Not a lot is known about the di Martino brothers – Andy and Dave (aka Augie or Auggie). (Note: not to be confused with the music journalist Dave di Martino who has written a few pieces about Don and the Magic Band) They seem to have been hustlers in LA, trying to make money where they could but hung around the fringes of the music scene there. Andy was a guitarist and the more ‘musical’ of the two whereas Auggie wasn’t a musician and was probably the business ‘brains’ of the operation. I have seen one reference to Andy as ‘a guitar teacher from SanRead More →

This show at Hautes Études Commerciales (HEC Jouy-en-Josas), Paris, was filmed for French TV. Good quality footage but unfortunate that it’s the 1974 touring band. Setlist – Mirror Man – Upon The My-O-My – Full Moon, Hot Sun – Crazy Little Thing – Sweet Georgia Brown – Peaches – Take Me To Your House/Who’ll Be The Next? (Chester Burnett) – You’re Gonna Need Somebody On Yer Bond (Traditional)Read More →

In late October/early November 1969, a few days after playing at the Amougies Festival in Belgium, Don Van Vliet (aka Captain Beefheart) and Frank Zappa plus Magic Band member Mark Boston (aka Rockette Morton) made an appearance at the famous London club The Speakeasy, joining the band Juicy Lucy on stage. They were also joined by Cream drummer Ginger Baker and played a set that included Willie The Pimp. Juicy Lucy later covered Willie The Pimp on their second album Lie Back and Enjoy It, released in 1970 (the back cover of that album is featured at the bottom of this post). This live performanceRead More →

On Friday November 13th 1970 Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band were scheduled to play a live show at the Berkeley Community Theatre in Berkeley, California. The supporting act for the show was to be the avant garde musical theatre troupe The Cockettes, who usually performed in drag. The Cockettes had planned to premiere their brand new show Pearls Over Shanghai. However, the show was cancelled completely after Don Van Vliet (Captain Beefheart) had gone to see the troupe beforehand and was not impressed with what he saw, as recounted in this link: https://www.beatbooks.com/pages/books/38991/pearls-over-shanghai (sadly the original info on this link has disappeared) Pearls OverRead More →

Tracklist Side One 1. Yellow Brick Road 2. Abba Zabba 3. Sure ‘Nuff ‘n’ Yes I Do 4. Electricity 5. Beatle Bones ‘n’ Smokin’ Stones 6. Safe As Milk 7. Kandy Korn Side Two 1. Trust Us 2. Steal Softly Thru Snow 3. Click Clack 4. Golden Birdies 5. I’m Gonna Booglarize You Baby Publicity Blurb Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band are showcased over 12 tracks recorded live for radio and TV. The material is sourced from two 1968 sessions for John Peel plus a 1972 appearance on Beat Club and features tracks from four different Beefheart LPs. Beat Club tracks are excellent soundRead More →

An interesting experiment has turned up on Youtube. Using AI software Ant 2 Man Bee has deconstructed the Trout Mask album. He’s taken each of the songs and isolated each individual track, breaking it down so you can hear Mark’s bass, John’s drums, Bill’s guitar, Jeff’s guitar and Don’s vocals separately. As Ant 2 Man bee explains: I was shocked at how good the neural net was after I tested using Sugar ‘n Spikes. While it isn’t perfect, it is still amazing how quickly the technology evolved when just a few years ago you couldn’t isolate instrumentations from whole songs without having a very goodRead More →

A look at the November 2022 Record Store Day release of a double vinyl set to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Clear Spot album. Tracklist Sides 1 and 2 as to be expected are the same as the original release. Side 3 Nowadays A Woman’s Gotta Hit A Man (Early Mix) Clear Spot (Rough Mix) [Instrumental] Crazy Little Thing (Rough Mix) [Instrumental] Dirty Blue Gene (Rough Mix) [Instrumental] Big Eyed Beans From Venus (Rough Mix) [Instrumental] Kiss Where I K’aint Side 4 Sun Zoom Spark (Rough Mix) [Instrumental] Nowadays A Woman’s Gotta Hit A Man (Rough Mix) [Instrumental] Little Scratch Low Yo Yo StuffRead More →

In May 1968 the band were touring Europe and they performed at the Palazzo della Sport as part of the Rome Pop Festival. The BBC filmed parts of the festival for a 40 minute programme which was broadcast in the UK. Sadly there’s less than a minute of footage showing the band in full flight with a recording of Sure Nuff N Yes I Do played over the top. It’s unknown if more of their performance was filmed and even if it was it has been long lost to the cutting room floor. What a film that could have been!     The full BBCRead More →

A surreal few minutes here as Don is interviewed on the telephone on American Bandstand by one of the show’s young girl dancers promoting the Diddy Wah Diddy single. Don plays the game as he is asked some banal questions … a few years later he would give interviewers short shrift if they asked him this sort of stuff. A great piece of vintage television.  Read More →

Some wonderful archive footage, albeit very poor quality, of the early Beefheart band appearing on Dick Clark’s TV show Where The Action Is. The band is, left to right Alex Snouffer, Doug Moon, Don, Jerry Handley and with Vic Mortenson on drums. Here the band are miming to their first single  ‘Who Do You Think You’re Foolin’?’  and ‘Diddy Wah Diddy‘ on a beach with bikini babes dancing around them. This wouldn’t be the last time the band would be filmed performing on a beach.  Read More →

