powerful voice worthy of Howlin ‘Wolf, in the Sixties he recorded, with his Magic Band, some of the most decisive works for the evolution of blues-rock, releasing in 1969, also thanks to the support of his friend Frank Zappa, the prodigiousRead More →

A huge box full of Beefheart and Zappa memorabilia, CDs and DVDs from Freddy Bannister who promoted many of their 1970s tours and festivals in the UK. A similar box set has been available before but this one has been packed with even more bits and pieces. It’s a signed limited edition of 100 copies. The set includes: the book ‘There Must Be A Better Way’ – Freddie Bannister’s autobiography three full size posters of Knebworth Festivals facsimile of the Beefheart 1972 tour programme facsimile of the programme for the 1970 Bath Festival facsimile of the programme for the 1975 Knebworth Festival ‘The Spirit ofRead More →