Captain Beefheart

When I first heard Safe as Milk I realised there was indeed a parallel universe out there and that Captain Beefheart was Master of it. He wasn't the first person to work his band like the tyrannical conductor of a concert orchestra but that is what he did, taking a great deal of care over the parts and introducing weird instruments such as a theremin. The album featured a young Ry Cooder and regulars of the Magic Band with the unlikely but real names of Alexis Clair Snouffer and Herb Bermann. Trout Mask Replica, considered to be his Magnum Opus, is pretty much impervious to aural reception in any meaningful sense, but released as much artistic energy as the entire punk phenomenon, and is thus accorded mythic status.

Here is a great video. There is about a minute of waffle from two guys, one of whom looks as though he belongs in a Beatles trib band, playing Paul, but go forward about a minute and you get this wonderful rendition of...


Spartan said...

Travelled to Newcastle to see the Capt in 1972(Date is according to internet as all memories are a bit hazy concerning dates to say the least).

Beefheart opened with some member of the band dressed in a pink tutu. lt was first time l'd seen them live and what an experience it was.

Zoot Horn Rollo on guitar and Rocket Morton on bass.

After the gig l ended up at someones flat and came home a couple of days later! l seemed to do that a lot in them days.

Wrinkled Weasel said...

The eccentric names of the band members cannot be a fluke then. Maybe if I had changed my name to Zoltan Sidebottom earlier, You would be rifling through my back catalogue.

That sounds rude.

Ending up at someone's flat - I envy you. Nobody ever invited me, unless they were gentlemen who wore violet perfume and elnett hair spray.

Spartan said...

Being brought up in a virtual all female enviroment seemed to help. My grandmother owned a pub and then l had my mother and 3 sisters (father was away at sea and returned for 60hrs max every 3 weeks).

l was at ease with females and found talking to them easy although l did lie about my age. Being a 'rebel' in the eyes of that current society and dressing accordingly also had an effect on the fairer sex.

'Chatting up' is something l do naturally and to be honest l don't realise l'm doing it most of the time .... but my daughters do! Many a time l've got 'Dad, stop it!' They say l embarrass them ... hey ho.

Dave said...

" A squid eating dough in a polyethylene cage is fast and bulbous, got me?"

" I was born in the desert
Sun down in the sky
Went around all day
With the moon sticking in my eye"

Edgar Broughton made more money from "Dropout Boogie" than Don van Vliet (aka Beefheart)

T. P. Fuller said...

By 1974 I reckon he was well past his peak - Strictly Personal does it for me, and of course Troutmask and Lick My Decals Off when out of one's head. I remember listening to Troutmask all the way through in the company some other students. We were completely stoned and the album made a compelling and comprehensible narrative. When I had straightened out I couldn't remember WTF it had been about, except that 20th Century history figured in it somewhere - Hitler, Freud, all that.

Another friend had an African grey parrot with no wing-feathers (it had mange or something like that). It detested Captain Beefheart, and it especially detested Troutmask Replica.

We were listening to that record one afternoon. The player was on the floor. Unknown to us, the parrot had silently climbed up a curtain, edged its way along the picture-rail, and got on top of the wardrobe. During "The Blimp" it jumped down into the record player, which made a horrible noise, much like the parrot's shriek - this last perhaps being occasioned by the bird's rotation at 33 rpm and its almost immediate jamming in the autochange mechanism.

Did I get a degree? You decide.

Wrinkled Weasel said...

Welcome to the Old Hippies blog.