There are not many opportunities these day to hear Don’s music played live but luckily there are a few musicians out there keeping the flame alive. Here’s a couple of chances to experience this music live, one in the US and one in the UK. UPDATE: Gary has contacted us to say that the Cutting Room gig has had to be POSTPONED. We will post details when it is rescheduled. Gary Lucas is presenting his THE WORLD OF CAPTAIN BEEFHEART show featuring legendary soul diva Nona Hendryx (Labelle) on vocals. You can catch this in NYC at The Cutting Room 44 East 32nd St on
One of the great pieces of footage showing the band at full throttle is their performance of I’m Gonna Booglarize You Baby on the German TV music programme Beat Club back in 1972. Then in 2012 The Lost Broadcasts DVD revealed footage form the complete studio session – a couple more run throughs of Booglarize plus versions of Click Clack (twice), Golden Birdies, Steal Softly Thru Snow and Rockette Morton’s Bass Solo. Amazing picture and sound quality! Now, the Beat Club YouTube channel has revealed even more footage from that session. Sadly there are no more songs. But what we do have here is the
That Petrol Emotion Hot Head 1988 UK 12″ Cellophane / Think of a Woman / Hot Head on Virgin Records VST 1116 see also Fast ‘n’ Bulbous Tribute Album Zig Zag Wanderer 1985 UK 12″ Keen / A Great Depression on a Slum Night / Zig Zag Wanderer on Pink Records PINKY 13T The Three Johns Moonlight on Vermont 1988 UK vinyl The Death of Everything on Trance Records 1988 UK CD The Death of Everything on Line Records TCDD 9-00671 One of the Johns was Jon Langford, founder of Leeds punk legend The Mekons, who de-camped to Chicago and are still performing. Another Beefheart connection is that he played with
Sacred Cowboys Click Clack 2008 Australia CD Nailed to the Cross 1982-85 on Savage Beat/Loaded Skull Discs SB/LSD001 This track was only released as part of this 2CD retrospective but was recorded back in 1983 as part of a live set played at the Seaview Ballroom and broadcast on radio The Sacred Cowboys played a tough rock tinged with country and were part of the healthy Aussie scene that also included The Scientists and The Beasts of Bourbon. Satantango Clear Spot 2004 Italian CD Mr Bore on Wallace Records wallace 53 Included on as this CD as track 0, a pre-gap hidden track
Native & Silencers ZigZag Wanderer 1995 French CD Duos Taratata on Barclay 529509-2 A compilation album of material played on the French TV show ‘Taratata’. It looks like bands were encouraged to play together hence the ‘duos’ part of the album title. The song is actually listed as ‘Zig Zag’. Native is a French soul and funk band, they are two French black sisters Laura and Chris Mayne and The Silencers is a Scottish rock band. This was recorded on February 15th, 1995 and broadcast on March 24th, 1995 on French second channel. You can see a video of this on www.mytaratata.com Thanks to Daniel Mercurin for extra information about this one. Nectarine
Mark Lanegan Band Clear Spot 2003 US CDEP Here Comes That Weird Chill (Methamphetamine Blues, Extras & Oddities) on Beggars Banquet Records Ex-Screaming Trees and Queens Of The Stone Age frontman, Mark Lanegan has put his own band together. Originally intended as a single from the album this release has grown into an 8 track EP of session out-takes that includes a version of ‘Clear Spot’. Thanks to Dave Crunelle for telling me about this one. Andrew Lange Sure Nuff ‘n’ Yes I Do 2008 live (unreleased) Andrew Lange does a fine energetic one-man-band version, playing guitar, bass drum, snare drum and high-hat. It’s on Youtube if you want to take a look.
