Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band ¦ The Mirror Man Sessions

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1999

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Mirror Man
Mirror Man Beefheart.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedApril 1971
RecordedOctober–November 1967
StudioTTG Studios, Hollywood
Genre
Length52:51
LabelBuddah
ProducerBob Krasnow
Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band chronology
Lick My Decals Off, Baby
(1970)
Mirror Man
(1971)
The Spotlight Kid
(1972)

Mirror Man is the fifth studio album by American rock band Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band, released in April 1971 by Buddah Records. It contains material that was recorded for the label in 1967 and originally intended for release as part of an abandoned project entitled It Comes to You in a Plain Brown Wrapper. Much of the material from this project was subsequently re-recorded and released through a different label as Strictly Personal (1968). The tapes from the original sessions, however, remained under the care of Buddah, who took four of the unissued tunes and released them as Mirror Man. The album sleeve features an erroneous claim that it had been "recorded one night in Los Angeles in 1965".

The album is dominated by three long, blues-rooted jams featuring uncharacteristically sparse lyrical accompaniment from Beefheart. A fourth tune, the eight-minute "Kandy Korn", is an earlier version of a track that appears on Strictly Personal. In 1999, Buddha Records issued an expanded version of the album entitled The Mirror Man Sessions, which features five additional tracks taken from the abandoned tapes.

History

When the band went into the studio in late 1967 to record the follow-up to their debut album Safe as Milk, which had been released earlier that year, it was with the intention of producing a double album, provisionally entitled It Comes to You in a Plain Brown Wrapper.[1] Three of the tracks they recorded—"Tarotplane", "25th Century Quaker", and "Mirror Man"—were long, psychedelic blues jams performed 'live in the studio' (in one take with no overdubs).[1] These were intended to fill one of the set's two LPs.[2] The band were also working on a number of other tracks, many of which would eventually be included on Strictly Personal (1968). These songs were characterized by their polyrhythmic structures and psychedelic themes, which marked a progression from the band's previous blues-rooted work on Safe as Milk.[2]

The Brown Wrapper concept, however, was at some point abandoned, and many of the tracks from the sessions were left unfinished and without any vocals.[2] The reason for this remains unclear, though Beefheart biographer Mike Barnes suggests it was probably because the band's record label, Buddah, simply lost interest.[2] A number of the abandoned tracks were re-recorded in 1968, and released as Strictly Personal, through producer Bob Krasnow's own record label, Blue Thumb. The original session tapes, however, which included the three long blues jams along with a number of other unreleased songs, remained the property of Buddah, who released Mirror Man in May 1971, compiling the track list from the three 'live' jams and a finished version of "Kandy Korn" (which was one of the tracks re-recorded for Strictly Personal, where it appears in shortened form).[3] The album's original pressing was put together somewhat carelessly, with the cover art featured a shot of the band's 1970 line-up.[3] Later pressings replaced this photo with a more striking image of Van Vliet (Beefheart) wearing a top hat.

Music and lyrics

The opening track, "Tarotplane", takes its title after the Robert Johnson song "Terraplane Blues", which was about a popular 1930s car.[4] Throughout "Tarotplane"'s nineteen minutes, Van Vliet quotes lines from Johnson's song as well as from various other blues tunes including Blind Willie Johnson's "You're Gonna Need Somebody on Your Bond", Son House's "Grinning in Your Face", and Willie Dixon's "Wang Dang Doodle".[4] The song is built on a single two-chord blues riff, and also features an appearance by Van Vliet on an Indian reed instrument called a shehnai, which was supposedly given to him by Ornette Coleman, and which he plays in a different key from the rest of the band.[5]

Also on side one is an eight-minute "Kandy Korn", the second Magic Band tune to reference confectionery, following Safe as Milk's "Abba Zaba".[6] A different, shorter version of this song appears as the closing track on Strictly Personal, where the production buries the later sections of the song under a profusion of backwards cymbals.[7] Here, the track is heard without Krasnow's controversial production effects.

The second long 'live' blues jam, "25th Century Quaker", owes its surreal lyrics more to the psychedelic mood of the time, with its references to "blue cheese faces" and "eyes that flutter like a wide-open shutter." Around the time the song was recorded the band had been wearing black Quaker coats on stage, and even began to play their live shows as The 25th Century Quakers.[5]

The album closes with its fifteen-minute title track; an AllMusic review of the album cites "Mirror Man" as "one of the key tracks of Beefheart's entire career", adding, "Probably the catchiest tune Beefheart ever wrote, 'Mirror Man' has an almost funky, hip-swaying groove."[8] Drummer John French notes, "This is the session in which I was told afterwards I had been given LSD in my tea by someone. Actually, it must have been a rather small amount, because I didn't find myself too far from reality."[9] Like "Kandy Korn", it was re-recorded for Strictly Personal, where it appears as "Son of Mirror Man – Mere Man".

Critical and popular reception

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic3.5/5 stars[10]

Reviews of the album have made much of the length of its four compositions. A contemporary review written for Rolling Stone magazine by Lester Bangs, who opens by citing Beefheart as "one of the four or five unqualified geniuses to rise from the hothouses of American music in the Sixties", states: "None of them really build in intensity or end up anyplace other than where they started, and would most likely prove intolerable to anyone already a bit put off by Beefheart's work."[11] Mike Barnes suggests the lengths are partly justified by other bands' long blues compositions of the period, such as the nineteen-minute "Revelation" from Love's Da Capo (1966), or the eleven-minute "Alligator" from the Grateful Dead's Anthem of the Sun (1968).[5] Bangs, too, goes on to say, "If all those millions settled for Cream throttling 'Spoonful' for 16 minutes, their attention spans shouldn't have any trouble with this, which is not only better blues jamming but actually has more variety."[11] The album reached a peak UK chart position of number 49, although, like all other Magic Band releases, it failed to break into the top 100 in the United States.[12]

Track listing

Original LP

All tracks written by Don Van Vliet and published by Flamingo Music.

