captain beefheart electricity

discography - bootlegs




in order to promote the only album they ever made together - the live recording BONGO FURY - captain beefheart and frank zappa put together an amazing promotional documentary on the musical lives and times of both of them. frank went through all the reel-to-reels he ever recorded - and they contained a lot of stunning discoveries. most of the obscure material dated from the time before and when he was just part of 'the mothers of invention', but - ranging from their collaboration in the 1963/4 band 'the soots' to some live acts on the spot - there was blasting stuff for the beefheart fan-tribe too...

this instant 'talkshow' was broadcasted by several radio stations in the states, like kwst fm radio on 1 october (the day before the official release of their album). of course this unique promo - which also was aired by the australian radio station 'jjj' a bit later -  was leaked, so no wonder a bunch of those 'debuting tunes' have been (and will be) brought out on bootlegs. some of the songs later even gained an official status - like 'metal man has won his wings' - but a few very interesting works by / with the captain have never been released elsewhere [till now]...! the unofficial hardware - in chronological order - consists of:

bootleg elpee zappa / beefheart CONFIDENTIAL
usa 1976 el' wizardo discos wrmb 365 'made in mexico'
usa 1976 wizardo rekords wrmb 365 A/B stereo 'made in holland'
usa 1980 gema st 365
germany 19?? the brains st 365

according to information you already know - or else you wouldn't have been admitted to this website - rollin' red (paul brown) told about this vinyl item in the 'big bad but beautiful book of beefheart bootlegs #2':

1976 Single Bootleg CONFIDENTIAL on El' Wizardo Discos 365 A/B - 300 Series - Licensed Thru Squirrel Skat Prod. Mexico City - Made in Mexico. This is the original bootleg LP on red splattered vinyl with the WRMB 365 (Wizardo Record & Music Buys) matrix number scratched on the disc's run-out. It is almost certainly the more commonly known 'Metal Man Has Hornet's Wings' bootleg featured in the Bootleg Guide #1 [see next item - t.t.]. This LP has a history of its own and I shan't add to the confusion of its true orientation. Suffice to say, the bootleg is the most re-pressed and well-known boot!

captain beefheart bootleg - insert zappa / beefheart 'confidential' elpee
paper sheet from inside or pasted to the plain white sleeve

so there is an addition. for this product - which has no 'bongo fury' tracks! - also was manufactured for the european market. hidden in the common thick white sleeve and accompanied by the usual, obscurely coloured insert the labels lie: 'wizardo rekords - collector's special recordings - 300 series - all rights paid - made in holland'. the stencilled liner notes (track list with recording details) with the zappa half of the 'bongo fury' cover picture have a hand-written addition for the catalogue number as 365 A/B stereo, and - by the way - the label printings are black on red (side 1) and silver on blue. unfortunately, the album is on plain black vinyl.

despite the presumed origins of these releases the records come from the states, because the measurements of the inlay exactly fit the usa 'letter' size! however, besides a later USA re-issue as gema st 365 (probably on black vinyl), there does exist a genuine foreign version: collector hans peter schmidt swears he has a copy of this bootleg which was brought out in an unknown year in GERMANY by the brains as st 365 and on black plastic...

bootleg elpee frank zappa (feat. captain beefheart) METAL MAN HAS HORNET'S WINGS
in the 'big bad but beautiful book of beefheart bootlegs #1' glass finger (gary pratt) told about this album with an inaccurate title:

1980 USA METAL MAN HAS HORNET'S WINGS (Featuring Capt. Beefheart) on ©1976 Wizardo Record and Movie Buys WRMB 365. This FRANK ZAPPA bootleg has a shrink-wrapped plain white cover with inserted picture (Mothers)/information sheet but sadly no other information! What I understand this to be is the complete 45 minutes 1975 promo radio show broadcast - with some talking edited out. The Beefheart related tracks on it are the title Metal Man Has Hornet's Wings from pre-Magic Band days, Story of Electricity which is Frank and Don briefly talking about the A&M rejection events (this is over a background of music which Frank says was the 'tape from the night before the cops came in and raided the studios at Cucamonga'). This is followed by the track Unconditionally Guaranteed (but there is no track called this!) which I've seen on tapes as coming from 'Hyde Park '74' so perhaps it is just a jam from the '74 Tragic Band. Side two features Zappa material exclusively, apart from Trout Mask Replica's 'Neon Meate Dream of a Octafish', after which Frank jokes: 'Well, you've been listening to America'. The copy I have has labels which have red on black writing saying UNMITIGATED AUDACITY RECORDS and ©1980 so this must be a re-issue.

there even is quite a number of it! according to hans peter schmidt - who also heard about a variation titled 'wasp man has metal wings' but never saw a copy - the following re-issues exist:

black vinyl - note sheet with picture of the mothers of invention:
usa 19?? modern jazz records wrmb 365
usa 19?? raring records wrmb 365
usa 1980 unmitigated audacity records wrmb 365 stereo
brazil 19?? modern jazz records ebbef 4388
with scrapmetal sheet:
usa 19?? dragonfly records wrmb 365 - black vinyl
usa 19?? ruthless rhymes wrmb 365 - black vinyl
usa 19?? ruthless rhymes wrmb 365 - orange vinyl
usa 19?? [unknown label] wrmb 365 - multicoloured vinyl

how's about adding some years of release to your lists, hans peter?