Alvin Youngblood Hart Ice Rose 1998 US CD Territory on Hannibal HNCD1431 In an interview with Down Beat magazine (September 2003) Hart said:- Beefheart is a major inspiration. Maybe a lot of people don’t get it, but I feel like I get it. He’s a cartoon character, just like Rocky & Bullwinkle. He’s part Howlin’ Wolf and part Ornette Coleman. It just “always seems to come out right”. Jesse Hartley Drop Out Boogie 2016 UK CD Extraordinary Renditions on Deek Recordings Released as part of an oddball various artists covers compilation this is the only Beefheart cover. It’s best listened to whilst watching the very inventive
Terry Edwards & The Scapegoats Ice Cream For Crow 2000 UK 7″ Ice Cream For Crow/ Tailgating on Damaged Goods Records DAMGOOD146 2000 UK CD Large Door on Damaged Goods Records DG148 Saxophone player honks his way through ‘Ice Cream For Crow’ in a sort of punk/rockabilly style on a limited edition (500 copies) yellow vinyl. Manically good fun. Erase Errata Clear Spot date? German 7″ vinyl on Tomlab TOM U/103 Erik 4-A & Friends Frying Pan (instrumental) 2001 US CD Hold The Vocals. A tribute to the instrumental hits of the 50s 60s 70s on Go-Kustom Records GKR008-2 An interesting album this one but I can’t help thinking that
C Cat Trance Orange Claw Hammer 2005 UK CD Karadara – Best Of on Cherry Red Records CDMRED280 This cover was recorded some time ago by John Rees Lewis, singer/sax player with the band Medium Medium, who were part of the punk/funk scene along with A Certain Ratio, 23 Skidoo and Rip Rig & Panic in the 1980s. The band cited Beefheart as an influence although Lewis was the bigger fan. It was with his next band, C Cat Trance, that he recorded Orange Claw Hammer to which he added “a bassline and stuff to it”, for an album that didn’t get released because the record company, Red Flame, folded. Unofficial cassettes of
The 012 Blabber ‘n’ Smoke 1981 UK tape White Patterns On Her Dress on Funky Weird Tapes FW001 19?? UK vinyl Various Artists : We Couldn’t Agree On A Title on ICR001 Funky Weird produced a series of deliberately lo-fi (before the term was used) cheaply recorded tracks and released them on cassette only. This is probably the first cover version of Blabber ‘n’ Smoke attempted. It’s not bad considering the guitars and drums are being played in what seems to be an attempt at out of tune punk version of the ‘Trout Mask’ sound. The compilation album is of artists who recorded at London’s Street Level studio. Thanks to Arild Stromsvag for
“That’s right, The Mascara Snake!” The Radar Station was saddened to hear that Victor Hayden (aka The Mascara Snake) had died on 7th December 2018. His death was announced by Pamela Des Barres on her Facebook page. She had known Victor since high school and called him her ‘soulmate’. In recent years she had acted as agent for his artwork. However, she gave no details about the cause of his death but Steve Brewster contacted us to tell us the tragic news that Victor had been hit by a van ten days ago and never recovered. Victor was Don Van Vliet’s cousin. During the late
Yes, it’s 50 years since the band’s second album, Strictly Personal, was released. It was October 1968 in the US and December 1968 in the UK. The recording of the follow-up to Safe As Milk had begun back in November 1967 not long after Jeff Cotton had joined the band to replace Jerry McGee. However, these recordings were destined to remain unissued for a few years and the band had a second go at recording the album in May 1968. It was these later sessions that were to be eventually released by Blue Thumb in the US and Liberty in the UK as Strictly Personal.
Ever since Don started complaining about the ‘bromo seltzer’ that had been added to the Strictly Personal album fans have wondered what it would have sounded like without Bob Krasnow’s pyschedelicized production. Surely the pristine untreated master tapes were tucked away in storage somewhere people thought. Not so. Gary Marker said that it was highly unlikely because Krasnow had used the master copy for all the phasing etc. he had added to the album’s sound which meant the original raw recording of the band was lost. Over the years various collections of alternate versions of many of the Strictly Personal songs have turned up and
IT #41, 4 – 17 October 1968 From John Peel’s ‘Perfumed Garden’ column in the legendary sixties ‘hippy’ newspaper IT (International Times). This review of Strictly Personal takes up half of the column space and appears to be based on an acetate version given to him by Beefheart himself – this would have been during the band’s tour of the UK in July 1968. Other bands mentioned by Peel after this review included Duster Bennett, MC5, Principal Edwards Magic Theatre, The Liverpool Scene, Bridget St John and Brian Jones. The autumnal air is heavy with promise – a new Beefheart LP is on the way.
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 Jerry
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 in
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 off
Oil on Linen 46 x 38.5 inches / 117 x 98 cm
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 Magic