On Friday November 13th 1970 Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band were scheduled to play a live show at the Berkeley Community Theatre in Berkeley, California. The supporting act for the show was to be the avant garde musical theatre troupe The Cockettes, who usually performed in drag. The Cockettes had planned to premiere their brand new show Pearls Over Shanghai. However, the show was cancelled completely after Don Van Vliet (Captain Beefheart) had gone to see the troupe beforehand and was not impressed with what he saw, as recounted in this link: https://www.beatbooks.com/pages/books/38991/pearls-over-shanghai (sadly the original info on this link has disappeared) Pearls Over
In late 1970 Bob Chorush recorded this lengthy interview with Don. It formed the basis for an article by Bob that was published in Coast Vol. 12 #4 April 1971. A few years ago Bob sent me his original tapes of the interview. They have since escaped into the wild
These photographs were all taken by George Bullfrog in the summer of 1970 at a Magic Band show in Albuquerque, and he has kindly given us permission to feature them here. Many thanks to George for these fantastic photographs of the Captain in action. (c) George Bullfrog, 1970 If you are interested in purchasing a print of any or all of these pictures then please contact George at email@example.com for details.
Well this is pretty special. A television advertisement was made, shown, audiences were angered and then it was banned. As Ry Cooder comments in The Artist Formerly Known As Captain Beefheart, nowadays it could be an ad for toothpaste. Read the full story: Metromedia Refuses To Air Captain Beefheart TV Commercial – Charges Album Title ‘Obcsene’
Recording details Date – Summer 1970 Studio – United Recording Corp., Sunset Boulevard, Hollywood Producer – Don van Vliet Engineer – Phil Schier Musicians Don van Vliet – vocals, harmonica, sax Bill Harkleroad – guitar Art Tripp – drums, marimba, broom Mark Boston – bass John French – drums Track list Lick My Decals Off, Baby Doctor Dark I Love You, You Big Dummy Peon Bellerin’ Plain Woe-is-uh-Me-Bop Japan in a Dishpan I Wanna Find a Woman That’ll Hold My Big Toe Till I Have To Go Petrified Forest One Red Rose That I Mean The Buggy Boogie Woogie The Smithsonian Institute Blues (or the
“Uh oh, the phone,” Captain Beefheart mumbled as he placed his tarnished soprano saxophone in its case. “I have to answer the telephone.” It was a very peculiar thing to say. The phone had not rung. Beefheart walked quickly from his place by the upright piano across the dimly lit living room to where the telephone lay. He waited. After ten seconds of stony silence it finally rang. None of the half dozen or so persons in the room seemed at all surprised by what had just happened. In the world of Captain Beefheart, the extraordinary is the rule. At age 29, Captain Beefheart, also