The Pittsburgh micro-brewery, East End Brewing Company, have recently produced a new beer called Blabber & Smoke. It’s a Rauchbier type lager. If it tastes as good as the label looks then you’re in for treat – If anyone gets to try some please let us know what it tastes like. It’s not the first brew to be inspired by Beefheart. I know of two others – the bottled beer Old Fart and the draught China Pig. Do you know of any others?  Read More →

It’s always good to see new Beefheart related items appearing. Footage The UK company Voiceprint Records  have announced a new addition to their ‘Lost Broadcasts’ series of DVDs due for release on 18 June 2012: [wp_quote] On the 12th April, in the middle of the European leg of the tour Captain Beefheart and The Magic Band stopped off at the Beat Club studios in Bremen to film a session for later transmission. Of the four song session filmed that day only one track has ever been broadcast. The band at that time included: Captain Beefheart (Don Van Vliet), vocals, harp. Rockette Morton (Mark Boston), guitar/bass.Read More →

Not exactly news … I’ve just been a bit slow blogging about this release which many of you will already know about. As part of this year’s Record Store Day Sundazed released a fantastic double vinyl 7″ of the band’s first two A&M singles. For more images and information about this see the Radar Station reviewRead More →

I’ve finally put a review of Bat Chain Puller up on the site. If you haven’t bought a copy yet and are unsure about whether to or not … read it! If you’ve already read it (it’s been up for a few days) then take another look as I’ve just added an intriguing update about the version of Hobo-Ism that’s on the album. Although I ordered the album from Barko Swill when it was originally announced I’m still waiting on my copy! Guess they must have sent it by snail mail (literally!) So I bought another from the very friendly G & S Music whoRead More →

The Magic Band will be back in the UK in March (for a mini tour), in Japan in April and New Jersey in September, playing at an ATP event in each of the three countries. So far the following venues have been confirmed: 7 March 2012 – Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth 9 March 2012 – The Phoenix, Exeter 11 March 2012 – ATP Festival, Minehead 12 March 2012 – The Robin, Bilston, Wolverhampton 13 March 2012 – The Continental, Preston 14 March 2012 – The Duchess, York 14 April 2012 – ATP Festival, Tokyo POSTPONED – hoping to reschedule later in 2012 21-23 September – ATPRead More →

John French has kindly sent along his account of the Magic Band’s recent UK tour. 
The Magic Band’s “mini-tour” went well. We stayed in Basingstoke, England at a friend’s house to rehearse.   It worked out perfectly for us, as we were able to rehearse in the living room for three days.  I had gone over a day earlier (November 24th) and sorted out the backline with Malcolm Mills, the owner of Proper Music, who put out my last CD and published my book.  Malcolm let me stay at his beautiful home with him, his wife Miriam, and sister-in-law Hillary. Upon arrival, I realized IRead More →

Some fascinating footage has appeared on YouTube from 1969. Is it something not seen before or is it a much better version of the Trout Promo footage that has been doing the rounds for many years? (that was so dark it was almost impossible to make anything out). It appears to show Don and the band (Mark, John, Bill and Jeff) cavorting about and generally acting daft. The quality is not great – it’s dark (all black and white), the camera keeps moving and some of the film has been treated to look negative … … but even so it’s well worth watching. It wasRead More →

This message has been received from Zappa.com by those who’d ordered a copy: [wp_quote]Dear Friends, Thank you very much for ordering Captain Beefheart’s Bat Chain Puller! This is to let you know that the manufacturing of this release has been delayed. We hope to be shipping the week of 13 February (maybe sooner). We are really looking forward to you having this wonderment in your anxious ears! xxx, the barfies [/wp_quote]Read More →

This is an interesting documentary release – From Straight to Bizarre: Zappa, Beefheart, Alice Cooper and LA’s Lunatic Fringe. It comes from Chrome Dreams who you may remember from the Captain Beefheart: Under Review DVD. The dvd documents Zappa’s attempt to control his recordings by setting up his own labels, Straight and Bizarre – while at the same time releasing music from LA’s freak scene which would otherwise have never made it to vinyl. Although it mentions all the albums released it concentrates on those by Alice Cooper, The GTOs, Wild Man Fischer, Jeff Simmons and, of course, our man Captain Beefheart. So for Beefheart fans thereRead More →

