Hmmm… is this the very best surviving clip of Captain Beefheart and The Magic Band? I think it could be.

Copies of this amazing footage have circulated for many years amongst collectors but the quality has not been the best. Now that Reelin In The Years have gained ownership of the film they have made it available but you have to put up with their watermark throughout … it’s definitely worth it for the superior quality:

Recorded on 15 January 1971 at WABX Studio, directed by Chuck Reti. (Incorrectly dated on the video).

Available on the enhanced disc of Grow Fins but not in such good quality.

Track list

  • When Big Joan Sets Up
  • Woe Is Uh Me Bop
  • Bellerin’ Plain

Line up

  • Don Van Vliet
  • Bill Harkleroad
  • Mark Boston
  • Elliot Ingber
  • Art Tripp
  • John French


  1. Absolutely, for my money this is definitely the best film footage of Don and the guys that I’ve ever seen. And thanks to the freaks at Zappateers I’ve seen quite a bit. Just beautiful stuff here, that makes today’s “alternative” music look/sound as lame as it really is. Miss you, Don. To me, you were the best.

  2. This is sublime. How can such apparent cacophony produce an inner state of peace? By magic of course (of course).

  3. At the finale…
    the following tone is a reference tone
    recorded at our operating level.

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