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 →

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 →

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 →

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 BluejeansRead More →

“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 lateRead More →

Yes, it’s true the legendary guitarist of the Magic Band and MU has finally broken his silence. Although for years Jeff Cotton has kept a low profile, refusing interviews with Steve Froy for his Space Blues website and even for John French when he was compiling the sleeve notes for Grow Fins and writing his Through the Eyes of Magic book he has now agreed to talk to Samuel Andreyev. Samuel has already won the hearts of many Beefheart fans with his musicologist’s examination of the track Frownland and his video interviews with John French and Bill Harkleroad. Now he has managed to pull offRead More →

Since his heart surgery Mark Boston aka Rockette Morton, bassist extraordinaire for the Magic Band, has had to take things a bit easier so he has taken up creating art. His elaborate, swirling images of aliens, tubes and streamers are vibrant as well as full of colour and humour. These pieces are for sale. See below for more details. The Radar Station asked Mark a few questions to get the background on his move from musician to artist: Radar Station: Firstly, I think all your fans would like to know how your are healthwise these days. Rockette Morton:  The heart surgery was a success butRead More →

Robert Williams, the Beefheart drummer from 1977 to 1981, recently posted on his Facebook page that he has a serious medical condition that will require major brain surgery. Sadly he has been diagnosed with a Glioma brain tumor which will have to be removed. Fortunately the procedure will be covered by MediCal. However as Robert is self-employed he will be unable to work whilst in hospital and when recovering from the operation. To help him meet his living expenses during this stressful time his son has set up a gofundme page where you can donate something to help him. If you are able help pleaseRead More →

Probably one of the busiest performers on the circuit, Gary Lucas is coming to the UK in May 2018 with a solo multi-media show entitled “An Evening with Gary Lucas : From Beefheart to Buckley and Beyond”. He will be playing solo except for one show when he will be joined by the legendary former singer from Can, Damo Suzuki! Check out the dates and venues below: Friday, May 4th Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool Saturday, May 5th The Cluny, Newcastle Sunday, May 6th St. Luke’s, Glasgow Tuesday, May 8th Florence Arts Centre, Egremont, Cumbria Thursday, May 10th FOCUS Wales​ 2018, Wrexham – Gary is performingRead More →

Pamela Des Barres has recently posted a couple of photos on her Facebook site that visitors to the Radar Station might like to see. Apparently she came across one of Victor Hayden’s original paintings in her garage. Not just any painting … this one was the original artwork for the Bluejeans and Moonbeams album cover. Miss Pamela acts as an agent for Victor’s artwork and she is considering what to do with this painting, in other words the best way of selling it. The album itself may well not be the most popular in Don’s discography but the cover was wonderfully strange. John French recallsRead More →

We recently posted about composer Samuel Andreyev’s Youtube analysis of the album Trout Mask Replica. A fascinating piece if you haven’t watched it yet. On the back of piece we were able to put Samuel in contact with John French and he has now posted an excellent video interview with John on Youtube lasting an hour and forty five minutes. In the interview they discuss John’s time in the Magic Band (unsurprisingly), concentrating on the time in the Trout House and the making of TMR. Take a look here: [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Od0_LRNlE5A]Read More →

Thanks go to Patrick Grant for sharing some great pictures of the original Captain Beefheart and instigator of the group – Alex Snouffer. Alex, also known as ‘Butch’, is here shown in some photographs from 1955 and 1957 taken for the Antelope Valley High School Yearbook. This High School was attended by several of the original members of the band. Alex tended to mix with the ‘bikers’ of the area and was known as someone not to mess with.    Read More →

It is with great sadness that I heard of Gary’s passing yesterday, 8 December. His family announced he had died following a massive stroke. Gary ‘Magic’ Marker was a good friend of Don van Vliet’s in the early 1960s around Los Angeles. He helped produce the Safe As Milk album and for a time played bass with the Magic Band but wasn’t interested in it as a permanent gig. I befriended him online about 20 years ago and he was always happy to talk about his Beefheart experiences and his time in the music world generally. He had a great fund of stories, was a greatRead More →