Captain Beefheart Discography: Beefheart Covers Collection – Part 6

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

Thanks to Daniel Mercurin for extra information about this one.

Nectarine No.9


1994 UK CD Guitar Thieves on Postcard/Nighttracks


Tackling a difficult song Nectarine No.9 come up with one of the more inspired cover versions around. Originally recorded for a John Peel radio session in March 1993.

Nou Ra with Interplay


This track is included on the Genus Records’ Mama Kangaroos tribute album

Old Farts At Play

I’m Gonna Booglarize You Baby
Willie The Pimp

2001 US CDR Demos private release

A ‘sort of’ tribute band who have changed their name to Doctor Dark.

Old Time Relijun

Wild Life

see the Neon Meate Dream tribute album

Joan Osborne

His Eyes Are A Blue Million Miles

1993 US CD ep Blue Million Miles on Swimming Pool Blue Records


1996 US CD Early Recordings on Womanly Hips/Blue Gorilla/Mercury 314 534 235-2

John Oswald

Lick My Decals Off Baby

199? Unreleased

The legendary ‘Plunderphonics’ exponent takes the ‘Decals’ album and mixes it down to one track. Absolutely fascinating.

John Oswald & Henry Kaiser

One Red Rose In Flash Gordon’s Dishpan

Painted Willie

Clear Spot

1988 US CD We Got Power Films Presents… The Melting Plot on SST/WGP CD249

From a bizarre various artists compilation of covers by alternative bands on the SST label.

Painted Willie are David Markey – vocals, drums, percussion, and Phil Newman – bass, slide guitar, guitars. These two are the guys who compiled, directed, recorded and produced this whole CD.

See also Dez Cadena

Pachuco Cadaver

I’m Gonna Booglarize You Baby
Love Lies

2015 live

A US horn heavy Beefheart tribute band with a girl singer. I think they’re based in the San Francisco Bay area and have only found these two songs by them on Youtube

Pilafian Project

Dali’s Car

1999 US CD Meltdown on Summit Records DCD227

An intriguing cover by a trio – sax, tuba and drums – sounding at times like a Zappa out-take from ‘Hot Rats’ (yes, honest!). Listed under ‘The Rock n Roll Sphere’ the track is described as ‘A rock sound picture of what Salvador Dali saw while driving his car!’.

There are, in fact, two versions. The main one is 2:01 long and there is also ‘the rush hour mix’ which, with more improvisation, runs to 5:40.

From the cover:

The Pilafian Project has a mission to blend different
musical styles into a singular listening experience … Whether
jazz, rock or classical in style the source music chosen for each
track provided a springboard for creativity.

Other composers on the CD include Ornette Coleman, Theolonius Monk, Bela Bartok and Maurice Ravel. An interesting collection.


Grow Fins

1993 Australia CD Not Just A Bit Of Wood on White Ant Records WARP1

Has a thin wood CD insert!


Her Eyes Are A Blue Million Miles

2008 unreleased

Recorded as part of a session on the Have You Heard website. Pontiak are a group of three brothers from Virginia – “We are not eclectic, nor are we fusion. The truth is, I can’t say what kind of music we play”.

The Primevals

China Pig

see Fast ‘n’ Bulbous Tribute Album

Crazy Little Thing

1988 French 7″ Fertile Mind / Crazy Little Thing on New Rose NEW 105
1988 UK vinyl Neon Oven – The Rex, Paris on DDT Records DISP LP21
1989 French CD Laser Rock’n’Roll Party Vol.2 on New Rose Records LASER2

primevals2 primevals

Hard Workin’ Man

played live; unreleased

The Primevals were formed in 1983 by Michael Rooney. Former member Tom Rafferty described them as ” a rock & roll band steeped in American music, blues, jazz, rock & roll, – the Clyde is their Delta”.

They have connections with another Scottish band, the Beat Poets who also appeared on the tribute album. See The Beat Poets entry for more information about the two bands.

Pro Forma

Hot Head

2002 UK CD Invisible Insurrection Of A Million Minds on Shadazz 002

A “sleazy electro rework” of “Hothead” by Pro Forma on the Scottish electro compilation “Invisible Insurrection Of A Million Minds” (this title quotes Alexander Trochii, Scottish novelist, poet and polemicist).