Side one
No.TitleLength
1."Tarotplane"19:08
2."Kandy Korn"8:07
Side two
No.TitleLength
1."25th Century Quaker"9:50
2."Mirror Man"15:46

The Mirror Man Sessions

In 1999, Buddha Records (which had renamed itself to correct the earlier misspelling, 'Buddah') reissued the album under the title The Mirror Man Sessions,[13] which was released with a newly expanded track list and a 12-page booklet explaining the history of the recordings. The additional tracks included on this release are also taken from the abandoned Brown Wrapper sessions, and thus yield a track listing which is somewhat closer to the original concept. Other tracks from these sessions are included as bonus material on Buddha's 1999 issue of Safe as Milk.

No.TitleLength
1."Tarotplane"19:08
2."25th Century Quaker"9:50
3."Mirror Man"15:46
4."Kandy Korn"8:06
5."Trust Us" (Take 6)7:14
6."Safe as Milk" (Take 12)5:00
7."Beatle Bones n' Smokin' Stones"3:11
8."Moody Liz" (Take 8)4:32
9."Gimme Dat Harp Boy"3:32

Personnel

Additional personnel

Notes

  1. ^ a b Barnes, p. 46
  2. ^ a b c d Barnes, p. 48
  3. ^ a b Barnes, p. 156
  4. ^ a b Barnes, p. 46
  5. ^ a b c Barnes, p. 47
  6. ^ Barnes, p. 61
  7. ^ Barnes, p. 62
  8. ^ Mason, Stewart. AllMusic review
  9. ^ French, p. 785
  10. ^ Allmusic review
  11. ^ a b Bangs, Lester (April 1, 1971). "Mirror Man" review for Rolling Stone. Accessed at beefheart.com Archived 2010-02-18 at the Wayback Machine.
  12. ^ Barnes, p. 358
  13. ^ The Mirror Man Sessions at AllMusic

References

  • Barnes, Mike (2000). Captain Beefheart. Omnibus Press. ISBN 1-84449-412-8
  • French, John (2010). Beefheart: Through The Eyes of Magic. Proper Music Publishing Limited.ISBN 978-0-9561212-1-9

Artist(s)

Veröffentlichungen von Captain Beefheart die im OTRS erhältlich sind/waren:

Captain Beefheart auf Wikipedia (oder andere Quellen):

Captain Beefheart, Toronto, 1974

Captain Beefheart (* 15. Januar 1941 in Glendale, Kalifornien; † 17. Dezember 2010 in Arcata, Kalifornien)[1] war das Pseudonym von Don Glen Van Vliet (geboren als Donald Vliet), einem US-amerikanischen Autor, Dichter, Komponisten und Musiker experimenteller Rock- und Bluesmusik sowie Maler. Seine unkonventionelle Musik wurde ab den späten 1960er-Jahren einem größeren Publikum bekannt. Dies wurde begünstigt durch Unterstützung und Zusammenarbeit mit seinem Schulfreund, dem Gitarristen und Komponisten Frank Zappa. Ein wesentlicher Teil von Beefhearts musikalischem Werk zeichnet sich durch ungewöhnliche Arrangements, Polyrhythmik, nichtmetrisches Timing und oftmals kryptische oder bewusst absurde Songtexte aus. Seine wohl bekannteste Veröffentlichung ist das Doppelalbum Trout Mask Replica aus dem Jahr 1969.

Werk

Erste Schritte

Van Vliet zog mit seiner Familie 1954 nach Lancaster in die Mojave-Wüste, wo er an der High School den jungen Frank Zappa kennenlernte. Im Winter 1958/59 nahm er mit ihm erste Stücke auf, von denen das Stück Lost in a Whirlpool auf dem 1996 erschienenen Zappa-Album The Lost Episodes herauskam. Dieses enthält unter anderem neben drei gemeinsamen Aufnahmen aus den Jahren 1968/69 außerdem das Lied Tiger Roach, welches Zappa und Beefheart 1962 oder 1963 mit den Musikern Janschi (Bass) und Vic Mortenson (Schlagzeug) aufgenommen hatten. 1964 gründete er die Magic Band und debütierte mit ihr 1965 bei der Hollywood Teenage Fair.

Frühwerk

Bereits im folgenden Jahr veröffentlichte die Gruppe ihre erste Single Diddy Wah Diddy, kurz darauf gefolgt von Moonchild, einfache, direkte Rhythm-and-Blues-Stücke, die aber anfangs nicht auf Anklang in der Musikindustrie stießen. Die Band versuchte einen Plattenvertrag zu bekommen und Beefheart unterschrieb verschiedene Verträge, die ihm angeboten wurden, was ihm später noch rechtliche Probleme und anstrengende Gerichtsprozesse bescherte. Trotzdem konnte die Band 1967 ihr erstes Album Safe as Milk bei Buddah Records veröffentlichen. Hier spielte Ry Cooder auf mehreren Stücken Gitarre, setzte aber auch nachträgliche Änderungen durch.

Das Folgewerk Strictly Personal von 1968 wurde vom Produzenten Bob Krasnow in „psychedelischer“ Manier unabgesprochen neu abgemischt. Krasnow veränderte es dadurch so sehr, dass Van Vliet sich später davon distanzierte. Nur das Angebot Frank Zappas, mit vollständiger kreativer Kontrolle zu seinem neu gegründeten Label Straight Records zu wechseln, hielt Beefheart davon ab, sich zurückzuziehen.

