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 Magic
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 bay
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. View
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 For
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.
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 …
The September issues of two UK music mags will be of interest to Beefheart fans: MOJO #226 features Mark Boston (Rockette Morton) in the ‘Hello Goodbye’ section where he tells Mike Barnes about joining the Magic Band in 1968 and quitting in 1974. UNCUT #184 has a six page feature called Dropouts Boogie. John Robinson has spoken to 14 former Magic Band members to form the basis of this piece … from founding member Jerry Handley, through the Tragic Band to Cliff Martinez from the final incarnation.
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 ephemera
The Pittsburgh micro-brewery, East End Brewing Company, have recently produced a new beer called Blabber & Smoke. It’s a Rauchbier type lager. If it tastes as good as the label looks then you’re in for treat – If anyone gets to try some please let us know what it tastes like. It’s not the first brew to be inspired by Beefheart. I know of two others – the bottled beer Old Fart and the draught China Pig. Do you know of any others?
It’s always good to see new Beefheart related items appearing. Footage The UK company Voiceprint Records have announced a new addition to their ‘Lost Broadcasts’ series of DVDs due for release on 18 June 2012: [wp_quote] On the 12th April, in the middle of the European leg of the tour Captain Beefheart and The Magic Band stopped off at the Beat Club studios in Bremen to film a session for later transmission. Of the four song session filmed that day only one track has ever been broadcast. The band at that time included: Captain Beefheart (Don Van Vliet), vocals, harp. Rockette Morton (Mark Boston), guitar/bass.
Not exactly news … I’ve just been a bit slow blogging about this release which many of you will already know about. As part of this year’s Record Store Day Sundazed released a fantastic double vinyl 7″ of the band’s first two A&M singles. For more images and information about this see the Radar Station review
I’ve finally put a review of Bat Chain Puller up on the site. If you haven’t bought a copy yet and are unsure about whether to or not … read it! If you’ve already read it (it’s been up for a few days) then take another look as I’ve just added an intriguing update about the version of Hobo-Ism that’s on the album. Although I ordered the album from Barko Swill when it was originally announced I’m still waiting on my copy! Guess they must have sent it by snail mail (literally!) So I bought another from the very friendly G & S Music who
The Magic Band will be back in the UK in March (for a mini tour), in Japan in April and New Jersey in September, playing at an ATP event in each of the three countries. So far the following venues have been confirmed: 7 March 2012 – Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth 9 March 2012 – The Phoenix, Exeter 11 March 2012 – ATP Festival, Minehead 12 March 2012 – The Robin, Bilston, Wolverhampton 13 March 2012 – The Continental, Preston 14 March 2012 – The Duchess, York 14 April 2012 – ATP Festival, Tokyo POSTPONED – hoping to reschedule later in 2012 21-23 September – ATP
Some fascinating footage has appeared on YouTube from 1969. Is it something not seen before or is it a much better version of the Trout Promo footage that has been doing the rounds for many years? (that was so dark it was almost impossible to make anything out). It appears to show Don and the band (Mark, John, Bill and Jeff) cavorting about and generally acting daft. The quality is not great – it’s dark (all black and white), the camera keeps moving and some of the film has been treated to look negative … … but even so it’s well worth watching. It was
This message has been received from Zappa.com by those who’d ordered a copy: [wp_quote]Dear Friends, Thank you very much for ordering Captain Beefheart’s Bat Chain Puller! This is to let you know that the manufacturing of this release has been delayed. We hope to be shipping the week of 13 February (maybe sooner). We are really looking forward to you having this wonderment in your anxious ears! xxx, the barfies [/wp_quote]
This is an interesting documentary release – From Straight to Bizarre: Zappa, Beefheart, Alice Cooper and LA’s Lunatic Fringe. It comes from Chrome Dreams who you may remember from the Captain Beefheart: Under Review DVD. The dvd documents Zappa’s attempt to control his recordings by setting up his own labels, Straight and Bizarre – while at the same time releasing music from LA’s freak scene which would otherwise have never made it to vinyl. Although it mentions all the albums released it concentrates on those by Alice Cooper, The GTOs, Wild Man Fischer, Jeff Simmons and, of course, our man Captain Beefheart. So for Beefheart fans there
This has already been mentioned in a previous post but I think it deserves one of its own… Yes, the Zappa Family Trust have finally decided to release the often bootlegged Original Bat Chain Puller from their Vault only 36 years after it was recorded. For the past 18 months Gail Zappa has been saying it was going to get a release. However, here at the Radar Station we’ve been wary of reporting it until it we were certain. But it does now look like it’s actually going to happen … it was announced on the anniversary of Don’s death and will be released on