Captain Beefheart Discography: Beefheart Covers Collection – Part 7


Sacred Cowboys

Click Clack

2008 Australia CD Nailed to the Cross 1982-85 on Savage Beat/Loaded Skull Discs SB/LSD001

This track was only released as part of this 2CD retrospective but was recorded back in 1983 as part of a live set played at the Seaview Ballroom and broadcast on radio

The Sacred Cowboys played a tough rock tinged with country and were part of the healthy Aussie scene that also included The Scientists and The Beasts of Bourbon.



Clear Spot

2004 Italian CD Mr Bore on Wallace Records wallace 53

Included on as this CD as track 0, a pre-gap hidden track


The Scientists

Clear Spot

198? Australia 7″ We Had Love / Clear Spot on Au Go Go Records ANDA 29


1985 Australia vinyl Heading For A Trauma on Au Go Go Records ANDA 39
2000 Australia CD Blood Red River 1982-1984 on Citadel Records CITCD 5432
2016 Australia 4CD A Place Called Bad on Numero Group NUM206

The career overview 4CD set includes both studio and live versions of Clear Spot

see also Fast ‘n’ Bulbous Tribute Album

The Screaming Dizbusters

Frying Pan

1986 Sweden 7″ This Ain’t The Summer of Love / Out of the Frying Pan, Into the Fire on Amigo AMS169


1992 Australia(?) CD Various Artists : Showdown! (1981-1993) on Sympathy For The Record Industry SFTRI 333

The Screaming Dizbusters were actually the prolific Swedish band The Nomads who have been recording since the 1980s.

Secret 999

China Pig

198? ?????

A dramatic and stark rendering of this song with minimal piano accompaniment. Excellent in my opinion.

Unfortunately, I have not been able to find any details about this recording or the band. It does exist because I have a copy from when it was played on a Canadian Radio Beefheart Tribute show in 1983.

Ty Segall

Dropout Boogie

2009 US CD Lemons on Goner Records

San Francisco based Ty Segall produces a fine raucous guitar and drum lo-fi psych sound that doesn’t overstay its welcome (the whole album clocks in at just over 26 minutes!). Dropout Boogie is played fast and straight ahead except for the waltz-time breaks which are super-slow.

When asked by Andre Torrez in a San Francisco Bay Guardian interview why he’d chosen to record Dropout Boogie Ty Segall simply replied “Beefheart rules.” And Torrez continued that Segall “can’t give the psych-blues band enough praise, citing them along with the Pretty Things and Piper at the Gates of Dawn-era Pink Floyd as major influences on his current reverb-rich sound.”

Serious Solid Swineherd


1993 Germany CD Swine Art on Uton Records UTON11


ReR Records describe this album as:

Second CD from this excellent German trio. Studio productions of played and arranged pieces, mostly songs (echoes: Skeleton Crew, Cassiber ?). An unusual meeting of skills and styles where very different interests somehow collect and make musical sense. Intelligence, variety and fine playing underwrite complex/simple songs and extended successful recording experiments. Rock, stretched.

ReR also describe another of their albums as containing:

… outrageous Beefheart style instrumentals, noise experiments.

Sexy Death Soda

Plastic Factory

1998 US CD Sexy Death Soda on Bong Load Custom Records BL34


Pretty good indie/grunge rock take on ‘Plastic Factory’ from this Californian band who may have their tongues firmly in their cheeks for some of the other songs on the album. Worth checking out!


Her Eyes Are A Blue Million Miles

2008 US CD The Covers ep on ???

According to an interview online with guitarist Adrian Carroll at the Washington City Paper on 30 January 2008 the band “started to feel like we were being perceived as a country or rockabilly band, but we’ve always been interested in a lot of other things,” says Carroll. “We all liked Beefheart. The words are really simple and beautiful – there was a circular pattern to them.” The song also motivated Shortstack to rock out a little harder than before. “Previously our drummer [Scott Gursky] played with brushes. He pretty much exclusively plays with sticks now. It made the band louder—that’s what attracted us to it.”


This Is The Day

1974 UK vinyl This Is The Day on United Artists UAS29684
2001 UK CD Shusha/This Is The Day on Beat Goes On Records BGOCD531


Iranian born, educated at the Sorbonne in Paris and relocated to London in the 1960s Shusha Asa is very talented – a singer, composer, author and documentary film maker.

Apart from releasing albums based on Persian music in original settings as well as jazz-rock arrangements she has also issued over the years a number of more commercial albums featuring her own songs alongside covers of Woody Guthrie, Joan Baez, Chuck Berry, W.B.Yeats, William Blake, Shakespeare and Ted Hughes.

At times like Sandy Denny with a slight French accent she makes a stylish folk rock sound. It doesn’t always work but her cover of ‘This Is The Day’ is perfectly charming.

Another minor Beefheart connection is that the piano player on the ‘This Is The Day’ album is John ‘Rabbit’ Bundrick who also played on the first Mallard album.

Frank Sidebottom

Gimme Dat Harp Boy Mirror Man

1989 UK vinyl 13:9:88 on IT060
1997 UK CD ABC&D … the best of … on Cherry Red Records CDMRED 143


The tracks are actually listed as ‘Mirror Man, Mirror Puppet’ and ‘Gimme That Harp, Little Frank’ and done as a medley. To save room on the CD they were recorded in one channel with a totally different song recorded in the other!

2009 UK CD EFG&H … the best of …
volume 2
on Cherry Red Records CDBRED 389

On this release we get the full stereo version.