Strictly Personal zeichnet sich bereits als ungewöhnliche und komplexe Kombination aus Delta Blues und Avantgarde-Rock mit gelegentlichen Free-Jazz-Einflüssen aus. 1992 erschienen einige von Krasnow unbearbeitete Takes der Aufnahmesessions auf I May Be Hungry But I Sure Ain’t Weird, ansonsten gelten die Masterbänder des Albums als verschollen.

Erst 1971 erschien dann Mirror Man, das eigentlich zweite Album der Band, das bereits 1967/1968 aufgenommen worden war. Es besteht aus nur vier langen Stücken, von denen Kandy Korn sich in einer anderen Version auch auf Strictly Personal findet. Das Album ist deutlich das fehlende Glied („missing link“) im Frühwerk der Band, wird doch hier die beginnende Wandlung der Band von einer zwar eigenwilligen, aber letztlich noch konventionellen Bluesrockband hin zu einem experimentellen Format erstmals deutlich.

Trout Mask Replica

Im Jahr 1969 erschien das von Frank Zappa produzierte Album Trout Mask Replica (deutsch: „Forellenmasken-Nachbildung“) als eine der ersten Veröffentlichungen des Labels Straight Records. Das Doppelalbum enthält achtundzwanzig Musikstücke, die über die Dauer eines Jahres eingespielt wurden. Gemeinsam mit dem Nachfolger Lick My Decals Off, Baby gilt Trout Mask Replica vielen Kritikern als ein Meilenstein der Rockgeschichte und als das beste Album von Captain Beefheart & his Magic Band. Auf diesen musikalisch radikalen Alben ist der Einfluss von Free Jazz und moderner Klassik stärker als auf den Vorgängern. Beefheart selbst erklärte immer, überhaupt keine Einflüsse zu haben.

Die meisten Kompositionen auf dem Album sind von Polyrhythmen und atonaler Harmonik gekennzeichnet und verschmelzen Einflüsse aus Free Jazz und Delta Blues. Der charakteristische, roh wirkende Klang entstand durch die Besetzung aus zwei Leadgitarren, Bassklarinette, mehreren Saxophonen sowie Beefhearts rauem Gesang, der sich nur vage am Takt der Musik orientiert. Die Aufnahmen zum Album entstanden in langen Sessions, während deren die Magic Band im selben Haus zusammenlebte, in dem das Album auch aufgenommen wurde. Beefheart bestand darauf, seine Gesangsparts ohne Monitorkopfhörer aufzunehmen, hörte also die Musik nicht, während er sang.[2]

Bekannt wurde auch die von Grafiker gestaltete Albumhülle von Trout Mask Replica: Das Foto auf der Vorderseite zeigt eine Person vor leuchtend rotem Hintergrund, die sich den präparierten Kopf eines Karpfens als Maske vor das Gesicht hält, wie zum Gruß die rechte Hand erhebt und auf dem Kopf einen kegelförmigen Hut mit einem Federball obenauf trägt.

Auf der 2003 erstmals veröffentlichten Liste des US-Musikmagazins Rolling Stone, “The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time” (deutsch: „Die 500 großartigsten Alben aller Zeiten“) steht das Album Trout Mask Replica auf Platz 58.[3]

Die „Tragic Band“

Captain Beefheart bei einem Konzert in der Convocation Hall, Toronto, 1974
Captain Beefheart (links) mit Frank Zappa bei einem Konzert in New Haven, CT

Die Ansprüche, die Beefheart in diesen komplexen Werken mit seiner rauen, etwas an den Bluessänger Howlin’ Wolf erinnernden Stimme, deren Umfang über viereinhalb Oktaven reichte, und seiner surrealen Lyrik an den Hörer stellte, überforderten die breite Hörerschaft, und ein kommerzieller Erfolg blieb aus. Auf den beiden 1972 veröffentlichten Alben The Spotlight Kid und Clear Spot milderte er die konzeptionelle Strenge der Vorgänger zugunsten eines verspielteren, gelegentlich fast konventionellen Stils. Nachdem auch diese Platten nicht den erhofften Erfolg hatten, zerbrach die Magic Band, und Beefheart verlor seinen Plattenvertrag.

Beefheart ging nun für zwei Jahre nach Großbritannien und veröffentlichte dort mit einer neuen, unter Fans teils als „Tragic Band“ bezeichneten Magic Band die Alben Unconditionally Guaranteed (1974) und Bluejeans And Moonbeams (1974). Viele Kritiker sahen darin seine schlechtesten Arbeiten, da er seinen unverkennbaren Stil zu kraftlosem Popblues verwässere. Captain Beefheart kehrte in die USA zurück. Er traf wieder auf seinen alten Freund Frank Zappa, und auf der Tournee 1975 entstand das gemeinsame Live-Album Bongo Fury. Sein Auftritt hier passt zum ironisch-zynischen Stil und zur expressiven Spielfreude Zappas.

Spätwerk

1976 produzierte er Bat Chain Puller, das als Album anfangs unveröffentlicht blieb. Nachdem er 1978 einen neuen Vertrag bei Virgin Records bekam, erschienen einige der Stücke auf Shiny Beast (Bat Chain Puller). Stilistisch war das Werk wieder eine Rückkehr zu seinen Wurzeln, einer exzentrischen Melange aus Bluesrock und Avantgarde.

Das 1980 erschienene Doc at Radar Station bringt die Grundelemente seines Werks – den Blues, eine expressiv-absurde Lyrik, komplexe Gitarren- und Rhythmusarrangements und fremdartige, fast atonale Kompositionen – noch einmal in der für Beefheart typischen Weise zusammen.

