Beefheart Demos and Rarities

Long before Don Van Vliet was considered the Godfather of Punk for his avant-garde approach to music – it was first and foremost his unique blend of psychedelic blues that attracted me to his music. On these early demos, live recordings, and select tracks only found on his early albums (and nowhere else since) is the Beefheart sound distilled to its essential. Listen and decide for yourself:

Sun Zoom Spark (Acoustic Version, November 1971)
Obeah Man (Demo ’66)
I’m Glad (Demo ’66)
Odd Jobs (Full Band Demo ’76)
Evening Bell (Guitar Demo ’81) Gary Lucas on guitar
Evening Bell (Piano Demo ’81)
Sure ‘Nuff ‘n Yes I Do (demo ’67)
Dirty Blue Gene (early blues version) The Spotlight Kid recording sessions, 1972
Plastic Factory (Demo 1967)
Ah Feel Like Acid (From Strictly Personal, 1968)
Drink Paint Run Run (Instrumental) Shiny Beast sessions, 1978
Space-Age Couple (From Lick My Decals Off, Baby, 1970)
Moonchild (From The Legendary A & M Sessions, 1984)
Just Got Back From The City (Demo 66)
Harp Boogie, 1972
Gimme Dat Harp Boy (From Strictly Personal, 1968)
Rollin’ N Tumblin’ (Kidderminster 1968)

Note: Unless otherwise stated, tracks are available on Grow Fins Rarieties 65-82, 1999.

Author: urbangraffito

I am a writer, editor, publisher, philosopher, and foole (not necessarily in that order). Cultural activist and self-described anarchist.

4 thoughts on “Beefheart Demos and Rarities”

  1. excellent collection! By any chance, would there be an encore post with the Harry Irene demo?

  2. [quote comment=”7547″]excellent collection! By any chance, would there be an encore post with the Harry Irene demo?[/quote]

    If it exists, Paul, it will. Love these demos. Especially since, unlike Zappa, there isn’t a large discography of work of Don Van Vliet’s to cull from. Making what demos there are all the more special.

  3. I couldnt agree more. Even with the Tragic Band stuff, everything the man did stands as a gem to be valued. Not just for its technical accomplishments but by pure virtue of his music being so one of a kind. The “Harry Irene” demo can actually be found on the “Brown Star” sessions, which was an aborted attempt at an album pre-“Clear Spot”.

    Warner Brothers gave him some studio time. They did some fiddling and early work outs. A wonderful bootleg but a bugger to find. I have a tape of it but my tape is faulty (the source tape’s are fine) and a lot of beautiful stuff cuts off, like the whistle solo on the Irene demo. If you havent heard it, please check it out. The sparse, jazzy arrangement makes it stand apart from the rest of his output.

  4. Yes!! Yes!! Yes!!! Sorry, got a bit overexcited there..anyway..Most of Don’s output is excellent, apart from the ‘Tragic Band’ stuff, although I still like the title track from ‘Bluejeans and Moonbeams’ and ‘Observatory Crest’. Beefheart himself said he hated the DiMartinos produced albums.

    Thanks for the Van Vliet stuff Urbangraffito!

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