Here’s something special for you all. The first full length interview with one of the original Magic Band members, bass player Jerry Handley. Jerry has been very generous with his time to answer a whole heap of questions I asked him plus he sent me some previously unseen photographs of the early Magic Band to be included with the interview. So what are you waiting for? Read the interviewRead More →

Okay, so why am I reviewing a book about Jeff Buckley here on the Radar Station? Well, it’s written by Gary Lucas who had, and still continues to have, a big part to play in the music of Don Van Vliet, and I think, should interest a lot of Beefheart fans. Jawbone Press : London 2013 Paperback 318 pages 22 Illustrations Originally published in Italy in Italian this is an updated English version of Gary’s story of his “time with Jeff Buckley”, in which he wants to correct the many previously published errors about their relationship and to counter the attempts at airbrushing him outRead More →

This isn’t a review of this recent release by Chrome Dreams this is a warning. It’s not a new documentary about the relationship between Don and Frank it’s just a repackaging of the two previous titles “Under Review” and “From Straight to Bizarre” although there is nothing to tell you that on the new package or on the Chrome Dreams website. So if you already have these two DVDs don’t bother wasting money on this release, the new packaging is the only thing new about it. The card box opens up to reveal copies of the earlier DVDs in their original packaging. It smacks ofRead More →

The Magic Band are now touring the UK and are playing a date in Germany see their site for links to buy tickets. 25 May 2014 Newcastle Upon Tyne – The Cluny 27 May 2014 Leeds – Brudenell Social Club 29 May 2014 Manchester – Band On The Wall 30 May 2014 Liverpool – Eric’s 31 May 2014 Aldershot – West End Centre 01 June 2014 Brighton – The Haunt 03 June 2014 Colchester – Colchester Arts Centre 05 June 2014 Bristol – The Fleece 06 June 2014 Hertford – Hertford Corn Exchange 07 June 2014 London – The Garage 08 June 2014 Tanworth InRead More →

It’s almost 40 years since Don played the Troubadour in Los Angeles… and far too long since the Magic Band have played in the US. At long last a venue has had the commonsense to book the band so some of our American cousins can see what they’ve been missing. The date of the show is Monday 7th April. Find out more on the Troubadour’s Facebook page for the gig.Read More →

Gary Lucas brings his Captain Beefheart Symposium to Mexico City on Sunday 1 December 2013 It takes place in the big public park at the Casa Del Lago at 1pm. During the symposium Gary Lucas will show rare archival footage of the band, spin unreleased tracks, project slides of Van Vliet’s paintings and drawings, discuss the history of the group and many of the great musicians who came through the ranks of The Magic Band, and illustrate Van Vliet’s quirky and idiosyncratic methodologies and techniques with a live solo guitar performance. More information is available at Gary Lucas’s website.Read More →

Gary Lucas will present a live show at Southbank Centre, London on Thursday 14 November at 7.45pm encompassing his collaborations with Jeff Buckley, Lou Reed and Captain Beefheart. The Southbank Centre sent us the following: World-class guitarist and Grammy-nominated songwriter Gary Lucas talks about his new book Touched By Grace: My Time with Jeff Buckley, and performs a solo set featuring songs from his musical collaborations with Jeff Buckley, Captain Beefheart and beyond in the intimate setting of the Purcell Room at the Southbank Centre, London. His credits include co-writing and playing on his late musical partner Jeff Buckley’s anthems ‘Grace’ and ‘Mojo Pin’, from Jeff’s double platinumRead More →

Dutch radio presenter and Beefheart fan, Co de Kloet, will be hosting a special Beefheart Night on 17 November 2013. You don’t have to be in the Netherlands to listen to it as it can be heard online in his show CoLive – www.radio6.nl/colive/ – from 20.30 till 2300 hrs. The Beefheart Night show will include: 1. the full “World of Captain Beefheart” show performed on 17 February at Amsterdam’s Paradiso by Gary Lucas with the Metropole Orchestra and special guest, Nona Hendryx 2. an interview with Gary Lucas 3. excerpts of “I Have a Cat” – a phone interview Co did with Don to whichRead More →

A new Magic Band website announces a new Magic Band tour. The new site provides us with a suitably Magic web presence; my favourite bit being the archive of press reviews of many of the reunion shows. It’s a pleasing reminder that the reunion has been consistently booglarising us for over 10 years now, and the tone of the reviews is as equally thrilled and disbelieving in 2013 as it was in 2003. John French, Mark Boston and Denny Walley, along with their bandmates over the last decade, have achieved something truly remarkable. So get yourself out there if you can, witness an unforgettable show, revelRead More →

Thanks to Groucho Kangaroo we are able to post this warning to all Beefheart fans about this latest vinyl atrocity. Captain Beefheart: “The Rarest Previously Unreleased 1970s Live And Studio Tracks” Ozit-Morpheus / Dandelion Records, LP, 2013 Side 1: 1. Steal Softly Through Snow – obviously not the Magic Band, newly recorded? 2. I Wanna Find A Woman… – Pepperland Ballroom, San Rafael, Sept. 18th 1970 3. Hair Pie Bake – Pepperland Ballroom, San Rafael, Sept. 18th 1970 4. Golden Birdies – BEAT CLUB session for Radio Bremen, Bremen, April 12th 1972 5. Space Age Couple – Pepperland Ballroom, San Rafael, Sept. 18th 1970 6.Read More →

