Updated: 8 July 2017 An exhibition of art by Don is being held at Michael Werner’s New York Gallery. Titled Works on Paper it runs from 13 July to 9 September 2017. There will be about 60 pieces on show mostly ranging in price from $5,500 to $18,000 with a few exceptions at a higher price. There is no catalogue available. Michael Werner Gallery 4 East 77th Street New York, NY 10075 Opening hours: Monday to Friday 10am – 6pm www.michaelwerner.com/ Publicity blurb from the Gallery: Michael Werner Gallery, New York is pleased to present an exhibition of works on paper by Don Van Vliet. TheRead More →

Is it really 50 years since I first heard the Safe As Milk album? Well, yes it is and I still play it regularly. It still sounds fresh and exciting although probably not quite as ‘weird’ as it originally sounded to me all that time ago. Hey, Beefheart soon got much weirder but Safe As Milk is still one hell of a debut album. Not only was it a debut album but it was the first release on a brand new label, Buddah, set up by Kama Sutra Records. They must have had some faith in the band back then. It’s a pity the MtRead More →

One of those real collectors’ items for the Beefheart fan. Track List Side One Electricity (version 4) Electricity (version 5) Plastic Factory (version 2) Grown So Ugly (version 3) Where There’s Woman (version 2) Side Two Yellow Brick Road (version 2) Aba Saba [sic] (version 2) Autumn’s Child (version 2) Sure Enough[sic] (version 2) At some point during the recording of Safe As Milk, an acetate was pressed with various versions of some of the album’s songs. Was it for the band or the producers .. or someone else? Were these tracks seen as the (almost) finished versions and committing them to disc was one way of helping makeRead More →

The sound quality of Safe As Milk is something that has been discussed in one way or another quite a bit over the years. Why does it sound the way it does and which release is the best version available? Some (but not all) of the issues can be traced back to the way the album was recorded in the first place. Ry Cooder and Gary Marker have both been critical about the way Bob Krasnow and Richard Perry took the recording out the superior eight track Sunset Sound Studios and moved it to the four track RCA Studios to the detriment of the overall soundRead More →

Before the recording of the Safe As Milk album there was a studio session where a number of demos were recorded produced by Gary Marker which became known as the Safe as Milk Demos, or the Buddah Takes or the Disneyland Demos. March [?] 1967 Original Sound Studios, Los Angeles, California Producer: Gary Marker Track List Sure Nuff ‘n’ Yes I Do Yellow Brick Road Plastic Factory Electricity Abba Zaba (Follow links above to hear the songs on Youtube) The story behind the demos The band finally left the desert and moved to Los Angeles, to a rented place off Armor Road in Laurel Canyon, inRead More →

The Safe As Milk baby featured in the 27 May 1967 edition of Cashbox: … and in the 17 June 1967 edition of Billboard; This version has the ‘Beware!’ caption added. From World Countdown, June 1967: Here’s another advertisement from World Countdown, July 1967: One side of the inner sleeve of the album plus the lyrics to two songs, Sure Nuff ‘N’ Yes I Do and Zig Zag Wanderer have been crammed together for this ad. From World Countdown, August 1967: Note the presence of Ry Cooder’s replacement, Gerry McGee (second from the left), who played with the Magic Band for only two live shows and did not appear onRead More →

Pamela Des Barres has recently posted a couple of photos on her Facebook site that visitors to the Radar Station might like to see. Apparently she came across one of Victor Hayden’s original paintings in her garage. Not just any painting … this one was the original artwork for the Bluejeans and Moonbeams album cover. Miss Pamela acts as an agent for Victor’s artwork and she is considering what to do with this painting, in other words the best way of selling it. The album itself may well not be the most popular in Don’s discography but the cover was wonderfully strange. John French recallsRead More →

Published by Verlag Gachnang & Springer ISBN 3-906127-15-X Price varies 1987 96 pages Contents: Paintings: It’s Like A White Onion-Fleshed Pumpkin, 1985 Copper Diver, 1985 Pig Erases Statue in Passing, 1985 Ghost Gait, Ghost Gait, 1985 Bromboline Frenzy, 1985 Night Nitrate, 1985 Red Cloud Monkey, 1985 Rolled Roots Gnarled Like Rakers, 1985/6 Whalebone Farmhouse, 1986 Check Bif, 1986 Carp Catcher, 1986 Garden Lion, 1986 With Twinkling Lights and Green Sashes, 1986 Crepe and Black Lamps, 1986 Sea Wig, 1986 Candle Powered Rodeo Ghosts, 1986 Poems: My Human Gets Me Blues Pachuco Cadaver Orange Claw Hammer The Dust Blows Forward ‘n The Dust Blows Back OldRead More →

