discography - bootlegs
BAT CHAIN PULLER
1976 - never released
information and vinyl - ceedees part 1 - THIS is part 3 CEEDEES part 2
it is right to suggest that the vinyl bootlegs and the first releases on ceedee originate from the much-copied demo which was kept at virgin's in england, as all items have been brought out in europe. nevertheless, it seems that the story about the famous tape has to be corrected a little bit. for recently some-one from beefheart's home country confessed he also has a genuine copy of it. how come? well, he tells: "The source of my tape is a friend who worked at Capitol when Don was shopping this tape around to different labels".
hell, if that isn't interesting! because that would mean that captain beefheart when 'bat chain puller' was ready for release but couldn't be because the flamingos z. and c. had gone into their fruit fight, tried to get a record deal somewhere - probably hoping that the sale of the rights could compensate for the 'discreet costs' so the flamingos would no longer object to its release....
as things would turn out to go an other way, and today the elpee is a passed station (almost all of the intended material has been brought out, beit mainly in hardly altered versions), the owner has decided to share his legally obtained treasure with anyone who's keen on the original recording, as a private trade.
because his tape had been played a few times over the years - of course! - it had to be 'de-hissed and eq-ed' before the current result could be presented, being the only COMPLETE version of the lost album at the right speed, without mistitled tracks, in the correct playing order and with a mainly excellent sound quality. and i have to confess: listening to the record as it was intended really gives me a mean thrill and convinces me its fate has been a disaster for beefheart fans and mankind alike....
to finish off his product the 'producer' took advantage of don van vliet's book 'skeleton breath, scorpion blush' to put a reproduction of the 1985 painting 'bromboline frenzy' on the front and an outcut of it on the sticker to the plate. on the flipside of the front you'll find the text to 'odd jobs' (omitting one short sentence), also taken from that book.
if you think you want to have a personal copy of don's demo, you can contact david, and he'll be glad to send you one. although, for his trouble with the editing, lay-out and post handling he likes to get 20 usa dollars (all in) from people in north-america and 25 of those bucks (all in) from folks anywhere else.
CONCLUSION finally right ADVICE don't hesitate
p.s. because of copyright reasons a previous version bonused with a mono recording of 'safe as milk' has been withdrawn.
rumours came that a release is imminent of:
CAPTAIN BEEFHEART - DUST SUCKER [CD]
This cd includes the 12 tracks from the Captain's own tape of the original 'Bat Chain Puller' album (you will never have heard these tracks in THIS quality!). There are a further 7 extra tracks including 5 live recordings of tracks from 'Bat Chain Puller' plus a version of 'Well Well Well'. The first 4.000 copies feature a limited sleeve.
[information at e-shops]
good news - if this product wasn't brought out by the 'ozit' company which already had failed the beefheart audition with their merseytrout crap. so we must fear the worst, i feared. and it looks like this feeling was confirmed by the message andy bean sent to the internet newsgroup:
Just got sent a promo of 'Dust Sucker'... A few thoughts: The 'Bat Chain Puller' stuff sounds pretty good, although 'Brickbats' is replaced by the live version of 'Owed T'Alex', and 'Apes-Ma' appears twice. Apparently these sequencing faults will be corrected before release, but it will be delayed for a week or two. There are five live tracks all from the 'My Fathers Place' show, a version of 'Well Well Well' featuring Rockette Morton, and the live version of 'My human gets me blues' from the 'Grow Fins' set.
Although the disc claims to be 'from the Captain's own tapes' (and has a photo of an Ampex box with an 'Apes-Ma' drawing on it in the booklet!), the presence of the live recordings pilfered from other sources would indicate that it's not as legal as it thinks it is. The worst thing about it is the individual track sleevenotes, which provide a grim forboding and familiarity, until you reach the bit that says 'thanks to the late Ken Brooks for information used in the preparation of these sleevenotes'. I think I can speak for anyone who's encountered Mr. Brooks' books when I say 'Aaaaarrrggghhhh!!'.
So, all in all, it's no more or less shoddy than one would expect... We still await a version from the Zappa Family with a little more care put into it (although seeing as the Zappa Family hasn't even updated its website for about 4 years, perhaps i'm too optimistic).
SO YOU'RE WARNED !
oh, oh, what all isn't wrong!
* 'brickbats' replaced (why?)...
* two apes-mas (like on the vinyl versions! let's hope that's not the source they have used)...
* 'my human gets me blues' from the 'grow fins' set (damn, that's one of those many tracks with bad sound)...
