Great news ! Another Beefheart album gets the Record Store Day treatment by Rhino/Warner. For release on 20 April 2024 will be The Spotlight Kid (Deluxe Edition), which means a second disc of outtakes from those sessions is included. There will be 7000 copies on 140g ‘milky clear’ vinyl. The track list of the bonus disc is as follows : C1. THE WITCH DOCTOR LIFE (instrumental ) [5:27] C2. SEMI-MULTICOLORED CAUCASIAN (instrumental)* [4:37] C3. YOUR LOVE BROUGHT ME TO LIFE (instrumental) [3:11] C4. TWO RIPS IN A HAYSTACK/KISS ME MY LOVE [2:38] C5. HARRY IRENE [3:33] C6. BEST BATCH YET (TRACK) [VERSION 1] [2:18] C7.Read More →

Cinematic. From his first words he sets it out, frame by frame. The situation whereby us folk gather in a circle stunned by the alien assault and preparing for the next wave of human annihilation. Possibly the circle of “earth people” is world leaders in a United Nations type emergency meeting, but it doesn’t really matter. The greatest existential challenge portrayed in fascinating drama- all in just a few words. Lyrically perfect. Perfect. Perfect. Over the years as I struggled to decipher the lyrics to some of his songs and grasp their meaning, I would have many moments of enlightenment and laugh aloud-did he identifyRead More →

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 →

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 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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

In June 2020, to keep himself amused during the pandemic lockdown, Gary wrote about his five favourite Beefheart albums. We’re pleased to present them here on the Radar Station —————————————————- CAPTAIN BEEFHEART: I’LL GIVE YOU A BUNCH OF FIVES 5-count them-5 seminal albums by CAPTAIN BEEFHEART AND THE MAGIC BAND As a follow-up to my 3 Part Tribute to the one and only DON VAN VLIET a/k/a CAPTAIN BEEFHEART just completed on Facebook, as promised here are my 5 recommended favorites of the 11 studio albums Don released with his truly MAGIC BAND. I’m gonna dole them out as the week progresses, okay? And hereRead More →

One of Gary’s top ten albums from his list compiled for a Facebook challenge in 2020 … Rolled round de corner comin’ up SEVEN Come Eleven My lucky number Lord Ah feeeeel like I’m in Heaven Ah said –“Ah Feel Like Ahcid”, Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band And **LUCKY SEVEN** it is today in the Bang On A Gland Roll-Call of the Ten Most Happenin’est, Earth Shakin’est Albums reverberating still in the hippodrome and flippodrome of my skull, until the last syllable of recorded time even (or something like that–I keep revising my list to try and keep it fresh due to multiple listsRead More →

In June 2020, to keep himself amused during the pandemic lockdown, Gary wrote about his five favourite Beefheart albums. We’re pleased to present them here on the Radar Station —————————————————- CAPTAIN BEEFHEART: I’LL GIVE YOU A BUNCH OF FIVES 5-count them-5 seminal albums by CAPTAIN BEEFHEART AND THE MAGIC BAND As a follow-up to my 3 Part Tribute to the one and only DON VAN VLIET a/k/a CAPTAIN BEEFHEART just completed on Facebook, as promised here are my 5 recommended favorites of the 11 studio albums Don released with his truly MAGIC BAND. I’m gonna dole them out as the week progresses, okay? And hereRead More →

In June 2020, to keep himself amused during the pandemic lockdown, Gary wrote about his five favourite Beefheart albums. We’re pleased to present them here on the Radar Station —————————————————- CAPTAIN BEEFHEART: I’LL GIVE YOU A BUNCH OF FIVES 5-count them-5 seminal albums by CAPTAIN BEEFHEART AND THE MAGIC BAND As a follow-up to my 3 Part Tribute to the one and only DON VAN VLIET a/k/a CAPTAIN BEEFHEART just completed on Facebook, as promised here are my 5 recommended favorites of the 11 studio albums Don released with his truly MAGIC BAND. I’m gonna dole them out as the week progresses, okay? And hereRead More →

In June 2020, to keep himself amused during the pandemic lockdown, Gary wrote about his five favourite Beefheart albums. We’re pleased to present them here on the Radar Station —————————————————- CAPTAIN BEEFHEART: I’LL GIVE YOU A BUNCH OF FIVES 5-count them-5 seminal albums by CAPTAIN BEEFHEART AND THE MAGIC BAND As a follow-up to my 3 Part Tribute to the one and only DON VAN VLIET a/k/a CAPTAIN BEEFHEART just completed on Facebook, as promised here are my 5 recommended favorites of the 11 studio albums Don released with his truly MAGIC BAND. I’m gonna dole them out as the week progresses, okay? I’ve alreadyRead More →

In June 2020, to keep himself amused during the pandemic lockdown, Gary wrote about his five favourite Beefheart albums. We’re pleased to present them here on the Radar Station —————————————————- CAPTAIN BEEFHEART: I’LL GIVE YOU A BUNCH OF FIVES 5-count them-5 seminal albums by CAPTAIN BEEFHEART AND THE MAGIC BAND As a follow-up to my 3 Part Tribute to the one and only DON VAN VLIET a/k/a CAPTAIN BEEFHEART just completed on Facebook, as promised here are my 5 recommended favorites of the 11 studio albums Don released with his truly MAGIC BAND. I’m gonna dole them out as the week progresses, okay? And hereRead More →

For many people on the first listen Trout Mask Replica just sounds awful. For those of us that grow to love it, it’s a masterpiece. If you don’t entirely get it yet, this 10 minute feature video from Vox nicely picks apart what’s going on and why so many of us consider it to be uniquely special. If you enjoy this and want something more in-depth then have a look at Samuel Andreyev’s analysis of Frownland and his extended conversation with John French.  Read More →

Ever since Don started complaining about the ‘bromo seltzer’ that had been added to the Strictly Personal album fans have wondered what it would have sounded like without Bob Krasnow’s pyschedelicized production. Surely the pristine untreated master tapes were tucked away in storage somewhere people thought. Not so. Gary Marker said that it was highly unlikely because Krasnow had used the master copy for all the phasing etc. he had added to the album’s sound which meant the original raw recording of the band was lost. Over the years various collections of alternate versions of many of the Strictly Personal songs have turned up andRead More →

IT #41, 4 – 17 October 1968 From John Peel’s ‘Perfumed Garden’ column in the legendary sixties ‘hippy’ newspaper IT (International Times). This review of Strictly Personal takes up half of the column space and appears to be based on an acetate version given to him by Beefheart himself – this would have been during the band’s tour of the UK in July 1968.  Other bands mentioned by Peel after this review included Duster Bennett, MC5, Principal Edwards Magic Theatre, The Liverpool Scene, Bridget St John and Brian Jones. The autumnal air is heavy with promise – a new Beefheart LP is on the way.Read More →