Originally from Salem, Illinois Mark’s family moved to the High Desert town of Lancaster in California in 1963. His father worked in a local grain factory and also played bass as well as steel guitar. This perhaps explains Mark’s ability on the bass – he’s one of the few rock bassists who really know how to use the instrument. By 1966 Mark was playing bass in John French’s Blues In A Bottle band alongside Jeff Cotton on guitar. He also played in B.C. & The Cavemen with Bill Harkleroad on guitar. French, Cotton and Harkleroad all got their call up to the Magic Band. FinallyRead More →

[alert_box type=”info”]This review was taken from The Wire issue 153 November 1996. Many thanks to James Silberbauer for sending it along.[/alert_box] Engene Chadbourne & Jimmy Carl Black Pachuco Cadaver FIRE ANT FACD1007 CD Various Artists The Music Of Captain Beefheart Live ULTIMATE AUDIO ENTERTAINMENT UAE DISC3 CD In June 1993, Eugene Chadbourne and Jimmy Carl Black came to England and toured from Hoxton Square to Hebden Bridge. On route they recorded a session for Radio 3’s Mixing It. Guitarist and banjo player Chadbourne is a product of No Wave, turned around by hearing Derek Bailey. Long ago he recorded three albums of subversively comic freeRead More →

Many thanks to James Silberbauer for providing all this information Track list Buggie Boogie Woogie Willie The Pimp Drop-out Boogie Sure ’nuff ‘n’ Yes I Do Clear Spot Steal Softly Through Sunshine Steal Softly Through Snowdrop (Excerpt from “Insect And Western” by EC) The Past Sure Is Tense Veteran’s Day Poppy (Including “Ponca War Song” trad. arranged by EC and several themes by Thelonious Monk) Chasin’ The Captain Jack (by EC) Based on a Kiowa Sioux lullaby (I’m Gonna Booglarize You, Baby) Pachuco Cadaver [This is actually split into 2 tracks on the CD] (Including La Rosa by EC) The Dust Blows Forward And TheRead More →

[alert_box type=”info”]This review was taken from the Tucson Weekly. Kindly sent to me by Matt Laferty[/alert_box] TRIBUTE ALBUMS mostly suck, perhaps it’s appropriate that the music world’s most unlikely and reluctant icon should be given the “treatment” by one of our most inscrutable and willing iconoclasts. Joined by ex-Mothers Of Invention drummer Black, Chadbourne gets into a free-spirited and free-form state of mind we acolytes call “Beefheartian.” The duo nails it from the git-go with a sneaky update of “Buggy Boogie Woogie,” Chadbourne picking through a mutant jazzrock extrapolation and Black thrumming happily along. A country-blues “Willie The Pimp” and a bottle-neckin’ “Sure ‘Nuff ‘N’Read More →

Born in Texas, James Inckanish Jr. recorded his first single in 1962. After he moved to California he teamed up with Roy Estrada in The Soul Giants which became the Mothers of Invention under Frank Zappa’s leadership and JCB found eternal fame as “the Indian of the group”. As Indian Ink he was a second drummer in the short-lived Magic Band Don put together for the Knebworth and Roxy shows in July 1975. He has never recorded with the Magic Band. In a June 2000 interview with Alan Clayson JCB said:- … in 1975, I did a tour with Captain Beefheart.The difference between his musicRead More →

Herb Bermann then and now

aka Herb Masters The search for the mystery co-songwriter from ‘Safe As Milk’ Of the 12 songs on the ‘Safe As Milk’ album 8 are co-credited to someone called Herb Bermann. Who was he? No-one at the time seemed to know, he wasn’t a member of the band, he didn’t co-write any songs on the following albums and he was never mentioned in interviews. Very strange. Some fans thought he may have been an anonymous staff-writer foisted on Beefheart to keep the lid on his eccentricity … or, maybe, he was a friend of the producer or an agent getting a cut of the royalties.Read More →

