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 →

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 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 →

Art Tripp has spoken exclusively to the Radar Station about his time in the Magic Band. From the astounding Lick My Decals Off Baby to the lacklustre Unconditionally Guaranteed, to the shortlived Mallard and his return for Shiny Beast Art offers a fascinating insight into the the recording of these albums and tells stories of life on the road and playing live. Read the full interview.Read 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 →

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 →

Booking has just opened in Aarhus, one of the venues on The Magic Band’s 2006 Scandinavian tour. John French and Denny Walley, who are in the present line-up, were also members of The Magic Band when they toured Scandinavia in 1975 – which appears to be the last time that The Magic Band played in Scandinavia. More venues are expected to start booking very soon. The schedule is currently as follows, although additions and alterations are always possible. Tuesday, May 16th TV4, Sweden, live broadcast Friday, May 19th Opera House, Umeå, Sweden Saturday, May 20th Jazzclub Fasching, Stockholm, Sweden Sunday, May 21st Aarhus, Denmark CANCELLEDRead More →

‘Wood’, the first new Mystery Band CD for ten years, will be released on the Poo-Bah Record Label on March 28th. Former Magic Band member Rick Snyder has been playing with The Mystery Band since 1988. The Mystery Band is led by the man responsible for arranging Rick Snyder’s audition with Captain Beefheart, Ace Farren Ford. Rick Snyder’s contemporary in The Magic Band, Moris Tepper, co-wrote one of the songs on the album, ‘Jesus On The Radio’, with Mystery Band member Gary Riley. Further information and generous helpings of soundbites are available at The Mystery Band ‘Wood’ pageRead More →

Ivor Cutler died on Friday. He will be very much missed in this household and I’m sure many people who found something invaluable in Beefheart will also have found something invaluable in Ivor Cutler. The following obituaries have appeared in the mainstream UK press so far: The Guardian The Guardian’s Culture Vulture blog entry The Telegraph The Times The BBC Andy Kershaw’s tribute – Andy’s show this Sunday night will feature a classic Peel session from February 1979. I still have some unused tickets for what would have been his last appearance here in Brighton about 4 years ago. The concert was postponed due toRead More →

Not strictly Beefheart related, but I thought I’d let you know that WFMU’s fund-rasing marathon is now on and I’d urge any of you who ever enjoy WFMU to support the station and make a donation to keep them going another year. If any of you haven’t ever enjoyed WFMU then it’s about time you started. It’s entirely listener-supported, no advertising, no government grants and so they play exactly what they want to play – the broadest range of specialist, adventurous, odd and downright fun music available anywhere in the world. Beefheart related items from the WFMU archive: The Golden Birdies comic 2002 Don VanRead 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 →

Our Beefheart discussion list, The Fire Party is now fully functional once more, come and join us. We’ve had a few technical problems over the last few weeks since the whole website and list moved to a new host and these have now been resolved thanks to much help from Conor McMahon – thanks Conor. The Fire Party is a lively group consisting of Magic Band members past and present, various young and old farts at play, the informed and the curious, and has the finest collective taste in music this side of funeral hill. Short of the Sheriff of Hong Kong himself, if youRead 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 →

Announcements that three of Don Van Vliet’s former associates are being honoured have recently been made. Mo Ostin, former head of Warner, is cited by the President of The Recording Academy as, “a true pioneer of the contemporary music era whose life’s work has had a profound impact on the artists he has helped develop and the fans around the world who have benefited from their inspired creativity.” One of these artists was Captain Beefheart and many people believe that Captain Beefheart’s best work was indeed done during his Warner-Reprise tenure. On February 8th, after the 48th Annual GRAMMY Awards, Mo will be presented withRead More →