Following on from his involvement with the Magic Band reunion, Fast ‘n’ Bulbous and the series of Symposia Gary Lucas continues his celebration of Don’s music with his latest project “The World of Captain Beefheart”. This is based on the show of the same name performed featuring Nona Hendryx (LaBelle, Talking Heads) and several Dutch singers at Amsterdam’s Paradiso in February 2013 with the 65 -piece Metropole Orchestra, which was produced by Dutch radio presenter and Beefheart fan, Co de Kloet. All the musicians involved in the new project – Gary Lucas, Nona Hendryx, Jesse Krakow, Eric Slick and Jordan Shapiro –  have busy schedules so they willRead More →

This DVD was announced earlier this year and touted as a “documentary,” but even at the announcement stage there was little cause for optimism. Let’s start with the fact that the person pictured on the cover of the package is not even Don Van Vliet, but rather some anonymous mustachioed fellow captured in mid-yowlp – clearly an indication of the level of care and attention likely to be put into the package. Given how many plainly sub-standard CDs and LPs have been issued by the likes of the execrable Ozit records, there was little hope that this would be anything more than yet another sleazy,Read More →

The Sundazed label is continuing its run of quality Beefheart with the release of a ‘definitive’ MONO version of “Safe As Milk”.  Many fans prefer the original mix of the band’s first album and this looks like THE one to pick up if you can’t afford one of the 1967 copies. The album is going to be released on 180 gram vinyl and on CD. The vinyl will have all the artwork, including the bumper sticker, that graced the original Buddah disc. There will be liner notes by David Fricke. It’s already being listed by some online sellers for pre-order although the official release dateRead More →

Bill Harkleroad’s recollections of his time with the Magic Band and Mallard – Lunar Notes written with Billy James  – has been out of print for a number of years and has commanded stupid prices on eBay. If you don’t have one, there’s now the opportunity to pick up a copy for only £9.99, thanks to the excellent Gonzo Multimedia who republished it on 22 July. (Note: This is a straight republish and doesn’t contain any new or additional material.) Check out the Radar Station review of the original publication Buy it from Gonzo Multimedia Listen to Gonzo’s phone interview with Billy JamesRead More →

Gideon Coe

BBC Radio 6’s Gideon Coe will be playing a Beefheart concert on his evening show Wednesday 22 May (starts 9pm BST). It’s not clear what it will be although our best guess is the 1968 Peel sessions. If you miss the show I think it should be available via the BBC 6 website – http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01sjs73 (Thanks to Nulsh for the heads-up)Read More →

We have mentioned the Beefheart/Zappa Commemorative box set put together around Freddy Banister’s book “There Must Be A Better Way” a few times before, and its contents have been expanded recently again. The collection now also includes a CD of Frank Zappa’s Grand Wazoo at The Oval in 1972 and a Beefheart programme from the 1972 tour, making it a total of eight Beefheart CDs, four Zappa CDs, two DVDs, one book, one programme and assorted items of memorabilia …and the price remains £49.99. For more information, please see the Rock Music Memorabilia website and/or email info@rockmusicmemorabilia.comRead More →

Zappa.com have announced their intention to release the “definitive” Trout Mask Replica in May 2013; initially on CD but with a vinyl edition “coming soon”. Available for preorder now, Zappa.com states: The Legends of Lancaster (California) converge. Two albums Produced by Frank Zappa are registered with the National Preservation Board (Library of Congress). This is one. Note: We here at UMRK determined that the TMR Master was damaged somewhere in the years of its return orbit. The Vaultmeister created almost in its entirety a new Master from our own Vault safety copies. And as if that wasn’t enough chocolate for your Sunday sundae, we hadRead More →

To celebrate the launch of the new improved Radar Station I have a couple of interviews to share with you all – one is from one of the newest Magic Band members, the other is with one of the original founder members. First up here is an interview I did with Eric Klerks at the end of 2012. Eric gives up a bit of background about himself, how he came to be in the band and what he thinks about listening to and playing Beefheart’s music. Read the interview with Eric I was particularly interested in some of Eric’s explanations of the Magic Band music in technical terms (althoughRead More →

Rolled Roots Gnarled like Rakers

A new exhibition of drawings by Don Van Vliet is about to open at Galerie Michael Werner in Trebbin, Germany. The exhibition runs from 21 January 2013 until 22 March 2013 at: Galerie Michael Werner Märkisch Wilmersdorf Alte Parkstraße 3c 14959 Trebbin Tel: +49 33731 32010 Fax: +49 33731 32012 Email: galeriewerner@michaelwerner.de I’ll update this post as soon as I have more information. If you attend the exhibition, please do tell us about it!Read More →