Ever since Don started complaining about the ‘bromo seltzer’ that had been added to the Strictly Personal album fans have wondered what it would have sounded like without Bob Krasnow’s pyschedelicized production. Surely the pristine untreated master tapes were tucked away in storage somewhere people thought. Not so. Gary Marker said that it was highly unlikely because Krasnow had used the master copy for all the phasing etc. he had added to the album’s sound which meant the original raw recording of the band was lost. Over the years various collections of alternate versions of many of the Strictly Personal songs have turned up andRead More →

IT #41, 4 – 17 October 1968 From John Peel’s ‘Perfumed Garden’ column in the legendary sixties ‘hippy’ newspaper IT (International Times). This review of Strictly Personal takes up half of the column space and appears to be based on an acetate version given to him by Beefheart himself – this would have been during the band’s tour of the UK in July 1968.  Other bands mentioned by Peel after this review included Duster Bennett, MC5, Principal Edwards Magic Theatre, The Liverpool Scene, Bridget St John and Brian Jones. The autumnal air is heavy with promise – a new Beefheart LP is on the way.Read More →

The front cover of Strictly Personal was, at the time, quite unusual although it didn’t really hint at the strangeness that lay within those vinyl grooves. However, if you opened up the gatefold sleeve you were confronted head-on with the weirdness that was Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band even if he did say himself that “I may be hungry but I sure ain’t weird”. This certainly wasn’t your usual band photo call, no cheesy smiles, no macho posturing and no dodgy hairdos. Have you ever wondered who was who in that iconic photograph by Guy Webster? Well, we can tell you. Thanks to JerryRead More →

The late Gary Marker, a jazz and session bassist at the time, was a close associate of Don Van Vliet during the 1960s. He produced some demos for the band, as well as early versions of some of the Safe As Milk songs. He also played bass on Moonlight  on Vermont and Veteran’s Day Poppy on Trout Mask Replica. Gary often graced the online forums devoted to chat about Beefheart where he responded to questions and comments freely and extravagantly in his own inimitable way. Here are some of his posts concerning the Strictly Personal album. In 2001 Gary was asked about the lines “Cheese inRead More →

On 27 January 1968 Captain Beefheart and The Magic Band performed on the beach at Cannes, France, in front of the Martinez Hotel. They were in Cannes to perform at the MIDEM music festival. The video of Electricity and Sure ‘Nuff ‘N Yes I Do is a fantastic document of a tight band on the rise: This video can be found on the enhanced disc included with Grow Fins (Rarities 1965-1982) Band members Jeff Cotton Jerry Handley Don Van Vliet John French Alex St. Clair Snouffer Photographs The above photo was taken by photographer Herman Selleslags. Other shots were features on the 1970 French reissueRead More →

Recording details Date – late 1968 and March/April 1969 Studio – Sunset Sound, Hollywood; Whitney Studios, Glendale Producer – Frank Zappa Engineer – Dick Kunc Musicians Don Van Vliet Bill Harkleroad Jeff Cotton John French Mark Boston Victor Hayden Gary Marker Doug Moon Many of the musicians on this album had a poem written for / about them by Don Van Vliet. View Leach’s Listing for a thorough guide to who did what on Trout Mask Replica. Track list Frownland The Dust Blows Forward ‘N The Dust Blows Back Dachau Blues Ella Guru Hair Pie: Bake 1 Moonlight on Vermont Pachuco Cadaver Bills Corpse SweetRead More →

Recording details: Date – 25 April to 2 May 1968 Studio – Sunset Sound, Hollywood Producer – Bob Krasnow Engineer – Gene Shiveley, Bill Lazerus Musicians: Don Van Vliet – vocals, harmonica, electric flour sifter Alex St Clair Snouffer – guitar, backing vocals Jeff Cotton – guitar, backing vocals Jerry Handley – bass, backing vocals John French – drums, backing vocals Track list Ah Feel Like Ahcid Safe As Milk Trust Us Son of Mirror Man – Mere Man On Tomorrow Beatle Bones and Smokin’ Stones Gimme Dat Harp Boy Kandy Korn Myths and legends According to legend the album was ruined by producer BobRead More →

Refusal of leave to land report

On the 18th January 1968, The Magic Band were involved in a bizarre and humorous incident which resulted in their being refused entry to the UK and deported to Hanover. Here is the cover sheet and text of the official report – the text originally came from the Edinburgh Review no. 86. Refusal of Leave to Land (Remarks) Mr VLIET was detained in the approved detention quarters in the Queen’s Building from 1230 hours until 1700 hours. He had previously remained in the Arrivals Hall. Mr VLIET is the leader of an american “pop group” known as Captain Beefheart’s Magic Band, which specialises in so-calledRead More →

Still of the Trout House from The Artist Formerly Known As Captain Beefheart

The Woodland Hills house on Ensenada Drive was the venue for the Magic Band’s endless rehearsals of Trout Mask Replica, and also where the Trout Mask Sessions on Grow Fins were recorded. Its inclusion at the Radar Station is a must! So many legendary stories surround this magical-looking building, which appeared to have been left to decay. Then in 2006 it was put up for sale, and in 2010 as well. Angel’s photographs of her & Chris’ trip to the Trout House John French’s response to these photographs … Stills of the Trout House from The Artist Formerly Known As Captain Beefheart See also: ConfluenceRead More →