captain beefheart electricity

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7 april 2020

[not only for completists...]
it appeared that a week before the england 8 april 1972 LOVE OVER GOLD interview the RECORD MIRROR had warmed-up its readers with an introduction entitled COME OUT PAUL... BEEFHEART'S HERE! which ends with the message:

and to close off the series of chats from england with the spotlight kid, here's the last one: MEN'S MUSIC FOR WOMEN from SOUNDS 6 may 1972 - though it's rather a kind of short summary of his tour....


31 march 2020

while the collection of interviews which don van vliet directed is quite extensive, there still is an urgent need for HUMAN TRANSLATORS, folks! for instance, the 'spotlight kid' chapter has two dutch chats longing to become english... (although my excuse not having the time is ridiculous weak, i know).
not only that, we (is me) are even looking for determined investigators with bulldog qualities to find missing treasures like the norwegian interview from the gateavisa magazine. if that happens, that same fan probably wouldn't mind to translate the following concert review we have available...:

let me know if you can help in one or other way, and i'll send you your homework.
p.s. any idea to surprise yourself with access to some paid newspaper archives, is okay, too....

31 march 2020
as you must have noticed, when moving the pieces of the history of captain beefheart and the magic band to their new stay i try to provide them with better scans. for example, in the case of the band members chapter i have added a refreshed retired bill harkleroad to his immense OUR DAY WITH ZOOT HORN ROLLO web interview, and improved the picture to jeff moris tepper's HELLO GOODBYE page. this last guy's famous THE TEN COMMANDMENTS OF GUITAR PLAYING story already had a successful photo, but contained a historically wrong segment which needed correction....

that same general rule about quality forced me to run through the photos of the saturday 15 april 1972 concert at the bataclan in paris, france.
those are scattered over the three translated interviews CAPTAIN ÂME D'ABEILLE COEUR DE BOEUF, CAPTAIN BEEFHEART ET LES RELATIONS TÉLÉPATHIQUES and the original source CAPTAIN FRACASSE - and the majority of them has been improved.

hey, that's a strange coincidence, nót a captcha puzzle... - but all shots till now feature a 'man with guitar'...!

the transfer of those 'french spotlight kids' meant that the overview of the suction prints could be worked out further, resulting in part three of the MAGAZINES 1972, and advance lists of the START OF 1973 and the REST OF 1973 (the CLEAR SPOT section). as usual, they're completed with reproductions of the relevant front pages....


23 march 2020

gave two interviews by connor mcknight their new outlook. of course, the texts hardly needed a change, but as to the images there was some work to do. so the JOTTINGS FOR THE BEEFHEART ARCHIVES now has an improved version of the fantastic drawing don van vliet made of mark boston. and after some struggling with my scanner i finally managed to pull out satisfying reproductions of the two pictures which were missing from the previous edition of the 'EVERYONE SHOULD GO FLY A KITE' chat.


11 march 2020

you probably don't give a damn about my distress as a webmaster, so you can skip this first paragraph...: to my upset the lay-out of several pages i wanted to change a bit suddenly had decided to follow rules of its own...! so i've spent a lot of energy on figuring out what kind of bug had entered my computer, repairing the mysterious damage and trying to prevent the quirky software from causing further discomfort. hope i have everything under control again....

nevertheless i was able to work on some updates. firstly i discovered that - apart from radio jockeys - quite a lot of people assemble 'mixed music programs' which they release on music cassettes (yes!) or burn on compact discs. because they often contain official beefheart tracks i started to include some of those in the SCATTERED WORKS section of the BOOTLEGS (with more to come over time...). and of course there were some illegal releases of GUEST APPEARANCES credited to frank zappa with or without captain beefheart with or without mothers which i hadn't spotted before.
also enhanced the far-from-ready COVER VERSIONS chapter with some hundred additions. by the way, do you realize that with an average playing time of about three minutes for each rendition, you meanwhile could already be entertained for many days on end?