Frank Sidebottom, with his large papiermache head (a bit like a friendly version of a Resident!), was the alter ego of Chris Sievey, one time member of the novelty punk band The Freshies who are probably best remembered for the song ‘I’m In Love With The Girl At The Manchester Virgin Megastore Checkout Desk’. Chris sadly died in 2010. A film loosely based on his life called Frank was released in 2015 and his behaviour towards his band members brought comparisons with Don’s treatment of the Magic Band at the Trout House.


Owed T’Alex

1987 self-released cassette (4 and 6 track versions)

Screaming live version by this Australian no wave/post punk band. The female vocalist, Vikki Riley, seems to have been an interesting character who was sadly killed in a road accident aged only 50.

Can be heard on Youtube –

Small Blues Trap

Upon The My Oh My

2014 live

A heavy version from a four Greek piece recorded live at “Double Trouble”, Athens, Greece.

Check it out on Youtube –

Sonic Youth


see Fast ‘n’ Bulbous Tribute Album

Sonic Youth stroll through this version of a stonking Beefheart song – I really expected better from them!


Dropout Boogie

1996 live at Barrowlands, Glasgow

Apparently the now defunct Soundgarden played ‘Dropout Boogie’ as an encore at this concert. I don’t know if a tape exists or whether they played it at any other shows.

Chris Spedding

Click Clack

2005 German CD Click Clack on SPV 78052

Well respected guitar-slinger Chris Spedding not only covers Click Clack as a slow blues but he also names the album after the song. The harmonica player is a certain Bryan Ferry.


Sure Nuff ‘n’ Yes I Do
Willie The Pimp

1971 UK vinyl Stackwaddy on Dandelion Records DAN8003/K49003
1994 UK CD Stackwaddy/Bugger Off on See For Miles Records SEECD407

A no nonsense pub-rock band that recorded for John Peel’s legendary Dandelion Records (which, if I remember rightly, was named after his hamster).

The Stairs


1992 UK CD Various Artists : 1965. Through The Looking Glass on Imaginary Records ILLCD025

A pretty straightforward copy of the original with fair stab at sounding like Don.

From an Imaginary Records tribute album which concentrates on songs from various bands from 1965 including The Beatles, The Stones, Donovan and The Fugs. The only cover of Moonchild (so far), written by David Gates of Bread fame. Oh yes, I hate to mention this but it was recorded in 1966 …

Stamp Out 50Hz Hummingbirds

Gimme Dat Harp Boy

Has anyone heard this? Know anything about the band?

Thanks again to Derek Laskie for finding the reference to it.


Kandy Korn

2003 Italian CD Six Fishes From Unknown Seas (A Practical Handbook For The Young Explorer, Vol. 1) on Aua Records
2014  Italian CD/2LP Dream Market Radio on Psych-Out Records / Rock Bottom PO-CD006

An Italian three piece released their 2003 mini-CD of covers which includes songs by Syd Barrett and Lou Reed as well as Beefheart. This version of Kandy Korn is driven by riffs rather than the two lead guitars of the original. The use of stop/start helps to build the tension in the song. It grew on me the more I listened to it.


They re-recorded it for the 2014 album.

Guitarist and vocalist, Maurizio Curadi, is a Beefheart fan who has written a lengthy article about the Magic Band in the Italian fanzine Lost Trails. He also translated four of Don’s songs into Italian – Pena, Steal Softly Thru Snow, When Big Joan Sets Up and The thousandth and tenth day of the human totem pole – as well as recording his own versions of two of Don’s instrumental pieces.

Maurizio told the Radar Station about choosing Kandy Korn:

KANDY KORN – this has always been one of my obsessions. A composition that has always amazed me for its strength, its colours, its inner transformations. For me Kandy Korn is the sonic correlative of a Van Gogh painting. Something that hits the nervous system, a real geometry of mind expansion. The coda is a timeless enigma. It was a natural choice for me to set Kandy Korn as an appearance in a sea of cicadas, in summer barley fields.

My comments are mainly visual, but I think you understand.

We recorded it almost completely live, then I did a guitar overdub and vocals. Maybe it has too much bass loudness, but I really like the result.

I’m a fan of the Strictly Personal period I’ve listened to these songs since I was 16-17. With Trout Mask, it was the first encounter with Captain Beefheart for me.

I’ve immediately loved those demented delta guitars, the African feel, the disturbing balance between tradition and atonality, the visionary strength. It has the power to make laugh and cry. Freightening and funny. But I don’t want to be boring. For all these reasons, and for many others unknown, I guess, it was chosen Kandy Korn.

STEEPLEJACK was formed in 1986 by Maurizio Curadi, after playing guitar singing and writing songs in seminal acid rock Italian bands such as Useless Boys and Birdmen of Alkatraz. Steeplejack has always been a strange anomaly in the Italian scene: visionary rather than psychedelic in the usual sense, the band has always followed an independent path with unusual spirits and sounds, mixing primitive delta blues with eerie songs. They recorded 2 LP’s (“Serena Maboose” in 1987, and “Pow Wow” in 1989 for Electric Eye Records) and 2 singles in 1991. After years of apparent inactivity, they reformed in 2000. At present they’re recording new material for a new cd, “Nameless City”. Find out more about them on their site –

Suburban Terror Project

Ashtray Heart

2002 US 7″ Ashtray Heart on Entropy Now! Records

A hardcore metal band with a singer who sounds really angry on this full-blooded assault on Ashtray Heart.

Josh Wartrip from the band told me:

“I know it’s already been done a few times, but we had wanted to do that song for a long time, and after hearing the White Stripes version we decided we *had* to try and do a better job ;)…. I don’t know if we succeeded…”

You can decide for yourself by checking out the MP3 at the bands website or wait for the release of the single in late 2002.

Swedish Tribute Band

see the separate page for more information about the Swedish Tribute Band


Where There’s Woman

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



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