Rare live performances from more than 40 years ago by the late idiosyncratic artist Don Van Vliet, better known as Captain Beefheart, will be featured in a forthcoming 2012 DVD called Capt. Beefheart and his Magic Band: The Lost Broadcasts.
The project, issued by the UK label Gonzo MultiMedia, will focus on performances from April 12, 1972 at the Beat Club studios in Bremen, Germany, where Van Vliet and Co. stopped during a tour of the UK and Europe between releasing the albums The Spotlight Kid and Clear Spot. Only one song was ultimately broadcast at the time, and none of the remaining tracks were ever aired or subsequently released.
Captain Beefheart (vocals, harp) was joined by 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. Tracks include “Mascara Snake”; “Click Clack 1″ and “Click Clack 2″; “Golden Birdies”; “I’m Gonna Booglarize You, Baby 1,” “I’m Gonna Booglarize You, Baby 2″ and “I’m Gonna Booglarize You Baby 3″; and “Steal Softly Through Snow.”
Pre-orders for The Lost Broadcasts, due June 18, 2012, are being taken now at www.gonzomultimedia.co.uk/product_details/15486/Captain_Beefheart_and_his_Magic_Band-The_Lost_Broadcasts.html
“The session kicks off with a bass solo entitled ‘Mascara Snake,’” author Jon Kirkman notes. “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”).”
Van Vliet would have been 72 on Jan. 15, 2012. He died after a bout with multiple sclerosis on Dec. 17, 2010.
Here’s a look back at previous thoughts on Captain Beefheart. Click through the link for expanded reports …
CAPTAIN BEEFHEART: AN APPRECIATION: The man was definitely an enigma. Some called him a mad genius. I’m not sure about the mad part. I heard a long series of interviews with him once and it struck me that he was the kind of person with perhaps too many ideas stuffed into that head. The music is at once tough and off-kilter. It’s also nothing like the watered-down blues that had found its way into the rock music of the times. — Mark Saleski
CAPTAIN BEEFHEART – TROUT MASK REPLICA: A free-thinking concerto which many somehow say helped set the stage for post-punk, new wave surrealism and alternative rock. Really, this album’s producer, Frank Zappa, deserves more credit/blame for jump starting those rock subgenres. Meanwhile, Beefheart more often dissolved into overly concocted-sounding crackpot noddling. He just couldn’t find a way to come off as demented as he, by many accounts, was. — Nick DeRiso
CAPTAIN BEEFHEART – “THE DUST BLOWS FORWARD …”: This song, from Trout Mask Replica, wouldn’t feel out of place on Harry Smith’s Anthology of American Folk Music. Part field holler, part rambling genius. Sometimes weird things just resonate with me. And if forced to make a desert island records list, Trout Mask Replica would have to be on it. You can listen to this thing once a day for a year and still not “get” it all. — Mark Saleski