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.
That Petrol Emotion Hot Head 1988 UK 12″ Cellophane / Think of a Woman / Hot Head on Virgin Records VST 1116 see also Fast ‘n’ Bulbous Tribute Album Zig Zag Wanderer 1985 UK 12″ Keen / A Great Depression on a Slum Night / Zig Zag Wanderer on Pink Records PINKY 13T The Three Johns Moonlight on Vermont 1988 UK vinyl The Death of Everything on Trance Records 1988 UK CD The Death of Everything on Line Records TCDD 9-00671 One of the Johns was Jon Langford, founder of Leeds punk legend The Mekons, who de-camped to Chicago and are still performing. Another Beefheart connection is that he played with
Sacred Cowboys Click Clack 2008 Australia CD Nailed to the Cross 1982-85 on Savage Beat/Loaded Skull Discs SB/LSD001 This track was only released as part of this 2CD retrospective but was recorded back in 1983 as part of a live set played at the Seaview Ballroom and broadcast on radio The Sacred Cowboys played a tough rock tinged with country and were part of the healthy Aussie scene that also included The Scientists and The Beasts of Bourbon. Satantango Clear Spot 2004 Italian CD Mr Bore on Wallace Records wallace 53 Included on as this CD as track 0, a pre-gap hidden track
Native & Silencers ZigZag Wanderer 1995 French CD Duos Taratata on Barclay 529509-2 A compilation album of material played on the French TV show ‘Taratata’. It looks like bands were encouraged to play together hence the ‘duos’ part of the album title. The song is actually listed as ‘Zig Zag’. Native is a French soul and funk band, they are two French black sisters Laura and Chris Mayne and The Silencers is a Scottish rock band. This was recorded on February 15th, 1995 and broadcast on March 24th, 1995 on French second channel. You can see a video of this on www.mytaratata.com Thanks to Daniel Mercurin for extra information about this one. Nectarine
Mark Lanegan Band Clear Spot 2003 US CDEP Here Comes That Weird Chill (Methamphetamine Blues, Extras & Oddities) on Beggars Banquet Records Ex-Screaming Trees and Queens Of The Stone Age frontman, Mark Lanegan has put his own band together. Originally intended as a single from the album this release has grown into an 8 track EP of session out-takes that includes a version of ‘Clear Spot’. Thanks to Dave Crunelle for telling me about this one. Andrew Lange Sure Nuff ‘n’ Yes I Do 2008 live (unreleased) Andrew Lange does a fine energetic one-man-band version, playing guitar, bass drum, snare drum and high-hat. It’s on Youtube if you want to take a look.
Alvin Youngblood Hart Ice Rose 1998 US CD Territory on Hannibal HNCD1431 In an interview with Down Beat magazine (September 2003) Hart said:- Beefheart is a major inspiration. Maybe a lot of people don’t get it, but I feel like I get it. He’s a cartoon character, just like Rocky & Bullwinkle. He’s part Howlin’ Wolf and part Ornette Coleman. It just “always seems to come out right”. Jesse Hartley Drop Out Boogie 2016 UK CD Extraordinary Renditions on Deek Recordings Released as part of an oddball various artists covers compilation this is the only Beefheart cover. It’s best listened to whilst watching the very inventive
Terry Edwards & The Scapegoats Ice Cream For Crow 2000 UK 7″ Ice Cream For Crow/ Tailgating on Damaged Goods Records DAMGOOD146 2000 UK CD Large Door on Damaged Goods Records DG148 Saxophone player honks his way through ‘Ice Cream For Crow’ in a sort of punk/rockabilly style on a limited edition (500 copies) yellow vinyl. Manically good fun. Erase Errata Clear Spot date? German 7″ vinyl on Tomlab TOM U/103 Erik 4-A & Friends Frying Pan (instrumental) 2001 US CD Hold The Vocals. A tribute to the instrumental hits of the 50s 60s 70s on Go-Kustom Records GKR008-2 An interesting album this one but I can’t help thinking that
The 012 Blabber ‘n’ Smoke 1981 UK tape White Patterns On Her Dress on Funky Weird Tapes FW001 19?? UK vinyl Various Artists : We Couldn’t Agree On A Title on ICR001 Funky Weird produced a series of deliberately lo-fi (before the term was used) cheaply recorded tracks and released them on cassette only. This is probably the first cover version of Blabber ‘n’ Smoke attempted. It’s not bad considering the guitars and drums are being played in what seems to be an attempt at out of tune punk version of the ‘Trout Mask’ sound. The compilation album is of artists who recorded at London’s Street Level studio. Thanks to Arild Stromsvag for
“That’s right, The Mascara Snake!” The Radar Station was saddened to hear that Victor Hayden (aka The Mascara Snake) had died on 7th December 2018. His death was announced by Pamela Des Barres on her Facebook page. She had known Victor since high school and called him her ‘soulmate’. In recent years she had acted as agent for his artwork. However, she gave no details about the cause of his death but Steve Brewster contacted us to tell us the tragic news that Victor had been hit by a van ten days ago and never recovered. Victor was Don Van Vliet’s cousin. During the late
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 and
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.
