Hats were an important part of the appearance of Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band. There were probably dozens of hats worn on stage and in photo-shoots over the years. Don Van Vliet even named the guitarist Richard Snyder after a hat. The most famous hat, the one Don wore on the cover of Trout Mask Replica, was allegedly last seen in the possession of a Jethro Tull band member.
Even today, Magic Band guitarist, Beefheart manager, and reader of Beefheart poetry, Gary Lucas, is rarely seen on stage without a hat.
In a rare moment of bare-headedness Gary has agreed to donate his hat to the winner of an auction whose proceeds will go to ‘People for the American Way’. Among other celebrities who have donated items to be auctioned for this cause are Patti Smith, Ry Cooder, Coldplay, Radiohead, Devendra Banhart, New Order, Robert Rauschenberg, Alec Baldwin, Randy Newman, Cindy Sherman, The Offspring, William Wegman and Robin Williams.
Does anyone know the make/model of the hat that was worn on the Ice Cream For Crow video shoot?
I’ve been trying to find out for ages but without success…
I think that’s a Fedora. Not so sure about the model in particular, but the shape is tipical of Fedora’s hats.
Yes, you’re right about the Trout Mask hat. Since about 1975 it’s been in the possession of my father Jeffrey Hammond, who played bass in Tull and who was a good friend of Don. The hat sat on top of the cold water tank in our attic for about 25 years but the last time I saw it, it was still in pretty good condition!
Hi Ed, any chance your father is looking to sell the hat?? Would love to have on proper display
Tha’s an amazing story and artefact ED! <3