1970 US Original on Straight RS 6420 Gatefold lyric insert has full credits rather than on sleeve. 1970 White Label Promo PROMOTION NOT FOR SALE printed on centre label and Playing time/track timings. Centre label states STRAIGHT RECORDS. A DIVISION OF BIZARRE INC., 5455 WILSHIRE BLVD., SUITE 1700, LOS ANGELES, 90036 around bottom edge. 1971 UK Original on Straight STS 1063 Pretty much the same as the US issue but without the lyric sheet (again!). Made and distributed by CBS 1973 UK Reissue on Reprise K44244 (Tan) Cover only has the “Straight” thought-bubble logo. 1970 (?) German issue on Straight(?) or EMI(?) 1 C 062-92Read More →

[alert_box type=”info”]This article was taken from the March 1971 edition of Jazz & Pop, author unknown.[/alert_box] [youtube video_id=”LRlmTzDyw7s”] A black and white 60-second television commercial for Captain Beefheart’s latest album on Straight/Reprise, Lick My Decals Off, Baby, was refused recently by KTTV in Los Angeles for airing on any of the station’s programs. When asked by the record company as to reasons for not accepting the spot, KTTV station manager Charles Young said, “I just don’t like it. I think it’s crude and don’t want it on my air.” [His air?!] “Let’s say I find the commercial unacceptable and let it go at that.” WhenRead More →

[alert_box type=”info”]This oddity was written in 1972, published by Goliard / Santa Fe in association with Grossman Publishers.[/alert_box] The broom tongue on The Buggy Boogie Woogie evidently has whisk-fringes. The alchemist-shaman-genius-wizard-freak-medicine man is always a fringe figure. Never part of the conventional social structure. In order to listen to the shuttling, whispering ancient language of energy (long faint sighs across the millennia) you have to shut out the gray noise of the market place. Unglue the lids of the nuclei and release the pure white phosphene stuff inside. “Music” is form. At the higher levels of energy, beyond even the electronic, there is no form.Read More →

[alert_box type=”info”]This article first appeared in the March 1971 edition of Creem.[/alert_box] Gazing across pop music’s stale horizons, past all the cynical ineptitude, pseudo-intellectual solemnity, neurotic regression and dismal deadends for great bands, there is one figure who stands above the murk forging an art at once adventurous and human: Don Van Vliet, known to a culture he’s making anachronistic as Captain Beefheart. Though there are still lots of people around who just don’t read the Cap at all, who think his music is some kind of private joke or failed experiment (or as a local teen band told me, “Most of that’s the kindRead More →

[alert_box type=”info”]This review was taken from the 2nd January 1971 edition of Melody Maker.[/alert_box] Already, I’m thinking that this is the Captain’s most satisfying album to date. “Safe As Milk” was a very good, every-so-slightly spacey rock album; “Strictly Personal” was ruined by phasing; and “Trout Mask Replica” tended to be a little unwieldy, despite several flashes of brilliance. But from the first note, “Decals” discovers and maintains a balance which rarely wavers, right up to the final reed squeak of “Flash Gordon’s Ape”. It’s difficult to decide whether the unnamed musicians are geniuses or complete beginners, but from the evidence of several tortuous unisonRead More →

[alert_box type=”info”]This article is one of four reviews of Lick My Decals Off, Baby originally published in the 10th December, 1970 edition of Rolling Stone. Kindly sent to me by Jim Flannery.[/alert_box] In a twilight region which separates laughter from terror and precision from chaos, five men walk along a musical path with a purpose they disclose only in their smiles. Zoot Horn Rollo, a fortunate refugee from the Land of Drugs, carries his lead guitar between a thumb and one glass finger. He speaks through his instrument with a voice of gentleness, restraint and lyricism. To a large extent the success of this expeditionRead More →

[alert_box type=”info”]This article is one of four reviews of Lick My Decals Off, Baby (Straight 6240) originally published in the 10th December, 1970 edition of Rolling Stone. This review was kindly sent to me by Jim Flannery.[/alert_box] When I first heard Trout Mask Replica, I about puked. What is this shit, I thought. People I met talked about it in glowing terms — not just anybody, mind you, but people I genuinely respected when it came to their musical tastes. Well, I figured, everybody has their own little watchimacallits. And then came Lick My Decals Off, Baby. Its reputation preceded it, and a preview ofRead More →

[alert_box type=”info”]This review is one of four reviews of Lick My Decals Off, Baby originally published in the 10th December 1970 edition of Rolling Stone. This was very kindly sent to me by Jim Flannery.[/alert_box] It’s probably a tribute to the literary conscience of Reprise Records that they decided to include a copy of Beefheart’s lyrics. Within a year, some lovely young thing with a doctorate in English will have transformed Beefheart into a demiurge, thereby glorifying herself to a freshman comp class at a state institution. Fortunately, the sheet of lyrics can be overlooked; no great feat, because the sense that comes out ofRead More →

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 theRead More →

Noon bouncin’ ball of warm beside child Deflating ah vegelife puzzle Ah braking ball of wings, legs, leaves, lives, behives Movies from each comb Each pocket ‘n drones bouncin’ cones Prisms that melt flesh ‘n bones Dust ‘n dark dusklite None numb numerals Noon ball warm beside the child Earholes, eye holes, airholes Dance, deflate, inflate meat rainbows Flesh bonnets her hair woven Toes kick dust away Drops Blue, yellow, red, green clocks Her heart pumps, stops, starts, plays, drops Eyes roll Rocks back ‘n forth She played through the sun stuck out her tongue Stood on each of three decals She licked each oneRead More →

[alert_box type=”info”]Dominic is struck by the Captain for the first time…[/alert_box] Here is my recollection of my first listening to the Spotlight Kid. (the artist- not that particular album! hehehee) In 1973 and at the age of 16, I went to New York from my hometown of St. Louis to see Jethro Tull perform ‘A Passion Play’ at The Garden and the Nassau Colluseum with a New Jersey couple, Ron Lorman and Lisa who were students at Webster College that I had met at the Tull shows here two weeks earlier. *shwew* One night between shows we were hanging at thier apartment when he handsRead More →

I was a sixteen year old Gong freak – an affliction I still bear now – days would go by as I would entertain my friends with the floating ambient prog that was the Radio Gnome Trilogy. They preferred the less subtle strains of Ozzy era Black Sabbath (can’t knock that) and the post Nirvana grunge explosion. Strangely enough they were not overly taken with the sound. They were even more resistant to my Sun Ra and Ornette Coleman records (although my old R’n’B and soul ones were all right). I couldn’t stand Pearl Jam and the such like and I started to find myselfRead 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 →

Lick My Decals Off, Baby is simply not a composition which readily lends itself to being performed. So when I found Puttanesca’s video of one of their Lick My Decals Off, Baby rehearsals at their MySpace page I wrote to ask them to send me all sorts of obsessively interesting details about it. Weba Garretson, the group’s vocalist, promptly responded with an an engaging account of their work on the piece and included a scan of part of the transcription they used (click on the image for a readable version). [wp_quote]Decals is an evolving process for us. The version on the CD is similar toRead More →