captain beefheart bootleg - insert frank zappa (featuring capt. beefheart) 'metal man has hornet's wings' elpee
black & white reproduction of notes sheet

usa 1998 head records [no catalogue number]
total time 67.39 minutes
beside the mentioned beefheart-related stuff the vinyl bootlegs only contain a selection of old 'mothers of invention' tunes from the broadcast on the kwst station. a recently made 'home ceedee' of material from the original happening - which must have lasted two hours or more - indeed provides tracks from the live 'bongo fury' collaboration - as well as a bit more chat (while some 'mothers' tunes are left out) and...: a few other previously unreleased zappa/beefheart obscurities!


the layout of this second release by the home cd-factory 'head records' is much simpler than their previous out here over there: [and the later issue captain, my captain]: just colour prints (with variations in sharpness and crape for each copy) on plain paper as well as one pasted to the cd plate itself. the front inlay shows an anachronistic picture of a family of twelve people from the fifties and a portrait on the wall attentively watching a primitive teevee set. the inner flip also includes a wrong photo - zappa during an '80s guitar solo - but the back cover has a more contemporary shot of don (with coca cola can) and frank sitting at a table during a press conference in late june 1975.

THE (beefheart involved) MUSIC
[in case you don't see what the colours of the titles indicate: black = official tracks, blue = by then unknown material, alternate versions or live studio performances]

several seconds of intro and chats further on
frank does most of the talking - what'd you expect? - but they're very informative

orange claw hammer 4.25
this performance at frank's home studio is the ultimate beefheart sensation of the show! it's an amazing, outstanding must-be-heard: instead of the known a capella rap, don is sínging the words of the classic 'trout mask replica' song - while frank plays along on guitar! the result gives us a totally different, beautiful feeling! no doubt, this is the best song they've ever performed together
later addition: a xth generation recording of this unique performance ended up on the box set 'grow fins', and a stainless version was left behind on the web after a re-broadcast of it during the 'captain beefheart 60th birthday special' by the australian radio station 'triple j'...

debra kadabra / carolina hardcore ecstasy 9.32
'bongo fury' songs

the smegmates * will you drink my water 1.11
short 'live' performance by 'a group direct from hollywood, california': two female singers (who make vocal noises too) with frank and don on the background playing guitar and sax respectively

captain beefheart and the magic band * pachuco cadaver 4.21
too well-known to need comment

the soots * i was a teenage maltshop 1.27
part one ánd title track of the 1963 teenage opera 'i was a teenage maltshop', and nót the 1965 cbs demo the notes claim it to be. for an unclear reason the track ends with 'the birth of captain beefheart' (later brought out officially). but don van vliet doesn't appear on this at all: the male speaking ('hello, this is your old friend captain beefheart...') is frank!

the soots * metal man has won his wings 3.50
unreleased 'hitsingle' from 1963 which afterwards appeared on a number of beefheart bootlegs [and of zappa] before the final unlimited release on fz's 'mystery disc' last year. mind that at the end of the previous (mothers) song and in this one's conclusion the partners give valuable information about the collaboration at the time and the rejected recording

the soots * instrumental 2.13
the liner notes forgot to mention that this track #13 actually is the story of 'electricity' to which glass finger said: "which is Frank and Don briefly talking about the A&M rejection events (over a background of instrumental music)". don still is amazed about it: 'ne-ga-ti-ve and not good for [his] daughter'!

captain beefheart and the magic band * neon meate dream of a octafish 2.29
too well-known to need comment

muffin man 6.03
'bongo fury' song

200 years old 8.10
a longer version of the 'bongo fury' song. comes from an acetate (= try-out record) from 1975

captain beefheart bootleg - zappa / beefheart 'an evening with...' cd


noises? well, there aren't any (unless you get upset by the tape surface rustle mainly evident during the spoken fragments)! this bootleg has a perfect sound quality as if taken from the original recording, is digitalised, and even is in fabulous stereo - so nobody will really bother that the ceedee misses some low tones which makes it sound as if the bass guitars somewhat failed...


well, that really is an evening with frank zappa and captain beefheart! marvellous! superb! even some of the tunes captain beefheart isn't involved in are worth listening to... thanks to the included talk, it also gives a better idea of what happened that evening than the shorter vinyl albums of this famous radio show. but it should have been immortalised years ago (but zappa's got a mean widow), for who would dare to withhold that overwhelming version of ORANGE CLAW HAMMER to the world?! i say it's unbelievable...

this ceedee is an essential report in which some beefheart tracks and facts were heard for the first time... it costs a dime, yes, but no good beefheart fan can do without it.



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captain beefheart electricity
as felt by teejo