Jimmy Carl Black benefit and Jamie Cohen

Jimmy Carl Black Benefit Concerts

A benefit concert for former Mother of Invention and Magic Band member Jimmy Carl Black has been arranged for November 9 at Bridge House in London. Jimmy recently underwent an operation for lung cancer in Germany and the proceeds from this event will go towards his expenses. Among those appearing will be Zappa and Beefheart cover band The Muffin Men and Zappacademic writer Ben Watson. Tickets cost £20.

The Muffin Men are contributing to several other JCB benefit gigs. The first of these is Stockport For Jimmy – Indian Aid on Sunday October 26, 4-8pm, Bakers Vaults, on the Market in Stockport. Like A Concert For Jimmy, this gig was approved and sanctioned by Jimmy personally. Tickets are £10, limited to 100. Contact arnie.furniss@hotmail.co.uk
More information from The Idiot Bastard (who also lists Jimmy Carl Black CDs for sale).

Jamie Cohen

Jamie Cohen, a popular music industry mover and shaker, artist, performer and poet suffered a heart attack and died on September 11. He was 55.

As a student at Syracuse University in 1975 Jamie encountered Don Van Vliet at a press conference given by Frank Zappa to promote the Bongo Fury tour. Jamie’s verbal exchange with Don can be heard at Gary Lucas’ website.

Jamie’s interest in the work of Don Van Vliet continued throughout his life. At his MySpace page Jamie wrote, “Don and I have a very bizarre relationship going back to the mid 70’s, But that my friends is another story.”

Jamie’s reading of the Don Van Vliet poem Hollow Smoke was one of the highlights of Beefheart Night at the Knit in April. According to his partner Donna Love, Jamie was quite proud of his reading, and also proud that his reading made Dusty Wright’s cut for the vidcast at Culture Catch.

A biography of Jamie appears at Charles Blass’s blog and an obituary can be read at The Sante Fe Reporter


  1. Well I wonder if it would be possible to get French’s book here in Spain…

  2. Hello all,

    I just wanted to leave a note about buying stuff to help pay for Jimmy Carl Black’s medication.

    As Derek has pointed out elsewhere, you can get stuff from:


    I hope that we can all give that great musician a helping hand.

    Please note, though, that if you buy stuff that comes to more than £18 then you can get hit for VAT. This is not so bad – I bought a shit hot Jimmy Carl Black denim shirt which attracted VAT of £3.31 – but the Royal Mail then charges £8 on top of it.

    So what I’m suggesting is that we all buy loads of stuff for Jimmy, but if the total nears £18, then do a couple of orders so that more of your money gets to the Indian of the group.

    I like post offices, and I deplore that fact that whenever I’m out of London, if I’m ever in a post office, it usually has a poster up saying that it will be closing soon. But I’d prefer that most of my hard-earned goes to Jimmmy and not the Postmaster General.

    Lonesome Cowboy Vin.

  3. prayers to JAMIE COHEN
    and CARL BLACK
    Love from Roseanna M Rios Leigh

  4. A poem that was inspired by the style of Don Van Vliet’s lyrics. If I could but sing like that I’d be inclined to try. Anyway, here it is for him to read I hope, and if I could sing itas he’d sing it I would of sung it as it’s something I feel’d sound fine sung.
    Rogues Gallery (by “ghost writer” Maude Lin)*.
    (Copyright:2009,Ivan Paul Vella)
    Beyond the pylons lie the islands of the Hesperides
    Capped by chevrons and cloud eyebrows
    Leaving the suburbs, we step off the curbs
    Past pawn Alice high on a billboard

    Where sentinel andirons claw little carrier pigeons
    Posts flung down a thousand miles, their beaks jut
    Awash and lost in the eddies of the backstreets, but
    They still beckon and wave back through the cosmos

    Who’d know, who’d seek their whereabouts now
    In the far-off haze…between here and nowhere
    Stretched out of sight ’till out of mind
    From trans cerebral townships to the cirro-stratus plains

    Youths reflecting innocence in the passing sky
    Patched with trapeziums, and thatched with rickety crowns
    Of road wranglers, hurtle guileless down those miles
    And smile past gauntlets of frowning towns

    Wheatfields framed in their kinky free hair
    Warped harp strings zing ominously in the howling
    Wires all a glitter in the glow of sodium vapour lights
    Porcelain obscurio earrings dangling.

    Rumbling road freights rock old tavern signs
    As the big rigs roll on from boondocks to burgs
    Past sticks, and runes and whistle-stops
    And the tipsy turvy titans in decline

    In long untidy lines of dragons teeth scattered
    All along a fools highway grinning
    Ear to ear they lean there, awry as all history
    Stoic guardians of the long collonade

    Barge boards leering, Cadmus heads abandoned and
    Tattoed with a lightning bolt, stretch necks
    Raised to the call of stark raving matter, and sneer
    All along the two-lane, four lane, insane blacktop

    A veritable rogues gallery
    Skeletons of the sword fighting dead
    Their ugly mugs form mile upon mile
    Of far flung infantry marching to infinity

    Broken lines meander, nightsticks flicker
    Crows rise up cawing and flap across the cornfields
    To haphazard ikibanas teetering in the dusk
    Where endless kilometers roll in, and jumble over milestones

    As shadows play off lantern jaws at crossroads
    Looms a weft of fences, maroon and purple dyed
    Tan-grams fading angles on sunsets unsolved rubrics,
    Painters pallet smears wisdoms palace.

    Wine burnt lips that once quaffed a goblet
    Sipped a slice of sickle moon, and chasers chased
    Down bloody mary martini miles unravelling
    Spill into flared hamlet outskirts.

    (written by ghost writer Maude Lin).
    Copyright: 2009, Ivan Paul Vella.
    *All credit to Maude Lin, yet all cash owed or earned through
    publication or use of this intellectual property due to Ivan Paul Vella.
    *Note: Maude Lin is thought to be a descendant of the Chinese and
    Irish railroad workers who helped span the Union Pacific across
    the United states (circa 1850-60), in other words a true colonial star.
    Yours sincerely Ivan Paul Vella

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