Captain Beefheart Discography: Beefheart Covers Collection – Part 2

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 album were sold by the band at gigs, but the track has finally been released as part of a retrospective CD.

For more info see –

Thanks to Steve Harvey of Medium Medium for the information and correcting my previous entry about this track.

Dez Cadena

Apes Ma

1988 US CD We Got Power Films Presents… The Melting Plot on SST/WGP


A bizarre various artists compilation of covers by alternative bands on the SST label of songs by Abba and Led Zeppelin among others apart from Beefheart. Dez Cadena was one time guitarist with Black Flag and gives ‘Apes Ma’ a straight unaccompanied reading.

See also Painted Willie.

Calum Carlyle

Trust Us

2011 unreleased

A excellent cover of rarely covered song. Unusual in that a mandolin features prominently. Calum described his experience of recording:

I have listened to Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band since a child, and i never appreciated fully how difficult his music is to play till last night.

Knowing i had other stuff to do i thought “i’m tired though, i think i’ll do a cover song to relax”, six hours later there i still am frantically slaving away! The entire recordings from the first two hours i threw away and started again! Anyway, this is “Trust Us” from Beefheart’s second LP. For some reason i genuinely thought this would be fairly easy. It was fun though, even if i didn’t end up getting any sleep.

Eugene Chadbourne & Jimmy Carl Black

The Dust Blows Forward and The Dust Blows Back
Willie The Pimp

1993 BBC Radio Broadcast (‘Mixing It’) of a studio session

On their European tour Chadbourne and Black dropped into the BBC for this session and general chat about their music

Neon Meate Dream Of An Octafish
Sheriff Of Hong Kong
The Blimp

1994 US CD Locked In A Dutch Coffeeshop on Fundamental Recording Co HYMN2


Although these three tracks form part of a ‘Captain Beefheart Medley’, ‘Neon Meate Dream’ was actually recorded in 1988 at the Moers Festival with Don Preston reciting the lyrics (see also The Grandmothers) while the other two tracks were played live as part of the 1993 Dutch Coffeeshop Tour.

Buggy Boogie Woogie
Willie The Pimp
Dropout Boogie
Sure Nuff ‘n’ Yes I Do
Clear Spot
Steal Softly Through Snow
The Past Is Tense
Veterans’ Day Poppy
I’m Gonna Booglarise You Baby
Pachuco Cadaver
The Dust Blows Forward…

1995 US CD Pachuco Cadaver on Fire Ant FACD1007

Calling themselves The Jack and Jim Show Chadbourne and Black have made their own wonderfully idiosyncratic takes of many Beefheart songs. For more detailed information on this release see the Pachuco Cadaver page.

The Blimp

2001 CD The Early Years on ??

Pachuco Cadaver Medley

2001 CD Uncle Jimmy’s Master Plan on ??

Also includes a version of the Howlin Wolf song ‘Evil’.

Eugene Chadbourne with Doctor Dark

Doctor Dark
Dust Blows Forward and the Dust Blows Back
I’m Gonna Booglarize You Baby
Moonlight on Vermont
Pachuco Cadaver
Plastic Factory
Smithsonian Institute Blues
Steal Softly Through Snow
Veteran’s Day Poppy

2004 US CD Eugene Chadbourne live with Doctor Dark private release

Doctor Chadbourne teams up with Beefheart tribute band Doctor Dark. Recorded at the Cafe Nine in New Haven on 5 December 2004.


Jean Chaine

Ashtray Heart

1995 Germany CD Sunk in the Sun on Atonal Records ACD3020


French (?) bass player and vocalist writes all the songs except for the cover of ‘Ashtray Heart’ (a sparse but polished performance, and so far the only one not to be a ‘punk’ version). The album has a mainly jazz flavour with science fiction leanings. Intriguing.


Moonlight on Vermont

1989 US 7″ Sick Fish Belly Up / Moonlight On Vermont on Trigon TS-104


“No special thanks to anyone except, maybe, Don Van Vliet for writing ‘Moonlight On Vermont'”. The song was actually recorded in 1987.

My copy is plain old black vinyl but apparently there is a blue vinyl version too.

Good to see they’re still playing this live in 2016!