* ken brooks wrote CAPTAIN BEEFHEART tin teardrop...
my premature CONCLUSION: you're warned
when more information like the track list and advertisements became available, further reasons appeared to warn you. take the front: a lunatic collage of don holding a vacuum cleaner which seems to have been sucking the dust so hard the mojave desert turned into a mountain massif. the power of it even created a new title for the instrumental 'a carrot is as close as a rabbit gets to a diamond': it is now called 'a carrot is as close to a diamond as a rabbit ever gets'. okay, the stock copy contains 'brick bat (yes, there's only óne of them)', but as the cheering information emphases that it are 'the captain's own recordings' i'm pretty convinced this dusty bootleg is a remake of the 'leaked virgin demo' - so chances are very good the quality comes close to the headache ceedee the original bat chain puller....
next, the official promotional notes mention five live tracks in the bonus, while the track list only has four. besides that, the live recordings are wrongly credited to be from 'bat chain puller', as 'flavor bud living' is from the 1980 'doc at the radar station' era (so the tracks probably are nót from the 181178 my father's place concert). and another remarkable fact is the price of this 'legal release' now being distributed in england (and let's hope it doesn't get off that island): about 13 pounds - or 18.5 us dollars / just over 21 euros. so i would say: if you got ears, you gotta listen first before you decide to get robbed.
my CONCLUSION till now: you're warned even more
shortly after the date of release jwb sent the beefheart newsgroup a fury called 'Dust Sucker... SUCKS!!!':
Sorry, folks. I got my copy today and I have to say that it's quite poor.
This 'Bat Chain Puller' album is definitely from a new, unbootlegged source (the reel-to-reel pictured inside?), but it sounds like a 4th or 5th generation cassette dub. The bootleg version that [previously - t.t.] was coupled with the mono 'Safe As Milk' sounds VASTLY superior. THAT bootleg was supposedly mastered from an original promo cassette which would have been a much better source than the shitty piece of oxide used here. To add insult to injury: there is a 3-second gap of dead silence in-between every song. The tracks do not 'fade out', so you hear 'hisssssssssss - silence - hisssssssssssss'. This disc was 'remastered by Owith Sahmet'. Good job Owith!
I noticed some more things. The song 'Bat Chain Puller' has a complete intro here. BUT...: "Floppy Boot Stomp" is cut at the beginning. There are tons of dropouts and an abundance of hiss. Every song has a 'slightly' longer fade-out than on any other disc. So, the Bat Chain Puller bootleg situation looks like this:
- Original Bat Chain Puller: poor sound quality, digital errors.
- Bat Chain Puller [/ Safe As Milk]: excellent sound quality, a little bit too much noise reduction.
- Dust Sucker: good sound, but way too much hiss and poor mastering.
No version is perfect, but Bat Chain Puller is by far the best.
The blatant hype and incorrect information in the booklet is just plain insulting. 'The Captain's original master tapes'? My asshole. The live tracks come with no information, I'm sure that all of the bonus tracks are stolen from other bootlegs. The unidentified version of 'Bat Chain Puller' sounds superb. I don't know which show 'Flavor Bud Living' comes from either. I think that both might be from the Amsterdam '80 show, and the sound quality is A+ stereo. Three other live cuts are from the My Father's Place '78 show, but they are taken from a poor-sounding, off-speed bootleg instead of the master recording that was released by Rhino ('i'm going to do what i wanna do' - teejo). Well Well Well (Decals outtake) is very noise reduced, and My Human Gets Me Blues has been stolen from 'Grow Fins'.
These 'Milksafe' people put off an air of 'Beefheartian scholar' but in fact they don't seem to know SHIT. Why am I the only person here who seems to think this? This release is surprisingly poor, even by "bootleg" standards. Don't be fooled.
my predictable CONCLUSION: junk!
#60 england 010502
ceedee VARIOUS ARTISTS * TOTALLY WIRED 18 prime selections from the month's best music
england 2002 uncut uncut 2002 04
track 3 - time 3:25
as terrible as the ozits are at producing, so good are they at marketing: present a burnleg as an authorized release with a distinguished appearance and on an artistic picture plate, send out sensational promotional texts, post the prepared cheering reviews to the e-shops as soon as the record is out, and you'll see how easy it is to get a hysteria started. even the staff of an english music - and film - magazine was charmed by the money suckers. so the bonus to their may issue ('for sale from 6 april on') with 'the month's best music' contained HARRY IRENE from the notorious record.
but don't get confused: that publication doesn't have a review about the bootleg. as usual, 'the month's best music' is that of april (as the catalog number confirms) but for reasons of deadlines you'll have to read the june issue before you can have an other laugh. a positive point, however, is that people who haven't decided nót to buy the 'bat chain sucker' can listen to a reference track to know enough!
click clack back to the bootlegs or return to the power station
captain beefheart electricity
as felt by teejo