NTS Radio recently broadcast ‘The Magic Behind Beefheart’, an hour long look at Don and the Magic Band’s career by Imogen Eason. A great selection of music, albeit brief extracts, keep the show moving along. It includes interviews with John French and Denny Walley talking about their time in the band, about Don and Frank Zappa and about playing the music again in the reunion Magic Band. It’s not clear when these interviews were done but presumably they must be a few years old and recorded before Denny left the band – (I’m guessing 2013). Take a listen here
featuring Nona Hendryx and Gary Lucas interpreting a selection of Beefheart favourites Sun Zoom Spark My Head Is My Only House Unless It Rains Sure ‘Nuff ‘N Yes I Do I’m Glad The Smithsonian Institute Blues (or The Big Dig) Her Eyes Are A Blue Million Miles Suction Prints Sugar ‘N Spikes When Big Joan Sets Up Too Much Time When It Blows Its Stacks Tropical Hot Dog Night Publicity blurb: … a comprehensive overview of the man also known as Don Van Vliet’s towering legacy, re-imagined and infused with new blood by vocalist extraordinaire Nona Hendryx and avant-guitar legend Gary Lucas. The World of
A Giraffe is Listening to the Radio is a collection of Beefheart songs recorded in rehearsal and performance during 1979 and 1980. Side A Electricity Moonlight on Vermont Doctor Dark The Spotlight Kid Nowaday’s a Woman’s Gotta Hit a Man Side B Owed T’Alex Clear Spot Grow Fins Lick My Decals Off, Baby Steal Softly Thru Snow Abba Zabba Review Men & Volts recordings of Beefheart songs have become almost the stuff of legend, we knew they were out there but no one seemed to have heard them. Some cassettes and later some CDRs were made available discreetly but not released on a label.
Around July 2017 John French was invited to take part in the Austin Corn Lovers Fiesta in October to celebrate the music of Captain Beefheart with a collection of local musicians. This was an exciting opportunity for John to not only perform in the US but also to present some of Don’s songs with an extended band, horns, back-up singers and even a concert level theremin player! The Radar Station was unable to attend the show but we know someone who did and he has sent us this review of the event. Review by Patrick Grant Threadgill’s is a bar/restaurant/music venue in Austin, Texas having
It’s 45 years since Don’s first UK art exhibition at the Bluecoat Gallery in Liverpool and a special weekend of events has been organised to celebrate Don’s music and art as well as his influence on the city. From 10th – 12th November 2017 the events include: 10th November – The Magic Band perform at the Liverpool Philharmonic as part of their Farewell Tour 11th November – Digging Beefheart: a symposium exploring Beefheart as a ‘total artist’ Doped in Stunned Mirages: a Poetic Celebration of Don Van Vliet Fast N’ Bulbous: a Musical Celebration of Don Van Vliet – Gary Lucas and many local musicians
John French will be playing a show at Threadgill’s in Austin, TX, October 7th, 2017 as part of the Austin Corn Lovers Fiesta. Here’s what John has to say about it: A four-piece band, 3 backup singers, and 4 horns! Whoa! Twelve people on stage during parts of this show. This will be sort of a “celebration” of Beefheart music. A one-hour show at the former location of Armadillo World Headquarters — where I played with Don in 1971 and also where “Bongo Fury” was recorded. It will be a pretty different experience for me. Oh, and one of the singers, Aileen Adler also will be
As a teaser for their forthcoming album The World of Captain Beefheart to be released in October Gary Lucas and Nona Hendryx will be performing at Joe’s Pub at the Public Theatre, New York City. Date: 20 September 2017, shows at 7pm and 9.30pm See the Joe’s Pub site for more info You may remember Gary and Nona teamed up in 2013 with the Metropole Orchestra in Amsterdam to present their take on some of Don’s work.
Updated 25 May 2017 The excellent Beefheart tribute band Orange Claw Hammer have recently released a CD of some of their takes on Don’s music. See Steve Froy’s review of it here ———————————————————– And as there will be no Magic Band UK tour this year and you’d like to hear some live Beefheart music then you should check out Orange Claw Hammer who have the following gigs lined up for 2017: Friday 27 January 2017 – Duke’s Bar, Glasgow, 8pm. Free entry. Thursday 9 February – Speakeasy, Voodoo Rooms, Edinburgh. 8pm. £3 + special one day only CD discount Thursday 30 March – The Continental,
The Radar Station was sad to hear of the death on 2 June of Freddie Wadling. He was 64. Freddie was better known in his native Sweden as a poet, musician and vocalist emerging from the punk scene of the late 1970s. He played bass with Leather Nun, one of his bands that gained a higher profile and a reputation beyond the Swedish borders. For Beefheart fans Freddie came to notice as the vocalist of the Swedish Tribute Band with Morgan Agren, Jimmy Agren, Mats Oberg, Rolf Hedqvist and Denny Walley. They played a couple of live shows in Sweden in 1995 to coincide with the
Updated: 16 April 2016 If you’re looking to hear some live Beefheart music then here’s your chance. The excellent Orange Claw Hammer are playing a couple of gigs in Scotland … which might go some small way to consoling those Scottish fans who didn’t get any shows on last year’s Magic Band tour. Orange Claw Hammer are superb musicians who play jazz-tinged arrangements of many Beefheart favourites. Mainly instrumental but there are some occasional vocals. Orange Claw Hammer are: Steve Kettley – Tenor & soprano saxes, vocal, melodica, jaw harp Stuart Allardyce – Guitar Dave Beards – Bass guitar Des Travis – Drums The gigs: 31 March 2016
The Beefheart Toronto Project is a group of Canadian musicians who are working together to record a number of Don’s songs. Their statement of intent on their Facebook page says that they will: Cover one song from every Beefheart LP plus something each from the 1966 A&M sessions and the 1975 Zappa collaborations. We opted to include extra tracks from Trout & Decals because the music is so spectacular and ground breaking. The musical director of the Project is keyboardist/vocalist Tony Malone who used to front a band called Basketcase that recorded a version of Ashtray Heart back in 1994. The Project started as just a couple of
On a UK TV quiz show not so long ago this question was asked: Which singer released a Christmas compilation album called Christmas From The Heart? a. Captain Beefheart b. Neil Young c. Bob Dylan I still can’t help chuckling about this, the thought of Don releasing something called Christmas From The ‘Heart … ho ho ho, hoy hoy hoy… The closest he ever got to a Christmas song was with There Ain’t No Santa Claus On The Evenin’ Stage on The Spotlight Kid album and that was more likely to put an end to any festive celebrations than encourage them! There is one other song
Gary Lucas will be hosting his Captain Beefheart Symposium at the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic on Sunday29th November 2015. It starts at 8pm in the Music Room. Gary has been presenting these Symposium events since 2011 as a tribute to his former friend and mentor, Don van Vliet. They take the form of various live music performances and readings, reminiscences from Gary about his time with Don and The Magic Band. Don’s art is also discussed and unreleased music played. Special guests for this Liverpool event are: Mike Barnes, music writer and author of the excellent biography of Beefheart Bryan Briggs of Liverpool’s Bluecoat Gallery, the
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.
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.
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 which
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, revel
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 will
The Magic Band have been added to the line-up of the All Tomorrow’s Parties ‘End Of An Era Part 2’ festival curated by ATP and Loop. The event takes place at Pontins, Camber Sands, England from the 29th November-1st December 2013. More info about the event and tickets are available at the ATP website.