Clutch of Mammon

Trust Us

2017 US (digital only) Call One Name

A ponderous black metal / doom version which makes the plea to ‘trust us’ more than a little scary!

Clutch of Mammon are a one man outfit from Minneapolis and can be found on Bandcamp.

Coati Mundi

Tropical Hot Dog Night

1983 UK vinyl Little Coati Mundi The Former 12 Year Old Genius on Virgin Records V2269


1983 UK 12″ Oh! That Love Decision on Virgin Records VS622-12

A Beefheart song gets a conventional setting and works! The 12″ release has an extended (8 minute) version.

Combo Nangi

Sure Nuff ‘n’ Yes I Do

2008 live

This UK band feature Sure Nuff as a regular part of their set. There are a couple of videos of them performing it on Youtube – Hadfield 2008 and Ashton 2008

Pascal Comelade

Dali’s Car

1993 France CD Danses et Chants de Syldavie on Delabel DE394272


On this album French musician Comelade covers songs by a variety of artists, including Dylan and the Stones, but many are done with unusual instrumentation giving a ‘fin de siecle’, merry-go-round, end of the pier feel to the proceedings. Interesting stuff.

Dali’s Car is performed on a plastic toy guitar!

PJ Harvey has recently written and sung on a couple of songs with him on another of his albums.

The Come Ons


2004 Australian CD The Ghetto Years on In-Fidelity/Mo Pop Records INFCD-101


This is what the band have to say about this on the record company website:

The Captain Beefheart cover is sort of vague. I had it on a tape, from a friend who got it from a friend, who maybe has the song on a CD comp or single b-side. I don’t think it’s actually called Blushing…but I figured that since we couldn’t find any information about the original, and our arrangement was so completely different that we could name it whatever we wanted and still give Don Van Vliet his song-writing credit. I love the song, but of course, when you’re covering Captain Beefheart you can’t play it the same way. It would be ridiculous to try! So you have to make the song as much yours as possible without being ironic. So I made a little demo on my four track and played it for the band. I used the Casio drum-beat just to keep myself steady on the floor tom, but Patrick liked it so much that we left it in and now we play live with the Casio. Then Bryan (Foreman) comes along and adds this really pretty guitar part and the song is completed!

This song is actually one of those on the Spotlight Kid out-takes tape that has been circulating for years. It’s a straightforward love song titled ‘Kiss Me My Love’ or ‘Three Tears/Rips In a Haystack’ but it has never been covered before.

Hugh Cornwell

When It Blows Its Stacks

2005 UK 7″ (Under Her) Spell / No More Heroes / When It Blows Its Stacks on Track Records 00013c

Ex-Strangler Hugh Cornwell has peformed ‘Stacks’ as part of his live show and this is a version recorded at a Swiss show. It’s only included on the 7″ vinyl release of this single (along with a re-recorded Stranglers classic ‘No More Heroes’) – the other two CD single releases have different tracks to accompany the title song.

Los Coronados

Zig Zag Wanderer

1983 France vinyl EP Voix blanche et idées noires on Shin prod / WW

French garage band do a version of Zig Zag Wanderer on this 4 track ep. Tracks are Voix blanches et idées noires / Lavabo S.V.P./ Zig zag wanderer / Tornado partie.

Thanks to Jean Gravier for information on this one.

The Cramps

Hard Workin’ Man

1992 France CD Blues Fix ep on Big Beat Records 136


Psychobilly nutters take on ‘Hard Workin’ Man’ as well as Lightnin’ Slim’s ‘Mighty Crazy’ which Don also covered.


Rob Crow

Click Clack

2006 US self-released CDR Not Making Any Friends Here

This CDR was only available at Rob Crow’s live shows and included a number of cover versions. Others were songs by Devo, Snakefinger and Wall of Voodoo

The Cruel Sea

Sure Nuff

1991 Australia CD This Is Not The Way Home on Redeye Records RED CD25
2000 Australia CD This Is Not The Way Home on Redeye/Polygram RED CD25 511161-2


For some reason the song is listed in a shortened form as ‘Sure Nuff’.

