In early / mid 2000 John French called on Radar Station visitors for some help writing his book, Beefheart: Through The Eyes Of Magic… From: Dan Mellamphy Sent: Friday, January 14, 2000 2:13 PM A little light shed on the mystery of “The Mysterious N. Senada” would be interesting. Perhaps in a section on Early Collaboration Work or in one that could be devoted to the wonderful monster that is called the Mythological or Fabulistic impulse (the inevitable generation of myth and fable that eventually surrounds such figures as B). Something else that might be interesting could be called the “Avatar” effect: for instance, the
A new Tom Waits documentary DVD “Under The Influence” features interviews with John French (Magic Band drummer, arranger, latter-day front man and biographer). Produced by Chrome Dreams (who also made Captain Beefheart Under Review a few years back) the DVD dissects Waits’ varied influences and I think we can guess why Captain Beefheart’s right hand man was enlisted to help tell part of the story. Intriguingly there is an extra short on the DVD called “John French Spills The Beans” – perhaps just an extended interview. If you have any more info please do let me know or post it below.
An extract from Barney Hoskins’ new biography of Tom Waits has appeared at The Quietus. It deals with the change in Waits’ music which happened at the time of his marriage to Kathleen Brennan, and Swordfishtrombones the album which resulted. Here Hoskins skates over the vexed question of Captain Beefheart’s influence on Waits: Waits has even claimed he’d never really listened to Captain Beefheart before meeting Kathleen – that, despite being signed by Beefheart’s manager Herb Cohen and supporting the Captain’s mentor Frank Zappa on tour, he was oblivious to the gruff-voiced Dadaist genius born Don Van Vliet. Where the bruising ‘Heartattack and Vine’ hinted