I have recently taken the plunge and become a freelance web designer and information architect. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long time and now the opportunity has arisen, I’m delighted. My new professional website is now live (though still a little rough around the edges) and available at www.mode7media.co.uk I’ve just published my first blog post there called Keep It Simple Smarty-Pants about the importance of simplicity on the web. If you or anyone you know needs the services of a freelance web designer / information architect please do get in touch, I’d be delighted to hear from you. Now that I
If you don’t get the chance to visit the exhibition – INK – of Victor Hayden (aka The Mascara Snake) artworks at the East Austin Art Gallery in Texas then you can get a look at some of them which are currently being sold on ebay by the gallery. Here’s the series of recent ink drawings being sold at a reasonable price and here’s some older more elaborate stuff for those with deeper pockets I blogged about this rare exhibition of Victor’s work last month.
Friday 8 April at the Knitting Factory Brooklyn. Featuring Gary Lucas “Ice Cream for Crow” video clip producer (and uncredited director) Ken Schreiber UK journalist Vivien Goldman CultureCatch.com’s Dusty Wright Fireparty’s own Brainpang avant-punk icon Genesis Breyer P-Orridge Film Society of Lincoln Center director Richard Pena Ramones/Iggy Pop manager Danny Fields vocalist Felice Rosser journalist Billy Altman pundit Byron Coley music and film critic Glenn Kenny poet Bob Holman and more Full info, tickets, etc at The Knit. Hurry! It’s tonight!
Ant-Bee, aka Billy James, has a new cd out. It’s called Electronic Church Muzik on Barking Moondog Records and includes guest appearances from many notable musicians. Former Magic Band members Bill Harkleroad (Zoot Horn Rollo), Mark Boston (Rockette Morton) and Jimmy Carl Black (Indian Ink) all make an appearance. Other well-known names include Jan Akkerman (Focus), Peter Banks (Yes/Flash), Daevid Allen and Gilli Smyth (Gong), Michael Bruce (Alice Cooper), Napoleon Murphy Brock (Zappa), Don Preston, Bunk Gardner, Buzz Gardner, Motorhead (Mothers of Invention), Moogy Klingman (Todd Rundgren’s Utopia). Check out these videos: ‘Child of the Moon’ by Ant-Bee (1997) ‘The Girl With The Stars In
Here’s a rare event … Victor Hayden, aka The Mascara Snake, has an exhibition celebrating his work from the past 30 years. There is also an opportunity for the first time to buy one of the 150 drawings he has decided to let go for $150. Venue: East Austin Art Gallery 2235 East 6th Street Unit 105 Austin, TX 78702 Date: 16 March through April 2011 The opening night event, which Victor will be attending, is on 16 March and starts at 7pm (until 12am). Beer and wine will be served. A documentary is currently being filmed about Victor at the same time. In the
It took a while for the main music mags to react to Don’s death because of their advanced editorial deadlines. Here are some of them that have produced tributes of significance: Record Collector #385 February 2011 In their ‘Not forgotten’ obituary section Kris Needs (former Zigzag editor) has written a very good piece. It is only one page but it packs a lot in The Word #96 February 2011 An eight page spread, ‘A fish out of water’, that has some good points with Mark Ellen looking at his art as well as his music but also disappoints (the David Hepworth piece) by perpetuating a
While touring in the UK in 1975, there was a concert we played in a medium sized hall somewhere lost in time, where a bus brought in a group of about 16 wheelchair-bound individuals. After the concert ended, we were headed for our bus when Don stopped and watched as the handicapped individuals were tediously loaded one by one onto their bus. Our bus driver, a bit impatient, called out that we could go, but Don refused to budge. “I’m not leaving until they do. They had the patience to go through all this trouble to come see me, and I’m going to show them
We were very sorry to learn that Don Van Vliet passed away on Friday 17 December 2010 due to complications arising from multiple sclerosis. Tributes from friends, Magic Band members and fans have come thick and fast. Here are a few of them on beefheart.com and beyond: Steve’s initial beefheart.com post: Don Van Vliet 1941-2010 including many of your tributes My beefheart.com post: Don Van Vliet 1941-2010 including many of your tributes Art Tripp’s tribute to Don Bill Harkleroad’s tribute to Don John French’s tribute to Don – an absolutely lovely read, not to be missed Gary Lucas’s tribute to Don from The Wall Street