Thanks to Mark Hawling for the following information about The Cruel Sea:

They are a very popular Australian band. I have also seen them perform ‘Her Eyes are a Blue Million Miles’. I know other tunes also pop up live now and then.

Once I also was at a rehearsal studio and heard a band in the next room doing lots of Beefheart tunes, one after another. I was impressed. When one of the members walked out I asked “Are you a Beefheart covers band?”. He said “No, we just jam on the tunes sometimes” and we went on chatting about Beefheart. Eventually their singer walked out I realised that they were the Cruel Sea, and I had just called them a Beefheart covers band. I sure felt like a dickhead.


Maurizio Curadi

Flavor Bud Living
Kandy Korn
The One Red Rose That I Mean

Maurizio is an Italian musician who used to front the excellent band Steeplejack (see separate entry) who recorded a very good version of Kandy Korn. He revisited this song in 2019 and reinvented it as a stunning solo instrumental for 12 string acoustic.

Kandy Korn on Youtube

Flavor Bud Living / Peon / One Red Rose on Youtube

Since the demise of the band Maurizio has moved away from traditional rock music and works solo producing some fine electro-acoustic music using guitar, electronics and found sounds. His first solo album Phonorama does show show some Beefheart influences especially the track Hidalgo which has a lengthy section that seems to have used Dali’s Car as a starting point. Well worth checking out.

Da Willys

Frying Pan

1989 German CD Satuhday Nite Palsy on Brake Out OUT CD105
2007 US CD Get Ugly


A shortlived New York ‘punk’ band – two guys, two girls – blast through ‘Frying Pan’ in under two minutes. Trivial fact: Lynne Von the singer got married in the front car of Coney Island’s Cyclone rollercoaster.

The 2007 release is, in fact, a collection of previously unavailable sessions from 1988.

Many thanks to Brainpang for the info and copy of this rarity.

Daphne & Celeste

Kandy Korn

2018 vinyl & CD Save The World on Balatonic BTJLP1 / BTJCD1

An interesting electronic take on this classic Beefheart tune with some additional lyrics.

The Deadpan Tractor

Big Eyed Beans From Venus

1985 UK 12″ Grumble on Black Lagoon Records INC 008

Bizarrely named band with a (now very rare) four track release. Chris Ellis, who was in the band, contacted The Radar Station to tell us a bit about the band and their cover version:

The band lasted for about 2 years as an experimental project and was critically acclaimed for the work we did! We were a three piece using a drummer when necessary. The guitarist was heavily influenced by Zoot Horn Rollo, myself by Owed T’Alex and Tropical Hot Dog Night and the singer by tales of Don Van being caught outside his studio recording a bush growing!

We chose the track because of the guitar lines and the pent up energy in the build, great to play live and wreck things!

We played live all over the UK and Europe supporting Butthole Surfers, Sonic Youth etc who all love Beefheart ( to be honest it really is one of those if you can remember it you were not there situations).

The single was played on various radio shows, John Peel of course gave it a spin in the UK and on the World Service, and it was played thru Europe. It was played live at a Miners strike benefit gig where we baffled the audience!

Our whole show was recorded and broadcast live from Amsterdam Paradiso for VPRO radio in 1986 so a live version is in their archives and we did a thing in Hamburg but I have forgotten a lot.

Demon Jr

I’m Glad

200? unreleased

This guitar and drum duo are based in New Jersey. They do an excellent job of covering I’m Glad making it into a big rock ballad but without being corny. Listen for yourself on their Myspace page.

See separate entry for guitarist Andrew Lange

Sandy Dillon

This Is The Day

2001 Live concert on BBC Radio 3 ‘Mixing It’. Broadcast 5th August
2001. Unreleased.

Available at
(it may not be anymore though)

Sandy Dillon & Hector Zazou

Her Eyes Are A Blue Million Miles

2000 Belgian CD Las Vegas Is Cursed on Crammed Records


American blues singer who has acknowledged a liking for Beefheart with an unlikely partner in Belgian avant gardist musician (and also a Beefheart fan) Hector Zazou take on this ‘Clear Spot’ song.

Sandy Dillon’s voice is unusual, a sort of cross between Bessie Smith and Bart Simpson.

Thanks, Derek Laskie, for spotting this one and the other Sandy Dillon item.


