Jaws dropped across a nation on December 11th when the B-word was used on American prime-time television. Captain Beefheart had become famous for a moment and fans rushed to write to internet discussion groups with the unlikely news. The cause of the excitement? A $1200 question in the game show Jeopardy, “Captain Beefheart is said to have a range of 4.5 of these.”
If you don’t know the answer, go to the Jeopardy Archive here and point your mouse at the appropriate square in Double Jeopardy! Round The Big O.
Bob wrote in from Boulder to mention that he’d spotted former Magic Band and Red Hot Chili Pepper drummer Cliff Martinez talking about his time with Beefheart and Beefheart’s unique approach to sounds and music. This is part of the extra material on the double Criterion Region 1 dvd set of Steven Soderbergh’s film Traffic for which Cliff Martinez scored the music. Bob points out that the only version of the dvd which he knows to contain this extra material is this one from Amazon. The version I found did not have it. There are short articles about Cliff Martinez here and here.
Hard Workin’ Man
‘Hard Workin’ Man: The Jack Nitzsche Story Volume 2′ is a CD released last year by Ace Records which contains the Captain Beefheart track Hard Workin’ Man. Ace Records are being rather coy about which version of the song is included in the compliation. Does it contain the F-word, or doesn’t it? Please let us know.
Update 4th January 2007 – Ace Records sent the answer in a mail today, “Our one is the regular version, without swearing.”
Yet more video
I’ve been ploughing through the ‘beefheart’ tags at YouTube and have put together this short list of video which does not feature Captain Beefheart but which has some relationship to his music. I hope you enjoy it. Feel free to add your own favourites in the comments section below.
Cadwalader slides, Lewis Taylor sings Ella Guru [now removed], John Power plugs his “Beefheart bass“, an old fart plays, Pablo’s Bike sounds like a car, a drum ‘n brass When I See Mommy, I Feel Like A Mummy from Seventh Chapter in Australia – they also perform Ice Rose, Suction Prints and Dropout Boogie which by no coincidence were previously performed by Meridian Arts Ensemble who provided the arrangements. Lastly, thanks again to GrizzlyBlues who captured some moments from the very last Magic Band concert last year. He’s recently added what seems to be his own version of Upon the My-O-My to his YouTube page.
A trip to the zoo
The young Don Vliet was a frequent visitor to Griffith Park Zoo, a place where he honed his sculpting skills in front of television cameras. Pierre Antaya has found an old copy of Popular Mechanics from 1939, just a couple of years before Don was born, which gives a guided tour of Griffith Park Zoo at dinner time. Beefheart was on the menu.