Sent to me by Charles Holzhauer, from a show on 5th December 1976 at Todd Barkan’s Keystone Korner in San Francisco. Featuring (as you can see) a Van Vliet sketch. Charles wrote about this evening: My friend Paul suggested that I go to an Italian cafe down the street and order a “two day espresso” (the Keystone was in Italian North Beach). I did so, and was soon bouncing off the walls. I knew the bartender at the Keystone, who was sometimes able to get me in free on the guest list, and I could hang around after shows. This I did, and helped DennyRead More →

This flyer was kindly sent along by Ken Shaddock who was lucky enough to be at the gig… Ken writes: Back in early ’71, CB&TMB toured through Austin, Texas. This is the flyer for that concert. I have looked for weeks for this flyer, praying that I had not thrown it away! The concert, of course, was incredible. Held at the Armadillo World Headquarters, it was filled to capacity with Beefheart fans. I think this must have been just after Lick My Decals Off, Baby had been released. I was absolutely amazed at these guys and their performance. I had seen many of the majorRead More →

[alert_box type=”info”]This curious oddity was a prank that first appeared in a Baltimore Maryland newspaper, The Sun, on 8th September 1973. The autographed version that you see below later appeared in an underground publication from 1985 called “DDC#040.002 #3”, published by “tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE”.[/alert_box] This was very kindly sent to me by Brainpang – many thanks to him for this bizarre curio. Joan Lobell is a Beefheart fan who, in 1973, thought it would be amusing to announce her engagement to none other than ‘Captain Don Van Vliet Beefheart, USAF’ in the local paper. Five years later she ended up meeting Don at a MagicRead More →

I am writing to you from my home in Colorado around midnight. I have been a longtime Cap’n B fan (since 1972) when I first had my reality changed by way of Lick My Decals Off. I was only 15 at the time and living in Brooklyn, NY, where I was born and raised. It was my brother who first introduced me to the Magic Band. What remains to this day as some of the coolest things I have ever witnessed are the concerts. I had heard, from my brother and his crew, fabulous stories of the live Magic Band. How Rockette Morton would doRead More →

[alert_box type=”info”]Robert writes about seeing The Magic Band in the Netherlands, and meeting Don.[/alert_box] I first got to know about Captain Beefheart through the music of Frank Zappa. I didn’t know what to do with this strange music. The story of the Simpsons guy, Matt Groening, is very accurate. I had exactly the same experience: I got Trout Mask Replica on tape and it all sounded very messy, as if there were no different songs on the album. My recording was of a German Straight pressing which had no song seperation – confusing. Then, in November 1980 the Captain was coming to the Netherlands. AtRead More →

[alert_box type=”info”]Dennis recalls the time when Don would regularly pop by to visit.[/alert_box] In 1981, a friend and I were shopping for spirits at a “liquor supermarket” in Lancaster, California by the name of “Liquor Barn” (My friends name is Matt Livingston, and as far as I know, he lives in Palmdale, CA currently.) We were searching for the cheapest bottle of vodka we could find, when suddenly I heard a VERY LOW VOICE ask: “Is there really a difference between expensive and inexpensive vodkas?” Of course, he was talking to himself. My friend Matt spotted him instantly, and whispered “That’s Captain Beefheart….” We struckRead More →

[alert_box type=”info”]An example of the Captain’s often enormous hospitality from Danny Houston.[/alert_box] There used to be a great club in Glasgow, Scotland called The Maryland, and the owner Willie Cuthbertson (one of the great unacknowledged heroes of Scottish Rock) brought Captain Beefheart & The Magic Band up to play at a place called the Kelvin Hall. This venue was famous already in the halls of rock n roll fame as the site of the Kinks first “Live” album. Because we knew Willie he promised to take us back stage to meet the Captain before the concert. We were all massive Beefheart fans – there wereRead More →

[alert_box type=”info”]D. Whitney Quinn witnesses a stage invasion at a Magic Band gig.[/alert_box] I have had the pleasure of seeing Beefheart at least a dozen times between 1972 and 1980, starting with “Clear Spot” line-up. The first time I saw him he was headlining at a theater-in-the-round in Phoenix, Arizona in 1973, and Little Feat was the opening act. It was a rather bizarre venue – the moving stage did a full revolution every five minutes, so although all the seats were close the perspective kept changing. After Little Feat put on a superb show, there was a lull between sets, and then suddenly, some… GUYSRead More →

[alert_box type=”info”]Eric tells his story of a meeting with the Captain and how he came to be the proud owner of a Don Van Vliet sketch.[/alert_box] Some of the finer points of this tail may be a little out due to memory loss… but this is the gist of it: It was the Clear Spot tour in the UK in ’73. We had seen it in Liverpool, where we all lived, and his next venue was Preston at the Preston Guild Hall. One of our gang was a guy called Tony, he was a rather slim Irish character with a larger than life personality. HeRead More →

[alert_box type=”info”]Tom Ellis’ story of a wasted opportunity.[/alert_box] I have been listening since Safe As Milk, and fondly remember my days in the sixties when I worked quite hard to become comfortable with a trio of artists – Beefheart, Ornette and the AACM – a time that was highly rewarding and from which my musical tastes continue to grow. I can honestly say I was the only surfer in North Florida then listening to this stuff, and it isolated me from most of my friends who were getting into Hendrix and other stuff. My other great love is Paul Butterfield, about whom I have writtenRead More →

[alert_box type=”info”]Bruce Kirschbaum told us his tale of woe in 1999.[/alert_box] The only time I remember Beefheart having played L.A. was, (I believe), in late 1979 or early 1980 at a gig at the Whiskey. Naturally, I was there. Several months later, I’m writing for some piece of crap “hip, late-nite comedy show” called “Fridays”. After the show one night, the lady who does publicity for the program, (I think she’s currently Arnold Schwarzenegger’s P.R. person), suggests we go to Canter’s for something to eat (a famous local all night deli). I hardly even knew this woman, but since I had vague hopes of maybeRead More →

[alert_box type=”info”]Charles Gee tells his superb story about his meeting with the Captain at the 1972 Bickershaw Festival. Highly recommended reading.[/alert_box] In 1972 I lived in Manchester. Not that far from Bickershaw, so when the festival arrived a group of us decided we would be fools not to go. We arrived on Friday evening and put our tent up outside the concert perimeter and went in. My recollections of the groups who were on Friday night are not vivid. I remember being impressed by Doctor John, as he threw his sparkly dust into the evening sky, but that’s about it. Saturday was much more memorable.Read More →

[alert_box type=”info”]Melvin de Snoids recounts his live exposure to Captain Beefheart & the Magic Band in 1970.[/alert_box] The first time I saw Captain Beefheart was in 1970 [1971 – Graham] at the Paramount Theatre in Portland, Oregon, shortly after the Lick My Decals, Baby album came out. My band-mates and I were sitting front-row, centre, along with our friend Matt Groening, who had introduced us to Beefheart via the Trout Mask Replica LP. First, Ed Marimba came out to a lone microphone that was center-stage, in front of the closed curtains. He was wearing the full-blown evening-suit with tails that he wore on the DecalsRead 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 →