Some fascinating footage has appeared on YouTube from 1969. Is it something not seen before or is it a much better version of the Trout Promo footage that has been doing the rounds for many years? (that was so dark it was almost impossible to make anything out). It appears to show Don and the band (Mark, John, Bill and Jeff) cavorting about and generally acting daft. The quality is not great – it’s dark (all black and white), the camera keeps moving and some of the film has been treated to look negative … … but even so it’s well worth watching. It was
After a four year absence, Doctor Dark have returned and will be playing at this year’s Zappanale Festival in August. See the Doctor Dark website for info, sound clips and contact details – they are available for bookings.
This message has been received from Zappa.com by those who’d ordered a copy: [wp_quote]Dear Friends, Thank you very much for ordering Captain Beefheart’s Bat Chain Puller! This is to let you know that the manufacturing of this release has been delayed. We hope to be shipping the week of 13 February (maybe sooner). We are really looking forward to you having this wonderment in your anxious ears! xxx, the barfies [/wp_quote]
This is an interesting documentary release – From Straight to Bizarre: Zappa, Beefheart, Alice Cooper and LA’s Lunatic Fringe. It comes from Chrome Dreams who you may remember from the Captain Beefheart: Under Review DVD. The dvd documents Zappa’s attempt to control his recordings by setting up his own labels, Straight and Bizarre – while at the same time releasing music from LA’s freak scene which would otherwise have never made it to vinyl. Although it mentions all the albums released it concentrates on those by Alice Cooper, The GTOs, Wild Man Fischer, Jeff Simmons and, of course, our man Captain Beefheart. So for Beefheart fans there
This has already been mentioned in a previous post but I think it deserves one of its own… Yes, the Zappa Family Trust have finally decided to release the often bootlegged Original Bat Chain Puller from their Vault only 36 years after it was recorded. For the past 18 months Gail Zappa has been saying it was going to get a release. However, here at the Radar Station we’ve been wary of reporting it until it we were certain. But it does now look like it’s actually going to happen … it was announced on the anniversary of Don’s death and will be released on
Don Van Vliet died one year ago today. As much as we miss knowing he’s out there in person, his music and art are as alive as ever: The Magic Band have just concluded a triumphant UK tour (view the entire Nottingham show on YouTube and don’t miss Tony Fisher’s great photos), with more dates promised for next year and a new live release of a 2005 show out now. Gary Lucas continues to roll out his acclaimed Beefheart Symposia around the world (next up: Liverpool in January). Records continue to be released, reissued, remastered and rumours about an Original Bat Chain Puller release are not
The Magic Band played at The Scala in London on Wednesday night and blew its stacks, as has come to be the norm at their amazing reunion shows. A couple of videos are available on YouTube (thanks to Ben for pointing these out): Electricity Big Eyed Beans From Venus Ian Archer sent along a scan of the set list which he managed to get John Drumbo French to sign: Ian comments: [wp_quote]What a joyous occasion – great to see the guys looking so well and sounding as good as ever. The band seemed pleased to see us as well. The Floppy Boot stomped down and that
In advance of the imminent UK tour a short interview with Denny Walley has appeared in the Liverpool Echo In includes the great news that a CD of unreleased Beefheart music is to be released in December … no real detail as to what the tracks are but at last ‘Hoboism’ gets a legal release!
