Stephen Toman has just got in touch to alert me to his recent John “Drumbo” French interview which has just been published online.  Don’t miss it: lots of John’s thoughts about the Magic Band, the book, the reunion and far beyond. Many thanks, Stephen. John French’s book, Beefheart Through The Eyes Of Magic is available now from Amazon and elsewhere, don’t forget to buy your copy.Read More →

Trout Mask tattoo

I had a message from Claire from Brooklyn: A few months ago I was getting tattooed by Myles Karr at Three Kings Tattoo in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. I asked him what his specialty was. “Anything weird.” he said. “Oh, so like, the cover of Captain Beefheart’s ‘Trout Mask Replica’?” I asked, referencing the first “weird” thing that came to mind His eyes widened. “YES. Anywhere you want it, as big as you want it.” In his excitement he quoted me a ridiculously cheap price. I couldn’t really pass up such an offer from one of Brooklyn’s finest tattooers….  So now I’m wearing my very own ReplicaRead More →

Beefheart’s one-time manager, Herb Cohen, has died aged 77. Cohen was a larger than life character, a hard nosed businessman who seemed to have a penchant for obscure talent. Not only did he have Don on his roster but he also managed Zappa, Tim Buckley, the GTOs, Wild Man Fischer and Tom Waits. Unfortunately his relationship with Zappa soured and they fell out in 1976 amidst a nasty legal wrangle which left Cohen with the rights to many of the albums released on the Straight label. None of these albums have had a decent release on CD … Lick My Decals Off Baby still awaitsRead More →

Henry Kaiser kindly sent us the following info today: Groove Family Fundraiser for Breast Cancer presents Robben Ford & Renegade Creation Ultraviolet Licorice (featuring Bob Bralove, Henry Kaiser, John French (aka Drumbo), Dan Schwartz) Steve White and the Barstool Pidgeons & Jonathan McCuen Saturday April 17 at the majestic Ventura Theater 26 S. Chestnut St., Ventura, CA  93001 • 805-653-6489 Doors open at 7:00 • Show starts at 8:00 General Admission: $25.00 Many thanks to Henry for the tip-off. Henry says the current plan is for Ultraviolet Licorice to play for 90 minutes as the third of three acts. If you attend, please feel free to post aRead More →

Due to some small changes at Blogger, we’ve had to change the address of our blog. It’s now available at: http://blog.beefheart.com/ or http://upsifter.blogspot.com/ (both point to the same blog) via an RSS feed on Twitter @CaptBeefheart If you’re reading this you’ve already found our slightly new location but please do take a moment to update bookmarks and links if necessary. Thanks. At the time of writing none of your comments are appearing on the blog but I hope to have them all back again presently. Our Twitter feed @CaptBeefheart contains all the posts to this blog and occasional other morsels as well. You also welcomeRead 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 →

Don walked/fell off the stage during the band’s performance at the Mt Tamalpais Fantasy Fair and Mountain Music Festival in 1967. This was supposed to have been a warm up for an appearance at the Monterey Festival but Don’s acid induced dive caused Ry Cooder to quit the band and their big opportunity to make a name for themselves was missed. Now, amazingly, some hitherto unknown photographs of the band’s (short) appearance have surfaced on YouTube. Sadly, Don’s dive isn’t captured in any of the shots, but they’re worth a look anyway. Thanks to Louis for the heads up on this. Update 12/03/2010: I’ve writtenRead More →

I’d like to offer a sincere big thank you to Derek, our erstwhile news editor, for all his help and close attention to detail over the last few years. He’s conducted an impressive Big Dig through anything with even a faint whiff of Beefheart about it and brought us some really interesting and illuminating stories. Who could forget Derek’s interview with Herb Bermann; a character so mysterious in the Beefheart universe that many have even posited he didn’t exist? Derek tracked him down, interviewed him and delivered the results to you here at beefheart.com I’m sure Derek will still pop up here occasionally in theRead 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 →

According to The Guardian, The Jockey Club’s chief executive, Simon Bazalgette was recently interviewed in the racecard at Cheltenham. Bazalgette said that his four ideal dinner guests would be “Richard Feynman, Vaseley (sic) Kandinsky, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Captain Beefheart.” Cal Schenkel is offering beautiful archival quality Giclée Prints of his acrylic on paper study of the Trout Mask Replica album cover artwork, 2009, hand-signed. 13x13in Personalized at no extra charge–specify inscription when ordering. See ralf.com Old Skool Hooligans have a selection of Captain Beefheart t-shirts for sale. Be quick if you want to see the video of Captain Beefheart’s telephoned contribution to American BandstandRead More →