This has already been mentioned in a previous post but I think it deserves one of its own… Yes, the Zappa Family Trust have finally decided to release the often bootlegged Original Bat Chain Puller from their Vault only 36 years after it was recorded. For the past 18 months Gail Zappa has been saying it was going to get a release. However, here at the Radar Station we’ve been wary of reporting it until it we were certain. But it does now look like it’s actually going to happen … it was announced on the anniversary of Don’s death and will be released onRead More →

Don Van Vliet died one year ago today. As much as we miss knowing he’s out there in person, his music and art are as alive as ever: The Magic Band have just concluded a triumphant UK tour (view the entire Nottingham show on YouTube and don’t miss Tony Fisher’s great photos), with more dates promised for next year and a new live release of a 2005 show out now. Gary Lucas continues to roll out his acclaimed Beefheart Symposia around the world (next up: Liverpool in January). Records continue to be released, reissued, remastered and rumours about an Original Bat Chain Puller release are notRead More →

The Magic Band played at The Scala in London on Wednesday night and blew its stacks, as has come to be the norm at their amazing reunion shows. A couple of videos are available on YouTube (thanks to Ben for pointing these out): Electricity Big Eyed Beans From Venus Ian Archer sent along a scan of the set list which he managed to get John Drumbo French to sign: Ian comments: [wp_quote]What a joyous occasion – great to see the guys looking so well and sounding as good as ever. The band seemed pleased to see us as well. The Floppy Boot stomped down and thatRead More →

In advance of the imminent UK tour a short interview with Denny Walley has appeared in the Liverpool Echo In includes the great news that a CD of unreleased Beefheart music is to be released in December … no real detail as to what the tracks are but at last ‘Hoboism’ gets a legal release!Read More →

Here’s a treat … Gary ‘Magic’ Marker features in the latest issue of TimeMazine talking about his time with the Rising Sons, the Magic Band and Fusion as well as about the Don he knew. Gary is a great raconteur and writer so this is well worth checking out. If you haven’t come across TimeMazine before it describes itself as a Psychedelic fanzine about the 60s and Beyond ’em. It comes out annually and this is issue #6 with 88 pages, a 14 track CD compilation and a vinyl 7″ (for the first 800 copies). Other contents include Barry Melton from Country Joe and theRead More →

In addition to the Beefheart Symposia scheduled in Sweden and Copenhagen later this month, Gary Lucas brings his celebration of all things Beefheart to Liverpool, UK for two nights early next year at the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall: Friday 20 January 2012 Saturday 21 January 2012 Read more about the symposia at Gary’s website. More details when we have them.Gary has also sent a link to a great article on researching the connection between Don Van Vliet and British rebel artist Wyndham Lewis by David Stoker, published in the journal of the Wyndham Lewis Society.Plus he also sent this link to some rare footage of WyndhamRead More →

The Radar Station is sad to hear of the passing of Gary Jaye in Roxboro, North Carolina. Our thoughts are with his family and friends Gary was the drummer with the Magic Band during 1976 and 1977. In his book John French recalls seeing Gary play at the Troubadour in 1976: [wp_quote]I was really impressed with [his] mastery of the beats and thought he was a great player.[/wp_quote]Read More →

There’s a few Beefheart items in the pipeline about to be released: An Ashtray Heart – this is a cd of indeterminate origin. It features a recording of the FM broadcast of the 17 January 1981 show in Vancouver. Additional tracks are from the ’71 Detroit Tubeworks video, 1980 Saturday Night Live and the 1975 Orange Claw Hammer with Zappa The expanded Safe as Milk gets yet another release … this time as a double vinyl from the Dutch label On Vinyl. Ozit have in their wisdom decided to release Merseytrout as a limited edition double vinyl. Still no sign of the original Bat ChainRead More →

A handwritten poem and drawing on the back of a concert poster can be yours for $3500. Don gave this to writer Bill Bentley after an interview at the Armadillo Headquarters in 1975 during the Bongo Fury tour. It’s not so much a poem as a collection of Don aphorisms … many of which will be familiar to most fans. Check it out on the Record Mecca website. So, if anyone’s considering buying me a Christmas present this year, look no further. Thanks be to brainpang for the heads up.Read More →