If you’re in Portland, Oregon on Thursday 17 January take a trip out to Belmont Station “Portland’s Premier Beer Store and Bier Cafe”. In one of their regular beer tasting evenings you’ll be able to sample a Captain Beefheart Beer. Here’s how they describe it: Captain Beefheart is a collaborative brew between Jason McAdam of Burnside Brewing and Alex Ganum of Upright, both of whom can be described as meat enthusiasts. In their own words: “The idea behind Captain Beefheart was to create a complex beverage with savory flavors rooted in the kitchen. We started with a malty copper colored base and added Turkish bay
According to The Guardian, The Jockey Club’s chief executive, Simon Bazalgette was recently interviewed in the racecard at Cheltenham. Bazalgette said that his four ideal dinner guests would be “Richard Feynman, Vaseley (sic) Kandinsky, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Captain Beefheart.” Cal Schenkel is offering beautiful archival quality Giclée Prints of his acrylic on paper study of the Trout Mask Replica album cover artwork, 2009, hand-signed. 13x13in Personalized at no extra charge–specify inscription when ordering. See ralf.com Old Skool Hooligans have a selection of Captain Beefheart t-shirts for sale. Be quick if you want to see the video of Captain Beefheart’s telephoned contribution to American Bandstand
The other day, I was grinding and polishing a stony meteorite (as one does), and after polishing, there, leering out from the polished surface, was the captains face. I know this sounds rather like those names of Allah found in aubergines and such, but I’ll get a friend to photo this and send you the image in case you might want to put it on your site – it really is quite astonishing. The image is best viewed small on the screen, about 10 cm x 10 cm, otherwise the detail obscures the image. The meteorite is a piece of one called NWA869. Thanks to
Captain Beefheart at The White House The next time you’re visting The White House please do have a glance at your hosts vinyl record collection. According to Rolling Stone magazine The White House Record Library includes at least one Captain Beefheart album, Trout Mask Replica. Whether The White House copy of Trout Mask has ever been played, or whether the collection has been added to since 1981 is not mentioned. Mighty Boosh and the £23,000 Van Vliet Noel Fielding of Mighty Boosh has reportedly bought his parents a painting on canvas by Don Van Vliet. The Sun newspaper writes that he paid £23,000 for the
Congratulations to Sandy Dillon and Ray Majors on their recent wedding, which took place on an antique carousel on the seedier side of the beach in East Overshoe. At their reception they entertained the guests by singing Captain Beefheart’s ‘This Is The Day’, Ray on guitar and Sandy playing piano. Sandy Dillon has often performed ‘This Is the Day’ and I would have liked to have linked here to the BBC video of a full Sandy Dillon concert which includes this song. That recording, made in 2001 at The Ocean in Hackney for Radio 3’s ‘Mixing It’ programme, seems no longer to be available at
I seem constantly to be linking here to Gary Lucas website because of the seemingly endless Captain Beefheart related information to be found there. At his tour page, for example, you can check out how the 2009 Fast ‘n’ Bulbous tour is shaping up. Three European concerts of Captain Beefheart compositions are so far listed for March – in Holland, Czech Republic and France. There will be more news of that tour later I’m sure. Gary recently mentioned at his blog that the only punk/new wave band checked by Captain Beefheart/Don Van Vliet as being any good was Throbbing Gristle, which was news to me.
The Smithsonian Institution investigates the meeting of pop culture and palaeontology in a new blog at its website. In one of the first entries Captain Beefheart’s song The Smithsonian Institute Blues (or the Big Dig) has its skeleton made good by a dinosaur expert. For all you need to know about La Brea Tar Pits and what they contain see the entry Dinosaur Blues at Smithsonian.com‘s blog Dinosaur Tracking.
That Don Van Vliet’s compositions are danceable is without question. Two German comedians, Ulan & Bator, have formalised that pleasure by getting close to a diamond (or a rabbit) at YouTube. [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D8qS9RpSL-c]
A review at IGN.com of a new HD version of WipEout, a Play Station game, contains some tantalising information about the custom soundtrack, “which is a cinch to port over, though from our experience Captain Beefheart doesn’t make the best accompaniment to the world of anti-G racing and homing missiles.”
