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) so
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/
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/ugMep20elgQ
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 them
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:
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:
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.
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’t
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 of
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or +12536786630 Please note: The Radar Station has
It’s good to see that some people have taken the time to acknowledge Trout Mask’s 50th anniversary. Here we have two online radio shows, both available on Mixcloud, taking different approaches to celebrating the greatness of the band’s landmark album. Both are well worth a listen. Firstly we have the London based Resonance FM. The host discusses the album with Beefheart biographer, Mike Barnes and the show is described as: Freewheeling music series with Ivor Kallin. This week we celebrate fifty years since the release of Captain Beefheart’s Troutmask Replica, with special guest Mike Barnes, author of the seminal work on the good captain. Expect
For many people on the first listen Trout Mask Replica just sounds awful. For those of us that grow to love it, it’s a masterpiece. If you don’t entirely get it yet, this 10 minute feature video from Vox nicely picks apart what’s going on and why so many of us consider it to be uniquely special. If you enjoy this and want something more in-depth then have a look at Samuel Andreyev’s analysis of Frownland and his extended conversation with John French.
Liverpool’s Bluecoat Gallery continue their support of all things Beefheart with a special event to mark Trout Mask Replica’s 50th anniversary. Beefheart biographer Mike Barnes will be leading a discussion about the album and artist Derek Tyman will be creating a scale model of the Trout House! Bluecoat Artistic Director Bryan Biggs chairs the event, which continues Bluecoat’s relationship to Beefheart, from his first ever exhibition of paintings at the venue in 1972 to a special weekend in 2017 that explored him as a ‘total artist’ who embraced music, art, writing and performance. The event is on Sunday 16th June 2019. For more details and
May 11 – June 8, 2019 • Fast & Bulbous: The Art of Victor Hayden, curated by Anthony Ausgang Lisa Derrick Fine Arts will be presenting Fast & Bulbous, an exhibition of drawings and paintings by Victor Hayden (1948-2018), aka The Mascara Snake, with an opening reception May 11, 2019, from 6pm to 9pm. The gallery is located at 961 Chung King Road, in Los Angeles Chinatown. Victor was an ephemeral member of The Magic Band (Don and he were cousins). He contributed both art and music to Trout Mask Replica and also painted the artwork on the cover of the band’s 1974 release Bluejeans
There are not many opportunities these day to hear Don’s music played live but luckily there are a few musicians out there keeping the flame alive. Here’s a couple of chances to experience this music live, one in the US and one in the UK. UPDATE: Gary has contacted us to say that the Cutting Room gig has had to be POSTPONED. We will post details when it is rescheduled. Gary Lucas is presenting his THE WORLD OF CAPTAIN BEEFHEART show featuring legendary soul diva Nona Hendryx (Labelle) on vocals. You can catch this in NYC at The Cutting Room 44 East 32nd St on
One of the great pieces of footage showing the band at full throttle is their performance of I’m Gonna Booglarize You Baby on the German TV music programme Beat Club back in 1972. Then in 2012 The Lost Broadcasts DVD revealed footage form the complete studio session – a couple more run throughs of Booglarize plus versions of Click Clack (twice), Golden Birdies, Steal Softly Thru Snow and Rockette Morton’s Bass Solo. Amazing picture and sound quality! Now, the Beat Club YouTube channel has revealed even more footage from that session. Sadly there are no more songs. But what we do have here is the
“That’s right, The Mascara Snake!” The Radar Station was saddened to hear that Victor Hayden (aka The Mascara Snake) had died on 7th December 2018. His death was announced by Pamela Des Barres on her Facebook page. She had known Victor since high school and called him her ‘soulmate’. In recent years she had acted as agent for his artwork. However, she gave no details about the cause of his death but Steve Brewster contacted us to tell us the tragic news that Victor had been hit by a van ten days ago and never recovered. Victor was Don Van Vliet’s cousin. During the late
Yes, it’s 50 years since the band’s second album, Strictly Personal, was released. It was October 1968 in the US and December 1968 in the UK. The recording of the follow-up to Safe As Milk had begun back in November 1967 not long after Jeff Cotton had joined the band to replace Jerry McGee. However, these recordings were destined to remain unissued for a few years and the band had a second go at recording the album in May 1968. It was these later sessions that were to be eventually released by Blue Thumb in the US and Liberty in the UK as Strictly Personal.