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 onRead More →

In advance of the imminent UK tour a short interview with Denny Walley has appeared in the Liverpool Echo In includes the great news that a CD of unreleased Beefheart music is to be released in December … no real detail as to what the tracks are but at last ‘Hoboism’ gets a legal release!Read More →

Here’s a treat … Gary ‘Magic’ Marker features in the latest issue of TimeMazine talking about his time with the Rising Sons, the Magic Band and Fusion as well as about the Don he knew. Gary is a great raconteur and writer so this is well worth checking out. If you haven’t come across TimeMazine before it describes itself as a Psychedelic fanzine about the 60s and Beyond ’em. It comes out annually and this is issue #6 with 88 pages, a 14 track CD compilation and a vinyl 7″ (for the first 800 copies). Other contents include Barry Melton from Country Joe and theRead More →

The Radar Station is sad to hear of the passing of Gary Jaye in Roxboro, North Carolina. Our thoughts are with his family and friends Gary was the drummer with the Magic Band during 1976 and 1977. In his book John French recalls seeing Gary play at the Troubadour in 1976: [wp_quote]I was really impressed with [his] mastery of the beats and thought he was a great player.[/wp_quote]Read More →

There’s a few Beefheart items in the pipeline about to be released: An Ashtray Heart – this is a cd of indeterminate origin. It features a recording of the FM broadcast of the 17 January 1981 show in Vancouver. Additional tracks are from the ’71 Detroit Tubeworks video, 1980 Saturday Night Live and the 1975 Orange Claw Hammer with Zappa The expanded Safe as Milk gets yet another release … this time as a double vinyl from the Dutch label On Vinyl. Ozit have in their wisdom decided to release Merseytrout as a limited edition double vinyl. Still no sign of the original Bat ChainRead More →

A handwritten poem and drawing on the back of a concert poster can be yours for $3500. Don gave this to writer Bill Bentley after an interview at the Armadillo Headquarters in 1975 during the Bongo Fury tour. It’s not so much a poem as a collection of Don aphorisms … many of which will be familiar to most fans. Check it out on the Record Mecca website. So, if anyone’s considering buying me a Christmas present this year, look no further. Thanks be to brainpang for the heads up.Read More →

Van Goo play some spiritedly excellent cover versions of various Trout Mask Replica songs. They don’t often do it live but they will be performing on Saturday 8 October at 10pm. You can find them at Freddie’s Bar, 627 5th Ave., Park Slope, Brooklyn NY or get a taster on YouTube.Read More →

Gary Lucas brings his celebration of Don’s life to Montreal, Canada as part of the Pop Montreal International Music Festival. It starts at midnight on 24 September at the unlikely venue of the Cinema L’Amour. Guests include Mary Margaret O’Hara , Dan Levitin, Chloe Lum, Jonathan Cummins plus others.Read More →

Some great news just in from Sundazed Records (thanks to Andy Bean for passing it on): *LIVE RECORDING OF THE LEGENDARY AND INNOVATIVE MAGIC BAND’S 2005 REUNION! Famously forged in a cauldron of intense artistic pressure, the Magic Band emerged as a group unlike any other in popular music. Under the tenacious tutelage of Don Van Vliet, better known as Captain Beefheart, this strikingly innovative unit took their music to unexplored places, creating a musical language all their own. Throughout the band’s chaotic history with Beefheart, drummer John “Drumbo” French served as the chief translator, deciphering the Captain’s often cryptic instructions into a discernable directionRead More →

John French, Magic Band Reunion

John French has just confirmed these dates for a Magic Band tour at the end of the year: Wednesday 30 November – The Scala, London Friday 2 December – Button Factory, Dublin Saturday 3 December – The Kazimier, Liverpool Sunday 4 December – All Tomorrows Parties, Minehead Monday 5 December – The Pavilion, Falmouth Wednesday 7 December – The Rescue Rooms, Nottingham Thursday 8 December – The Irish Centre, LeedsRead More →

I know there’s a few other collectors of Don’s exhibition catalogues out there. So I thought you might be interested to know that a friend of the Radar Station has decided to sell his collection on ebay. He’s just put nine catalogues up there – view the items ps: I’m happy to let you know about this because I’ll not be bidding as I have these already!Read More →

The Nan True's Hole Tapes Volume 2

Here’s a few Beefheart bootlegs that have been sighted recently. Follow the links for the usual Radar Station overview: A Whirlpool of Korn and Meat – an incredible eight discs in two volumes of all manner of goodies – volume one – volume two Muffin Man Goes To College – a two disc set of a show from the Bongo Fury tour The Nan True’s Hole Tapes Volume 2 – the latest offering from the lads at OzitRead More →

Wrought Iron Cactus

Flowers for Summer is a group exhibition being held at the Michael Werner Gallery, 4 East 77th Street, New York, NY 10075. Starts 30 June 2011 and finishes 10 September 2011. At least one of Don’s canvases – Wrought Iron Cactus – is being shown. Other artists include: Hurvin Anderson, Georg Baselitz, James Lee Byars, Lovis Corinth, Aaron Curry, Enrico David, Peter Doig, Thomas Houseago, Jörg Immendorff, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Per Kirkeby, JeanFautrier, Lucio Fontana, Fernand Leger, Eugène Leroy, Markus Lüpertz, A.R. Penck, Francis Picabia, Pablo Picasso, Sigmar Polke, Kurt Schwitters and FélixVallotton. “With painting and sculpture, the artists in Flowers for Summer engage theRead More →

Don Van Vliet and Gary Lucas

The Bowery Poetry Club in New York is the venue for another Beefheart tribute concert. Gary Lucas will be heading the event but it’s not one of his Symposium shows. This is going to be a musical tribute covering all albums from Safe As Milk to Ice Cream For Crow. It’s on Saturday 4 June, starts at 8pm and costs only $10 (all proceeds to The National Multiple Sclerosis Society). Check out the Bowery website for more details about who else will be performing. It’s also going to be streamed on the web.Read More →

Robyn Hitchcock

Graham’s already tweeted about this but I thought I’d pull it together into the blog. Robyn Hitchcock is running round the country with a Captain Beefheart tribute … he’s performing the Clear Spot album in its entirety with his Imaginary Band. The dates and venues are: 3 June – London The Garage 4 June – Cheltenham Wychwood Festival 5 June – Bath Spiegeltent 26 June – Glastonbury Festival Hitchcock is a great Beefheart fan and you can watch an interview with him on the Wychwood Festival site where he talks about Don and his other influences. He’s already covered a few of Don’s songs inRead More →

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

There’s a new book just been published (in French) called Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band(s) written by Benoit Delaune. It looks at how some of the most amazing ‘free’ music ever made was produced under the most controlled of conditions. Find out moreRead More →

Victor Hayden artwork

If you don’t get the chance to visit the exhibition – INK – of Victor Hayden (aka The Mascara Snake) artworks at the East Austin Art Gallery in Texas then you can get a look at some of them which are currently being sold on ebay by the gallery. Here’s the series of recent ink drawings being sold at a reasonable price and here’s some older more elaborate stuff for those with deeper pockets I blogged about this rare exhibition of Victor’s work last month.Read More →