Captain Beefheart — Revisited


A couple of my favorite Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band videos, “I’m Gonna Booglarize You Baby” (The Spotlight Kid/Clear Spot, 1972) and “Hard Working Man” (Dust Blows Forward – Anthology, 1999) — and a reminder to revisit Barry’s Monday, September 29th, 2008 post of BBC’s documentary on The Captain, narrated by the late great John Peel. Click here.

14 Responses to “Captain Beefheart — Revisited”

  1. peter says:

    I guess it’s fairly shocking that the musical primitive Capt. Beefheart has turned out to be the most influential of the 2 childhood chums.

    Or am I stretching?

  2. SOFA - Philostopher/Chef says:

    Yer stretching…
    (I love the Captain, and take nothing away from his amazing talents. But I think the above is like comparing 2 different fruits, and arguing over which tastes better. I did not study debate in school, but isn’t that the start of an indefensible argument? Purely subjective?)

  3. Hugh says:

    Holy Shit! The Booglarize You clip is off the hook! I caught Beefheart in 1980, but this looks like his “Roxy” band. Those 3 guitars are mesmerizing. Thanks for the post, UrbanG. I’ve never seen that “far-out” video. Beefheart is so fuckin’ cool. He just oozes odd-ball-odd soul.

  4. Jamez says:

    ‘I’m Gonna Booglarize You Baby’ is my fave song from the ‘Spotlight Kid’ album. it grooves like a mutha! If you watch the very hirsuite men in the clip, you will spot three ex-Mothers: Art Tripp on drums, Elliot Ingber on guitar and Roy Estrada on bass.

  5. peter says:

    Oh no, not subjective at all. I just believe CB music has inspired/influenced far more ROCK type (and popular) bands than Frank ever did. Frank’s influence is more on fusion type crap.

  6. Andre/Project Object says:

    Has anyone checked out DIRTY PROJECTORS?? cool band, their guitar stuff always remind me of Beefheartian guitar…..

    Les Claypool always gets asked in interviews “so — you must be really into Zappa”

    he always points out “No – actually BEEFHEART was the one who bowled me over — LARRY (primus gtrist) is more the Zappa fan..

    Les has said he has gotten into Zappa more in recent years. But yeah — this thread nails it — you see ALL kinds of diverse people saying they are into CB…. the great PJ HARVEY is another one.,..she has befriended tha Capt actually, and has been out to visit him, she also has Tepper from CB’s band on a few of her albums and tours. That woman is a GENIUS check out her new album with John Parish

  7. profusion says:

    Hey, I like that “fusion type crap”!!!

    I think it’s safe to say that both FZ and CB have been influential in their own ways. Funny to think that all came from two geeky dudes from Lancaster, Calif. Those are some of my favorite of Frank’s anecodotes in the Real FZ Book.

  8. Hugh says:

    “SUE! GET ME A PEPSI!”

  9. Jamez says:

    A quote from Andre/Project Object:

    Has anyone checked out DIRTY PROJECTORS?? cool band, their guitar stuff always remind me of Beefheartian guitar…..

    Les Claypool always gets asked in interviews “so — you must be really into Zappa”

    he always points out “No – actually BEEFHEART was the one who bowled me over — LARRY (primus gtrist) is more the Zappa fan..

    Les has said he has gotten into Zappa more in recent years. But yeah — this thread nails it — you see ALL kinds of diverse people saying they are into CB…. the great PJ HARVEY is another one.,..she has befriended tha Capt actually, and has been out to visit him, she also has Tepper from CB’s band on a few of her albums and tours. That woman is a GENIUS check out her new album with John Parish

    P J Harvey has Eric Drew Feldman from the Magic Band in her tour band and also on her studio albums. Also, staying with the influence of the Captain on Brit musicians, Joe Strummer from the Clash said that when he was sixteen ‘Trout Mask Replica’ was the only album he listened to for a year and John “Johnny Rotten” Lydon lists ‘The Blimp’ as one of his fave tunes.

  10. P-Rip says:

    I’m a Beefhart novice…other than Zappa-related material, Trout Mask and a 2-disc collection. This is a superficial question, but in early images, such as the “Booglarize” video, Beefhart appears…well..beefy. In later photos, etc. (Bongo Fury onward) he appears quite thin. Was he ill or just intentional weight loss? As I said, superficial, but have always been curious.

  11. urbangraffito says:

    A quote from P-Rip:

    I’m a Beefhart novice…other than Zappa-related material, Trout Mask and a 2-disc collection. This is a superficial question, but in early images, such as the “Booglarize” video, Beefhart appears…well..beefy. In later photos, etc. (Bongo Fury onward) he appears quite thin. Was he ill or just intentional weight loss? As I said, superficial, but have always been curious.

    I envy you, P-Rip. Listening to all those fantastic Beefheart albums and bootlegs for the first time. It’s almost like the feeling one gets upon hearing Zappa and the Mothers for the first time. Almost, but different. Each of them are different sides of the same avant-garde coin. Which side is the shiniest? I don’t know. Or care.

    As for Don’s weight, it appears average during the Trout years (during which time he and the Magic band were holed up for months creating and rehearsing as they learned their individual parts; somewhat overweight while on tour in the early 70s; then back down when he toured with FZ on the Bongo Fury tour (Did Frank always keep his musicians hungry? Maybe that’s why Don kept drawing caricatures of him as the Devil?). If you listened to the BBC documentary, though, it says that Don suffers from a chronic managed illness. From the looks of him, and his early retirement in the 80s, I can only surmise it is some auto-immune disorder (while manageable, it appears to leave him thin, weakened, and obviously unable to tour anymore). Anyway, that’s my guess, for what it’s worth.

  12. peter says:

    Don lost all that weight around 1974 thanks to his wife Jan teaching him how to eat properly and exercise.

  13. Paul Sempschi says:

    There’s an interview out there about how he has a tredmill at home so people wouldnt see him jogging outside… he grew up lifting stale pineapple biscuits ot of his Dad’s breadtruck, that and all the Pepsi, jeez, it’s lucky they could fit him on those vinyl 45’s.

    That being said, whether it’s direct or not, the current percussive-heavy hiphop sound prevalent in the recent years of pop music, could be blamed on coming from a Beefheart vein, as his music always had a percussive-logic to them. There’s even elements of electronica that sound a bit Beefheartean: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hTO_3UdmxHg

  14. peter says:

    The list of Beefheart devotees is huge, many of them even more influential (for better or worse) than Don himself. An early one can be heard on DEVO’s debut LP: the drum intro to “Satisfaction” is clearly lifted from the drum intro to Trout Mask’s “Ant Man Bee.” Don is all over post punk and new wave…and of course all the subterranean avant garde indies.

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