The front cover of Strictly Personal was, at the time, quite unusual although it didn’t really hint at the strangeness that lay within those vinyl grooves. However, if you opened up the gatefold sleeve you were confronted head-on with the weirdness that was Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band even if he did say himself that “I may be hungry but I sure ain’t weird”. This certainly wasn’t your usual band photo call, no cheesy smiles, no macho posturing and no dodgy hairdos. Have you ever wondered who was who in that iconic photograph by Guy Webster? Well, we can tell you. Thanks to Jerry
The late Gary Marker, a jazz and session bassist at the time, was a close associate of Don Van Vliet during the 1960s. He produced some demos for the band, as well as early versions of some of the Safe As Milk songs. He also played bass on Moonlight on Vermont and Veteran’s Day Poppy on Trout Mask Replica. Gary often graced the online forums devoted to chat about Beefheart where he responded to questions and comments freely and extravagantly in his own inimitable way. Here are some of his posts concerning the Strictly Personal album. In 2001 Gary was asked about the lines “Cheese in
This release, Vault Package #36, by Jack White’s Third Man Records has caused a bit of a buzz amongst fans not least because of the way it had to be pre-ordered on subscription via the label’s website and at $60 it was not cheap. Understandably the cost put many people off but plenty more battled with the website and signed up for it. Third Man Records blurb: In full partnership with the Zappa Family Trust and to celebrate the relaunch of the seminal Bizarre label imprint, Third Man Records is proud to announce its 36th Vault package focused squarely on Captain Beefheart and the Magic
(Over The Edge Radio Show & Cassette Only Release) Radio Voices Series Volume Three Ammunition Press (distributed by Beat Books, Berkeley, California) 1995 Contents of Booklet Jack Lantern Eyelid (poem) A Metabiography of Don Van Vliet, Hair Pie, Bake One Doctor Dark Corner (North) BeefQuest (quiz) Doctor Dark’s Penances for Wrong or Right Answers A Metabiography of Don Van Vliet, Hair Pie, Bake Two Doctor Dark Corner (South) Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band (poem) Doctor Dark Corner (East) Beef Art (Crosley Bendix and Doctor Sigmund Void discussion) New Work (poem) A Metabiography of Don Van Vliet, Hair Pie, Bake Three The D.T.’s (poem) Source
Find out who has recorded which of Don’s songs through this list arranged by the song title. If you prefer you can return to the list arranged by artist 25th Century Quaker – Matthew Lewis _________________________ A carrot is as close – Black Gang Brokeback Fast ‘n’ Bulbous The Fourfathers Benjamin Horrendous Henry Kaiser Eli Litwin Gary Lucas Meridian Arts Ensemble Rosa Ensemble & Hans Dagelet Swedish Tribute Band _________________________ Abba Zaba – Azalia Snail Big Eyed Beans From Venus Built To Spill Fast ‘n’ Bulbous John French Lisa Kelly Radio I Ching SF Rock Project Voices of Africa _________________________ Alice In Blunderland –
Find out who has recorded which of Don’s songs through this list arranged by the artist’s name. If you prefer you can return to the list arranged by song title The 012 – Blabber ‘n’ Smoke 25 Suaves – Dachau Blues A Warm Palindrome – Orange Claw Hammer The Android Trio – Steal Softly Thru Snow Nel Aspinal – Sugar ‘n’ Spikes Azalia Snail – Abba Zaba Baby Woodrose – Dropout Boogie The Balancing Act – Zig Zag Wanderer Les Bandits du Vidourle – Frying Pan The Barely Works – Tropical Hot Dog Night Tom Barman & Guy Van Nueten – Harry Irene Basketcase –
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