My friend Art Tripp nailed it head to toe and I just can’t say it any better. Time erased all the injustices and I am left with all the incredible lessons learned. Such a rare and tremendously creative talent. I have to say it has taken me many years to recognize how truly rare a person he was. You have to be here awhile, or at least I did, to know Don Vliet’s don’t just happen. Don’s gone but look what he left us. Don’s gone and we’re next. Bill Harkleroad 19 December 2010
In 1984 Don and I had renewed our friendship for many years in north California after we’d both left the music biz. Our homes were only about a mile apart. He came to my office periodically for chiropractic treatment, and we’d also get together frequently just for laughs. In the late 1980’s he seemed to be developing some neurological symptoms which were resistant to cure from chiropractic adjustments. I told Don and Jan that he needed a consultation with a neurologist. He refused to go, and Jan was unable to convince him. Around 1992 he and I had a falling out. As a result, I
Don’s gallery have announced that he died today. I’d like to offer my sincere condolences to his family, friends and especially his wife Jan. We will miss you greatly, Don. Into the sun in my glider There’s a shadow beside her Up ‘n’ down through the blues Clouds give me my silent cues I’m up in my glider With a shadow beside her It begins to rain on her window pain Up in my glider There’s no shadow beside her Thundering ‘n’ lightning Gettin’ pretty frightenin’ I feel like an outsider Then the sun shows through ‘n’ right on cue There’s a shadow beside her
We’re very saddened to hear that Don has passed away. He has succumbed to complications with the multiple sclerosis that he’s been suffering with for many years. Our thoughts go out to Jan. The world has lost a unique individual. Update: 11am 19/12/2010 I have been too upset to write much as yet so have just been watching all the wonderful tributes coming into our blog here and elsewhere across the web. I do hope Don, and Jan, were aware of the great love and respect in which they are held. Don’s music has been my companion since 1967. Safe As Milk changed my view
Gary Lucas is bringing his Beefheart Symposium to Los Angeles two days before Don’s 70th birthday. During the symposium Gary will show rare footage of the band live, play unreleased tracks, and project slides of Don’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 also illustrate Don’s quirky and idiosyncratic methodologies and techniques on his guitar. So at 8pm, 13 January 2011 try to join Gary and ‘special guests’ at The Echoplex 1154 Glendale Boulevard Los Angeles 90026 Tickets: Seating – $15 adv; $17 dos / Standing –
The UK music magazine, Mojo, has recently published a 140+ page Frank Zappa special in their ‘Ultimate Collectors Edition’ series. Well worth checking out this has several pages about Don and Frank’s relationship including new interviews with Gary Lucas and Art Tripp. If you’re looking for an unusual Zappa/Beefheart related Christmas present then look no further. Check out the Frank and Don finger puppets. However, if you have a bit more cash to splurge then how about the ultimate Christmas present … one of Don’s original oil paintings! Apparently the Michael Werner Gallery in New York have ‘Black Doily‘ for sale at 40,000USD. This 1992
Gary Lucas will be in London on Sunday 21 November to perform the UK premier of his new solo guitar score accompanying the 1931 Spanish-language “Dracula” at Queen Elizabeth Hall as part of the London Jazz Festival. This event was just immortalized in a cartoon strip by the legendary Savage Pencil in the new issue of The Wire magazine: Click picture for large view. From The Wire issue 319 September 2010; reproduced by permission. More info about this event is available at Gary’s website, including reviews for the recent US premier of this show. Many thanks to Gary for the info.
A postcard arrived through my door this morning from WFMU announcing their auction between 5 and 12 October promising “rare records, comics, art, useless ephemera and more!” One of the items on offer is a “signed print by Captain Beefheart” though I have no idea what this entails. It could be album artwork or it could be a print of a Don Van Vliet painting. All will become clear on 5th October at WFMU’s auction page. John Fahey fans will also be interested to learn that some of his artwork is similarly available. Oh, and some “Butthole Surfers toilet paper” too.
Charlie Rosenkranz, the current owner of the Woodland Hills “Trout House” where the Magic Band lived and conceived Trout Mask Replica, emailed me today to say the house is on the market again. You can see the seller’s info online and it has some great interior shots which I’ve never seen before. My favourite is this detail of one of the doors: If you have a spare $325,000 and your enthusiasm for Trout Mask Replica knows no bounds, this would be an unbeatable bit of memorabilia. Charlie writes: It’s up for sale. I injured myself several months ago and haven’t been able to work or