1982 erschien mit Ice Cream For Crow sein letztes Album, das wieder mehr konventionelle Arrangements aufweist und als spätes Bekenntnis zum Blues gedeutet wurde. Das vorletzte Stück The Thousandth And Tenth Day Of The Human Totem Pole wird als ein erster und letzter pessimistischer Kommentar des Captain zur menschlichen Zivilisation interpretiert. 1984 gab es weitere Aufnahmen, die jedoch nicht veröffentlicht wurden. Danach wurde keine neue Musik von Captain Beefheart mehr veröffentlicht, und er trat nicht mehr als Musiker auf.

Das allgemeine Erkennen des Potentials seiner Musik setzte erst mit der Beendigung seiner Musikkarriere ein. Insbesondere junge Punk- und New-Wave-Bands wie Devo, Pere Ubu, The Fall, Public Image Ltd. und viele andere ließen sich von ihm inspirieren. Mit den Jahren wuchs diese Anerkennung weiter, im Rückblick wird er als einer der wichtigsten Musiker der Rockgeschichte gesehen, einer der ersten, die den Rock an seine musikalische Grenze brachten.

Karriereende, Neubeginn und Rückzug

Don Van Vliet zog aus dieser letzten Enttäuschung die endgültige Konsequenz und beendete 1985 seine Karriere als Musiker. Er zog sich mit seiner Frau in die Mojavewüste zurück und machte die Malerei zu seinem Beruf. Wegen seines zeichnerischen Könnens hatte er in seiner Kindheit als Wunderkind gegolten und Anfang der 1950er Jahre sogar ein Stipendium in Europa angeboten bekommen, das seine Eltern jedoch ausschlugen.

Für Van Vliet bewährte sich diese Entscheidung, da er als Maler von seinen Arbeiten, die zuweilen an die COBRA-Gruppe und andere an „primitiver“ Kunst interessierte 50er-Jahre-Malerei erinnern, besser leben konnte als von seiner Arbeit als Musiker. Einige seiner Bilder erzielten Preise von über 100.000 US-Dollar.[4] Mit Beginn der 1990er Jahre zog sich Don Van Vliet vollständig aus der Öffentlichkeit zurück. Es wurde trotz gegenteiliger Behauptungen vermutet, dass dies auf eine Erkrankung mit multipler Sklerose zurückzuführen sei. 2004 wohnte er in Trinidad, Kalifornien.[5] Vliet verstarb am 17. Dezember 2010 in Nordkalifornien nach einer Komplikation infolge von multipler Sklerose.[6]

Bandmitglieder

  • 1964: Gitarre: Alex St. Clair und . Bass: . Schlagzeug: .
  • 1967: Gitarre: Alex St. Clair und Antennae Jimmy Semens (geboren Jeff Cotton). Bass: . Schlagzeug: John „Drumbo“ French. Einige Stücke begleitet Ry Cooder auf dem Album Safe as Milk.
  • 1969: Gitarre: Antennae Jimmy Semens (geboren als Jeff Cotton), Zoot Horn Rollo (geboren als Bill Harkleroad). Bass: Rockette Morton (Mark Boston). Schlagzeug: John „Drumbo“ French. Bassklarinette: The Mascara Snake ().
  • 1970: Gitarre: Zoot Horn Rollo (Bill Harkleroad), andere Quellen („Captain Beefheart Electricity“) nennen auch Doog Moon und Jeff Cotton. Bass: Rockette Morton (Mark Boston). Bassklarinette: The Mascara Snake. Schlagzeug: John French und Art Tripp (als Ed Marimba), der auch Percussion spielte.
  • 1972: Gitarre: Zoot Horn Rollo und Winged Eel Fingerling (Elliott Ingber). Bass: Rockette Morton und Oréjon (Roy Estrada). Schlagzeug: John French, Art Tripp (als Ted Cactus und Ed Marimba), Rhys Clark.
  • 1978: Gitarre: Jeff Morris Tepper, Richard Redus. Keyboards: Eric Drew Feldmann. Posaune: Bruce Fowler. Schlagzeug: Robert Williams. Percussion: Art Tripp (Ed Marimba).
  • 1980: Gitarre: Jeff Morris Tepper, Gary Lucas, John French, Keyboards: Eric Drew Feldmann, Posaune: Bruce Fowler. Schlagzeug: Robert Williams, John French. Bass: John French.
  • 1982: Gitarre: Jeff Morris Tepper, Gary Lucas. Keyboards: Eric Drew Feldmann. Bass und Marimba: Richard Midnight Hatsize Snyder. Schlagzeug: Cliff Martinez.

Bedeutung und Zitate

  • „Wenn Beefheart Pop machte, hörte es sich an wie Avantgarde, wenn er Avantgarde machte, wie ein Hörspiel, wenn er Hörspiel machte, war es ein Song.“ (Carl Ludwig Reichert)[7]
  • If anyone in the world of rock music really deserves to be labeled as a genius, I think that he could be it.” (John Peel)
    • (deutsch: „Wenn irgendjemand in der Welt der Rockmusik es wirklich verdient hat, als Genie bezeichnet zu werden, dann, so denke ich, könnte er es sein“)
  • Captain Beefheart is the most important musician to rise in the Sixties, far more significant and far-reaching than the Beatles; as important for all music as Ornette Coleman was for jazz, as Leadbelly was for the blues.” (Lester Bangs)
    • (deutsch: „Captain Beefheart ist der wichtigste Musiker, den die Sechziger Jahre hervorgebracht haben, weitaus bedeutender und weitreichender als die Beatles; so bedeutend für jegliche Musik wie Ornette Coleman es für den Jazz war und Leadbelly für den Blues.“)
  • The White Stripes haben drei Songs von ihm gecovert, Party of Special Things to Do, China Pig sowie Ashtray Heart und im Jahr 2000 als Single bei dem bekannten Indielabel Sub Pop veröffentlicht.
  • The Kills schließen ihre Live-Shows fast immer mit einer Coverversion von Captain Beefhearts Drop Out Boogie.
  • Bat Chain Puller wurde in die legendäre Wireliste The Wire’s „100 Records That Set the World on Fire (While No One Was Listening)“ aufgenommen.

