Even more treats at The Knit

Beefheart Night at The Knit, the April 9th tribute to Captain Beefheart in New York, promises to have even more treats and surprises than we listed at Up Sifter here on February 23rd.

There are so many more treats and surprises in fact, that Fast ‘N’ Bulbous: The Captain Beefheart Project’s performance of Don Van Vliet compositions has been put back from 10.00 to 11.00 to fit them all in. Fast ‘N’ Bulbous, incidentally, will be previewing some arrangements from a planned second CD, as well as playing material from their first CD.

Among the additional speakers to have been added to the already burgeoning line-up are:

Giorgio Gomelsky (Yardbirds producer and the Stones first manager) will reminisce (he knew both Don and Zappa).

Fred Perry, who was pictured on the “Safe as Milk” inner sleeve coming out of the baby’s right ear dressed in shades and a pilot’s helmet, will appear. His brother Richard was the producer of the album. It was Fred who first introduced the schoolboy Gary Lucas to the name of Captain Beefheart.

Roswell Rudd will now play a solo trombone tribute in lieu of reading a poem or reminiscence, which will be a special treat for jazz fans.

David Lynch, the film director, has sent a tape of himself reading Pena, in the Trout Mask Replica style. Gary Lucas tells me that this sounds “really cool”.

An addition to the playlist of unreleased Captain Beefheart recordings may be a preview of part of a set of recently discovered master tapes which has been licensed for release as a double LP later this year. This material consists of previously unheard out-takes from the Mirror Man sessions. It was for this album that I requested photographs at Up Sifter back in January. As soon as we receive more definite information about this release we’ll be posting it here. Meanwhile, Beefheart Night at The Knit offers the best chance to hear some of this album now, as I understand that the record company has sent along an advance copy.

Lastly, it is hoped that a very special guest will be joining the proceedings at some late hour, after Fast ‘N’ Bulbous’s performance.

The evening will be recorded by Dusty Wright from Culture Catch, who will film and cover the event and post a podcast about it on his website a few days after the event.

Beefheart Night at The Knit, Wednesday 9th April at The Knitting Factory Main Space, 74 Leonard Street, New York City.


  1. Thanks for the info. I won’t be able to make it, but the evening sounds like fun.

  2. I’ve just heard that there will be reproductions of about 100 of Don Van Vliet’s paintings and drawings projected onto a large screen during the evening.

    I’m also sorry not to be able to make it, but I’m looking forward to Culture Catch’s podcast of the event.

  3. Hi Don,

    I watched your David Letterman appearances on YouTube the other night.

    I was painting with Rick Muto and John Burreli last Monday (figure painting) and we were talking about the internet and my blog, etc. John said he had Captain Beefheart music and listen to it every now and then.

    It is great to see how other van Vliet’s have been successful. Rock on my friend!

    Gordon van Vliet in Rochester, NY

  4. I can’t believe I missed this! I completely missed out on any news of it…guess I hadn’t checked in on the UpSifter in quite a while. Seriously, looking at the pics of Robyn and Gary together…I feel crushed. I was at the 60th b-day Beefheart event the Knit held several years back, and it was a fantastic night. Have any reviews or details on the evening been posted anywhere?


  5. and this on Gary Lucas blog
    “Beefheart Night at the Knit”, a Pick of the Week in both the New Yorker magazine and the Village Voice, a special gala event featuring the return of Fast ‘n Bulbous, who were all in town (my co-leader Phillip Johnston flying in from Sydney Australia for this) to record our second album for Cuneiform–plus a cast of 1000’s (including many many beautiful Van Vliet paintings and drawings courtesy of Beefheart.com, which were projected in all their grandiloquence on a large screen throughout the poetry readings and side-splitting and poignant reminiscences by Danny Fields, Alan Vega, Hal Willner, Kurt Loder, Lee Ranaldo, Giorgio Gomelsky, Brainpang a/k/a Peter Warner, Mike Edison, Glenn Kenny, David Lynch remotely, Darryl Read by way of London, Felice Rosser from Faith, Billy Altman, Jamie Cohen, Dusty Wright who also filmed much of the event–a podcast should air on his culturecatch.com webzine in a couple weeks)…I curated the night as a conscious-raising exercise to call attention once again to this sadly still very much overlooked American visionary genius, my former employer and mentor Don Van Vliet…

    The band played two white-hot sets, debuting new renditions of Beefheart classics such as “Woe is a Me Bop” and old favorites (an incandescent “Kandy Korn”)…and at 12:30am the overflow crowd was treated to a surprise appearance by Robyn Hitchcock, who sat in as a duo with me playing National steel on “Sure ‘Nuff ‘n Yes I Do”, “China Pig”, and “Click Clack” (Robyn hightailed it downtown to join our party after his gig with the aforementioned Nick Lowe uptown, which is why he was a surprise guest, we couldn’t advertise his appearance! He was bloody magnificent too…)

  6. and here is David Lynch reading Pena

    Thanks alan b – I’ll soon be posting all these links (and more) by way of a report about the evening.

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