On 22nd November 1980 The Magic Band gave a storming performance of Ashtray Heart and Hot Head in front of a studio audience for Saturday Night Live. Ashtray Heart Hot Head According to Doug Stacey: “The person yelling “Shit!” at the end of the SNL performance was Radames Pera, the once child actor playing “Grasshopper” in the TV show “Kung Fu.” He was disgusted with the Beefheart performance. It was evidently his first exposure to Don’s music.” Robert Williams, the Magic Band drummer, commented on this heckling: “After the show we went to an after show party at a bar in Manhatten with the cast
In 1980, as a 15-year old I had been reading Lester Bangs’ articles about Captain Beefheart in “Musician” magazine (which turned out to be amazingly accurate and descriptive), and was quite interested to learn more about what this supposedly amazing music sounded like. However, I didn’t have the money to actually buy the records – and believe me, noone else in Sparta, Illinois had them to loan to me. One night I was interested to notice in our T.V. Guide that Beefheart was playing on that night’s “Saturday Night Live”, a show which my parents wouldn’t let me watch (although they did watch it themselves).