What the Fans May Not Know by Don R. Aldridge, August 2010 In 1965, Don Vliet followed his boyhood chum Frank Zappa into the world of avant-garde rock ‘n’ roll with his group Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band. My birth name is Donald Aldridge, and I grew up in Lancaster, California, where Don and I became close friends in the mid sixties. He later changed his surname to Van Vliet. Don’s songs have appeared in several Hollywood movies and TV shows over the years, including The Big Lebowski, Things We Lost in the Fire, and Entourage. Some of the experiences revolving around my relationship with Captain Beefheart can be found in Mike BarnesRead More →

Looking Back at Captain Beefheart by Don R. Aldridge, July 2010 According to the half-dozen or so dedicated-to-the-point-of-delirium fan websites one surfs on the internet today, the bizarre 1960’s avant-garde rock icon Captain Beefheart is: a paranormal savant with a four-octave vocal range; a primitive artisan who didn’t attend a day of school after the age of five; a musical genius who slapped music on vinyl the way Jackson Pollock did paint to canvas. Captain Beefheart was born Don Glen Vliet on January 15, 1941, to Glen Alonzo and Willie Sue Vliet in Glendale, California. He attended public schools in Glendale and Mojave, California and Antelope ValleyRead More →

A look at the new book from Herb Bermann, Don’s co-writer on Safe As Milk. It’s not that long ago that many people thought that Herb Bermann was just another myth created by Don Van Vliet. Although he shared writing credits on eight songs on the Safe As Milk album, and, much later, one on Shiny Beast, he seemed to have disappeared off the radar. But the Radar Station kept looking for him … You can read about my and Derek Laskie’s search here. We were certain he was out there and Derek eventually managed to secure an exclusive interview with him for the RadarRead More →

Song List Side A Poofters Froth Wyoming Plans Ahead (200 Years Special) 3:10 George Duke’s Incredible Show (Improvisation) 5:50 Willie The Pimp 9:23 Side B The Torture Never Stops 14:40 Let’s Make The Water Turn Black 4:03 Overview Recorded live on the Bongo Fury Tour at the Boston Music Hall, Massachusetts on 27 April 1975 (Late Show). Only 5 of the 13 songs performed that evening are included on this single disc pressed on purple vinyl. At least Beefheart’s contribution is represented on here. Releases 2008 Germany Vinyl on Hedgehog Records  HDG 0020 Help us If anyone is able to complete or update any of the information above, then pleaseRead More →

Song List Disc 1 Improvisations Camarillo Brillo Muffin Man Let’s Make The Water Turn Black Penguin In Bondage Improvisation (Beefheart Instrumental Style) Debra Kadabra Band Introductions Poofter’s Froth Wyoming Plans Ahead Echidna’s Arf George Duke Improvisation Disc 2 The Torture Never Stops Marty’s Dance Song Montana Florentine Pogen Encore Break Willie The Pimp Overview Recorded on the Bongo Fury tour at the Music Hall, Boston, MA on 27th April 1975 – Late Show. Releases 2011 US 2CD on Guitar Master  GM-025/026 Help us If anyone is able to complete or update any of the information above, then please do get in touch.Read More →

Radar Station Overview Recorded during the Bongo Fury Tour at Boston Music Hall on 27th April 1975, except for tracks 11, 12 and 13 on the vinyl release which are from a different Mothers show. The vinyl version was released as a double but is usually found in separate deluxe covers. Volume 1 has a brown and white cover while Volume 2 has a red and white one. As can be seen the track listing on the CD version is slightly different (confusion over song titles aside) but it’s a pity ‘Willie The Pimp’ has been missed off. Song List Vinyl CD Intro – Varese Special A Token Of My ExtremeRead More →

Regular visitors to the old Radar Station will remember the fairly large bootleg section we had and have probably been wondering what happened to it. Well, it fell through the cracks during the move… I’ve been rummaging around and have redone all the information we used to have. I’ve updated it, added new entries and some new images. I’ve also created a new A-Z listing to make it easier for you to track down a particular item. All the Beefheart and the Zappa/Beefheart bootlegs are now listed in one place plus the section has been renamed “Unofficial releases” to include all those ‘grey area’ releases thatRead More →