Diskografie

  • 1959–1969 The Early Years
  • 1965 The Legendary A&M Sessions (Singles von 1965, die später zusammen als Album erschienen)
  • 1967 Safe as Milk (UK: SilberSilber)[8]
  • 1967 Mirror Man (remastert mit Bonustracks als The Mirror Man Sessions erhältlich, erschien erst 1971)
  • 1968 Strictly Personal
  • 1969 Trout Mask Replica (UK:GoldGold)
  • 1970 Lick My Decals Off, Baby
  • 1972 The Spotlight Kid (auf CD nur in Kombination mit Clear Spot erhältlich)
  • 1972 Clear Spot (auf CD nur in Kombination mit The Spotlight Kid erhältlich)
  • 1974 Unconditionally Guaranteed
  • 1974 Bluejeans & Moonbeams
  • 1976 Bat Chain Puller
  • 1978 Shiny Beast (Bat Chain Puller)
  • 1980 Doc At the Radar Station
  • 1982 Ice Cream For Crow
  • 1983 Top Secret
  • 1992 I May Be Hungry But I Sure Ain’t Weird (Aufnahmen von 1967–1969)
  • 1999 Grow Fins: Rarities 1965–1982
  • 2003 Railroadism – Live In The USA 72-81
  • 2005 Prime Quality Beaf
  • 2010 Amsterdam '80
  • 2012 Diddy Wah Diddy

Ausstellungen

  • 1985: „Don Van Vliet. Bilder und Zeichnungen“, Galerie Michael Werner, Köln
  • 1985: „Don Van Vliet“, Mary Boone/Michael Werner Gallery, New York
  • 1987: Galerie Brinkmann, Amsterdam
  • 1988: Galerie Lelong, Zürich
  • 1988: „Don Van Vliet. New Work“, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco
  • 1990: „Don Van Vliet. Neue Bilder 1989–1990“, Galerie Michael Werner, Köln
  • 1990: „Don Van Vliet. New Paintings and Drawings“, Fred Hoffman Gallery, Santa Monica
  • 1991: Kunsthallen Brandts Klaedefabrik, Odense, Dänemark
  • 1993–1994: „Don Van Vliet. Stand up to be discontinued“, Bielefelder Kunstverein, Bielefeld (weiter nach Odense, Brighton, Göteborg)
  • 1994: „Don Van Vliet, Bilder und Zeichnungen“, Galerie Daniel Blau, München
  • 1995: „God’s Empty Socks and Other Paintings by Don Van Vliet“, Michael Werner Gallery, New York
  • 1995: „Don Van Vliet“, Galleri Stefan Andersson, Umedalen/Umeå, Schweden
  • 1995: „Don Van Vliet“, Cleveland Center for Contemporary Art, Cleveland (OH)
  • 1996: „Don Van Vliet. Arbeiten der 70er und 80er“, Galerie Michael Werner, Köln
  • 1998: „Don Van Vliet. Recent Paintings“, Knoedler & Company, New York
  • 2000: „Don Van Vliet“, Lowe Gallery, Atlanta
  • 2001: „Don Van Vliet. Paintings from the Eighties“, Michael Werner Gallery, New York
  • 2001: „Don Van Vliet. Works on Paper“, Fleisher/Ollman Gallery, Philadelphia
  • 2002: Barbican Centre, London

Gedichte und Bilder

  • Don Van Vliet: Skeleton Breath, Scorpion Blush. Verlag Gachnang & Springer, Bern/Berlin 1987, ISBN 978-3-906127-15-6. (Gedichtband, Vorwort: A. R. Penck, Übersetzung aus dem Englischen: Catherine Schelbert)
  • Don Van Vliet. New Work, in association with Michael Werner Gallery, (Katalog anlässlich der Ausstellung bei Knoedler & Company, New York, 11. November – 5. Dezember 1998), New York: Knoedler & Company, (1998)
  • Don Van Vliet, [mit einem Gedicht von Don Van Vliet], (Katalog zur Ausstellung „Don Van Vliet. Arbeiten der 70er und 80er“ in der Galerie Michael Werner, Köln, 22. Juni – 27. Juli 1996), Köln: Michael Werner, (1996)
  • Don Van Vliet. Stand Up to Be Discontinued, Bielefelder Kunstverein, Museum Waldhof, Texte von Andreas Beaugrand, Karsten Ohrt, Jessica Rutherford, Paolo Bianchi, Luca Ferrari, Diedrich Diederichsen, Roberto Ohrt, A.R. Penck, Hardcover mit CD, Ostfildern: Cantz, (1993)
  • New Work: Don Van Vliet (Text: Bohn R. Lane), San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, (1988)
  • Don Van Vliet. Neun Bilder, (Text: Wilfried Dickhoff), Galerie Michael Werner, Köln (1988)
  • Don Van Vliet. Zehn Bilder, (Text: A. R. Penck), Galerie Michael Werner, Köln (1987)
  • Don Van Vliet. Sechs Bilder, (Text: A. R. Penck) Galerie Michael Werner, Köln, (1985)

Trivia

  • In Stephen Kings Roman Christine ist die verstorbene Katze des Protagonisten Dennis Guilder nach Captain Beefheart benannt. In der deutschen Übersetzung wird dies jedoch zu „Captain Rinderherz“. Auch ihr Nachfolger trägt den Namen eines erfolgreichen Musikers: Screamin’ Jay Hawkins.
  • Der niederländische DJ und Produzent hat Don Diablo nach Captain Beefheart benannt.[9]