Here’s a treat … Gary ‘Magic’ Marker features in the latest issue of TimeMazine talking about his time with the Rising Sons, the Magic Band and Fusion as well as about the Don he knew. Gary is a great raconteur and writer so this is well worth checking out. If you haven’t come across TimeMazine before it describes itself as a Psychedelic fanzine about the 60s and Beyond ’em. It comes out annually and this is issue #6 with 88 pages, a 14 track CD compilation and a vinyl 7″ (for the first 800 copies). Other contents include Barry Melton from Country Joe and the
In addition to the Beefheart Symposia scheduled in Sweden and Copenhagen later this month, Gary Lucas brings his celebration of all things Beefheart to Liverpool, UK for two nights early next year at the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall: Friday 20 January 2012 Saturday 21 January 2012 Read more about the symposia at Gary’s website. More details when we have them.Gary has also sent a link to a great article on researching the connection between Don Van Vliet and British rebel artist Wyndham Lewis by David Stoker, published in the journal of the Wyndham Lewis Society.Plus he also sent this link to some rare footage of Wyndham
The Magic Band are booked to play the famous Thekla in Bristol on 4 December. Update: This is in fact a replacement show due to the ATP Festival being rescheduled for March next year
The Radar Station is sad to hear of the passing of Gary Jaye in Roxboro, North Carolina. Our thoughts are with his family and friends Gary was the drummer with the Magic Band during 1976 and 1977. In his book John French recalls seeing Gary play at the Troubadour in 1976: [wp_quote]I was really impressed with [his] mastery of the beats and thought he was a great player.[/wp_quote]
There’s a few Beefheart items in the pipeline about to be released: An Ashtray Heart – this is a cd of indeterminate origin. It features a recording of the FM broadcast of the 17 January 1981 show in Vancouver. Additional tracks are from the ’71 Detroit Tubeworks video, 1980 Saturday Night Live and the 1975 Orange Claw Hammer with Zappa The expanded Safe as Milk gets yet another release … this time as a double vinyl from the Dutch label On Vinyl. Ozit have in their wisdom decided to release Merseytrout as a limited edition double vinyl. Still no sign of the original Bat Chain
A handwritten poem and drawing on the back of a concert poster can be yours for $3500. Don gave this to writer Bill Bentley after an interview at the Armadillo Headquarters in 1975 during the Bongo Fury tour. It’s not so much a poem as a collection of Don aphorisms … many of which will be familiar to most fans. Check it out on the Record Mecca website. So, if anyone’s considering buying me a Christmas present this year, look no further. Thanks be to brainpang for the heads up.
Gary Lucas brings his celebration of Don’s life to Montreal, Canada as part of the Pop Montreal International Music Festival. It starts at midnight on 24 September at the unlikely venue of the Cinema L’Amour. Guests include Mary Margaret O’Hara , Dan Levitin, Chloe Lum, Jonathan Cummins plus others.
Some great news just in from Sundazed Records (thanks to Andy Bean for passing it on): *LIVE RECORDING OF THE LEGENDARY AND INNOVATIVE MAGIC BAND’S 2005 REUNION! Famously forged in a cauldron of intense artistic pressure, the Magic Band emerged as a group unlike any other in popular music. Under the tenacious tutelage of Don Van Vliet, better known as Captain Beefheart, this strikingly innovative unit took their music to unexplored places, creating a musical language all their own. Throughout the band’s chaotic history with Beefheart, drummer John “Drumbo” French served as the chief translator, deciphering the Captain’s often cryptic instructions into a discernable direction
John French has just confirmed these dates for a Magic Band tour at the end of the year: Wednesday 30 November – The Scala, London Friday 2 December – Button Factory, Dublin Saturday 3 December – The Kazimier, Liverpool Sunday 4 December – All Tomorrows Parties, Minehead Monday 5 December – The Pavilion, Falmouth Wednesday 7 December – The Rescue Rooms, Nottingham Thursday 8 December – The Irish Centre, Leeds
I know there’s a few other collectors of Don’s exhibition catalogues out there. So I thought you might be interested to know that a friend of the Radar Station has decided to sell his collection on ebay. He’s just put nine catalogues up there – view the items ps: I’m happy to let you know about this because I’ll not be bidding as I have these already!
Here’s a few Beefheart bootlegs that have been sighted recently. Follow the links for the usual Radar Station overview: A Whirlpool of Korn and Meat – an incredible eight discs in two volumes of all manner of goodies – volume one – volume two Muffin Man Goes To College – a two disc set of a show from the Bongo Fury tour The Nan True’s Hole Tapes Volume 2 – the latest offering from the lads at Ozit