The Red Hot Chili Peppers closed the last concert of their 2006 tour by playing the Captain Beefheart composition Peon as final encore. John Frusciante took the guitar part and Flea played bass. Rolling Stone recently noted that John Frusciante is owner of some original Don Van Vliet paintings. Flea frequently name-checks and quotes Captain Beefheart, sometimes in the most unlikely of contexts such as his NBA blog. This is not the first time Flea and Frusciante have attempted to play this tune. On 15th October 2002 Flea wrote, “John and I can play “peon’ by Captain Beefheart all the way through now. It is
Jeopardy Jaws dropped across a nation on December 11th when the B-word was used on American prime-time television. Captain Beefheart had become famous for a moment and fans rushed to write to internet discussion groups with the unlikely news. The cause of the excitement? A $1200 question in the game show Jeopardy, “Captain Beefheart is said to have a range of 4.5 of these.” If you don’t know the answer, go to the Jeopardy Archive here and point your mouse at the appropriate square in Double Jeopardy! Round The Big O. More video Bob wrote in from Boulder to mention that he’d spotted former Magic
Coming Clean, a new album by Magic Band maestro and guitar-god Gary Lucas has been gathering hugely favourable reviews for Gary’s exemplary skills and for the killer line-up he has assembled for the current incarnation of his band Gods and Monsters. Among those appearing on the album, which was five years in the making, are Ernie Brooks (Modern Lovers) on bass, Billy Ficca (Television) and Jonathan Kane (Swans) on drums, Jason Candler (Hungry March Band) on alto sax and Joe Hendel on trombone, with special guest vocalists David Johansen (New York Dolls). Reviewing this album, Rolling Stone called Gary, “one of the best and most
The recent Fast’n’Bulbous tour was a great success, by all accounts. Sold out concerts and very positive word of mouth make those of us who weren’t present a little jealous of those who were. However, help is at hand in the form of some video footage of Fast’n’Bulbous in action in Amsterdam on November 17th. Clips of When It Blows Its Stacks, Sugar ‘N Spikes, You Know You’re A Man and Tropical Hot Dog Night are now showing at YouTube. The full Amsterdam concert will be broadcast on Wednesday January 31st 2007 at 22:00 on Co de Kloet’s Studio 6 show, NPS (National Dutch radio).
Rockette Morton and Denny Walley joined Big Eyed Beans from Venus for the second set of their Captain Beefheart covers concert in Atlanta, GA on November 16th. The concert can be heard at Southern Shelter or at Dime a Dozen (torrent ID 122352). The Fast’n’Bulbous concert of Captain Beefheart covers in Amsterdam on November 17th was recorded by Dutch radio for future broadcast (and hopefully webcast too) . We’ll post full details as soon as we learn them. Thanks to all concerned.
How could anyone visiting this website resist hearing instrumental versions of the Captain’s songs played like a New Orleans marching band imbued with extra weirdness? Resist no longer, Fast’n’Bulbous: The Captain Beefheart Project is unleashed on London and six other European cities over the next few days. Led by former Captain Beefheart guitarist Gary Lucas, Fast’n’Bulbous perform thrilling instrumental versions of the Beefheart canon. A tribute blazing with idiosyncratic precision and earthy abandon. Yes I know I’m paraphrasing the publicity material, but this is after all only a reminder of the information I posted here already in June and August. If you can offer a
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 (to
On August 31st, I noticed in The Salt Lake City Weekly that The State Governor of Utah was, “eager to discuss his love of Captain Beefheart albums and Grateful Dead concerts.” Had Captain Beefheart become part of a political demographic, a conservative icon like Jerry Garcia? I was intrigued. The only politician of note who had previously declared for Captain Beefheart was Czechoslovakia’s President Vaclev Havel, although even that story came from Don Van Vliet himself. I wrote immediately to Governor Jon M. Huntsman Jr’s office in Utah to find out just how eager he might be to discuss Captain Beefheart. I included a few
Four works by Don Van Vliet are included in an exhibition to be held under the aegis of New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). MUSIC IS A BETTER NOISE is an exhibtion of art made by artists who are also musicians (or vice versa) or whose creative process has music as an integral part. Thurston Moore, Devendra Banhart, Alan Vega, Leigh Bowery, Eye and Kim Gordon are among the many other artists represented. China Pig, an oil painting from 1987 (pictured here) is the largest of Don Van Vliet’s works on display (102 x 76) . His other titles are: Untitled (Woman) 1986 Gouache
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. Film of Captain
I’ve just received the following message from Spencer Pope: Big Eyed Beans from Venus, the Athens GA based Captain Beefheart tribute band, are playing in Atlanta GA on November 16th. We will be joined by Rockette Morton and Denny Walley. The show is at the Five spot, starts at 9:30 and costs 7 dollars. Many thanks for the tip-off Spencer, if any beefheart.com visitors make it along to the gig please do post your comments here.