It has long been rumoured that this tour financed by Warner Records had a film crew following it but no footage has ever surfaced. However, John French has confirmed that parts of this tour were filmed and that a film does exist: There was a cameraman, Larry Sechrist, and a sound man, John Fizzdale. They brought the film up to Santa Cruz for us to see. I wasn’t very impressed, but I’m sure fans will love it. I did a cancer benefit with Henry Kaiser in Ventura, and the guy who owned the club said that he owned the film. He promised to send aRead More →

In my original review of the Sun Zoom Spark : 1970 to 1972 box set I looked at each track on the Out-takes album and related them, where possible, to previous released versions. However what I didn’t do was compare them to the versions on the classic bootleg 3CD set Spotlight Kid Outtakes which contains all these tracks and more, although I think I presumed the same versions were on both compilations. Anyway, my omission was spotted by Elias Rost, who sent me the article below in which he does the comparison between the two box sets … over to Elias … —————————————————————– I got theRead More →

You’ve probably seen the photographs of John Lennon and George Harrison behind whom are copies of the Safe as Milk bumper sticker and wondered what the story is. As far as I know The Beatles have not committed to record their views on the album Safe as Milk or whether they liked the band but it does look like they have had copies in their possession … or least copies of the bumper sticker. What is obvious is that to have copies of the bumper sticker they would have had to have the American release of the album because the UK release on Pye InternationalRead More →

In April 1972 the band were part of the way through their extensive European tour when on the 12th they stopped off at Germany’s Radio Bremen studios. Most fans will be familiar with the cracking video of Don and the boys performing ‘I’m Gonna Booglarize You Baby’ broadcast on the German music show ‘Beat Club’ and many have wondered if they recorded anything else at this session. Well, yes they did and here’s the proof! In excellent audio and video quality we get to see and hear Rockette Morton’s ‘Bass Solo’ and the full band on ‘Click Clack’, ‘Golden Birdies’, ‘Steal Softly Thru Snow’ asRead More →

A collection of assorted compositions or references that have some connection to Beefheart but are not straight covers. Anything missing? Let us know. Acid Mothers Temple 2003 Finland CD St Captain Freak Out & The Magic Bamboo Request on Ektro Records EKTRO-015 This Japanese collective have soaked up most forms of rock music and then blast them back filtered through their own strange consciousness in a bewildering melange of sound. Their song titles are often based on well known songs – on this one the Captain gets a mention, which also includes Beatles, Stones and Mothers references. There is the obvious ‘Captain’ and ‘Magic’ inRead More →

A four CD set which includes two Zappa shows, one from 1980 and the other from 1981 with a third disc of rare TV appearance recordings. Only one of the discs has any Beefheart interest and that is another recording from the Bongo Fury tour of the Providence College, Rhode Island show, 26th April 1975. Set List Camarillo Brillo Muffin Man Stinkfoot I’m Not Satisfied Velvet Sunrise A Pound For A Brown The Torture Never Stops Montana Penguin in Bondage Willie The Pimp Apparently originally released in 2004 this bootleg was manufactured in the Czech Republic Releases 2017 4CD Stormbird/Coda Publishing CPLCD248Read More →

One of the Record Store Day releases for 17th July 2021 is the Unconditionally Guaranteed album. Probably not every fan’s first choice for such a event as it was a huge disappointment at the time of its original release but the album has undergone a bit of a re-evaluation in more recent years. Some fans even consider it ‘not too bad after all’… Okay, there are some interesting songs on there but Andy Di Martino’s bland production knocked all the stuffing out of the overall sound. It could have been a much better album if Ted Templeman had produced this one as well as ClearRead More →

If you don’t already have a copy of John French’s (almost) definitive book, Beefheart: Through The Eyes Of Magic, then here’s your chance as The Last Music Company are reprinting it. An essential read for any fan of Captain Beefheart & the Magic Band. It will be available from 23 April 2021 in Europe and from 2 September in the US in hardback and digital formats. If you having any doubts about getting a copy then read my review of it here : Review of Through The Eyes Of Magic Alongside the book they are also releasing a limited edition vinyl version of John’s excellentRead More →

Available on Bandcamp the PRF Monthly Tribute Series is an ongoing project which challenges musicians to attempt covers of a particular band or artist.  The musicians are given a month to record songs by that band, or about that band, or in the style of the band. In September 2019 the 63rd in the series it was the turn of Captain Beefheart. Situations – Grown So Ugly (3:19) – this track races along as a straightforward rock song rather than following the blues of the original Doctor Coffee – Dropout Boogie (2:42) – a similar arrangement to the SAM track complete with waltz-style break butRead More →

On his Facebook page John French further tries to explain what happened with the recording of the legendary ‘It Comes To You In A Plain Brown Wrapper’ album.   After writing an 864-page book, “Beefheart: Through the Eyes of Magic,” in which I tried my best to accurately “set the record straight” on many of the myths and misunderstandings that have collectively swirled and snowballed down the hill of legends into the confused form-a-heap ( yes, I’m using that phrase from Bill’s Corpse from TMR) it is today, I still find the number one thing people seem to keep scattering misinformation about is Strictly Personal,Read More →