Song List: Side A 1 Regyptian Strut 2 Sofa 3 Who Are The Brain Police? 4 Orange Claw Hammer Side B 1 200 Years Old 2 Willie The Pimp 3 Peon 4 Alice In Blunderland Side C 1 Revised Music For Guitar & Low-Budget Orchestra 2 A Pound For A Brown On The Bus Side D 1 Somebody In My Home 2 Almost Grown 3 Call On Me 4 Sure ‘Nuff & Yes I Do 5 Yellow Brick Road 6 Plastic Factory Radar Station Overview Although this is marketed as a Frank Zappa bootleg (with Captain Beefheart) there are quite a few Beefheart tracks here.Read More →

Song List Side One Montana Florentine Pogen Side Two Debra Kadabra Intros Poofter’s Froth Wyoming George Duke Spotlight (Don’t You Ever Wash That Thing?) Radar Station Overview From the Bongo Fury tour in 1975 this includes a few songs performed at the Boston Music Hall show. A single European (probably German) vinyl that has been re-pressed at least once with different covers. The label reads: “P.T. Schneider presents MUFFIN “LIVE” BAND” Can anyone explain the title of this release? Whose stupid idea was that? Definitely not one of the best! Thanks to Wol Stor for the cover scan Releases 1985 AL 01A/B clear vinyl with plain white sleeve withRead More →

Song list Disc 1 County Coliseum, El Paso, 23 May 1975 Introduction Improvisation Apostrophe Stinkfoot I`m Not Satisfied Carolina Hardcore Ecstasy Velvet Sunrise Pound for a Brown You`re So Fine/Lonely Lonely Nights Debra Kadabra Montana/Improvisations Disc 2 1. Advance Romance 2. Florentine Pogen Daigaku Seibu Kodo, Kyoto, Japan, 4th February 1976 Introduction Stinkfoot Dirty Love Filthy Habits How Could I Be Such A Fool? Ain’t Got No Heart I’m Not Satisfied Black Napkins Overview Another boot of the good quality El Paso Bongo Fury show, similar to the Bongo In Fury in El Paso release. Even less Beefheart involvement here. This time the filler isRead More →

Song list Disc 1 County Coliseum, El Paso, 23 May 1975 Presentation Bongo Fury Initial Apostrophe band introduction Stinkfoot I`m Not Satisfied Carolina Hard-core Ecstasy Velvet Sunrise A pound for a brown on the bus the medley Frank introduces El Paso son Jimmy Carl Black You`re So Fine Lonely Lonely Nights Debra Kadabra Montana Strange Things Disc 2 1. Advance Romance 2. Florentine Pogen Studio outtakes 3. 200 Years Old (studio outtake 1975) 4. Orange Claw Hammer (FZ & CB Radio Show 1975) 5. Redunzl (studio outtake) Music Hall, Boston 27 April 1975 6. Camarillo Brillo 7. Muffin Man 8. Let`s make the water turnRead More →

Song List Improvisations 5:46 Camarillo Brillo 4:29 Muffin Man 1:45 Stinkfoot 4:51 I’m Not Satisfied 2:06 Carolina Hard-Core Ecstasy 10:38 Velvet Sunrise 7:36 A Pound For A Brown 9:59 The Torture Never Stops 8:10 Montana 12:09 Improvisations (Inc. Chariot, Moon Trek) 9:39 Sam With The Showing Scalp Flat Top 2:35 Penguin In Bondage 11:41 Poofter’s Froth Wyoming Plans Ahead 3:18 Echidna’s Arf 0:36 Drum Solo 3:05 Advance Romance 15:16 Encore Applause 0:31 Willie The Pimp 8:43 Recorded at Providence College, Rhode Island on 26th April 1975. Notes From back cover: Childhood friends and fellow rock visionaries Frank Zappa and Captain Beefheart put aside their differencesRead More →

Song List Disc 1 Improvisations Camarillo Brillo Muffin Man (Instrumental) Stinkfoot I’m Not Satisfied Carolina Hard-Core Ecstasy Velvet Sunrise A Pound For A Brown Why Doesn’t Someone Give Him A Pepsi? (Aka The Torture Never Stops) Disc 2 Montana Improvisations (Incl. Sam With The Showing Scalp Flat Top) Penguin In Bondage Poofter’s Froth Wyoming Plans Ahead Echidna’s Arf (Of You) Drums Advance Romance Willie The Pimp Recorded at Providence College, Rhode Island on 26th April 1975 Overview Good quality bootleg  from an original recording by Dan Lampinski from the Bongo Fury Tour. One of the better offerings from this tour with more Beefheart participation. The soundRead More →

