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 →

Hoboism (1976) Bat Chain Puller (2012 release) Well it’s not that ‘n its not this ‘n its hobo not zen, zright now , hoboism yeah its not jazz n its not jizzum not that n its not this n its pure and simple railroadism railroadism Grab a book take a look Put it in your pocket in case she look stop, reach, short smoke grab on n haul the wood rope Got a chauffer way up front He’s free he melts the night for me put the thing next to me Give me a drink man well I fell asleep n when I land, wellRead More →

Some Captain Beefheart songs have made there way onto the big screen. Blue Collar Jack Nitzsche score featuring Don’s vocals on “Hard Workin’ Man”. Released: 1978 A gritty crime drama directed by Paul Schrader based around workers on the Detroit assembly lines. See full Radar Station info     The Big Lebowski Contains “Her Eyes Are A Blue Million Miles” Released: 1998 The excellent crime comedy from the Coen Brothers       Remember A Day Contains “Zig Zag Wanderer” and “Low Yo Yo Stuff” Released: 2003 Obsessed fan/stalker movie starring Darryl Read as a reclusive ex-rock star. Loosely (and sometimes very closely) based on Read More →

This is a list of ‘Various Artists’ compilations and samplers that have included individual Captain Beefheart songs. Benefit Albums 2003 US Where We Live: Stand For What You Stand On on Higher Octave/Delabel/EMI This is a benefit album with proceeds going to the environmental organisation Earthjustice which campaigns for the Universal Right to Clean Air & Clean Water This is a significant release because it includes the first recorded work by Don since the poems that appeared on the 1993 Stand Up To Be Discontinued CD. It’s not a new song, nor is it ‘proper’ recording as such. It’s a 35 second version of HappyRead More →

Publicity Without a doubt the most challenging artist of the rock era, the man formerly known as Don Van Vliet still retains an almost biblical dedication amongst the ever-increasing fanbase of ‘those who get it’. You either do or you don’t; the good Captain doesn’t attract the casuals! Captain Beefheart – Under Review is a two hour documentary film tracing the roots and history of this iconic musical legend. Featuring rare live and studio performances of Beefheart, interspersed with contributions from virtually all members of The Magic Band – along with a panel of esteemed experts.The film also features rarely seen promo films, interview footageRead More →

Now here’s a thing … a whole podcast about the Trout Mask Replica album … and not just one podcast but one podcast for EACH track. This is being bought to you by the Prince Track by Track Podcast set up by Darren Husted (see below for more information about the origin of this podcast series). Darren asked some friends if they’d be interested in creating a podcast for a favourite album and Joel Bakker suggested Trout Mask. Joel then set about convincing assorted Beefheart fans to choose a track, and with him hosting recorded their discussion about the track, the album, how they gotRead More →

Song List Drink Paint Run Run Seam Crooked Sam (version 2) Dirty Blue Gene (version 1) Sun Zoom Spark (version 3) Kiss Me My Love Funeral Hill (version 1) Harry Irene (jazzy guitar version) Open Pins Dual & Abdul Semi-Multicolored Caucasian (version 2) Balladino Clear Spot (instrumental) Circumstances I’m Gonna Booglarize You, Baby (instrumental) Low Yo Yo Stuff (instrumental) Semi-Multicolored Caucasian (version 1) Little Scratch (version 2) Recorded at Record Plant Studios Los Angeles, CA, October / November 1971 Radar Station Overview According to the sleeve notes “… this collection finally brings together in one place the previously unreleased outtakes from Spotlight Kid …”. Indeed itRead More →

There is an excellent article by Sean Kitching on The Quietus website marking 40 years since the release of Doc at the Radar Station. It includes insights about the recording of Don’s penultimate album from new interviews with Gary Lucas and Eric Drew Feldman. Read the article here – The Best Batch Yet? Captain Beefheart’s Doc At The Radar Station RevisitedRead More →