I have just received the following statement for the site from John French: Well, all good things must come to an end as they say… After a lot of painful deliberation, we decided to no longer pursue the Magic Band reunion project. There are a lot of reasons, but rather than going on about booking agents not collecting deposits, promoters who didn’t pay, fraudulent contracts etc., I thought it would be a good idea just to say “thanks” to some of the people who made things possible. Pre – 2003 Graham Johnston (beefheart.com founder, great friendship and support) Derek Laskie (webmaster, beefheart.com) Steve Froy (very
Here’s a snapshot of another old Captain Beefheart photograph from Miss Pamela’s collection. The original was taken by Pamela des Barres herself in 1965. Pamela was unsure of the name of the other band member pictured here but the esteemed authorities at The Fire Party write that this is almost certainly drummer Vic Mortensen who played with The Magic Band in that year. Vic may also have been the (uncredited) writer of Call On Me. Pamela is offered prints of this photograph from a limited edition she produced for sale at eBay.
This photograph of Don Van Vliet meeting his old friend Pamela des Barres was taken at what must have been one of Don’s last public appearances. The occasion was the opening of Don’s exhibition at the Fred Hoffman Gallery, Santa Monica on 31 July 1990. There’s presently a unique chance to acquire a copy of this photograph, along with a catalogue from that exhibition, from the collection of Pamela des Barres herself. Pop over to eBay and read all about it. Pamela tells me that Victor Hayden, The Mascara Snake, is staying with her this week and will sign the catalogue for the winning bidder.
A photograph of a Trout Mask Replica CD has started to circulate on the web. This may be because of the particular woman who is holding the CD. Yesterday the picture appeared here – but it was first posted on goldenfiddle.com on August 16th [now removed]. Where will the photograph turn up next? Is this the most trivial story I’ve ever posted – or the most unlikely?
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 which
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 are
A nice feature about Captain Beefheart has just gone online in one of The Guardian’s podcasts. Beefheart fan Jon Dennis chats to John Harris (author of the Guardian’s recent Mission: Unlistenable) about how best to get into Beefheart and why people should bother. Their conclusion? Leave Trout Mask Replica to the hardcore weirdos, Clear Spot is one of the greatest albums ever recorded and everyone should be listening to it. It’s hard to disagree. I have often felt that our tendency to bang on about Trout Mask Replica as a pinnacle of artistic achievement in music (which I think it is) has probably done Beefheart
Arthur Lee died on Thursday. Guardian article Guardian obituary Independent obituary Luckier in Love than later in life BBC news item Your tributes at the BBC Arthur Lee videos on YouTube Needless to say it’s a very sad day here at beefheart.com. It’s hard to grasp that the charismatic, vital and seemingly unstoppable performer that re-emerged five years ago on a determined mission to raise the profile of his great music has gone and there are no more shows. No more “Seven And Seven Is” encores, no more spine tingles caused by a solitary tambourine tap tap tapping the intro to “Little Red Book”, no
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 musical