Psycho Bossa

Dali’s Car

2016 – video

A guitar duet of Dali’s Car with a hint of the intro to ‘When It Blows Its Stacks’ thrown in for good measure. Like the video too.

Check it out on Youtube –

Pubic Fringe

Sure Nuff ‘n’ Yes I Do
Willie The Pimp
Zig Zag Wanderer

2004 -2005 performed live – unreleased

UK band perform these covers live now and again. They had the honour of supporting The Magic Band in 2005 when they played The Rock Cafe in Stourbridge in the West Midlands.


Lick My Decals Off Baby

2006 US CD Puttanesca on Catasonic Records

Jazz, funk blues. More about how the band tackled this song can be found on the blog.

Hugo Race & The True Spirit

Clear Spot

1996 German(?) CD Valley of Light on Glitterhouse/EFA GRCD390
1996 German(?) vinyl Valley of Light on Glitterhous/EFA GRLP390


Former member of Nick Cave’s Bad Seeds Hugo Race has been releasing albums regularly since the late 80s. This is a good cover but there are no surprises.



2002 US CD In The Grips of The Light on Secretly Canadian Records

Hardcore, noise band from Bloomington.

This track is also included on the Neon Meate Dream tribute album

The Radiators

Grow Fins

1995 – 2005 live – various venues unreleased

Rock band from New Orleans into some jamming and relentless touring, and have a thing about fish. They have played ‘Grow Fins’ on a number of occasions over the years … the versions I’ve heard are quite short (about a minute or so in length) and are part a medley of other songs which oddly includes Land of a 1000 Dances

Radio Eris

Apes ma

Two voices accompanied by scratching and scrapings add extra depth to this otherwise very short poem.

This track is included on the Genus Records’ Mama Kangaroos tribute album

Radio I Ching

Abba Zaba

2008 US CD The Fire Keeps Burning on Resonant Music 004

A five minute jazz instrumental interpretation led by Andy Haas’ sax. I have to be honest and say that I wouldn’t have recognised the song if I hadn’t known what it was. There were some themes or motifs that might have got me thinking that it was something I should know. Perhaps someone with a better jazz understanding than I have could explain what it is they’ve done here.

Ratchet Orchestra

Making Love To A Vampire (2015)
Safe As Milk (2017)

Started in the 1990s the Ratchet Orchestra is an avant garde jazz ensemble based in Montreal, Canada.

Their version of Safe As Milk can be found on YouTube.

Susheela Raman

Love Lies

2007 French CD 331/3 on XIII BIS Records


Very languid acoustic based version with Susheela’s gorgeous dark brown vocals.

Born in England of Indian parents and seemingly working in France a lot Susheela’s influences are wide ranging. This album of covers is an eclectic mix – anything with a Beefheart song has to be that anyway – but this also includes songs by Velvet Underground, Can, Bob Dylan, Throbbing Gristle and Jimi Hendrix amongst others. An excellent album.

Find out more at

Phil Reavis

Trust Us

2008 unreleased

The first attempt to cover this song that I’ve come across and Phil Reavis really goes to town on it. This is a ‘Trust Us Suite’! It lasts for just over 17 minutes and is broken down into seven sections:

  • Introduction
  • The Path Is The Mask Of Love
  • See Before You See
  • We’re For You
  • Be Before You Be
  • We Love You
  • Let The Dying Die

Red Hot Chilli Peppers


2006 live at the Globen Arena, Stockholm

John Frusciante and Flea attempt to play Peon. In fact, they have several attempts at it … and give them their due they keep at it, and it ain’t half bad. You can check it out on Youtube

The Rogers Sisters

Zig Zag Wanderer

2003 US CDS (I’m a) Ballerina / Zig Zag Wanderer on For Us/Rough Trade Records FU026

The Rogers Sisters are Jennifer on guitar, and Laura on drums, along with (non-sister) bassist Miyuki Furtado. A pretty good, straightforward cover of ‘ZigZag Wanderer’, with a hint of The B52’s. They also play the song at live shows.

Roger Ruskin Spear


1971 UK EP Rebel Trousers on United Artists UP35221

Yes, the Roger Ruskin Spear of Bonzos fame does a ‘sort of’ cover of Dropout Boogie on this rare 4 track vinyl ep. It may also have been added to the CD release of his ‘Electric Shocks’ album but I haven’t been able to confirm this


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