In early / mid 2000 John French called on Radar Station visitors for some help writing his book, Beefheart: Through The Eyes Of Magic… From: Hans Van Hulst Sent: Friday, January 14, 2000 8:36 PM The fact that you are writing a book is great news. If I could have my way, the book would concentrate heavily on the making of Trout Mask Replica. TMR is the real mystery in the career of Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band. I mean, given TMR, most of the subsequent albums make sense; but none of the music before TMR even hinted at Trout Mask Replica. The secretRead More →

Elaine Shepherd’s classic BBC documentary, introduced and narrated by John Peel. Completely wonderful, a 50 minute joy: Reviews, articles, blog posts, etc. relating to The Artist Formerly Known As Captain Beefheart. When the film was first screened by the BBC, it was followed by the Anton Corbijn / Don Van Vliet short Some YoYo Stuff.Read More →

In March 2000, John French sent me a message commenting on Angel’s photographs of the house in Woodland Hills where the Magic Band lived and rehearsed Trout Mask Replica. I asked him if he would like to write a paragraph about the house that I could include at the Radar Station. This is what he sent me, many thanks, John. Actually, I know the people who live there and had their email address for a time. They allowed me to come in during August of 1998 and take pictures inside and out. However, the shots of the outside didn’t show as much detail because: itRead More →

Ensenada Drive road sign

Many thanks indeed to Angel for sending along these splendid pictures and story of her and husband Chris’ visit to Woodland Hills to see the house where the Magic Band lived and Trout Mask Replica was endlessly rehearsed. See also John French aka Drumbo’s response to these photographs! Angel writes: [wp_quote] Well the whole thing was more exciting than I thought it would be. Just getting to the house is an adventure. It’s tucked away in a canyon(!) with very steep, narrow windy roads (not yer typical LA neighborhood, to be sure). We made a right off Canoga Avenue onto Arcos which took us straightRead More →

Still of the Trout House from The Artist Formerly Known As Captain Beefheart

The Woodland Hills house on Ensenada Drive was the venue for the Magic Band’s endless rehearsals of Trout Mask Replica, and also where the Trout Mask Sessions on Grow Fins were recorded. Its inclusion at the Radar Station is a must! So many legendary stories surround this magical-looking building, which appeared to have been left to decay. Then in 2006 it was put up for sale, and in 2010 as well. Angel’s photographs of her & Chris’ trip to the Trout House John French’s response to these photographs … Stills of the Trout House from The Artist Formerly Known As Captain Beefheart See also: ConfluenceRead 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 →

Trout House detail

Charlie Rosenkranz, the current owner of the Woodland Hills “Trout House” where the Magic Band lived and conceived Trout Mask Replica, emailed me today to say the house is on the market again. You can see the seller’s info online and it has some great interior shots which I’ve never seen before. My favourite is this detail of one of the doors: If you have a spare $325,000 and your enthusiasm for Trout Mask Replica knows no bounds, this would be an unbeatable bit of memorabilia. Charlie writes: It’s up for sale.  I injured myself several months ago and haven’t been able to work orRead More →

John French and Ian McArthur at the Trout House

We received a mail from John French who recently went back to the house where Trout Mask Replica was created. I thought beefheart.com might be interested in a picture of Ian McArthur, my Scottish friend, and I up by the “Trout House” as I call it. We visited the place on February 3rd and as you can see, it was a beautiful day. The present owner was aware of the house’s history and kind enough to take this picture and send it to me. The house was built on the middle lot of three adjoining lots that was part of the original property. The presentRead More →

Trout Mask Replica sleeve photo

..the secret, really, to understanding, to dwelling within, Trout Mask Replica is to make sure it’s the first record you ever hear.. Marcello Carlin wrote some excellent music appreciation in his now defunct blog. He dealt with subjects from Laura Nyro to Gnarls Barkley, but what he wrote about Trout Mask Replica at The Church of Me in April 2006 will be of most interest here. ..Trout Mask Replica is really a set of hallucinatory nursery rhymes, thus “Ella Guru” and “Sweet Sweet Bulbs” and “Sugar ‘N Spikes” somersault their way through mathematical rods and make you want to slide down banisters and pass theRead More →

Still of the Trout House from The Artist Formerly Known As Captain Beefheart

  The legendary house in which Trout Mask Replica was endlessly rehearsed is up for sale. For $849,900 you can own and (hopefully) preserve a property of considerable historical importance to all Beefheart fans. Why is it so important? This is the house where a poverty stricken Magic Band were kept under virtual house arrest while honing the impossibly intricate album Trout Mask Replica, and subjected to virtual brain washing sessions to “help” coax the unique music out of them. The music was written here; painstakingly transcribed by John French, taught to the band and many tracks on Trout Mask were even recorded here –Read More →