A new book about Don’s work looking at his music, words and paintings. Currently only available in Italian. Published by Arcana Edizioni Price: € 25 Year: 2017 384 pages Contact: moderndance78@yahoo.it Publicity blurb: Captain Beefheart, born Don Vliet, is one of the most important and mythologized artists in the entire history of rock music. Starting from a solid blues basis and armed with a powerful voice worthy of Howlin ‘Wolf, in the Sixties he recorded, with his Magic Band, some of the most decisive works for the evolution of blues-rock, releasing in 1969, also thanks to the support of his friend Frank Zappa, the prodigiousRead More →

The first limited edition of this great little book, The Mystery Man of The Magic Band,  sold out pretty quickly but Brass Tacks Press have just published a second edition. Check out my original review So if you missed it first time around here’s your chance to get a copy – visit Brass Tacks Press website. This edition is not limited. It has a new foreword by actor Alec Baldwin who was a friend of Herb’s during his later Hollywood years. The rest of the text is the same apart from one additional endnote from Herb about the lyrics for Dirty Blue Jean. Cover Photo byRead More →

Album reviews and Magic Band interviews 90 pages A5 Publication Wisdom Twins Books 2015 Printed to order for each customer Publicity blurb: A 90 page album guide to the music of Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band, with words from Art Tripp, John Drumbo French, Robert Williams, Zoot Horn Rollo, Cliff Martinez and others. Radar Station Overview: As the title so succinctly puts it this is a book of Beefheart album reviews and Magic Band interviews. A fairly slim volume at only 90 pages it keeps to the point and avoids pretentious waffling. As the author says in his introduction “I haven’t gone to writeRead More →

Okay, so why am I reviewing a book about Jeff Buckley here on the Radar Station? Well, it’s written by Gary Lucas who had, and still continues to have, a big part to play in the music of Don Van Vliet, and I think, should interest a lot of Beefheart fans. Jawbone Press : London 2013 Paperback 318 pages 22 Illustrations Originally published in Italy in Italian this is an updated English version of Gary’s story of his “time with Jeff Buckley”, in which he wants to correct the many previously published errors about their relationship and to counter the attempts at airbrushing him outRead More →

Bill Harkleroad’s recollections of his time with the Magic Band and Mallard – Lunar Notes written with Billy James  – has been out of print for a number of years and has commanded stupid prices on eBay. If you don’t have one, there’s now the opportunity to pick up a copy for only £9.99, thanks to the excellent Gonzo Multimedia who republished it on 22 July. (Note: This is a straight republish and doesn’t contain any new or additional material.) Check out the Radar Station review of the original publication Buy it from Gonzo Multimedia Listen to Gonzo’s phone interview with Billy JamesRead More →

There’s a new book available which has compiled over 40 written pieces about, and interviews with Don. It’s called ‘A carrot is as close as a rabbit gets to a diamond’. In this online world it’s a refreshing retro artefact. Read my short reviewRead More →

Benoit Delaune - Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band(s)

There’s a new book just been published (in French) called Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band(s) written by Benoit Delaune. It looks at how some of the most amazing ‘free’ music ever made was produced under the most controlled of conditions. Find out moreRead More →

For all you collectors out there here’s a nice box set based around Freddy Bannister’s book. Freddy promoted many of Beefheart’s early 70’s tours as well as organising the famous Knebworth festivals. Apart from the book there’s some great Beefheart photographs, facsimilies of festival programmes and flyers … plus extra special bonuses of some prime Beefheart concerts. Find out moreRead More →

I’ve just got my copy of John French’s beautiful massive tome and have been keenly devouring it in every spare moment. It’s also had some favourable coverage in the UK press this morning. Life Under Captain Beefheart’s Regime appears in The Times and makes the book sound as fascinating and revelatory as it appears to be from what I’ve read so far. If you spot any other interesting reviews or articles related the book please post links to them below. Beefheart: Through the Eyes of Magic goes on sale tomorrow.Read More →

The 12-year old anti-hero of Josh Lieb’s new book for young adults is a Captain Beefheart fan. I point to my beloved Captain Beefheart, a musician so brilliant, so evil, he drove his own band insane. He would not let let them eat. He would not let them sleep. He would not let them leave his house. He made them wear dresses (and they were not girls). He stripped them of their very names and subjected them to hours and hours of abusive group therapy session. When a dejected and desperate member of the band managed to escape the Captain’s clutches, Beefheart snatched him offRead More →

