Produced by Frank Zappa Sleeve design by Cal Schenke Track list Wind Up Workin’ In A Gas Station 2:29 Black Napkins 4:15 The Torture Never Stops 9:44 Ms Pinky Find Her Finer 4:07 Friendly Little Finger 4:17 Wonderful Wino 3:38 Zoot Allures 4:13 Disco Boy 5:09 Album overview from Graham Johnston This Zappa album features Don on one tune, “Find Her Finer”, on which he plays harmonica. Don does not appear on this original version of “The Torture Never Stops” despite his vocal contribution to the live version on You Can Do That On Stage Anymore Volume 4 and Cheap Thrills. Releases (to be completed!) 1976Read More →

1975 US Original on DiscReet DS 2234       The details of the album were not printed on the front cover instead they were included on a plastic label stuck to the shrink-wrap which meant the label would be easily lost or damaged! 1975(?) US Limited Edition on RCA Music Service Record Club R114523 Issued ‘under licence’. 1975 UK on DiscReet K 59209 marketed by WEA Never released in the UK due to contractual disagreements between Herb Cohen’s DiscReet and Richard Branson’s Virgin labels. Only test pressings were made, seven of which are known to exist. 1975 Japan on DiscReet P-10093-D Made in Japan withRead More →

Track list Debra Kadabra Carolina Hard-Core Ecstasy Sam With The Showing Scalp Flat Top Poofter’s Froth Wyoming Plans Ahead 200 Years Old Cucamonga Advance Romance Man With The Woman Head Muffin Man Live in concert at Armadillo World Headquarters, Austin, Texas 20th & 21 May 1975 Plus Selected Studio Wonderment Musicians Frank Zappa – lead guitar, vocals Captain Beefheart – harp, vocals, shopping bags George Duke – keyboards, vocals Napoleon Murphy Brock – sax, vocals Bruce Fowler – trombone, fantastic dancing Tom Fowler – bass, also dancing Denny Walley – slide guitar, vocals Terry Bozzio – drums, moisture Chester Thompson – drums (200 Years OldRead More →

Track list Peaches En Regalia Willie The Pimp Son Of Mr. Green Genes Little Umbrellas The Gumbo Variations It Must Be A Camel Recording details Date – July – August 1969 One of the first albums to be recorded on 16 track. Recorded at T.T.G., Los Angeles (probably where Mirror Man was recorded), Sunset Sound, Los Angeles and Whitney Studios, Glendale. Album overview from Graham Johnston When I first bought this album I danced around my bedroom with glee while listening to it and then took it out with me that evening to force everyone else I knew to marvel at it too (a surprisingly mixed response ifRead More →

[alert_box type=”info”]This review was taken from the 1st March 1996 edition of The Guardian.[/alert_box] Rating: **** Excellent DEAD rock star in interesting new recording shock! `This album is not available to the public,’ sneers a voice on Tiger Roach [Don Van Vliet’s voice]. `Even if it were, you wouldn’t want to listen to it.’ Unlike most of the other dead rock stars currently releasing new material, Zappa knew he was heading for his last encore and worked on this album of out-takes, studio tomfoolery and unreleased tracks in the years before he died in 1993. The result is a stimulating addition to the bulging FZRead More →

This photo was taken and very kindly sent to me by John Petraitis who was at a Frank Zappa gig in Bloomington Illinois when Captain Beefheart appeared as a special guest (centre left, in front of the drums, pointing at the camera – click the pic for a larger version). The show took place 12 May 1975. Many thanks to John for sending this along and for his permission to feature it here. Copyright held by the photographer, John Petraitis. Used by permission, not to be reproduced for commercial use.Read More →

[alert_box type=”info”]Originally appeared on Bongo Fury[/alert_box] The man with the woman head Polynesian wallpaper made the face stand out, a mixture of Oriental and early vaudeville jazz poofter, forming a hard, beetle-like triangular chin much like a praying mantis. Smoky razor-cut, low on the ear neck profile. The face the color of a nicotine-stained hand. Dark circles collected under the wrinkled, folded eyes, map-like from too much turquoise eyepaint. He showed his old tongue through ill-fitting wooden teeth, stained from too much opium, chipped from the years. The feet, brown wrinkles above straw loafers. A piece of cocoanut in a pink seashell caught the tongueRead More →

[alert_box type=”info”]Originally appeared on Trout Mask Replica[/alert_box] Master master This is recorded thru uh flies ear ‘n you have t’ have uh flies eye t’ see it It’s the thing that’s gonna make Captain Beefheart And his magic band fat Frank it’s the big hit It’s the blimp It’s the blimp Frank It’s the blimp When I see you floatin’ down the gutter I’ll give you uh bottle uh wine Put me on the white hook Back in the fat rack Shad rack ee shack The sumptin’ hoop the sumptin’ hoop The blimp the blimp The drazy hoops the drazy hoops They’re camp they’re campRead More →

