[alert_box type=”info”]This excellent introductory article was taken from the April 1998 edition of The Wire.[/alert_box] Mike Barnes follows the pioneering trail blazed by Captain Beefheart and The Magic Band. Don Van Vliet, aka Captain Beefheart, was born in Glendale, a suburb of Los Angeles, in 1941. 16 years after his last record was released, he is still one of the most talked about musicians of his generation. His most famous work, the double album Trout Mask Replica, inevitably makes an appearance in any chart purporting to feature the best albums of all time (most recently it featured in Channel 4’s Music Of The Millennium) andRead More →

[alert_box type=”info”]This article first appeared in the April 1998 Record Collector.[/alert_box] The Legendary A&M Sessions Pop-flavoured R&B from the Californian outback, these rare mid-60s sides are nevertheless notable for the Captain’s Wolf-like growl and harmonica squeals. Some wonky slide guitar, and one or two odd time changes hint at the Magic Band’s wayward future. Safe As Milk Not as psychedelic as its ’67 vintage might suggest, “Safe As Milk” instead provides a thrilling new take on garage-blues. The arrangements are stranger, the voice booms with intimidating authority, and the guitars start to revel in the new rock-era freedoms. Mirror Man Not recorded live in 1965,Read More →