captain beefheart electricity


fri 14 april 1972 (west)germany FRANKFURT HOECHST JAHRHUNDERTHALLE


'captain beefheart' in der hoechster jahrhunderhalle
werner neumann - (west)germany 18 april 1972 DARMSTÄDTER ECHO

captain beefheart at the hoechst century hall

if someone should ask about the strangest rock concert of the season: it took place in the 'hoechster jahrhunderthalle'. only a handful of insiders had found their way into the hall, and a kind of familiar atmosphere reigned as captain beefheart and his magic band started with their work.

captain beefheart alias don van vliet (a zappa comrade from the land of the unlimited chances), on the outside a bear, a single copy with a voice of four-and-a-half octaves, makes rock theatre in an unusual way. his vocal cord acrobatics begin somewhere low down in the basement, roar impassioned from the stereo walls, practice as pneumatic crackling and shrieking drag - and finally end at circular saw pitch, a sort of torture rack for harmony loving ears, a thing like a synthesizer.

the magic band works against the atonal, un-melodic anarchy of his voice: drums, two basses, two guitars that tear up rock devices in a wild mix - but skilled - and create an unheard tensile, polymetric music out of the remaining fragments. as solo players the musicians are accomplished: they know their manual between blues and free jazz.

all in all: a total anti-music, a bombastic hubbub. the lyrics van vliet produces and recites (complete unintelligible - but you can't have it all) range - eye-blinking like the man himself - between mystic twaddle, much kitsch and beautiful nonsense.

whether beefheart takes himself serious or not, it's funny anyway. thus - like zappa's mothers - his show creates a clear contrast to the maelstrom of the commercial pop music through irony and satire.

a gorillacrow trancelation 1995


a reproduction of the original german review (translated above) appears on page 81 of GARANTIERT UNGEWÖHNLICH... das leben des captain beefheart, the german translation of colin webb's book captain beefheart. the man and his music. the nine concert photos on the following pages of that book were taken at this performance. you can find them all at the beefheart timeline! but as a kind of trade for the use of my translation, i lent one of them:

captain beefheart - live picture frankfurt, germany, hoechst jahrhunderthalle concert 14 april 1972 - book 'garantiert ungewöhnlich' - by walter hartmann
DON VAN VLIET captain beefheart
picture by walter hartmann

because 'webmeister' detlef happens to be a german it's no surprise his beefheart timeline covers a very detailed report on the only concert he ever gave in germany. besides a marvellous six additional colour photos from a private source, it includes the five pictures that appeared in the fully reproduced german 010672 SOUNDS magazine in an article which also contains;


zum ersten mal in deutschland
bernd gockel - (west)germany 1 june 1972 SOUNDS

terrible note:
much to detlef's and my regret the text is still IN GERMAN ONLY !
anyone who thinks he's able to translate the piece, please do so the sooner the better


click clack back to the concerts or return to the power stationflits
captain beefheart electricity
as felt by teejo