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 BBC
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.
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.
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 a
On the 19 November 1977 Captain Beefheart and The Magic Band played a gig, Fete du P.S.U, at Le Nouvel Hippodrome, in Paris. This was a two-day music festival in aid of the French National Socialist Party. An audience of about 10,000 under a big top! Other acts included Buffy St Marie, David Allen’s Gong, Tim Blake’s Crystal Machine, Tania Maria and the Mike Westbrook Orchestra. The Hippodrome de Pantin, Le Nouvel Hippodrome, was a permanent circus located in the Parc de la Villette, near the Porte de Pantin metro station in the north-east of Paris. This was the only performance by the band in UK
A few photographs have surfaced taken at the Trout Mask Replica band’s only live gig. This was at the Aquarius Theater in Los Angeles on 31st March 1969. Find out more about the Aquarius show. Thanks to R. Michael DeChellis for permission to post his photographs here on the Radar Station. You can get good quality copies at his website and while you’re there check the other bands’ photos too – https://www.dechellisphotography.com/ (Note: website address updated July 2022) Here are two of Don with his sax: And here in all his sartorial splendour is Jeff Cotton (aka Antennae Jimmy Semens):
The Magic Band rehearsed for months to perfect their parts for the Trout Mask Replica album but they only once performed any of the album live together as a band. And that was on 31st March 1969 at the Aquarius Theater as part of a fund-raiser for the L.A. Free Clinic. The Mothers were also on the bill. The band had recorded the Trout Mask album at Whitney Studios earlier in the month so were well rehearsed and ready to go. The Earl Carroll Theatre on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles became the Hullabaloo Club in 1965 and was given a psychedelic makeover in 1968
Sent to me by Sheldon Reber, bought at a show on 22nd January 1981 in Arcata, California. The striking poster was designed by Jere Smith and, not surprisingly, got a mention from Don a few tunes into the show. The Red Pepper is a bar / bowling alley / cheesy disco, hence Don’s bowling shirt and pins in the illustration. Many thanks to Sheldon for sending this along.