London, UK: Don Van Vliet, (1941-2010) better known to his legions of fans as Captain Beefheart was one of the most enigmatic figures in rock music. Unashamedly an artist, rather than a pop star, he forged his own idiosyncratic furrow through popular culture, producing some of the most innovative and uncompromising music ever committed to recording tape. From the age of three he painted and sculpted, and had an obsession with animals and the natural world. As a teenager he was friends with Frank Zappa, and as early as 1963 they recorded a demo under the name The Soots. Sadly this was unsuccessful, and the world would have to wait a few more years before Beefheart’s own unique take on the blues would be heard by anyone outside his own particular circle of friends. His first album, Safe as Milk came out in 1967, and Hunter Davies’ eponymous biography of The Beatles notes that John Lennon was an early fan. It is not surprising considering that the primal rock and roll that Lennon idolized and the pioneering surreal blues of Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band, had much the same cultural genesis. Probably the most important album of the Captain’s career was the Zappa produced Trout Mask Replica which was released in 1969. Its mixture of blues, free-form improvisation and heavily structured Van Vliet avant-garde compositions proved too much for many listeners but eventually ensured him a place in the history books. High profile fans of this album include the late John Peel, who would remain a champion of Beefheart’s until he died.
In 1972 Captain Beefheart released two albums; The Spotlight Kid and Clear Spot. He also toured the UK and Europe with the Magic Band, even performing two concerts at London's famed Royal Albert Hall. On April 12th, in the middle of the European leg of the tour, Captain Beefheart and The Magic Band stopped off at the Beat Club studios in Bremen, Germany to film a session for later transmission. Of the four songs filmed that day only one track has ever been broadcast. The band at that time included: Captain Beefheart (Don Van Vliet) vocals, harp; Rockette Morton (Mark Boston) guitar and bass; Zoot Horn Rollo (Bill Harkleroad) guitar; Orejon (Roy Estrada) bass; Ed Marimba (Art Tripp) drums; and Winged Eel Fingerling (Elliot Ingber) guitar. Author Jon Kirkman describes the recordings: “The session kicks off with a bass solo entitled ‘Mascara Snake’. This short piece was named after a former member of the Magic Band Victor Hayden (Don's cousin), who had appeared on the Trout Mask Replica album. The solo is played by Mark Boston, although at this point former Mothers of Invention bassist Roy Estrada had joined The Magic Band following his departure from Little Feat in early 1972. The other songs in the set here include a track dating back to 'Trout Mask Replica' (‘Steal Softly Thru Snow’) and also a track that would be featured on Clear Spot some eight months later (Golden Birdies).
Now, over 40 years later, much to the excitement of Capt. Beefheart fans worldwide, premier UK label Gonzo MultiMedia will be releasing these historic Beat Club sessions on DVD titled Capt. Beefheart and his Magic Band – The Lost Broadcasts. These films have not been seen in over four decades and are the complete sessions from April 12, 1972. Only one song was broadcast at the time and then never to be seen again. This DVD contains all the material filmed during that session now available for the very first time!
Tracks: 1. MASCARA SNAKE (BASS SOLO) 3:06, 2. CLICK CLACK 1 3:44, 3. CLICK CLACK 2 1:26, 4. GOLDEN BIRDIES 1:58, 5. BAND INTROS 0:56, 6. I'M GONNA BOOGLARIZE YOU BABY 1 4:26, 7. I'M GONNA BOOGLARIZE YOU BABY 2 5:02, 8. STEAL SOFTLY THRU THE SNOW 3:33, 9. I'M GONNA BOOGLARIZE YOU BABY 3 5:19
This story appears courtesy of Glass Onyon PR - William James.
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