[alert_box type=”info”]This article appeared in the 3rd July 1975 edition of Rolling Stone magazine. Many thanks to Mikael Djurvall for sending along the excellent photograph.[/alert_box] PASSAIC, NEW JERSEY – Captain Beefheart, rock’s sometime genius, had just finished a show with Frank Zappa, with whom he’s touring after the end of their longtime feud. Slumped backstage at the Capitol Theatre, he scratched his shaggy head and slowly related the latest bizarre turn in his odd life. “I said some silly things,” Beefheart noted, “because I’m a spoiled brat and I don’t understand business to the degree that Frank does. I probably felt neglected. I’ll admit it…Read More →

Published by Poseidon Press, New York 1989 (hardback) Simon & Schuster/Touchstone, New York 1989 (paperback) Picador, London 1990 (hardback & paperback) Synopsis from the flyleaf Zappa offers his initimable views on just about everything: art, politics, cigarettes, beer, televangelists, symphony orchestras, lead guitarists, groupies, the PMRC, marriage (as a dada concept), and the history of rock and roll. Radar Station overview Not so much an autobiography more a collection of anecdotes in chronological order taped by Frank in answer to questions put to him by Peter Occhiogrosso who then typed them up. Fascinating and hilarious. There are plenty of rare photographs plus some great cartoonRead More →

Published by Salt Publishing, September 2005 Salt Studies in Contemporary Literature and Culture Paperback and Hardback Publisher’s blurb A comparative account of the musical and cultural acts of Zappa and his cohort, collaborator and antagonist Captain Beefheart. Written in the iconoclastic spirit of Zappa’s art, this book traces the mixed media experiments of California freakdom through the dada blues of Beefheart, mapping out the pleasures of imaginative excess. This book is not another critical biography, but an interpretive essay investigating what we feel is the cultural and historical importance of Zappa and Beefheart in the context of a wide-ranging network of references that run fromRead More →

This lecture took place at the Gifford Auditorium, Syracuse, 23rd April 1975. Don is fairly quiet throughout the lecture; when asked a direct question he gives not so much oblique answers as abstract statements beamed into his brain from who-knows where. When asked to talk a little about Trout Mask Replica, Don instead quotes sections from Sam With The Showing Scalp Flattop. Unmissable, but not particularly helpful. Frank Zappa, who does the vast majority of the talking, makes considerably more sense with his genuinely insightful ruminations on the workings of the music industry. Lecture part 1(44 minutes 26 seconds) Lecture part 2 (44 minutes 48 seconds)Read 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 →

[alert_box type=”info”]This article first appeared in Mojo Magazine, December 1993 as an introduction to an interview with the man himself. Please also see John French’s response to this article.[/alert_box] He is alive. A recluse. Painting in seclusion up near the Oregon border. There have been weird signals through the ether since he stopped making music 11 years ago, but they were faint, confused, unintelligible. But now Dave DiMartino has finally made contact with the man who used to be Captain Beefheart. It is entirely fitting that Don Van Vliet, painter of international repute, and one of a handful of truly legendary figures in rock ‘n’ roll,Read More →

[alert_box type=”info”]This article was taken from Creem Magazine, mid 1972. Many thanks to Andrew for the info about this piece.[/alert_box] WHAT DOES one say to a man who, at the age of three, used to talk with lions inside their cages? How does one cope with a greeting – ‘Haven’t I met you somewhere before’ ‘No, I don’t think so, actually.’ ‘Weren’t you at my concert last night? Weren’t you sitting up there (he points) in a group of seven in a box. That’s where I’ve seen you.’ It’s all very easy when one is talking to Captain Beefheart. My journalist’s paranoia which had beenRead More →

[alert_box type=”info”]This interview with Don Van Vliet was taken from the 19th March 1972 edition of Crawdaddy[/alert_box] “New York is a slow turtle with diarrhea” says Captain Beefheart, alias the Spotlight Kid, alias Don Van Vliet. The Anderson Theatre is in that area of New York now known as the Lower East Side. Once it was called The Last Village, when Flower Power sowed its stone fields with the waifs and strays and prophets of the New America. Even if it is no longer a cool ‘n groovy place to live, let alone hang out on a Saturday night, some Junior Entrepreneurs chose the AndersonRead More →

[alert_box type=”info”]Article from the Associated Press, published 22nd June 1995.[/alert_box] A long time ago, in an artistic dimension somewhere in another galaxy called the 1960s, there emerged an unlikely musical hero, name of Captain Beefheart. At a time when others sang about peace and love – and played it safe with musical arrangements featuring jingly jangly guitars and thumpty-thump drums – there stood Captain Beefheart as a counterpoint. There he stood, surrounded by bottleneck guitars, electronic pianos, trombones, French horns, Chinese gongs, clarinets, harmonicas – any instrument really, that sounded interesting when matched with his growling, 4 1/2-octave voice. But then – after 20 yearsRead 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 →