Literatur

  • Riding Some Kind of Unusual Skull Sleigh – Don Van Vliet, 2003.
  • Mike Barnes: Captain Beefheart: The Biography, 2002, ISBN 0-8154-1190-1.
  • Ken Brooks: Captain Beefheart: A Tin Teardrop, Agenda Ltd. 2000, ISBN 1-899882-11-1.
  • Kevin Courrier: Trout Mask Replica (in der Buchreihe „33 1/3“ über einflussreiche LPs der Musikgeschichte) Continuum New York/London 2007, ISBN 0-8264-2781-2.
  • Luca Ferrari: Pearls before swine, perle ai porci. Ice cream for crows, gelato ai corvi. A tribute to the art of Captain Beefheart. Ed. by Gigi Marinoni, mit CD Single Poetry reading by Don Van Vliet. Sonic Book, Rom 1996.
  • Ben Watson: Frank Zappa – the Negative Dialectics of Poodle Play. Quartet Books, London 1994, ISBN 0-7043-7066-2.
  • Colin David Webb: Garantiert ungewöhnlich … Das Leben des Captain Beefheart. Sonnentanz-Verlag, Augsburg 1990, ISBN 3-926794-06-2.
  • John French: Beefheart: Through the Eyes of Magic. London 2010.

Aufsätze

  • Diedrich Diederichsen: Die südkalifornische Verschwörung. Abgründe – 880 Seiten rekonstruierter Wahnsinn: John „Drumbo“ French schreibt über Captain Beefhearts Magic Band. In: taz, 7. August 2010

Weblinks

Einzelnachweise

  1. Simon Vozick-Levinson: Captain Beefheart, a.k.a. Don Van Vliet, dies at 69. In: Musik Mix. Entertainment Weekly, abgerufen am 17. Dezember 2010.
  2. Watson: The Negative Dialectics of Poodle Play. Kapitel zur Entstehung von Trout Mask Replica, S. 153–156.
  3. The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. In: „Rolling Stone“-Website. Abgerufen am 10. Oktober 2008.
  4. Dirty Champagne. In: Artnet. Abgerufen am 9. Februar 2011.
  5. Don Van Vliet. Biografie. In: Artnet. Abgerufen am 9. Februar 2011.
  6. Rock-Legende, Captain Beefheart ist tot. In: Spiegel Online. 18. Dezember 2010, abgerufen am 19. Dezember 2010.
  7. Carl Ludwig Reichert: Blues – Geschichte und Geschichten. Deutscher Taschenbuch-Verlag, München 2001, ISBN 3-423-24259-0, S. 184.
  8. Auszeichnungen für Musikverkäufe: UK
  9. Don Diablo: „Freddie Mercury is my hero“ – Interview Michiel Veenstra. 5 Essential Tracks, 26. November 2017, abgerufen am 10. Oktober 2018.

Veröffentlichungen von The Magic Band die im OTRS erhältlich sind/waren:

The Magic Band auf Wikipedia (oder andere Quellen):

The Magic Band
The Magic Band at a reunion show in Manchester, 2014
The Magic Band at a reunion show in Manchester, 2014
Background information
OriginCalifornia, USA
Genres
Years active
  • 1964-1981
  • 2003-2017[1]
Associated acts

The Magic Band were the backing band of Captain Beefheart between 1967 and 1982. The rotating lineup featured dozens of performers, many of whom became known by nicknames given to them by Beefheart.

Origins

The members of the original Magic Band had come together in 1964. At this time Don Van Vliet (Captain Beefheart) was simply the lead singer of the group, which had been brought together by guitarist and former classmate Alex St. Clair. As in many emerging groups in California at the time, there were elements of psychedelia and the foundations of contemporary hippie counterculture.

The group was therefore promoted as "Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band", on the premise that Captain Beefheart had "magic powers" and, upon drinking a Pepsi, could summon up "His Magic Band" to appear and perform behind him.[2] The strands of this logic emanated from Vliet's Beefheart persona having been "written in" as a character in a "teenage operetta" that Zappa had formulated,[3] along with Van Vliet's renowned "Pepsi moods" with his mother Willie Sue and his generally spoilt teenage demeanor. The name "His Magic Band" changed to "the Magic Band" in 1972.

The group played numerous car-club dances and juke joint gigs, and won the Teenage Fair Battle of the Bands.[4] (The Teenage Fair was an annual event held at the Hollywood Palladium in the 1960s. It was sponsored by radio stations and had rides and various merchandise booths with music- and youth-related items. Bands performed.) In late 1965, the group finally bagged a contract for recording two singles with the newly created A&M Records label with Leonard Grant as their manager. It was at this time that musical relationships had also been struck with members of Rising Sons who would later feature in the band's recordings. The A&M deal also brought some contention between members of the band, torn between a career as an experimental "pop" group and that of a purist blues band. Working with young producer David Gates also opened up horizons for Vliet's skills as a poet-cum-lyricist, with his "Who Do You Think You're Fooling" on the flipside of the band's first single, a cover of the Ellas McDaniel/Willie Dixon-penned hit, "Diddy Wah Diddy". Fate and circumstance, not for the first time, would befall the band's success upon its release – which coincided with a singles cover of the same song by The Remains.[5] The initial line-up of the Magic Band that entered the studio for the A&M recordings was not that which emerged by the second release, "Moonchild", also backed by a Vliet-penned number, "Frying Pan". A 12" vinyl 45rpm mono EP/mono mini-cassette tape was later released in 1987, with the four tracks of the two singles, plus "Here I Am, I Always Am" as a fifth previously unreleased song. This release was titled The Legendary A&M Sessions, with a red-marbled cover and (later) members Moon, Blakely, Vliet, Snouffer and Handley seated in a "temperance dance band" photo-pose.

