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PostPosted: Sun Jan 03, 2010 9:08 pm 
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MB9M6tzANNk

Yes, with Dick Clark. CB and the Magic band were more or less a straightforward blues rock band in 1966. That would change soon afterwards.

John French's book about his time in the Magic band is coming out soon. There's some exerpts here:
http://www.propermusic.com/tteom/extracts.pdf

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2010 9:23 pm 
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Life under Captain Beefheart's regime:
http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/ ... t=0&page=1

"On first hearing, it sounded as if the individual musical components had been emptied into the songs like a bundle of scrap metal being dropped down a chute. Yet every number had actually been carefully transcribed and painstakingly rehearsed. With every beat and note in its ascribed place, these outlandishly avant-garde pieces could (and would) be repeated, exactly to order."

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2010 4:49 pm 
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People should dance like that to Trout Mask Replica! :laugh:

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2010 10:24 pm 
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I got John French's book about Beefheart recently, 880pgs! Lots of Zappa info in there also.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2010 4:23 am 
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Thanks DrDark, but I have already read that book.

I really enjoyed!

Nice to find out we have so much in common.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 6:36 am 
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Gary Lucas on Don's music:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ED3oIxZKgU4

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2010 7:05 am 
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user comment for part 6 of 6 of the BBC Beefheart documentary:

"i put TMR on in my car once and one of the passengers screamed 'stop the car!', grabbed the tape and stomped it into little pieces." :laugh:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L_Prs_W5ffs

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 25, 2010 4:31 am 
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DrDark wrote:


Gary Lucas co-wrote Grace, by Jeff Buckley. Here's a really nice French TV version of Grace in HD:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SGuV18oHw18

Check out the lyrics and keys in the 'more info'.

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Last edited by DrDark on Thu Mar 25, 2010 4:40 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 25, 2010 4:39 am 
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zappa61 wrote:
Thanks DrDark, but I have already read that book.

I really enjoyed!

Nice to find out we have so much in common.


I'm about halfway through the Beefheart book. Holy &^^$ he really WAS crazy! Very disturbing stories about life in the trout house in Woodland Hills during the making of TMR.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 27, 2010 11:48 pm 
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Here's a letter in the latest edition of Record Collector regarding a 20-minute, unannounced improv. by Captain Beefheart and Frank Zappa at the Speakeasy club in London:

'Kudos to Chris ‘boil all cats’ Welch for his glorious glimpses into this reader’s music past and especially the vignette on the Speakeasy club (Rock ‘n’ Roll Diaries, RC373). I was a lead vocalist/ blues harp man on the East Coast USA in the late 60s. After leaving university, I ventured to London (hopefully) to seek even more fame. I had run an NME advert hoping to latch on to a suitable blues outfit. Muff Winwood at 69 New Oxford Street was my local contact.

In October 69 I was invited to jam at the ‘Speak’ with a nice bunch of northern lads, The Mooche, who enjoyed a minor UK chart placing with a rousing cover of the original US hit, Hot Smoke & Sassafrass, for Pye. The bass player Dave told me the band wanted to edge out of popsike into blues rock and change with the musical tastes of the day.

Being fussy, I hired my own amp at Keith Prowse for my blues harp and, while picking it up, met my UK pop heroes Timebox. Island Records were funding the purchase of new equipment for their soon-to-belaunched new signing Patto. The lads were at Keith Prowse sorting out their new gear. Later I became fast mates with Ollie and Mike and even issued my Timebox compilation LP The Original Moose On The Loose on my Cosmos imprint in 1977 in the US.

At the ‘Speak’ on stage with The Mooche I joined for a few numbers and sang Born In Chicago. Just after the roadies tore down the gear at the end of the Mooche set, a mic and amp were set up, and without any announcement or fanfare, two long-haired geezers improvised free jazz, uninterrupted for 20 minutes... Frank Zappa on electric guitar and Captain Beefheart blowing his straight soprano sax. My life was now complete!'

by Neil Kempfer-Stocker

http://www.recordcollectormag.com/lette ... detail/487

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 5:58 am 
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Here's some highlights of the John French book via a recent interview with him:
http://www.diskant.net/features/john-dr ... interview/

Don was basically a bully and abused everyone he worked with if they would let him. Only EDF and Jeff Tepper escaped his wrath. They are the only 2 who kept in touch with Don. Both declined to be interviewed by French.

