Generations of fans can testify just how difficult it used to be to find women who had any interest at all in Captain Beefheart’s music. Captain Beefheart always said that his music was for women, but not until recently did this message seem to be getting through. The Magic Band reunion concerts were notable for the number of women who attended and demonstrably appreciated the music. Now, in Trondheim in Norway, two hard rocking female students are hosting a weekly radio show called Ella Guru. Captain Beefheart’s Ella Guru is their theme tune. Thea Aarbakke and Sara E. Grønvold are Ella Guru’s DJs. Sara (toRead More →

EMI sent news today of some digital Beefheart wonderment which they’ve created for your especial delectation. A new page at EMI’s website offers free downloads of Beefheart related computer and telephone add-ons. EMI’s geegaws and gimcracks include e-mail signatures, mobile telephone screensavers, computer wallpaper, a couple of computer alert sounds (which don’t seem to be taken from the Virgin catalogue), plus flashing messenger icons. See and hear EMI’s Beefheart freebies here. In addition to this, the newly remastered Beefheart CDs on EMI/Virgin each come with a chance to order a Captain Beefheart ringtone. These cost £3 each, plus the cost of ordering. The ringtones areRead More →

Virgin Records has found in its vaults a previously undocumented film of Captain Beefheart in concert. A digital copy of the film has been produced to help promote Virgin’s six forthcoming Captain Beefheart CD releases. It isn’t very often that previously unseen film of Captain Beefheart in concert is released, so I’m especially happy to be able to report this news here. The film is captioned as having been made in London, though to my knowledge there was no film crew present for the London concerts at that time. I tracked down one of the directors of the film to ask him about it. HeRead More →

Here are a few items which should have appeared here earlier. Sorry to have kept you waiting. Hank Grebe’s Beefheart photographs The recently issued Captain Beefheart compilation CD, The Buddah Years features a cover photograph of Don Van Vliet hunkering down in a corridor to chat with some fans. The story of the taking of that photograph can be found at Hank Grebe’s website, along with six pages of photographs of Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band which Hank took over the years between 1971 and 1980. Beyond the Palers Some Procol Harum fans (Palers) have issued a double CD of Procol Harum cover versionsRead More →

The internet radio station, A3Radio, broadcasting from Ann Arbor, Michigan, is currently hosting a Captain Beefheart Anthology on Saturdays and Sundays at 22.00 local time. Chris Fici is the presenter. At the Australian public national radio station Triple J there is an archive of various fascinating Beefheart related audio clips which were used in a programme broadcast in January 2001. Interviews with Bill Harkleroad, Ry Cooder and Mike Barnes are among the goodies on offer. The Dutch station Concertzender has archived an hour long programme of Captain Beefheart music which was first broadcast on May 8th this year. Three tracks from Fast ‘n’ Bulbous: theRead More →

The Magic Band have been invited to broadcast live on Swedish TV4’s morning show on Tuesday 16th May. John French will be interviewed and the band will play two Captain Beefheart numbers. These will be made available on the net at TV4’s website shortly after the broadcast. The performance should be available there for several months. This TV appearance completes the schedule for the sadly curtailed Magic Band tour. The Danish concert was cancelled today while the Norwegian concert was cancelled about three weeks ago. Update: Tuesday 16th May The clips of The Magic Band live on Swedish television this morning are now archived atRead More →

Danish author, film-maker and cultural commentator Lars Movin telephoned Don Van Vliet for a chat about his work with music and painting. An edited transcript of their conversation later appeared in a short-lived Danish magazine. It is this interview which is the source of Don’s much quoted line, “It makes me itch to think of myself as Captain Beefheart. I don’t even have a boat.” ‘I don’t even have a boat – Calling the Captain, 30.1.91’, a video notebook by Lars Movin, is to be premiered at the Cinematheque at The Danish Film Institute in Copenhagen on May 23rd. Filming took place in summer 2005Read More →

