Lewis Taylor’s slightly sought-after version of Trout Mask Replica has hitherto been available on the web only in dribs and drabs . This weekend it is downloadable in its entirety, along with a mish-mash of other Lewis Taylor rarities at Okayplayer. [now removed]  Lewis Taylor retired from the music industry in 2006. Findlay Brown, on the other hand, released his first recordings in 2006. One of the A-sides of his second single was the Captain Beefheart song ‘I’m Glad’. The Guardian described his live rendition of this song as a “luminous ballad“, while The Times heard it as “Johnny Cash-borrowing“. I’m Glad is downloadable atRead More →

Lick My Decals Off, Baby is simply not a composition which readily lends itself to being performed. So when I found Puttanesca’s video of one of their Lick My Decals Off, Baby rehearsals at their MySpace page I wrote to ask them to send me all sorts of obsessively interesting details about it. Weba Garretson, the group’s vocalist, promptly responded with an an engaging account of their work on the piece and included a scan of part of the transcription they used (click on the image for a readable version). [wp_quote]Decals is an evolving process for us. The version on the CD is similar toRead More →

Herb Bermann, the legendary poet who wrote most of Captain Beefheart’s Safe As Milk lyrics (and some more) appears on a new DVD recently recorded at a poetry reading at Beyond Baroque. Good-Bye to the Rodeo Grounds is a sort of momento of one of the last artist communities in Los Angeles, evicted to make way for a state park. In his interview for this website Herb talked about this, and of course about his involvement with Captain Beefheart. The DVD is available from Custom Flix or Amazon. There are several excerpts from it at YouTube, including an 8 minute sequence of Herb Bermann readingRead More →

Film of Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band performing Diddy Wah Diddy and Who Do You Think You’re Fooling was broadcast on Dick Clark’s television show Where The Action Is on 24th May 1966. Shot on location at a Californian beach Captain Beefheart’s sexy glowering beatsters played their music to an audience of gyrating valley girls and boys. This film is a joy to watch, so now that it has been pulled from YouTube for being used without permission we can only hope that Dick Clark Productions, Inc., the copyright owners, have plans to let their film be more widely seen elsewhere. Since this pieceRead More →

Our competition to win the 5 sets of EMI/Virgin’s remastered Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band CDs attracted hundreds of entries from around the planet. It’s heartening to find out that in over 20 US States, in Canada, New Zealand, Australia and South Africa, in the Middle East and right across Europe and Scandinavia there are so many men and women with enough interest in Captain Beefheart to take part. Everybody answered the question correctly so congratulations all round, and thanks for all the complimentary remarks about this website and the work which goes into it. The title of the Don Van Vliet painting whichRead More →

Virgin/EMI are to rerelease their entire Captain Beefheart back catalogue on CD on Monday 7th August. The albums have all been remastered and Captain Beefheart biographer Mike Barnes has written informative liner notes which set out the context and circumstances of the creation of each album. The Virgin/EMI publicity machine should ensure that Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band get more publicity in the near future than they have had in years. Some people will come to listen to Captain Beefheart’s music for the first time, others may be tempted to listen again after many years. The Virgin catalogue has a range of Beefheart’s musicalRead More →

Virgin Records have kindly offered to send complete sets of their six newly remastered Captain Beefheart albums to five lucky visitors to this website. All you have to do is send us an email telling us the title of the Don Van Vliet painting which is reproduced on the front cover of ‘Shiny Beast (Bat Chain Puller)’. You’ll find plenty of information about Don Van Vliet’s art by clicking on the ‘art info’ link at the top of this page and following the links at the new page which opens. If we receive more than five correct answers we’ll put all the correct entries intoRead 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 →

Anyone into downloading music legally but without the annoying restrictions that come with most online music services may be interested to know that several Beefheart and Beefheart-related albums are available on E-Music now. E-Music offers top quality mp3s free of all DRM restrictions – you can copy them, keep them, burn them to CD, transfer them to a portable, delete them and download them again all at no extra cost. It’s also very reasonably priced. You will currently find the following Beefheart related items on E-Music: Grow Fins (essential Beefheart rarities box set from Revenant) 21st Century Mirror Men (excellent reformed Magic Band live album)Read More →

Ozit have released another Beefheart 2CD set. This time it’s a recording of the last live show ever played by Don and the band – the 31st January 1981 show at the Golden Bear. As usual with Ozit an opportunity has been missed. Find more info in our bootleg section here – http://www.beefheart.com/datharp/albums/boots/captainslast.htmRead More →

