Now here’s a thing … a whole podcast about the Trout Mask Replica album … and not just one podcast but one podcast for EACH track. This is being bought to you by the Prince Track by Track Podcast set up by Darren Husted (see below for more information about the origin of this podcast series). Darren asked some friends if they’d be interested in creating a podcast for a favourite album and Joel Bakker suggested Trout Mask. Joel then set about convincing assorted Beefheart fans to choose a track, and with him hosting recorded their discussion about the track, the album, how they gotRead More →

As you may know Gary Lucas has been regularly busking via his Facebook page during the lockdown. He has already devoted a couple of those sessions to the music of Beefheart. To celebrate the 40th anniversary of its release Gary will be focusing on the album Doc At the Radar Station during his sessions on Tuesday 1st September, Thursday 3rd September and Saturday 5th September starting at 3pm EDT which is 8pm BST. Find Gary’s Facebook page here – https://www.facebook.com/gary.lucas.5836Read More →

There is an excellent article by Sean Kitching on The Quietus website marking 40 years since the release of Doc at the Radar Station. It includes insights about the recording of Don’s penultimate album from new interviews with Gary Lucas and Eric Drew Feldman. Read the article here – The Best Batch Yet? Captain Beefheart’s Doc At The Radar Station RevisitedRead More →

Just unearthed from Gary Lucas’s archives: A phone interview Gary conducted with Don Van Vliet broadcast on Yale University’s radio station WYBC FM January 18th 1972 three days before Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band’s show at Yale University’s Woolsey Hall January 21st 1972. Gary was Music Director of WYBC at the time, and had seen Beefheart’s first gig in NYC at Ungano’s the year before, a show which changed his life–as after witnessing that concert he vowed that if he ever did anything in music professionally, his number one priority would be to join Beefheart’s Magic Band–which he eventually did in 1980. This interviewRead More →

Yet another interview with John French. This time it’s with Joe Wong from the Trap Set which is a weekly podcast and terrestrial radio show about the lives of drummers. Amazingly John manages to keep it interesting by recalling ever more detail of his time with the Magic Band. You can hear it here :  Read More →

In 1993 Gerry Pratt started publishing his amazing fanzine ‘Steal Softly Thru Snow’. It ran to only eight issues sadly but was an important source of information for many Beefheart fans in the days before the internet. Various problems caused its eventual demise and although it has now been superseded by websites such as this one (which owes a debt of gratitude to SSTS) copies are still highly sought after. It has always been an idea at the back of my mind to scan all the issues and make them available here on the Radar Station. This is a project that has been bubbling awayRead More →

During the pandemic lockdown Gary Lucas has been live-streaming performances on Facebook from home several times a week. In a special three part series of performances in June 2020 Gary featured a Beefheart tribute. If you missed those streams or don’t like wading through the morass that is Facebook then hurry on over to Gary’s website to catch videos of all three of his Beefheart shows. You will also find there a selection of paintings and drawings by Don Van Vliet from his personal collection, including the backstory behind each piece. And there’s more … Gary writes about his Top 5 Captain Beefheart albums whichRead More →

Here’s a brand new interview with Bill Harkleroad (aka Zoot Horn Rollo). It was done by phone for the Greek website, Hit Channel, by Thodoris Dimitroulas who manages to ask some different questions. No great revelations but still some interesting answers from Bill.   Interview: Zoot Horn Rollo (Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band, solo)Read More →

——— Updated: 16 June If you missed the live session on 16 June, and if you didn’t, you can tune in again on Thursday 18 June and Saturday 20 June at the same time for a continuation of the symposium and some more of Gary’s great stories about being with Don. ——— During the lockdown Gary Lucas has been keeping himself busy by playing three half-hour concerts a week live on Facebook covering examples from all his musical interests. If you can, check it out and don’t forget to drop something in his Paypal account to help him out until he can get back outRead More →

UPDATED: 8th May 2020 Eric Gudas has written a fascinating article for the All About Jazz website about the making of Trout Mask Replica. He looks at it from a jazz viewpoint as that’s the audience he’s writing for so it makes for an interesting read. I don’t think there are many articles that have discussed the jazz connections of Don’s music. He draws heavily on the interviews done by Samual Andreyev with the members of the Trout band plus a lengthy interview he carried out with John  French. I am unable to link direct to the article (the site keeps changing its URL) soRead More →

Pamela Des Barres has written a lengthy piece for the PleaseKillMe.com website about her great friend and soul mate, Victor Haydon (or Hayden is you prefer). Pamela writes well and this candid reminiscence is no exception. She reveals some of the demons that drove Victor, inspired his imagination and in some ways kept him at arms reach from the rest of the world. Very informative and enlightening. Read the article here – https://pleasekillme.com/victor-haydon/Read More →