17 february


sometimes i curse myself for the decision to run a website....

especially when an intended easy update appears to be connected to a much broader history, changing the work into a demanding spectacle the size of a nightmare. i thought i just had to make a few scans and would be ready with the stand-alone item in half a day or less.
for one of the most difficult to find captain beefheart memorabilia is only eight small pages thick and would need no explanation, i supposed. and indeed, the job to re-cyber the usa 17 april 1972 BROWN STAR BOOKLET was simple, but as a start that bonus to the warner/reprise newsletter not only was the announcement of a new album, but also meant to accompany beefheart on an upcoming tour - while it merely was a collection of drawings!
no wonder halfway the update i had already started to strangle myself...
to that, our captain has never released any record titled 'brown star', so i felt obliged to shed some light on the mysterious project which had begun several months earlier. besides, the planned elpee later got an other title, and in the end another one: CLEAR SPOT! not to mention the failed attempts to release it on transparent vinyl and launch the album at the scheduled time.
i almost went crazy if i hadn't been mad already....
in fact the 'brown star adventure' is a wild story, with captain beefheart collaborating with his alter ego don van vliet all the way from a starry night to the unveiling of an audio exhibit.
[p.s. you will also get a clue where the uncredited drawings from the liner notes to the two-on-one ceedee the spotlight kid / clear spot come from which are 'enriched' with the out of context lyrics to 1969's 'steal softly thru snow']
  when i see the final result of the long days of work, i think i'll stay a webmaster anyway....


12 february 2020
while several interviews came up without any (useful) images, the opposite appears to be possible, too. for example: in the flood of retrospects on captain beefheart after don's death the glossy england 1 march 2011 MOJO included two pictures by LAURIE GANE from a recording session of 'the spotlight kid'. or better: two more, because a report from forty years earlier GUITAR IS LIKE THUMBING YOUR NOSE AT THE ANGELS already contained three shots. so, after adding the delayed images we have a kind of overdose on photos compared to the amount of text....

4 february 2020

if you happen to be in new york, usa - standard, or for touristic or business reasons - you might want to visit an exhibition of some of don van vliet's work, PARAPLIERS THE WILLOW DIPPED, PAINTINGS 1967-1997 which just opened a few days ago.
but if you live too far away or social activities block you, you can see the sixteen canvasses in a virtual trip....


28 january 2020

after six years of intense persistence a 'coterie of different musicians' from canada, operating under the limp name BEEFHEART PROJECT TORONTO, has finished a massive album with cover versions
just a week ago. at the moment their I HEARD THESE TWEETY THINGS - with recordings ranging from close to the original to stubborn interpretation - is presented as an amazing digital album you can freely listen to or buy by donation, but a limited edition (why's that?) old-fashioned ceedee is in preparation....


26 january 2020

a search in the captain beefheart photo albums yielded two images which very well suited some interviews with misplaced (read: outdated) pictures or none. THE RIDDLE OF BEEFHEART now includes a shot from the photo session for 'lick my decals off, baby', and the early february 1972 chat SVENGALI ZAPPA AND A HORRIBLE FREAK CALLED BEEFHEART is illustrated with a photo of don taken backstage during his 'spotlight kid' tour in the usa.

15 january 2020

don, i wish i could congratulate you with another birthday...
the job which needed more research than expected was the outdated part of the discography called DON VAN VLIET ART WORK on records by other artists and accordingly the stories behind the relevant drawings. especially the old notes and facts about his contributions to the BLORP ESETTE and ZNR * BARRICADE 3 releases really cried for a mean face-lift....


4 january 2020
the job i'm into needs more precise research than planned, so i have to switch to plan b: additional improvements.
for instance: in spring 1970 professional photographer JOHN WILLIAMS visited the 'beefheart clan' for a long shoot. some successful images from the session were used for two big usa articles, of which the odyssey of captain beefheart from rolling stone is the better known. a few other photos appeared in the 'I WOULDN'T CALL IT DADA ROCK EXACTLY' feature published in 1 june 1970 CREEM. now, the problem is: i don't posses that specific paper, thus i can't reproduce them (i really am deeply ashamed - but anyone with a spare copy can easily help me to get rid of that depressing feeling...).
to solve that annoying imperfection i selected a couple of unpublished colour pictures from the mentioned photo session:


17 december 2019
usually i decorate the interviews and stories with relevant pictures appearing in the source. however, sometimes they are outdated, terrible minuscule, or suffer from other editorial shortcomings like bad printing quality or nasty folds (when spread over two pages) - and it even occurs several magazines just don't have any images at all...!
 during the reconstruction process i (will) try to correct mistakes and fill 'empty' e-pages. this time the changes are:
the refreshed BEEFHEART'S BOOGIE finally contains a successful scan plus a great colour alternate; and


17 d
ecember 2019

the COMPENDIUM the english magazine SHINDIG! brought out earlier this month contains a reprint of the INSIDE THE CAPTAIN'S CAULDRON article and interview with JOHN 'DRUMBO' FRENCH about the SAFE AS MILK hassle which previously was published in their 1 september 2017 issue #71, although it contains totally different pictures and illustrations. thus, buying it only seems recommended to people who missed the original feature on the then fifty year old debut album....