Track list: Coming Clean (Gary Lucas, vocal) And The Ass Saw The Angel (Nick Cave, vocal) Spider Web (David Johansen, vocal) Dulce (Elli Medeiros, vocal) Flavor Bud Living Her Eyes Are A Blue Million Miles (Captain Beefheart, vocal) In A Forest (Gary Lucas, vocal) Judgement (Eric Mingus, vocal) Judgement At Midnight Theme Oat Hate Follow (Richard Barone, vocal) Astro Boy (Peter Stampfel & Gary Lucas, vocal) Indian War Whoop She Was Showing Me (Mary Margaret O’Hara, vocal) Ted’s Theme Golgotha (featuring DJ Spooky) Breath Of Bones (with Gods and Monsters) Listen, You Who Dare / Improve The Shining Hour Album overview from Graham Johnston Gary LucasRead More →

The following gigs have all taken place. For news of upcoming concerts, please see the latest reunion news from the blog. 2003 [alert_box type=”info”] The line-up for the following gigs was as follows: John French – drums, vocals, harmonica Gary Lucas – guitar Denny Walley – guitar Mark Boston – bass Robert Williams – drums [/alert_box] UK, All Tomorrow’s Parties, Camber Sands, East Sussex Sunday 6th April 2003. This was recorded by the BBC and broadcast on John Peel’s Radio 1 Show and on Radio 3’s ‘Mixing It’ programme. See ATP photos taken by Janet The Planet (Denny Walley’s wife). UK, Shepherds Bush Empire, London MondayRead More →

Containing both an 80 minutes live show from April 2003 recorded at Shepherds Bush Empire, London and a 50 minute documentary narrated by John Peel and directed by Elaine Shepherd, this PAL format DVD was a real treat when released in 2004 by Subdiva. Its only available second hand now – copies do regularly turn up at amazon.co.uk Update – November 2014: Copies are available from Proper Records You can read more and view both the films here at the Radar Station via YouTube: Live In Concert Crows Milk documentaryRead More →

Catalogue number: PRPCD026 Label: Proper Records Released: May 2005 Track list Matt Groening Introduction Moonlight On Vermont Floppy Boot Stomp Smithsonian Institute Blues (instrumental) Abba Zaba Circumstances On Tomorrow (instrumental) Steal Softly Thru Snow (instrumental) My Human Gets Me Blues (instrumental) Alice In Blunderland Hair Pie Grow Fins Veterans Day Poppy (instrumental) Mirror Man When It Blows Its Stacks Electricity Big Eyed Beans From Venus Album overview from Steve Froy The music was recorded live on tour and it features performances from the shows The Magic Band played in 2003 and 2004 at the Royal Festival Hall, The Garage, Edinburgh Liquid Room, and the ATPRead More →

CDs Back to the Front Seventeen crackling tracks recorded live in the studio as the band rehearse for their live shows. Recorded: 2003 Released: 2003 See full Back To The Front info 21st Century Mirror Men Sixteen Beefheart favourites recorded live on tour at various venues plus a live DVD as bonus Recorded: 2003/4 Released: 2005 See full 21st Century Mirror Men info Oxford, UK – June 6, 2005 Eighteen stunning performances from one of John French’s favourite shows Recorded: 2005 Released: 2011 See full Oxford, UK – June 6 2005 info DVD Live in Concert and Crow’s Milk Excellent quality dvd with footage ofRead More →

Catalogue number: ATPRCD7 Label: All Tomorrows Parties Released: July 2003 Track list My Human Gets Me Blues Click Clack Abba Zaba I’m Gonna Booglarize You Baby Sun Zoom Spark Alice In Blunderland Steal Softly Thru Snow Dropout Boogie Moonlight On Vermont Circumstances On Tomorrow Floppy Boot Stomp Hair Pie Nowadays A Woman’s Gotta Hit A Man When It Blows Its Stacks I Wanna Find A Woman… (Bonus Track) Sure Nuff n Yes I Do Album overview from Steve Froy Recorded in February 2003 at Paradoxx Sound Studios in Palmdale when John French, Mark Boston, Denny Walley and Gary Lucas were rehearsing for their series ofRead More →