The second part of Derek Laskie’s interview with Herb Bermann, legendary writing partner of Don Van Vliet in the early days of the Magic Band is now available and is just as fascinating as part one. At one point Herb expresses his annoyance with something written about him in Mike Barnes’ biography of Don Van Vliet. I’m puzzled by his suggestion that Barnes should “do his homework” – I’d like to stress on the writer’s behalf that this is clearly a very well researched biography. Herb Bermann features only very briefly in the story which, despite his momentous contribution to one of my all timeRead More →

A compilation CD, called The Buddah Years, has just been released based on the remastered Safe As Milk and Mirror Man Sessions albums. The good Captain also appears on a new compilation called Creative Outlaws – U.S. Underground 62-70. An interesting collection that includes The Fugs, The Stooges, Blue Cheer, The Great Society, Country Joe & The Fish, Tim Rose, Tiny Tim, and Lothar & The Hand People amongst others. The idea of the album is that the tracks are supposed to represent the preoccupations and ideals of the 1960s counterculture. The Beefheart track included is ‘Dachau Blues’ – an odd selection I would haveRead More →

The Radar Station is very proud to present the first part of an extensive telephone interview with Don Van Vliet’s early writing partner, Herb Bermann. This partnership has been such a mystery for the last four decades that many have postulated that he didn’t even exist. Herb Bermann would like to happily confirm that he does exist and has spoken exclusively to Derek Laskie about his work with Don Van Vliet. Herb’s interview reveals a wealth of previously unpublished detail about the early history of Captain Beefheart and may well be the most historically significant item yet on beefheart.com for those trying to unravel theRead More →

I do not normally post information here without checking my facts. By doing so now I hope to save you some money and some grief. Adverts are now appearing for new copies of a ‘Lick My Decals Off, Baby’ CD. This album has been unavailable for too many years and is undoubtedly at the top of many people’s wish lists. My advice is to wait before you buy. According to one retailer, Rhino Records are to launch a Captain Beefheart Remaster CD and Vinyl Campaign in March and April. ‘Trout Mask Replica’, ‘Lick My Decals Off, Baby’, ‘Spotlight Kid’ and ‘Clear Spot’ will be issuedRead More →

Don Van Vliet and Herb Bermann wrote the songs ‘Can Fever’ and ‘Bone Crazy’. The BMI website says so, and BMI should know. BMI keeps comprehensive records of the people who write, compose and publish songs. You’ll look in vain through the Beefheart catalogue to find ‘Can Fever’ and ‘Bone Crazy’. Even the most hardcore of Beefheart scholars have never heard these songs. So when these titles were found at BMI, years of general wonderment and speculation ensued. What might these songs be? With Herb Bermann as a co-writer, could ‘Can Fever’ and ‘Bone Crazy’ be missing songs from ‘Safe As Milk’? No demos orRead More →

A recording of The Magic Band playing Dropout Boogie has been released on a CD compliled by Matt Groening, All Tomorrow’s Parties Vol.3.1. (ATPRCD16) Recorded in concert during a lunar eclipse over Long Beach California in 2003, this track has not previously been made available. Other artists on the album include Deerhoof, Elliot Smith and Iggy and the Stooges. Sonic Youth perform the Simpson’s Theme and a Matt Groening poster is included in the package.Read More →

Some previously overlooked performances by Don Van Vliet have recently been documented by Bill Lantz, one of the world’s foremost Zappa-ologists. In September 1975 The Abnuceals Emuukha Electric Orchestra was put together to present a series of orchestral pieces written by Frank Zappa. Michael Zearott was the conductor and Frank produced and recorded most of these shows. Forty musicians were assembled by Zappa with help from Earle Dumler and Mike Altschul. One of the orchestra members was Don Van Vliet who played soprano saxophone. If anyone has access to recordings from this project we’d be very interested to hear them. View the full story. ThanksRead More →

I recently received a message from John Drumbo French to update me on progress with his new recordings: So here Rockette and I are at Proper Record’s wonderful new studio recording my new CD “City of Refuge” which is basically a Magic Band influenced compilation of music I’ve put together over the last year and a half. I’m listening to Rockette put a bass line on a song called “Maybe That’ll Teach Ya” which is based loosely on a jam that was done by Don, Doug Moon, and myself. I used the Moon riff and Don’s line “Maybe That’ll Teach Ya” and wrote a wholeRead More →

At long last! I’m pleased to announce the re-opening of the bootleg section of the discography. A lot of re-coding, re-arranging, and rewriting has gone into making this a bigger and better feature than it was before. However, it’s not completely finished … I’ve still got a few pages I’m working on but I thought as I’d done the bulk of it I’d make it available. As with any other pages on the Radar Station if you have any info you can add, or found something that needs correcting please get in touch.Read More →