[alert_box type=”info”]This review first appeared in the May 1999 edition of The Wire and was written by Byron Coley. Many thanks to Byron for his permission to reproduce it here, and for sending it along.[/alert_box] Although it was their third released album, Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band arrived with 1969’s sprawling Trout Mask Replica. The ability to appreciate its seemingly random, all-but-impenetrable 2LP length seemed beyond the ken of all but the most hardcore weirdos. Those who were able to decode Trout Mask felt that they had passed a grueling test. Few who were able to successfully complete this mission could resist the impulseRead More →

[alert_box type=”info”]This article was taken from the April 1998 edition of Spin. Not even mentioning Beefheart, it is a general piece about the releases of the record label Revenant, who released the Captain Beefheart rarities box set ‘Grow Fins’.[/alert_box] Since Smithsonian Folkways’ ballyhooed reissue of Harry Smith’s Anthology of American Folk Music, many of our world’s duller knobs seem to have been reborn as experts in roots music. So it’s a safe bet that spasms of delight will greet the latest release on avant-acoustic guitarist John Fahey’s label Revenant: Dock Boggs’ Country Blues (RVN 205), which collects the complete early (circa 1927-29) recordings by theRead More →

[alert_box type=”info”]This interview is from the January 1979 edition of the New York Rocker. The informal chat covers topics such as New Wave, cleanliness, and Don’s selling of a vacuum cleaner to Aldous Huxley.[/alert_box] The stars are matter. We’re matter. What’s the diff, Zoot? Don Van Vliet, aka Captain Beefheart, has emerged after six years of semi-retirement with a great album. Since the release of Clear Spot in late ’72, offerings from the Beefheart camp have been both infrequent and less than heartening. Even Van Vliet dismisses outright the two muffed Mercury albums, Unconditionally Guaranteed and Bluejeans and Moonbeams, and apart from guest shots onRead More →

Anton Corbijn portrait of Don Van Vliet

We were very sorry to learn that Don Van Vliet passed away on Friday 17 December 2010 due to complications arising from multiple sclerosis. Tributes from friends, Magic Band members and fans have come thick and fast. Here are a few of them on beefheart.com and beyond: Steve’s initial beefheart.com post: Don Van Vliet 1941-2010 including many of your tributes My beefheart.com post: Don Van Vliet 1941-2010 including many of your tributes Art Tripp’s tribute to Don Bill Harkleroad’s tribute to Don John French’s tribute to Don – an absolutely lovely read, not to be missed Gary Lucas’s tribute to Don from The Wall StreetRead More →