Well, folks, the Art Tripp fest continues. Samuel Andreyev has now bagged another interview with a former Magic Band member. In this interview, which is nearly two hours long, Art talks about working with Frank Zappa, John Cage and Captain Beefheart. If you’ve seen the other interviews by Samuel then you know you’ll not want to miss this one. Check it out on YouTube – https://youtu.be/ugMep20elgQRead More →

Thanks to Kitty Marimba we’re able to get a look inside Art’s Magic Band Scrapbook. Well, it was actually Art’s mother, Jay, who took most of the photographs and put them in an album but it’s now in Art’s possession. Jay herself does appear in a couple of the photographs. I have done what I can to tidy up the scans and to enhance the faded colours of the original photographs. However, they are what they are  … but it’s a rare glimpse of life on the road with the Magic Band during 1971 and 1972 … I hope you enjoy them. To fit themRead More →

The Radar Station is pleased to present this fascinating article by Art Tripp, aka Ed Marimba, aka Ted Cactus, drummer and percussionist for both Zappa’s Mothers of Invention and Beefheart’s Magic Band. Here he gives his take on what it was like to work for both these very different musical geniuses. Thanks to Kitty Marimba for helping to make this happen. ————————————————————————————— Zappa vs. Beefheart: What Were They Really Like? by Art Tripp “Hi, Art, this is Dick Kunc here. I was telling Frank about you, and we’re wondering if you could come down to Apostolic Studios on Friday?” “Sure, Dick. What should I bring:Read More →

TROPICAL HOTDOG NIGHT: attention all Captain Beefheart fans!! Sorry for the short notice, but catch this if you can Tonight Sun. March 22nd Gary’s old friend Dutch producer and Zappa-Beefheart go-to-guy Co De Kloet is broadcasting a big chunk of “The World of Captain Beefheart” concert he mounted at the Paradiso Amsterdam a few years ago — featuring Gary and the 65-piece  Metropole Orkest, Nona Hendryx, Jolene Grunberg, Tom Trapp and others–on his national Dutch radio NPO program Co Live! The show begins tomorrow at 6pm UK time, 7pm Dutch time, 1pm EST. Listen live through this link: https://www.nporadio2.nl/so…/online-radio-luisteren/gedraaid Or you can find the show on their website: https://www.nporadio2.nl/soulenjazz/programmas And you can find the podcast here:Read More →

Whilst the Michael Werner Gallery has an exhibition devoted to Don’s paintings another of his works is also on display as part of a group exhibition. This exhibition is called “Valley of Gold: Southern California and the Phantasmagoric” and includes work by Man Ray and Marcel Duchamp. According to the publicity from the gallery: Valley of Gold explores the aesthetic legacy of the European surrealists and others who worked with similar sensibilities on the art of Southern California. Examining the influence of this charged period, the exhibition traces how its effects percolated through later movements such as California abstraction, conceptual art, and Light and Space.Read More →

Updated: 4 March 2020 It’s been a while since there has been an exhibition of Don’s artwork. If you’re lucky enough you can catch this latest show called Don Van Vliet: Parapliers the Willow Dipped, Paintings 1967-1997 at Michael Werner’s Gallery in New York. Venue: Michael Werner 4 East 77th Street New York, NY 10075 Date: 31st January – 11th April (extended from original date of 31st March) Monday to Saturday 10am – 6pm There is also a pre-show reception on 30 January (6pm – 8pm) which will feature Nona Hendryx. Presumably Nona will be performing some of her Beefheart covers.   If you can’tRead More →

A beat by beat dissection of this song from Lick My Decals Off Baby. For the past few years musician Tony Malone and his Beefheart Project Toronto have been working on covers of many of Don’s songs from across all his albums. Their intention was to be respectful to the originals as possible but present them in a different way. To understand how to play the songs Tony had to deconstruct them by stripping them down to each beat, riff and rhythm. The band then learned their parts and reconstructed the song. To give an idea of the work involved in the original composition ofRead More →

The Radar Station was recently contacted by Travis Dean who told us he had a number of pieces of Victor Hayden’s artwork. As we’re always interested to see Victor’s art we asked him to send along some photos of his collection. So below for your delectation here are examples of two of Victor’s styles – the abstract swirl type and those with the strange figures that inhabit his paintings. Click on the thumbnails for larger images. What’s more Travis said he was looking to sell these. So if you’re interested you can contact him direct at travisdeanseattle@yahoo.com or +12536786630 Please note: The Radar Station hasRead More →