Beatle Bones ‘n’ Smokin Stones

2009 CD Nostalgia (Disc 2) on Thingsflux Music 3005

Not many people have attempted to cover Beatle Bones but Dimthingshineon does a pretty good job of it. He sticks to the original structure but gives it a heavier feel. His growling vocals work fine and he adds a little instrumental coda to the song.

Dimthingshineon is the artist name of James Edward Garcia who works out of his apartment in New York, plays all the instruments, does all the vocals himself and publishes his own CDs. This latest project of his is a four CD set of music originally done by other artists. You can find out more at

Dino DiMuro & Friends

Kandy Korn

2020 CD Stopgap Sam’s Last Stand self released

Dino is a longtime Beefheart fan and is based in Los Angeles where he’s been creating music and self-releasing it since the 1980s. This double album also includes a song, Inflection Boy, which is based on Beefheart’s Electricity.

Check him out on Bandcamp –

Doctor Dark

Ice Cream For Crow
Plastic Factory
Sun Zoom Spark
The Past Sure Is Tense
Willie The Pimp

2002 US CDR Sampler 1: Playing the music of Captain Beefheart private release

Sure ‘Nuff ‘N’ Yes I Do
I’m Gonna Booglarize You Baby
Low Yo Yo Stuff
Moonlight On Vermont
The Past Sure Is Tense
Plastic Factory
Blabber ‘N’ Smoke
Willie The Pimp
The Blimp
Sun Zoom Spark
Doctor Dark
Ice Cream For Crow
Sugar ‘N’ Spikes
The Smithsonian Institute Blues (Or The Big Dig)
Bat Chain Puller
Veteran’s Day Poppy
Steal Softly Thru Snow
Safe As Milk
Big Eyed Beans From Venus
Sugar ‘N’ Spikes

2003 US 2CD Electricity private release

The ‘Electricity’ album was recorded in concert on 12th December 2003 at ’50 Fitch Street’, New Haven.

The Blimptro
Safe As Milk
Big Eyed Beans From Venus
Lick My Decals Off Baby
The Past Sure Is Tense
Doctor Dark
Smithsonian Institute Blues
Moonlight on Vermont
Veterans Day Poppy
Pachuco Cadaver
Steal Softly Thru Snow

2005 US CD Live at Toads Place private release

Doctor Dark are a bunch of Beefheart fans from Connecticut who enjoy playing his music. Other songs are played live, as well as some Zappa compositions, for The Torture Never Stops on the Live at Toads Place CD.


The band, with a slightly different line-up, used to call themselves Old Farts At Play. Check out their website –

Doctor Dark with Eugene Chadbourne

see Eugene Chadbourne with Doctor Dark

Doctor Nerve

When It Blows Its Stacks

1997 US CD Every Screaming Ear on Cuneiform Records RUNE88


Doctor Nerve (Nick Didkovsky) hammers ‘Stacks’ to death in this brutal assault without deviating very far from the original version. The Meridian Arts Ensemble, who usually have a more subtle approach, are also involved.

The Dog Faced Hermans

Zig Zag Wanderer

see Fast ‘n’ Bulbous Tribute Album

Four guys and one girl with English, Scottish and Dutch connections. They played their last show in 1995 and two of the members went on to play with The Ex. They don’t seem to have released this Beefheart cover separately from the tribute album.

Doug & The Mystics

Too Much Time
Willie The Pimp

1995 US CD New Hat on Wild Cat Records


Apparently an unusual Willie The Pimp with some Tex-Mex and Swamp influences. The instrumentation also includes steel drums!

Aynsley Dunbar

Willie The Pimp

1970 US vinyl Blue Whale on Warner Records


After breaking up his Retaliation band and before joining the Mothers Aynsley Dunbar released the Blue Whale album on which he’d done a lengthy ‘prog’ version of Willie The Pimp.

1 Comment

  1. Hi there,
    My name is Russell Beecher and I am contacting you on behalf of Cherry Red Records who are currently working on C85 box set.
 I am trying to contact Chris Ellis you got in touch with you a while back about his band The Deadpan Tractor. Could you please send me his address or, if you’d rather not, forward this message on to him please? Cheers, Russell

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