The original Magic Band was primarily a rhythm and blues band, led by local Lancaster guitarist Alexis Snouffer, along with Doug Moon (guitar), Jerry Handley (bass), and Vic Mortenson (drums), the last being rotated with and finally replaced by Paul "P.G." Blakely. For the first A&M recording Mortenson had been called up for active service and Snouffer stood in on drums, with a recently recruited Richard Hepner taking up the guitar role. By the time the single was aired on a pop television show P. G. Blakely was back in the drum seat. He then left for a career in television and was replaced by John French by the time the band cut their first album, as the first release on the new Buddah Records label.

Personnel in the Magic Band for Beefheart's first album, Safe as Milk, were Alex St. Clair, Jerry Handley and John French. Earlier meetings with the Rising Sons had also secured them the guitar and arranging skills of Ry Cooder, which also brought about input from Taj Mahal on percussion and guitar work from Cooder's brother-in-law Russ Titelman. Further guests to this line-up included Milt Holland on percussion and the all-important and controversial theremin work on Electricity by Samuel Hoffman. It was perhaps this track, above the others, which caused A&M to view the band as "unsuitable" for their label with what was seen as weird and too psychedelic for popular consumption. Thus, this album was recorded for Buddah, with the band signed to Kama Sutra, which left them close to penniless after extricating themselves from A&M. A large proportion of the tracks on this album were co-written with Van Vliet by Herb Bermann, whom Vliet initially met up with at a bar gig near Lancaster. Part-time Hollywood television actor and budding scriptwriter Bermann and his then wife Cathleen spent some time in Vliet's company prior to this release.[6] Bermann would later write for Neil Young and script an early Spielberg-directed television medical drama. Gary "Magic" Marker (the "Magic" added by Beefheart) was involved in early session work for this release, and his involvement with Rising Sons was also instrumental in acquiring the skills of Cooder, upon an unfulfilled suggestion that Marker might produce the album.[7] Marker would later lay down two uncredited bass tracks for Trout Mask Replica before being replaced by Mark Boston.

French worked on five more Beefheart albums, while Snouffer worked with Beefheart on and off on three more albums. Bill Harkleroad joined the Magic Band as guitarist for Trout Mask Replica and stayed with Beefheart through May 1974.

Beefheart takes the lead

While appearing humorous and kind-hearted in public, by all accounts Van Vliet was a severe taskmaster who abused his musicians verbally and sometimes physically. Vliet once told drummer John French he had been diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic and thus he would see inexistent conspiracies that explained this behaviour.[8] The band were reportedly paid little or nothing. French recalled that the musicians' contract with Van Vliet's company stipulated that Van Vliet and the managers were paid from gross proceeds before expenses, then expenses were paid, then the band members evenly split any remaining funds—in effect making band members liable for all expenses. As a result, French was paid nothing at all for a 33-city US tour in 1971 and a total of $78 for a tour of Europe and the US in late 1975. In his 2010 memoir Beefheart: Through The Eyes of Magic French recounted being "... screamed at, beaten up, drugged, ridiculed, humiliated, arrested, starved, stolen from, and thrown down a half-flight of stairs by his employer".[9]

The musicians also resented Van Vliet for taking complete credit for composition and arranging when the musicians themselves pieced together most of the songs from taped fragments or impressionistic directions such as "Play it like a bat being dragged out of oil and it's trying to survive, but it's dying from asphyxiation."[10] John French summarized the disagreement over composing and arranging credits metaphorically:[11]

If Van Vliet built a house like he wrote music, the methodology would go something like this ... 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 about this stuff and build the damned house."...When the house is finished no one gets paid, and Van Vliet has a housewarming party, invites none of the builders and tells the guests he built the whole thing himself.

The Magic Band - Reformed

Receiving only a "grumpy" reception from Van Vliet,[9] the Magic Band reformed in 2003 with John French on drums, lead vocals and harmonica, Gary Lucas and Denny Walley on guitars, Rockette Morton on bass, and Robert Williams on drums for the vocal numbers. The initial impetus came from Matt Groening who wanted them to play at the All Tomorrows Parties festival he was curating. For their subsequent European tour, Williams left and was replaced by Michael Traylor.

John Peel was initially skeptical about the re-formed Magic Band. However, after he aired a live recording of the band playing at the 2003 All Tomorrow's Parties festival on his radio show, he was lost for words and had to put on another record to regain his composure. In 2004 the band did a live session for him at his home "Peel Acres".[12] They played over 30 shows throughout the United Kingdom and Europe, and one in the United States.[13] They also released two albums: Back to the Front (on the London-based ATP Recordings, 2003) and 21st Century Mirror Men (2005).

The group disbanded in 2006 but reformed in 2011, with Lucas and Traylor replaced by Eric Klerks and Craig Bunch respectively, to play at ATP once again (which was due to take place in November, curated by Jeff Mangum).[14] The festival was postponed until the following March but they honoured the other UK and Ireland dates which had been booked to coincide with it, the new line-up being dubbed "The Best Batch Yet" by Beefheart song-title-referencing commentators. They returned to play the rescheduled ATP and more UK gigs in March 2012, followed by a European tour in September and October. They toured Europe again in 2013 and 2014.

The reformed band's repertoire was initially drawn mainly from the Clear Spot and Trout Mask Replica albums, with some of the latter's songs performed as instrumentals, allowing the intricacy of the instrumental parts to be heard, where they had previously been obscured by Beefheart's vocals or sax. During subsequent tours the setlist has been expanded to include a more representative selection of Beefheart's repertoire. French has described the set as "a play which should be rolled out from time to time".

