captain beefheart electricity


history - story

introducing beefheart in blunderland
now, that's strange! two days ago i checked the website this story deals with and it was there, but now it suddenly has gone! are they afraid of something?

as you know: 'captain beefheart' stands for mystery and weirdness, but above all for quality. that's the reason why some people on the internet like to use that magic name to sell us their products which most of the time have nothing to do with him. usually it are pop groups that would have stayed completely unnoticed if one or other reviewer hadn't thought he heard a note which sounded beefheart-like, and people who mention him in order to look erudite. both practices should be forbidden!

óne of the most clever examples of that misuse can be found on the web site of a commercial firm which tries to sell original prints of images taken by the famous american photographer JIM MARSHALL. as it hardly ever sells a picture because the cheapest one costs $1,000 (sure, no typing error), it added the following note to the list of 'available artists': These are most of the people that Jim has photographed. Only the names marked in color currently have something to look at, though. The others will be added a few at a time, and each category will expand, too. Looking at 'Captain Beefheart' next month might (mind this word - t.t.) yield new pictures.

i remember having noticed this announcement already some months before the end of last year [1998]. by then i didn't realize this is another never-meant-to-be-granted promise which are common use in the commercial world. so i waited, and waited, and waited - but nothing has happened over the past year….

the funny thing is: the company even dares to blame ús for it. for a further sentence says: Any feedback from you will influence the order in which new photos are added.… so, dear beefheartians, as my single voice never will make a fist it's time for some organized action! let's all feedback as many times this month as possible.... because, you know, the images really are beautiful and deserve to be seen! e-mail right now and say something like: 'finally dare to show captain beefheart! you've been teasing us long enough' or maybe even: 'i must see my hero - or else i'm gonna kill myself!'.

there is a chance our harassment doesn't convince them, because they hope we will buy jim's photo book NOT FADE AWAY, which has a picture of our beloved captain. no way, after such a mistreat of don! you'd better try to score the much cheaper october 1997 issue of the english pop magazine 'mojo' with a news item on that book and a reproduction of the snap shot we're interested in!

or, okay, let me be generous once, and get it for free from me:

captain beefheart
                            / don van vliet - california, usa may 1971 -
                            picture by jim marshall
big dummies, stop staring at me - better start your feedback!

shit! almost forgot the caption!
captain beefheart, aka don van vliet, at home in santa cruz:
this was taken in the early 70s for the
 so this picture must be part of the 30 may 1971 BEEFHEART IN BLUNDERLAND feature in the WEST supplement (as it was officially titled), which is a blind spot in my collection of interviews and stories. please, send me a scan of that report of the 'lick my decals off, baby' tour if you're lucky enough to have a copy!


compared to the more obvious presence of them in less frequent music periodicals, features on pop artists in dáily pápers are quite unique. and the fact that those publications usually are thrown away after use makes it extremely difficult to trace them later on. so i'm indescribably happy that more than thirty years ago someone sent a cutting of the article to BOB JENNINGS who saved the golden piece during all past decades!

unfortunately, dailies are printed on an inferior basic material which yellows like hell, and with cheap ink which evaporates like mad. no wonder that jim marshall's c-o-l-o-u-r pictures now look somewhat psychedelic. the circumstance that the cutting has been stored the folded way it was sent, makes them far from perfect too (however, don't blame bob: he never could foresee the possibility of a worldwide digital reproduction).

but they still are of reasonable quality, should be known, and the fantastic text of the feature is complete

it appears that the above picture from the coffee table book wasn't part of the feature itself, but some kind of 'leftover'....

and by the way, it was used on the notes sheet of the i'm not even here bootleg

IMPORTANT later addition

although í never spotted any beefheart picture on the site promoting jim marshall's photos, it once contained one. fortunately, it was downloaded by detlef jürgens and when he saw the photos to the recybered feature, he realized that the unpublished shot originated from the same session:

art tripp / ed marimba, mark boston /
                            rockette morton, don van vliet / captain
                            beefheart, john french / drumbo, bill
                            harkleroad / zoot horn rollo - woodland
                            hills, california, usa may 1971 - picture by
                            jim marshall
picture by jim marshall


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