The Mystery Man from The Magic Band. Yes, indeed, here’s something to look forward to. Due to be published around 8 June Beefheart’s co-songwriter, Herb Bermann tells his story about the songs and how they came to be written. It also includes an introduction from John French and an interview with Herb conducted by the Radar Station’s former newshound Derek Laskie. Available from the publisher and I have been told that they will only be selling one copy per person. Published by Brass Tacks Press, this is what they have to say about the book: THE MYSTERY MAN FROM THE MAGIC BAND: Captain Beefheart collaborator’sRead More →

Song List Side One A Token Of My Extreme Stinkfoot Sleeping In A Jar Poofter’s Froth Wyoming Side Two Debra Kadabra Florentine Pogen Why Doesn’t Someone Get Him A Pepsi (Torture) Radar Station Overview From the Bongo Fury tour recorded at Bridges Auditorium, Claremont College, California 11th April 1975 – second show. A single European vinyl originally pressed in “100 numbered copies with insert”. It came in a plain white cover (ah, those were the days!!) and inferior sound quaity. ‘Torture’ was actually premiered that night. Not to be confused with the bootleg known as ‘A Token of HIS Extreme’. Releases 198? ZX 3656 A/B Thanks to Rollin’Read More →

The back cover of this single CD says: Frank HOT Rats Zappa and Captain BEEFheart INJECT their thoughts and songs in this classic 1975 WLIR radio broadcast This is the same excellent show as the An Evening With … CD release. Although “Hot Beef” claims to released earlier I thought “An Evening with” was first Song list: Cucamonga Orange Claw Hammer Debra Kadabra/Carolina Hard Core Ecstasy Will You Drink My Water Pachuco Cadaver I Was A Teenage Maltshop Status Back Baby Ned The Mumbler Toads Of The Sort Forest Charva Speedfreak Boogie Metal Man Has Won His Wings Instrumental Louisiana Blues Instrumental Studio Rehearsal How Could I Be SuchRead More →

An amazing collection of rarities put together as a syndicated radio show by Zappa in 1975. It was broadcast on KWST and WLIR – and possibly others. Don is in the studio too and contributes throughout – the highlight being the version of ‘Orange Claw Hammer’ with Zappa playing guitar accompaniment Song List Cucamonga (Bongo Fury 1975) Orange Claw Hammer (live in studio 1975) Debra Kadabra/Carolina Hard Core Ecstasy (Bongo Fury 1975) Will You Drink My Water (The Smegmates) Pachuco Cadaver (Trout Mask Replica) I Was A Teenage Maltshop (CBS Demo 1965) Status Back Baby (CBS Demo 1965) Ned The Mumbler (CBS Demo 1965) Toads Of The Sort ForestRead More →

A + Abba Zaba Atlanta + Amougies Festival 1969 + Another Chapter from the Life & Times of Captain Beefheart + Ashtray Heart + Avalon ’66 B + Bat Chain Puller + Bat Chain Puller (remastered version on vinyl) + Batlight Clearkid 1970s + Best Batch Yet + Bickershaw Festival + Bongo Fury in El Paso + Boston Music Hall 27/04/1975 (Late Show) 200 Years Special C + Captain Hook + Captain Live in Liverpool + Captain’s Last Live Concert Plus + Case of the Punks + CB & his MB live in GB + Chronicle + Country Club Reseda 1981 + Crazy Little Things D +Read More →

Song List Mirror Man Upon The My-O-My Crazy Little Things Full Moon, Hot Sun Sugar Bowl This Is The Day Keep On Rubbing Be Your Dog Sweet Georgia Brown Abba Zaba Peaches Peaches (Encore) Overview From the live broadcast by KUDL-FM from the Cowtown Ballroom., Kansas City on 22nd April 1974. The sound quality is excellent but sadly it is the Tragic Band incarnation so not that much magic. Yes, it’s a pleasant, inoffensive listen but that’s not what most of us want from Beefheart. Already bootlegged as Crazy Little Things and Captain Hook. A two-disc vinyl version was issued with a revamped design in aRead More →

Song List SIDE A 1. Mascara Snake 2. Click Clack Take 1 3. Click Clack Take 2 4. Golden Birdies SIDE B 5. I’m Gonna Booglarize You Baby Take 1 6. I’m Gonna Booglarize You Baby Take 2 7. Steal Softly Thru The Snow 8. I’m Gonna Booglarize You Baby Take 1 Overview Recorded on 12th April 1972 at The Beat Club studios, Bremen for TV broadcast. Only one track was broadcast at the time but now the whole session can be heard. Released on 140g vinyl in a limited edition of 1000. Excellent sound quality. But I’m not entirely convinced this is an essential purchaseRead More →