Discography

Members

Original Run

Classic Era

  • Alex St. Clair- guitar, drums, musical director (1964-68; 1972-74; died 2006)
  • John French (Alias:Drumbo)- drums, vocals, guitar, musical director (1966-69; 1970-71; 1975-76; 1977; 1980)
  • Jeff Cotton (Alias:Antannae Jimmy Semens)- guitar, slide guitar, vocals (1967-69)
  • Bill Harkleroad (Alias:Zoot Horn Rollo)- guitar, slide guitar, musical director (1968-74)
  • Mark Boston (Alias:Rockette Morton)- bass, guitar (1968-74)
  • Victor Hayden (Alias:The Mascara Snake)- bass clarinet (1968-69; died 2018)
  • - drums (1969)
  • Art Tripp (Alias:Ed Marimba)- drums, marimba, percussion, piano, harpsichord (1969-74; session guest:1969,1978)
  • Elliot Ingber (Alias:Winged Eel Fingerling)- guitar (1970-71; 1971-72; 1974-76)
  • Roy Estrada (Alias:Oréjon)- bass (1972-73; session guest:1969)

Others

  • Jerry Handley- bass (1964-68)
  • Doug Moon- guitar (1964-67; session guest:1969)
  • Paul G. Blakely- drums (1964-65; 1966)
  • Vic Mortenson- drums (1965)
  • Richard Hepner- guitar (1965-66)
  • Ry Cooder- guitar, slide guitar (1967)
  • Gerry McGhee- guitar, slide guitar (1967)
  • Gary "Magic" Marker- bass (1968; died 2012)
  • Bruce Fowler (Alias:Fossil)- trombone, air bass (1975-76; 1978-80)
  • Greg Davidson (Alias:Ella Guru)- guitar, slide guitar (1975)
  • Jimmy Carl Black (Alias:Indian Ink)- drums, percussion (1975; session guest:1969; died 2008)
  • Denny Walley (Alias:Feelers Rebo)- guitar, slide guitar, accordion (1975-78)
  • Jeff Moris Tepper (Alias:White Jew)- guitar, slide guitar (1976-82)
  • John Thomas- keyboards (1976)
  • Eric Drew Feldman (Alias:Black Jew Kittaboo)- bass, keyboards (1976-81; session guest:1982)
  • Gary Jaye- drums (1976-77)
  • Robert Williams (Alias:Wait For Me)- drums, percussion (1977-81)
  • Richard Redus (Alias:Mercury Josef)- guitar, slide guitar (1978-79)
  • Richard Snyder (Alias:Brave Midnight Hat Size)- guitar, slide guitar, bass, marimba, viola (1980-82)
  • Gary Lucas- guitar, slide guitar (1980-82)
  • Cliff Martinez- drums, percussion, glass washboard (1981-82)

Reunion Era

Current

  • John French- drums, vocals, saxophone, guitar, harmonica (1966-69; 1970-71; 1975-76; 1977; 1980; 2003-2017)
  • Mark Boston- bass, guitar (1968-74; 2003-2017)
  • Eric Klerks- guitar, bass, iPad (2009-2017)
  • Andrew Niven- drums (2013-2017)
  • Max Kutner- guitar (2014-2017)
  • Jonathan Sindleman- keyboards (2016-2017)[15]

Past

  • Denny Walley- guitar, slide guitar, accordion (1975-78; 2003-14)
  • Robert Williams- drums, percussion (1977-81; 2003)
  • Gary Lucas-guitar, slide guitar (1980-82; 2003-09)
  • Michael Traylor- drums (2003-09)
  • Craig Bunch- drums (2009-13)
  • Brian Havey- keyboards (2016)

Timeline

References

  1. ^ http://www.beefheart.com/the-magic-band-farewell-tour-2017/
  2. ^ Courtier, Kevin. Captain Beefheart's Trout Mask Replica (33​13), p. 32, London: Continuum Press (2007)
  3. ^ "Captain Beefheart vs. the Grunt People". The Captain Beefheart Radar Station. Archived from the original on April 7, 2007. Retrieved March 17, 2007.
  4. ^ French, John "Drumbo" (2010-01-11). Beefheart: Through The Eyes of Magic. Proper Music Publishing. ISBN 9780956121240.
  5. ^ "Beefheart vs The Remains". Discogs.com. Retrieved July 18, 2011.
  6. ^ Johnston, Graham. "The Captain Beefheart Radar Station – Herb Bermann interview pt 1". Beefheart.com. Archived from the original on October 20, 2008. Retrieved February 11, 2010.
  7. ^ "Grow Fins CD box set booklet p.38 [also in vinyl set booklet]". Discogs.com. April 3, 2009. Retrieved July 18, 2011.
  8. ^ teejo. "Don't argue the Captain". Freewebs.com. Retrieved July 18, 2011.
  9. ^ a b "John "Drumbo" French: Through The Eyes Of Magic review and interview" diskant.net. Retrieved April 7, 2010.
  10. ^ Barnes 2000, p. 59
  11. ^ Barnes 2001, pp. 815–816
  12. ^ "Radio 1 – Keeping It Peel – Sessions – 2004". BBC. Retrieved February 11, 2010.
  13. ^ "Captain Beefheart Up Sifter: Magic memories". Beefheart.com. Archived from the original on August 17, 2009. Retrieved February 11, 2010.
  14. ^ "ATP curated by Jeff Mangum". Atpfestival.com. Retrieved July 18, 2011.
  15. ^ http://www.beefheart.com/the-magic-band-farewell-tour-2017/

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