Arthur Dyer Tripp III grew up in Pittsburgh, he was a drum major at Mt Lebanon High School and in 1962 became percussionist for the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. After moving to New York he met up with Frank Zappa and joined the Mothers of Invention. When John French left the Magic Band in 1969 Art was asked to join as drummer. (Unintentionally he had played on Trout Mask Replica when Zappa used a Mothers track as backing to ‘The Blimp’). Drumbo returned to help out on the Lick My Decals Off Baby album which enabled Beefheart to make use of Art’s skills on the marimbaRead More →

Magic Band Members: Mark Boston, John French, Bill Harkleroad, John Thomas, Art Tripp Is is a duck ? … is it a train? No, it’s the Magic Band after they left Beefheart in 1974. Bill Harkleroad (aka Zoot Horn Rollo) and bassist Mark Boston (aka Rockette Morton) decided to form their own band. John French joined on vocals and drums and John Thomas, who’d been with French in Rattlesnake & Eggs, played keyboards. Unfortunately only six demo songs were recorded with this line-up before French got the call to rejoin the Magic Band. Jethro Tull’s Ian Anderson, a Magic Band fan and friend of MarkRead More →

Art answered a few questions via the Fire Party discussion list which I thought I’d include here for more fans to read. Derek Laskie asked: Was your stage headgear a trophy of some sort, or was it personally styled for you by DVV? I thought the panties would be both suggestive and practical. One ponytail hanging out each leg hole, and one out where the crotch would be. It also kept my hair from flapping around too much. It remains one of the most favorite stage costumes I used. No trophy. The first pair were from my girlfriend. Subsequent ones were store bought. Elliot RogersRead More →

At last, I’m pleased to present an interview with Art Tripp that I thought several times might never get finished. When I originally asked Art if he’d be willing to do this he was happy to do so – he said he ‘an open book’ and I could ask what I wanted. Then, before I could begin asking any questions Art and his partner Kitty were forced to evacuate their home in Gulfport when Hurricane Katrina hit. Luckily, they were safe and unharmed but their home and business premises suffered wind damage although it did escape any flooding. I, of course, put the interview onRead More →

[alert_box type=”info”]March 2002, exclusive to beefheart.com[/alert_box] My first meeting with Don Van Vliet–whom I’ll just refer to as Beefheart–came on a rainy night about 12 hours before his wedding. It was November 1969; I was 19 years old. I was at my parent’s home in Northridge, California when the phone rang about 9:30 p.m. I thought it was my girlfriend whose house I had left an hour before. But it was my friend, Jan Jenkins. Jan had just been in a traffic accident while driving alone in Beefheart’s Volvo. She was not injured, but the Volvo had been towed. She needed a lift back toRead More →

In 1984 Don and I had renewed our friendship for many years in north California after we’d both left the music biz. Our homes were only about a mile apart. He came to my office periodically for chiropractic treatment, and we’d also get together frequently just for laughs. In the late 1980’s he seemed to be developing some neurological symptoms which were resistant to cure from chiropractic adjustments. I told Don and Jan that he needed a consultation with a neurologist. He refused to go, and Jan was unable to convince him. Around 1992 he and I had a falling out. As a result, IRead More →

Jimmy Carl Black died this weekend. He was seventy years old. Art Tripp, one of the few other musicians to have played with both Captain Beefheart and Frank Zappa, sent the following message: I hardly know what to say about the demise of the great Jimmy Carl Black. I Emailed Roy Estrada that the world just won’t seem the same without The Indian. He was one of those rare guys who lit up the whole room when he walked in. When you met Jim you liked him; and he was your friend for life. Jim was basically a good ole Texas boy with a littleRead More →