Beefheart Through The Eyes Of Magic by John French

The following press release about the publication of John’s long awaited book has just come to our notice: John “Drumbo” French: Beefheart: Through The Eyes Of Magic The ultimate book about Captain Beefheart written by the man who spent more time with him than most. Published in hardback 880 pages, including 16 pages of amazing photographs, many published for the first time. Includes reminiscences from key members of The Magic Band and The Mothers Of Invention. Cover price £19.95. Out 11 January 2010 Few names carry such formidable mystique and rabid cult status as Captain Beefheart, who led various lineups of his Magic Band toRead More →

Beefheart Through The Eyes Of Magic by John French

The Radar Station just been told that John French’s book is still on course for a Spring 2010 release … although the exact date has yet to be confirmed. However, what’s new is that Proper has decided that it’ll now publish Through the Eyes of Magic as ONE BIG book instead of the two volumes they had originally planned. This probably make more financial sense. It also means we’ll get the whole book without the danger of the second volume never seeing the light of day! They’ve also promised that no editing will be done to make it fit one volume … which is goodRead More →

An extract from Barney Hoskins’ new biography of Tom Waits has appeared at The Quietus. It deals with the change in Waits’ music which happened at the time of his marriage to Kathleen Brennan, and Swordfishtrombones the album which resulted. Here Hoskins skates over the vexed question of Captain Beefheart’s influence on Waits: Waits has even claimed he’d never really listened to Captain Beefheart before meeting Kathleen – that, despite being signed by Beefheart’s manager Herb Cohen and supporting the Captain’s mentor Frank Zappa on tour, he was oblivious to the gruff-voiced Dadaist genius born Don Van Vliet. Where the bruising ‘Heartattack and Vine’ hintedRead More →

I’m afraid we’ve had bad news about the publication of John French’s book. It’s now no longer going to be published this June. Proper Records have not taken the decision lightly. But as this was their first foray into the world of book publishing they have now realised that a book cannot be turned around as quickly as a CD and marketed effectively in that short time. Ultimately they want to do what’s best for John and his book … but it’s still a bummer none the less! The book’s now likely to be published next year. We’ll bring you news, of course, as soonRead More →

Beefheart Through The Eyes Of Magic by John French

For several years here on the Radar Station we’ve been telling you that Drumbo has written a book about his time with the Magic Band called ‘Beefheart: Through The Eyes Of Magic’. It’s taken him a while to finish it and, at last, we can finally say there’s not much longer to wait. Proper Records (who released his recent solo album) have taken on the publication of this two volume masterpiece and plan to release Volume One on 1 June 2009. They’ve set up some ‘teaser’ pages and a few more teasers too. For more information … and a review (when we get are handsRead More →

Shiny Beasts is a compliation of the early work of acclaimed comic book artist Rick Veitch. The title is taken from Rick’s 1981 creation, Shiny Beast, which according to Stephen Bissette in his MYRANT page is more than just a nod to Captain Beefheart. Stephen describes at some length just what it is about Captain Beefheart which inspires Rick Veitch and himself. Many of us fondly remember Stephen Bissette’s work Big Eyed Beans From Venus which included lettering by Rick Veitch. Mike Lorah’s interview with Rick Veitch about Shiny Beasts is available at newsarama.com. Shiny Beasts will be published in April.Read More →

I’ve received a note from Mike Bugbee who provided us with his excellent eye-witness account of Don and Jan’s wedding a few years ago. He’s got a book coming out soon (unrelated to the wedding) and Michael Bugbee is the author of a soon-to-be-published novel, Notes from Hotel Misterioso, from Mline Books. The official publication date is April 1, 2007, but beginning in January 2007 prepublication copies are available through www.mlinebooks.com, $14.95 U.S. or $17.95 Canadian plus shipping. Inquiries to: info@mlinebooks.com. If you haven’t read Mike’s wedding account yet, you really should – it is one of my very favourite items here on beefheart.com andRead More →

Author Kevin Courrier is currently completing a book about Trout Mask Replica which should be published later this year. The book will investigate some possible sources for the ideas which were realised in the making of the album. According to Continuum, the publisher, these include Walt Whitman, Gregory Corso, Charley Patton, Howlin’ Wolf, Ornette Coleman and Richard Berry and the Coasters. Continuum’s website says that this book will illustrate, “how Trout Mask Replica, far from being an arcane specimen of the avant-garde, was instead a defiantly original declaration of the American imagination.” Kevin’s Courrier’s previous books were about Randy Newman and Frank Zappa. Publication dateRead More →