Catalogue number: SC11212 Label: Sundazed Released: October 2011 Track list Gimme Dat Harp Boy Dropout Boogie Diddy Wah Diddy Low Yo Yo Stuff When It Blows Its Stacks Kandy Korn Hair Pie On Tomorrow (instrumental) China Pig Steal Softly Thru Snow (instrumental) Abba Zaba (instrumental) My Human Gets Me Blues (instrumental) Alice In Blunderland Electricity Evening Bell Floppy Boot Stomp Big Eyed Beans From Venus Mirror Man Sundazed blurb Famously forged in a cauldron of intense artistic pressure, Captain Beefheart’s Magic Band emerged as a group unlike any other in popular music. For this transcendental performance in Oxford, England on June 6th, 2005, founding memberRead More →

This show was available on the Magic Band’s Crow’s Milk DVD. Released in 2006 but now hard to find – second hand copies do turn up occasionally on amazon.co.uk. The film of the show was accompanied by the tour documentary entitled Crow’s Milk. Nearly twenty classic Beefheart compositions are rejuvenated on stage by five of the finest musicians who ever performed in The Magic Band. The playlist ranges from storming versions of crowd-pleasers such as ‘Moonlight On Vermont’ and ‘Big Eyed Beans From Venus’ to the intricate guitar work of ‘Evening Bell and the melodic ‘Alice In Blunderland’. Especially interesting are the instrumental versions of songs suchRead More →

Crow’s Milk is a 50 minute documentary narrated by John Peel and directed by Elaine Shepherd which covers: The Magic Band rehearsals in California in February 2003 recording of the CD ‘Back To The Front’ the feelings of the band members about the project rehearsals in London for the two 2003 UK concerts concert and backstage footage from Camber Sands and Shepherds Bush. It was released on DVD in 2006 but can be hard to find now. Second hand copies do turn up occasionally on amazon.co.uk. The documentary was accompanied by the complete film of the London Shepherds Bush Empire show on 7 April 2003.Read More →

He wrote Plastic Factory, now he sells credit cards – the careers of a Zig Zag Wanderer Second telephone interview between Herb Bermann and Derek Laskie, Tuesday 10th February 2004 (see part one) In The Malibu Times piece you mention that you’ve done other collaborations with music. I was wondering what these might be. Oh gosh, I meet once or twice a year with several songwriters and musicians and we write new material. Marty Grebb, an original Buckingham from Lindsey Buckingham’s group in the sixties, Marty’s a one-man band. Marty toured with Bonnie Raitt for twenty-five years. Marty and I collaborate at least once orRead More →

First telephone interview between Herb Bermann and Derek Laskie Tuesday 13th November 2003 I’d just like to start talking about your poetry, your recent reading for example. How did that go? It went very well. It was very well received. It was some fresh poetry that came to me. Beyond Baroque is the premiere venue for West Coast poets and poetry. It was a packed house and everyone showed up courteously in the thank-you line. So the kid’s still got it, his legs aren’t gone yet. The kid? Me, meaning me. I’m sixty-seven now. I think I’m eight or nine years senior to Don VanRead More →

Art answered a few questions via the Fire Party discussion list which I thought I’d include here for more fans to read. Derek Laskie asked: Was your stage headgear a trophy of some sort, or was it personally styled for you by DVV? I thought the panties would be both suggestive and practical. One ponytail hanging out each leg hole, and one out where the crotch would be. It also kept my hair from flapping around too much. It remains one of the most favorite stage costumes I used. No trophy. The first pair were from my girlfriend. Subsequent ones were store bought. Elliot RogersRead More →

At last, I’m pleased to present an interview with Art Tripp that I thought several times might never get finished. When I originally asked Art if he’d be willing to do this he was happy to do so – he said he ‘an open book’ and I could ask what I wanted. Then, before I could begin asking any questions Art and his partner Kitty were forced to evacuate their home in Gulfport when Hurricane Katrina hit. Luckily, they were safe and unharmed but their home and business premises suffered wind damage although it did escape any flooding. I, of course, put the interview onRead More →

In 1984 Don and I had renewed our friendship for many years in north California after we’d both left the music biz. Our homes were only about a mile apart. He came to my office periodically for chiropractic treatment, and we’d also get together frequently just for laughs. In the late 1980’s he seemed to be developing some neurological symptoms which were resistant to cure from chiropractic adjustments. I told Don and Jan that he needed a consultation with a neurologist. He refused to go, and Jan was unable to convince him. Around 1992 he and I had a falling out. As a result, IRead More →