If you went to the 1972 Bickershaw festival you probably have great memories of it. There were some excellent bands playing and the Beefheart set was supposed to have been particularly inspiring. For years an audience recording of the performance has been circulating and despite it’s sound quality failings you can still hear that the band were on top form. This recording has now been released commercially by Ozit. What do we think of it … what do you think? Read the full review
A previously unheard two and a half hour audio tape of Don Van Vliet conducting a press conference to promote Ice Cream For Crow is about to be to released at Houseplant Picture Studios website. The tape was recorded by Kurt Benbenek in Los Angeles in 1982 for his college newspaper. About twenty other student newspaper representatives were present during the four hour meeting. Don did not like the fluorescent lighting in the room so Kurt remembers that most of the conference took place in the dark. Subjects discussed include pygmies, tumbleweeds, Ronald Reagan and lack of sleep. Kurt wrote to me: I was literally
This photograph of a baseball signed by Don Van Vliet in 1982 at a press conference he held to promote Ice Cream For Crow replaces my previous post here. That post concerned the May release of audio from the press conference. The website owner who owns the tape of the press conference has been so overwhelmed by applications from visitors here that he has asked me to remove the name of his website and links to it. He wrote today – we checked our email this morning and we simply can’t handle that many potential downloads. Over-use penalties (with our host) would break us financially.
Coming Clean, a new album by Magic Band maestro and guitar-god Gary Lucas has been gathering hugely favourable reviews for Gary’s exemplary skills and for the killer line-up he has assembled for the current incarnation of his band Gods and Monsters. Among those appearing on the album, which was five years in the making, are Ernie Brooks (Modern Lovers) on bass, Billy Ficca (Television) and Jonathan Kane (Swans) on drums, Jason Candler (Hungry March Band) on alto sax and Joe Hendel on trombone, with special guest vocalists David Johansen (New York Dolls). Reviewing this album, Rolling Stone called Gary, “one of the best and most
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
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
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
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.htm
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: Idiotbastard (scroll right down to the videos section) Video Watchdog Entertainment Weekly 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.com
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 boxed
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 have
‘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’ page
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 issued
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.
I’ve learned by now not to hold out too much hope when Ozit release another Beefheart CD. But this time they’re taking the piss … ‘Prime Quailty Beef’ … for heaven’s sake, Ozit, get a grip. This is second rate stuff even if it is decent sound quality (although, at least that’s an improvement on your usual shoddy sound). But ‘Sweet Georgia Brown’! … By no stretch of the imagination is that ‘prime quality’ anything let alone quality Beefheart. So what do we have here? Well, it’s the Crazy Little Things (semi-legitimate release) CD of the 1974 Cowtown, Kansas show (including the two versions of