Skeletonbreath – the band at MySpace. Invincible Czars perform Upon the My-O-My at YouTube. Ty Segal performs Dropout Boogie at YouTube. Album review of Lemons at Pitchfork. Snow Patrol include a reworked Observatory Crest in their Late Night Tales compilation. The version Snow Patrol have chosen is not the original Bluejeans and Moonbeams cut but the A Carrot Is As Close As A Rabbit Gets To A Diamond version which is prefaced by Eric Drew Feldman’s intro to Making Love To A Vampire With A Monkey On My Knee. Odd. Bob Dylan’s album Theme Time Radio Hour, Season 2 on Ace Records includes Ice CreamRead More →

George Wake's meterorite

The other day, I was grinding and polishing a stony meteorite (as one does), and after polishing, there, leering out from the polished surface, was the captains face. I know this sounds rather like those names of Allah found in aubergines and such, but I’ll get a friend to photo this and send you the image in case you might want to put it on your site – it really is quite astonishing. The image is best viewed small on the screen, about 10 cm x 10 cm, otherwise the detail obscures the image. The meteorite is a piece of one called NWA869. Thanks toRead 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 →

Four small works by Don Van Vliet are showing at Zach Feuer Gallery in Chelsea until January 23rd. Part of a group exhibition entitled Jr. and Son’s, Don’s creations hang next to the work of S. Clay Wilson and are pictured in situ here at the Zach Feuer Gallery website. Zach Feuer Gallery, 530 W. 24th Street, New York, NY 10011 Tel: +1 212 989 7700 info@zachfeuer.com www.zachfeuer.com Exhibition dates: December 12, 2009 – January 23, 2010 Gallery hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 10-6Read More →

Head of No. 6 Records Terry Tolkin recollected Captain Beefheart and Bob Krasnow in an interview with Warped Reality Magazine. Talking of gaps in the No.6 catalogue Tolkin said: The last one was a Captain Beefheart EP called Hoboism, a fantastic track left over from the Bat Chain Puller sessions. I had become quite friendly with Don Van Vliet through my years at Rough Trade and then especially Elektra. Elektra’s CEO was Bob Krasnow, the last of the great 1960’s A&R guys to run a major label……..I went out to Don’s house in Eureka, California. Kras had produced Beefheart’s Safe As Milk LP and thenRead More →

Captain Beefheart’s celebrity gate-crashers bring gift of beetle bones: It would be hard to find two rock stars who are more fixated on Captain Beefheart than Alison Mosshart of The Kills and Jack White of The White Stripes. Both groups have recorded Beefheart songs and continue to play them live. Jack White dressed up as Captain Beefheart on the photo shoot for Get Behind Me Satan and in interviews Alison Mosshart regularly expresses her yearnings to be with Don Van Vliet. There’s one musician who’s alive but isn’t working any more that I would do anything to do something with – and that would beRead More →

Magic Band live 13 Dec 09 part 1

These photographs show The Magic Band playing at ‘Ten Years of ATP’, a music festival in Minehead, on Sunday 13th December. Click on the images to enlarge them. In the annotated set list keen followers of The Magic Band will spot some interesting differences between this concert and previous appearances. The Magic Band MySpace page contains lots of interesting information including brief biographies of new members Eric Klerks and Craig Bunch and some notes which John French wrote about recent Magic Band rehearsals. Samples from a recording of a previous Magic Band show, one of three scheduled to be released in February on Vinyl, CD,Read More →

Grammy Award winning producer, engineer and mixer Greg Ladanyi died in a fall from a stage in Cyprus in September. He was 57. His first job as an engineer was with Captain Beefheart. In 2005 Greg Ladanyi described working with Captain Beefheart on Bluejeans and Moonbeams. It was the most bizarre, twisted experience for me. This was before I was an engineer and before I went to the Sound Factory. I was the business side of Stronghold Studios, and my partner, Al Thomas, owned the studio. I found the job, brought them in, and they paid us $5,000 for studio time. We spent the moneyRead More →