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
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 into
It’s not quite a full theme, but certainly enough sound files to “annoy your colleagues, family and friends” to quote Simon Pardoe who created them. The Beefheart sound files are available at Simon’s website.
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. He
The Michael Werner gallery in New York has an exhibition on at the moment called ‘Black and White: Drawings for Summer’. It opened on the 14 July and will finish on 9 September. The exhibition features about 20 artists including George Baselitz, A R Penck, and Joseph Beuys. There is at least one piece by Don van Vliet – ‘untitled’ (1999) and is pictured here. More information.
Here are a few items which should have appeared here earlier. Sorry to have kept you waiting. Hank Grebe’s Beefheart photographs The recently issued Captain Beefheart compilation CD, The Buddah Years features a cover photograph of Don Van Vliet hunkering down in a corridor to chat with some fans. The story of the taking of that photograph can be found at Hank Grebe’s website, along with six pages of photographs of Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band which Hank took over the years between 1971 and 1980. Beyond the Palers Some Procol Harum fans (Palers) have issued a double CD of Procol Harum cover versions
The legendary house in which Trout Mask Replica was endlessly rehearsed is up for sale. For $849,900 you can own and (hopefully) preserve a property of considerable historical importance to all Beefheart fans. Why is it so important? This is the house where a poverty stricken Magic Band were kept under virtual house arrest while honing the impossibly intricate album Trout Mask Replica, and subjected to virtual brain washing sessions to “help” coax the unique music out of them. The music was written here; painstakingly transcribed by John French, taught to the band and many tracks on Trout Mask were even recorded here –
Moris Tepper was an artist before he joined the Magic Band, and he still continues to paint and sculpt as well as play music. For those of you who are within striking distance of Los Angeles you might think about dropping in to see his latest exhibition. It’s called “New Paintings and Sculptures of Moris Tepper”, and is at MJ Higgins Fine Art, Los Angeles from June 24th-August 5th, 2006 All this info and more can be found at Moris’s website.
After over seven years of beaming it out from the Radar Station, I’ve finally decided to call it a day for our streaming radio show (only the radio show, the rest of the site is very much here to stay!). The web is now awash with music and far better radio shows and there just doesn’t seem to be any need for me to add to the hubbub any longer. It was a fairly innovative idea back in early 1999 when I first started broadcasting via the web – I wasn’t aware of any other fan sites which gave their visitors something to listen to
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)
Fast ‘N Bulbous, The Captain Beefheart Project, featuring Gary Lucas and Phillip Johnston, have just announced a short European tour. Friday, Nov. 17th BimHuis, Amsterdam, Holland Saturday, Nov. 18th Taktlos Festival, Bern, Switzerland Tuesday, Nov. 21st Porgy and Bess, Vienna, Austria Thursday, Nov. 23rd Cankarjev Dom, Ljubljana, Slovenia I’ll post more information here as I receive it. Update: 6 August 2006 Two London dates now added to the Fast ‘N’ Bulbous tour Wednesday, Nov. 15th Pizza on the Park, London Thursday, Nov. 16th Pizza on the Park, London Fast ‘N’ Bulbous, The Captain Beefheart Project featuring Gary Lucas and Phillip Johnston, with Richard Dworkin, Joe
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: the