Bag of tricks and candy sticks

Gary Lucas and Don Van Vliet – I Have A Cat

‘I Have A Cat’, the broadcast of Don Van Vliet’s last lengthy interview in 1993, combined with Gary Lucas’ specially commissioned guitar score recorded earlier this year, will receive its world premiere on Wednesday, September 3rd, 10pm to midnight Dutch time, on NPS Radio 6.

Also in Holland, in March 2009, will be Fast ‘N’ Bulbous, The Captain Beefheart Project, featuring Gary Lucas and Phillip Johnston. Two dates have so far been announced at Gary Lucas’ website, more are to be arranged.

John French’s City of Refuge

It was in 2005 that we first mentioned the forthcoming John French album ‘City of Refuge’, which John has recorded with Rockette Morton, Zoot Horn Rollo, Greg Davidson and John Thomas. Now in 2008 we can announce that a one minute clip from the album has just been posted at John French’s MySpace page.

A release date for the whole album is awaited. I’m told that this will coincide with the publication of John’s book, ‘Beefheart: Through the Eyes of Magic, Volume I’, and should be sometime this autumn.

Rockette Morton and Hurricane Wilson

A track from the new Roger “Hurricane” Wilson album ‘Exodus’ which features Rockette Morton on bass and Michael Traylor on drums and percussion is now previewing at Roger Wilson’s MySpace page. The album is predominantly blues and will include a version of Captain Beefheart’s Sure ‘Nuff N Yes I Do.

Denny Walley and the Idiot Bastard

An excerpt from an interview which the Idiot Bastard is conducting with Denny Walley has appeared at the Idiot Bastard’s website. Denny is looking forward to the Zappanale 19 in August, where he will be playing with Paul Green’s School Of Rock in a programme of both Zappa and Van Vliet compositions.

Herb Cohen and The Grunt People

Currently on offer at eBay is Herb Cohen’s copy of a ‘Captain Beefheart Vs. The Grunt People’ script. You can preview the text here at The Radar Station.

Billy Bob Kills Waits

Here are three musicians who have recently uttered the B-word in connection with the pursuit of increased album and ticket sales.

First up is Tom Waits, who interviewed himself for his record company’s publicity machine. The interview has been much recycled, probably because it is very readable. Tom’s creative life has been shaped by a great many artists, he says, including Don Van Vliet. To be fair, Tom Waits has consistently applauded Don’s work, sometimes quite eloquently. In an interview for The Observer in 2005 he said this about ‘Trout Mask Replica’.

The roughest diamond in the mine, his musical inventions are made of bone and mud. Enter the strange matrix of his mind and lose yours. This is indispensable for the serious listener. An expedition into the centre of the earth, this is the high jump record that’ll never be beat, it’s a merlot reduction sauce. He takes da bait. Dante doing the buck and wing at a Skip James suku jump. Drink once and thirst no more.

Alison Mosshart of The Kills waxes not quite so eloquent about Captain Beefheart in her interview for The Independent earlier this month. Her favourite album is ‘Ice Cream For Crow’ and she would love to perform with Don Van Vliet, him just talking and talking down the microphone the way he does, real slow and cool.

The actor Billy Bob Thornton is a bit of a music intellectual, according to an article by Matthew Lewis at Reuters. Plugging his band The Boxmasters album and tour, Billy Bob tops all recent celebrity Beefheart name droppers. Not only do his favorite artists include Frank Zappa and Captain Beefheart, but he is phone friends with Don Van Vliet.

Very few people talk to him, and I got the opportunity to become friends with him over the phone, said Thornton.


  1. Ain't it about time The Captain & Company were inducted to the R&R Hall of fame? Their aren't many peeples more unfluentional in the history of modern music. Give dew where it's do! The ground is well begins!

  2. I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


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