Jimmy Carl Black Benefit Concerts A benefit concert for former Mother of Invention and Magic Band member Jimmy Carl Black has been arranged for November 9 at Bridge House in London. Jimmy recently underwent an operation for lung cancer in Germany and the proceeds from this event will go towards his expenses. Among those appearing will be Zappa and Beefheart cover band The Muffin Men and Zappacademic writer Ben Watson. Tickets cost £20. The Muffin Men are contributing to several other JCB benefit gigs. The first of these is Stockport For Jimmy – Indian Aid on Sunday October 26, 4-8pm, Bakers Vaults, on the Market
Gary Lucas and Don Van Vliet – I Have A Cat ‘I Have A Cat’, the broadcast of Don Van Vliet’s last lengthy interview in 1993, combined with Gary Lucas’ specially commissioned guitar score recorded earlier this year, will receive its world premiere on Wednesday, September 3rd, 10pm to midnight Dutch time, on NPS Radio 6. Also in Holland, in March 2009, will be Fast ‘N’ Bulbous, The Captain Beefheart Project, featuring Gary Lucas and Phillip Johnston. Two dates have so far been announced at Gary Lucas’ website, more are to be arranged. John French’s City of Refuge It was in 2005 that we first
Rhino release a downloadable Beefheart sampler In a flurry of no publicity at all, Rhino Records have released their first scratchproof Captain Beefheart album. It is available only as a download. Rhino Hi-Five: Captain Beefheart & The Magic Band is a compilation of five tracks recorded between 1969 and 1978. It includes two live cuts and what Rhino describe as a remastered LP version of the song Bat Chain Puller. Bat Chain Puller was remastered to its sonic advantage for Virgin/EMI’s 2006 Captain Beefheart re-release CDs. The live tracks are from Rhino’s limited edition Beefheart CD, My Father’s Place. The other two tracks are taken
Recent music links Here I Am I Always Am played by The Black Keys at SXSW 2008 in Houston on March 12th. Andy Haas (former Martha and the Muffins saxophonist, now better known through his work and associations with the NY downtown music scene) offers an unusual and reflective version of Abba Zabba (two minute sample here) on Radio I-Ching’s new CD, The Fire Keeps Burning, available from CD Baby. Another Abba Zabba involving several other NY downtown musicians performing as Fast ‘n Bulbous was recorded at WFMU in 2004. Here it is at YouTube. Benjamin Horrendous has just put up 4 Beefheart covers, and
Frank Freeman’s Dancing Club in Kidderminster was one of the venues to which John Peel drove Captain Beefheart during his British tour in 1968. Recordings from this venue can be heard on the Grow Fins boxed set. Get Your Kicks on the A456 by John Combe is a book about the venue and the acts which appeared there. It is available online only, in pdf format, from http://www.kidderocks.com/. In 2006 a blue plaque to Frank Freeman (pictured) was set up at the location of his club in Mill Street. Among those paying homage at the unveiling was Led Zeppelin front man Robert Plant, whose Band
Trout Mask Replica promo pack These poems by Don Van Vliet are from a Trout Mask Replica promo pack which was recently auctioned at eBay. I am uncertain whether there was originally a poem for John French as well, but as he was famously uncredited on the album this seems unlikely. Thanks to Gary L. for alerting me to these. Uncut manipulation Uncut magazine for November 2007 has a five page article about, “the men who made Trout Mask Replica and survived. Just…” John French, Bill Harkleroad, Mark Boston and Gary Marker were interviewed by David Cavanagh who paints a lurid picture of the making of
According to Gary Lucas in a 1996 interview for Seconds magazine, Frank Zappa and Don Van Vliet’s last meeting was embarassing and distressing. Frank owned the rights to Bat Chain Puller, tracks from which Don wanted to use on Ice Cream for Crow. After some fruitless negotiation Don and Gary decided to confront Zappa face-to-face and ask for the use of the material. Zappa refused, saying, “Unless you buy all the masters back from me, it’s not worth it for me to split up the set. It won’t be worth that much out there in Beefheart-land.” Frank Zappa is generally acknowledged to have been a
Paris Hilton & Captain Beefheart, a new record by Knights of Infinite Resignation was released this week on the Next Best Records label. The record was inspired by this picture of Paris Hilton holding a copy of Trout Mask Replica which you may remember we mentioned about a year ago. Since that time the image has been reproduced at countless websites and blogs. Screenshots of some of these reproductions were even used in a video. The photograph has been a source of much wonder and speculation, astonishment and disbelief, and not least mirth and dismay. Could Paris Hilton, icon of everything shallow, really appreciate the
Sandy Dillon has previously covered at least a couple of Don Van Vliet’s compositions. Now, the cheeky Beefheart botherer has hijacked Don’s name to promote a programme of “Blues 20s/30s style” which she is performing with Ed Harcourt, among others, at a Dashiell Hammett night in London next month. Click on the picture for full details.
Here’s a photograph of the Van Vliet Flower Group’s tour waggon parked up at one of northern Englands newest music venues, the Don Van Vliet Lounge (click on the pictures for larger images). Sadly, the Van Vliet Flower Group is a multinational wholesaler of flowers and is not yet the name of a Captain Beefheart tribute band. The Don Van Vliet Lounge is just one of a suite of rehearsal rooms named after old musicians at the newly opened Rock and Roll Circus in Leeds.
Jeopardy Jaws dropped across a nation on December 11th when the B-word was used on American prime-time television. Captain Beefheart had become famous for a moment and fans rushed to write to internet discussion groups with the unlikely news. The cause of the excitement? A $1200 question in the game show Jeopardy, “Captain Beefheart is said to have a range of 4.5 of these.” If you don’t know the answer, go to the Jeopardy Archive here and point your mouse at the appropriate square in Double Jeopardy! Round The Big O. More video Bob wrote in from Boulder to mention that he’d spotted former Magic