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PostPosted: Sat May 08, 2010 4:20 am 
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I finally finished the Beefheart book by John French (all 864 pages). It's pretty amazing he could remember things to that level of detail after 40 years. He did spend a lot of time interviewing other MB members and it's certainly true that a lot of the events were truly memorable (like getting thrown down a flight of stairs by Don). The best part is the last section of almost 100 pages of track notes. There is also one section right before the Lick My Decals Off track notes that summarizes things nicely (bottom of page 815).

"I would liken it to building a house. One man has a concept for a house. He reads a few books and does a great deal of research on building houses. He goes to an architect with some rough sketches and has a plan drawn, makes a materials list, buys the materials, selects a site and carefully marks a spot on the site where the house is to be built. If there are questions, he has the answer because he daily studies the plans and the progress so as to be kept up to date. He confers with the general contractor and the sub-contractors often and keeps things rolling as seamlessly as possible. At the end of the job, everyone got paid and praised for their efforts. This is the way Zappa worked.

If Van Vliet built a house like he wrote music, the methodology would go something like this. He gets an idea for a house, but the house is sketched on the back of a Denny's placemat in such an odd fashion that when he presents it to the contractor without plans or research, the contractor says, "This structure is going to be hard to build, it's going to be tough to make it safe and stable because it is so unique in design." Van Vliet then yells at the contractor and intimidates him into doing the job anyway. The contractor builds the home, figuring out all the intricacies involved in structural integrity himself because whenever he approaches Van Vliet, he finds that he seems completely unable to comprehend technical problems and just yells "Quit asking me this stuff and build the damned house". If he shows up on the site, almost nothing gets done except everyone talks a lot about things that have nothing to do with finishing the house. When the house is finished no one gets paid, and Van Vliet has a housewarming party, invites none of the builders and tells his guests that he built the whole thing himeself."

Everything about Don's music was completely (musically) "wrong".

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PostPosted: Wed May 12, 2010 6:07 am 
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Page 817, track notes for Doctor Dark:

"This song kicks in at a much higher level. The first section has Bill playing a repetitive line four times with Mark playing two separate lines beneath. There are several subtle differences from part to part and Boston's playing here is as phenomenal as anything on TMR and more so. I'm playing a line straight from Wild Life, the first part, in fact, but slightly altered because I am now using two bass drums. I love the way the second section is played 3 times and then off to something new. Most people think in terms of music playing 2 or four of something - numbers. This pulls the listener to a new section at the same time slightly disorienting them. Don's voice slides in at 0:30 on top of an even more powerful section in 4/4 clicks. This is a classic "Don on piano" part and is reminiscent of many I wrote during TMR. The next (0:41) part is almost a TMR type change to 3/4 time. (0:52) reveals a section reminiscent of Frownland, but more suspended. Mark is playing an almost county-esque riff under Bill's suspended chord but the drums, rather than being so free-form are here playing a pattern although there doesn't seem to be any "pulse". This feeling continues on in the next section at (1:12) with a more intense dissonance on the bass and an expansion of the guitar part as if more explanation is necessary, and both parts are starting and ending toegther over the suspension. At (1:31) a discernable pulse returns but bass and guitar take separate time signatures. At (1:41) Artie joins Bill playing a long line that seems to be in seven over Mark's more conventional line in four. (2:00) brings in a more clearly TMR-style section in four then at (2:10) the bass takes leave of it's senses and explodes in emotion as the song begins to fade. I have always been amazed at the music to this piece and it never fails to move me. Part of the reason is I never heard it until the guitar and bass were finished, so I don't know the framework nearly as well. Although both instruments shine in this piece, it's really clear that Mark has had some incredible growth since TMR and is playing stuff I've never heard a bass player before or since achieve.

The lyrics I find that I am unqualified to approach, as with most Van Vliet lyrics. I see childlike metaphors of night coming as a scary omnious figure on horseback, perhaps thunder and lightning being imagined as horse hooves making sparks. The moon seems the only anchor of serenity here and the music seems to set a mode of hope during the moon episodes. There are blues images, but they are taken to a supersonic level - 'The hell hounds, hell hounds, horn rim crimped'. This is a phenomenal piece".

"Bill" is Bill Harkleroad, "Zoot Horn Rollo", on guitar
"Mark" is Mark Boston, "Rockette Morton", on bass
"Artie" is Art Tripp, "Ed Marimba", on drums
the writer is John French, "Drumbo", on drums

You can listen to this by clicking this link:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p9eTwPgl0GU

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 18, 2010 6:30 am 
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The Trout House in Woodland Hills is for sale. Maybe Polly will buy it?
http://www.redfin.com/CA/Woodland-Hills ... me/4311758

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 18, 2010 7:07 pm 
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It's a buyer's market right now...

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