The new documentary DVD is out today and, although I’m yet to see it, the pre-release reviews have got me salivating. See reviews at: Play.com Idiotbastard (scroll right down to the videos section) Entertainment Weekly Video Watchdog CMJ Music First Cult Clash You can also view a short 1.6mb clip at MVD featuring a segment of the Cannes Beach performance. Update 26/04: See our Derek’s review for beefheart.com in which he goes into much more detail about his misgivings for this project than those expressed in the comments within this post. Order Captain Beefheart Under Review from Amazon.co.uk Order Captain Beefheart Under Review from Amazon.comRead More →

A box-set collection of Knebworth Festival-related memorabilia is available to accompany a book of memoirs by Knebworth organiser Freddy Bannister; including some Beefheart material. Frederick Bannister was the promoter of many of Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band’s UK concerts in the 70s. He also organised the famous Knebworth Festivals at which not only Captain Beefheart and Frank Zappa appeared but a host of other important acts too. Bannister has written his rock ‘n’ roll memoirs (which include quite a few Beefheart anecdotes) and has published them under the title ‘There Must Be A Better Way’. The book is available as part of a boxedRead More →

BBC 6Music broadcast an archive interview last week from 1980, conducted by David Hepworth. Don was in bullish mood – not at his wittiest or most charming in my humble opinion, desperately asserting himself as a legitimate composer and artist and lashing out at those who he saw as a threat. Genius, without doubt, but not a very genial one on this occasion. Nevertheless, it’s classic Beefheart and Michael Alderson has very kindly, painstakingly transcribed the whole thing for you. Many thanks to him for his trouble, and to Marc Riley’s Mint for making the air-time to broadcast it. Incidentally, this week’s archive interview onRead More →

Here is a cover scan of the forthcoming documentary DVD Captain Beefheart Under Review which is in the final editing stage and will be available in March ’06, on the Chrome Dreams record label. The film traces Beefheart’s entire career and uses rare footage and contributions from numerous Beefheart associates and Magic Band members. Contributors include John French, Mark Boston, Moris Tepper, Elliot Ingber, Ira Ingber, Jerry Handley, Doug Moon, Eric Drew Feldman, Gary Marker and Gary Lucas.Read More →

BBC radio’s 6Music will be airing an archived Don Van Vliet interview this weekend on Sunday 8th January on Marc Riley’s Mint. I don’t know yet which interview it is exactly, but you can listen live online at 10pm (GMT) or whenever you want to via the “listen again” facility for up to one week after broadcast. Many thanks to Simon Pardoe for the tip off. I usually try to listen to Marc Riley’s shows anyway as they are always entertaining and he is a big Beefheart fan. You might have to endure an occasional tune by Coldplay but there is always tonnes of goodRead More →

Back in October, Norm Wheeler wrote in with his notice of a Captain Beefheart film show which took place in Austin, Texas. Owing to some technical malfunction or other I did not receive his mail until very recently. Anyway, such is the Texan interest in Captain Beefheart that the same film show is being held again tonight at the same venue  so I thought it would be appropriate to let you read Norm’s mail as a sort of preview to tonight’s event. [wp_quote]Last night (2005-10-10) the 1997 BBC documentary The Artist Formerly Known as Captain Beefheart was shown at the “Alamo Drafthouse Downtown” in Austin,Read More →

On Friday 6 January from 22:15 to 23:30 BBC Radio 3’s show Mixing It features alternative music in Los Angeles. The presenters Mark Russell and Robert Sandall meet film composer Jon Brion, hip hop producer Madlib, guitarist Nels Cline, sound artist Akira Rabelais, and drummer John French. You can listen to the programme at the Mixing It homepage for one week after the broadcast.Read More →

I’m looking forward to the DVD release next year of a new documentary about Captain Beefheart. A good number of Magic Band musicians were interviewed for it in London and America over the past couple of months, so it should be interesting to hear what they had to say. Captain Beefheart biographer Mike Barnes was among those taking part and he has kindly allowed me to reproduce a short account of his experience. This was originally posted at The Fire Party Discussion List. [wp_quote] I went to be interviewed by Prism Films for the upcoming Beefheart DVD documentary yesterday. We were in a freezing cold, desertedRead More →

Another new Beefheart blog – Captain Beefheart Project – has been created this weekend. The first three entries deal with particular concerts, giving background information and links, including links to a site where torrents of audio files of Beefheart concerts can be found. I’m looking forward to seeing how this develops.Read More →