Song List: Hair pie: bake 1 Hair pie: bake 2 Jam one Hobo chang ba (take one) Hobo chang ba (take two) Dachau blues Old fart at play Pachuco cadaver Sugar N’ spikes jam two Sweet sweet bulbs Frownland (take one) Frownland Ella guru She’s too much for my mirror Steal softly through snow My human gets me blues (take one and cut) My human gets me blues (take two) When big joan sets up (take one) When big joan sets up (take two) Jam three China pig Blimp Herb Overdub Septic tank Jam four Jam five Jam six Publicity blurb: The Captain had aRead More →

We recently posted about composer Samuel Andreyev’s Youtube analysis of the album Trout Mask Replica. A fascinating piece if you haven’t watched it yet. On the back of piece we were able to put Samuel in contact with John French and he has now posted an excellent video interview with John on Youtube lasting an hour and forty five minutes. In the interview they discuss John’s time in the Magic Band (unsurprisingly), concentrating on the time in the Trout House and the making of TMR. Take a look here: [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Od0_LRNlE5A]Read More →

Thanks go to Patrick Grant for sharing some great pictures of the original Captain Beefheart and instigator of the group – Alex Snouffer. Alex, also known as ‘Butch’, is here shown in some photographs from 1955 and 1957 taken for the Antelope Valley High School Yearbook. This High School was attended by several of the original members of the band. Alex tended to mix with the ‘bikers’ of the area and was known as someone not to mess with.    Read More →

Don’s last lengthy interview was by phone with Dutch radio presenter Co de Kloet. Recorded in 1993 and broadcast on Co’s show on the Dutch National Station NPS. Gary Lucas set the interview to music which he had composed. This was originally broadcast on Co’s show in 2008 and it has just been released by Okaymusic. It can be bought as a download only – get it from iTunes, Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk Gary and Co also performed this live at the BimHuis in Amsterdam in 2012 and again at the Zappanale in Bad Doberan Germany.Read More →

Have you ever wanted to a closer look at how the music was Trout Mask Replica works, how the different parts interlock and work with each other? The Radar Station has been contacted by Samuel Andreyev, a composer and music analyst who studied at the Paris Conservatoire. Samuel has a YouTube channel in which he analyses key 20th- and 21st-century compositions by composers such as Charles Ives, Igor Stravinsky, Earle Brown  and discusses (mainly) classical music in general. In his latest YouTube posting Samuel has analysed the opening track of Trout Mask Replica, the daunting Frownland. He breaks the track down into its component parts using formalRead More →

Updated 25 May 2017 The excellent Beefheart tribute band Orange Claw Hammer have recently  released a CD of some of their takes on Don’s music. See Steve Froy’s review of it here ———————————————————– And as there will be no Magic Band UK tour this year and you’d like to hear some live Beefheart music then you should check out Orange Claw Hammer  who have the following gigs lined up for 2017:   Friday 27 January 2017 – Duke’s Bar, Glasgow, 8pm. Free entry. Thursday 9 February – Speakeasy, Voodoo Rooms, Edinburgh. 8pm. £3 + special one day only CD discount Thursday 30 March – The Continental,Read More →

Takes on the music of Captain Beefheart Song List Hot Head I Love You, You Big Dummy Click Clack Ice Rose Ant Man Bee When I See Mommy, I Feel Like A Mummy When It Blows Its Stacks Flavor Bud Living / Veteran’s Day Poppy Tracks 1 – 7 recorded and mixed at The Clock Tower Studios, Edinburgh June 2016 Track 8 was recorded live at Henry’s Cellar Bar, Edinburgh 19 August 2016. Notes From the sleeve: The music of Captain Beefheart and The Magic Band remains a beacon of wild creativity for those with ears to listen. Orange Claw Hammer have approached this musicRead More →

2016 has been a bad news year for all sorts of reasons … unfortunately here’s some more of the same… On 15 December John French posted this on The Magic Band Facebook page: I have decided not to pursue any more tours. There is precious little demand these days, and not enough offers to actually support any group. I have sincerely enjoyed the actual tours, but the five to six months leading up to them is filled with tedious details. Too much time is spent on the business and not enough on the music. Since I founded the whole project in 2002, the difficulty levelRead More →

The former Beefheart producer and label boss has died. The Radar Station was sorry to hear of the death on 11 December 2016 of Bob Krasnow at the age of 82. His name is well known by Beefheart fans for his involvement with the albums Safe As Milk, Strictly Personal and Mirror Man. During the late 1950s and early 1960s Krasnow ran the San Francisco based labels King Records and Loma Records. In 1966 he became vice-president for Kama Sutra Records and was instrumental in setting up their subsidiary Buddah Records label. It was at this point that he signed Captain Beefheart and His MagicRead More →