7 december 2019

when i refreshed the list of BOOTLEGS by captain beefheart and the magic band half a year ago, i feared i soon would have to add new ones. but no, to my astonishment all stayed quiet on that front - not even another burned copy of familiar stuff showed up! in several ways that is good news: it saved us money to spend on luxurious christmas and new year trumpery next weeks, and provided me with the opportunity to SPLIT a related section into two new ones: SCATTERED WORKS and GUEST APPEARANCES.
those compressed titles include all the unofficial releases of (1:) legal and unauthorized AUDIO and VIDEO pieces collected on records by VARIOUS ARTISTS, (2:) some CONCERTS from the THE MAGIC BAND reunion project, and (3:) don van vliet's GUEST APPEARANCES. in fact, the latter category is by far the biggest part of the overview, mainly because of the collaboration with his old pal FRANK ZAPPA before he turned into captain beefheart and especially when he supplied lead vocals and other sounds during the joint BONGO FURY tour in april and may 1975.
one of the weirdest additions is a limited edition single on differently coloured vinyl in various sleeves coupling
their famous re-interpretation of 'orange claw hammer' with the pre-beef recording 'metal man has won his wings'....

some examples of the single

by the way, speaking about (the official) frank and don: the zappa family trust discovered that fifty years ago he released what in hindsight would be his best album, 'hot rats' (with vocals by don on 'willie the pimp') [p.s. 1969 also was the year captain beefheart's milestone 'trout mask replica' came out...]. it dived into the vaults with the old tapes and - besides a limited audiophile edition on 'hot pink' vinyl of the original elpee - will come up with a special six-ceedee boxset THE HOT RATS SESSIONS containing a remastered version, some non-musical extras and every note recorded and mixed during the working process. maybe 'willie the pimp (vocal tracks)' reveals something new....


20 november 2019

like i said, there are so many COVER VERSIONS of captain beefheart's musical paintings sounding around on the internet it will take a lot of time before the update is done. so it could be smart to extend the sound-alikes section in a quiet pace. as the next tiny step
i like to present bake 3.2 right now, for i was able to add some hundred new data to the overview. beside a significant increase of the list of performers, the main extensions happened on the page with alternate renditions of tracks from the legendary a&m sessions, mirror man, strictly personal and especially safe as milk.

by the way, while i surfed the web i came across a fresh album full of 'beefheart substitutes'. the PRF TRIBUTE SERIES 63 was released on 30 september last and contains fifteen artists who (try to) honour don van vliet. you can even buy the tracks you like, if you like!


12 november 2019

one of the problems with the INTERVIEWS with beefheart is that sometimes they just haven't been added to the history chapter yet. such a cruel fate had hit the one from england 010572 BEAT INSTRUMENTAL #108 till now. the main reason for the regrettable delay was the total absence of pictures to the report; but with help from the internet i found some colourful action portraits....
don's monologue is called 'I WISH ACID HAD NEVER BEGUN' SAYS CAPTAIN BEEFHEART and mainly deals with... - guess what?


25 october 2019

i'm on an amazing trip, but really need a breather
i'm on a magnificent trip. and i don't mean my life-long ego trip, but an exciting voyage through the cyberverse, looking for listening to COVER VERSIONS of captain beefheart compositions. however, after the start a few weeks ago it soon became clear it almost is an impossible journey. for in a wink there appeared to be tens of SOUND-ALIKES which should be added to the 'no priority project'. and thinking that i always had in mind to write up something about each performer and track, convinced me that then the job would never end....
so i decided to update the chapter in a totally different way, simply because an overwhelming majority of the new discoveries is floating around as free sound. by making links to them (and the old ones), you can gather background information and judge the musical result yourself!
as you can imagine, the whole re-construction process will take months to complete. while you can't wait thát long, i have made a cautious update with the temporary changes which already are available. but don't forget: that's just PHASE ONE. for at this moment there still are over three hundred (yes! sure!) performers to include to the new overviews - and many, many more covers, of course. and if that job is done, i fear i'm only halfway my extraordinary expedition....

click clack back to the power station


captain beefheart electricity
as felt by teejo