Captain Beefheart & The Magic Band
Pepperland Ballroom
San Rafael
September 18, 1970

Lineage: AUD>Tape (unknown low gen)>WAV (using Wavelab)>FLAC (level 8/using Trader's Little Helper)

Sound improvement: speed correction -4,5%, hiss reduction using equalizer.

01. When Big Joan Sets Up (7:31)
02. Band Introduction (0:27)
03. Bellerin' Plain (5:02)
04. I Wanna Find A Woman That'll Hold My Big Toe (Till I Have To Go) (2:19)
05. Peon (3:02)
06. I Love You, You Big Dummy (5:06)
07. The Clouds Are Full Of Wine (Not Whiskey Or Rye) (3:42)
08. Woe-Is-Uh-Me-Bop (3:37)
09. One Red RoseThat I Mean (3:03)
10. Hair Pie: Bake III (2:42)
11. Doctor Dark (3:24)
12. Space-Age Couple (2:56)
13. Earth Angel (4:39) AKA Spitball Scalped A Baby (cut)

Total length: 47:30

Quality: 7.5/10

Captain Beefheart/Don Van Vliet: vocals, tenor sax, soprano sax, bass clarinet, harmonica
Rockette Morton/Mark Boston: bass guitar, guitar
Drumbo/John French: drums, percussion
Zoot Horn Rollo/Bill Harkleroad: guitar, slide guitar
Ed Marimba/Art Tripp marimba, drums, percussion

Gerry Pratt: On Tuesday August 18th 1970 all five members of Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band (introduced by Beefheart as "on marimba ... Ed Marimba! ... on bass ... Rockette Morton! ... on guitars ... Zoot Horn Rollo! ... and on drums ... Drumbo!") played a show at Pepperland, San Francisco and the 45 minute tape that exists of this performance shows the band playing almost exclusively Decals tracks.
Before starting the first Decals track Beefheart says "we'd like to do a song that's on our album Lick My Decals Off, Baby ... a new album coming out ... you better do it too ... somebody's got to" and before singing Big Dummy he confides to the audience "it's about a friend". After yells from the crowd "Ella Guru!" and even "go back to Miami!" then play Hair Pie off Trout - but just the bass line of that composition - a bass solo that would often open Magic Band performances.
(SSTS #5)

Gary Rush: A friend of mine saw Captain Beefheart And The Magic Band at Pepperland in (as best we can figure) in the spring of 1970. Pepperland is mentioned briefly in Rock Scully's 'Living With the Dead', and I believe he says it was a converted ice or roller skating rink. It was located in San Rafael, California, the first city north of the Golden Gate bridge.
I remember the morning after the concert my friend telling me about this wild band he saw the night before, how they were all dressed up in 'weird costumes'. Now he knows they were dressed up as on the cover of Lick My Decals Off, Baby. But at that time he had no idea who they were so it was quite a 'shock'. Even now he describes the set as alternating between rigid formality of between songs (someone would come from off stage and present Don with a cigarette case from which he would draw his smoke) and blasting off into seemingly uncontrolled music. Apparently there was little or no banter from Don, at least this is how my friend remembers it.
I remember thinking after he told me about this concert, "so it's all true: there is a 'real' band behind Trout Mask Replica."
Another person who saw the same concert could only shake his head and laugh, "they were weird, man." Their inability to describe Captain Beefheart And The Magic Band and the obvious impact it had left on them impressed me, so much so that I still remember that even if I can't remember the exact circumstances surrounding this gig. I believe that Captain Beefheart And The Magic Band weren't headlining, but that my friends had gone to see another band and caught Captain Beefheart And The Magic Band as the supporting act. My friend can't remember now. But he remembers Captain Beefheart And The Magic Band!

John French: The original idea (for the promo tour 1971) had been for us all to wear tuxedos and drink champagne on the stage as a joke. We were supposed to toast the audience. I think we had tried this at Pepperland, and manager Grant Gibbs, in his role of delivering the champaigne, tripped and almost electrocuted the whole band when the champagne spilled all over the electrical circuits. In order to remain a 'live' act we dispensed with all liquid theatrics.
(Grow Fins booklet)

John Button: I recall seeing the good Captain at Pepperland round about this time. As best I can recall the headliner was Charles Loyd, but then the concerts from this period seem to all kinda blend together! I also seem to recall that Tim Buckley played this show as well, but the fog just thinkens ...
All I can recall about this show was that Don would stuff his horn over top of the microphone and just whail! The Magic Band and all, seemed to take the gig with strict seriousness, in a loose sorta way!
Ah Pepperland ... wish I'd heard about that place sooner!! The massive white conical speakers sitting on the floor you could crawl up into, the quad sound in the front half and stereo feed in the back half.

William 'Greenlion': Steve Miller was the headliner both nights. Don and the boys were dressed as on the cover of Lick My Decals Off, Baby - suits and ties! Both sets opened with a white sheet pulled across the front of the bandstand with hash lites backlighting the group. The sheet didn't come down until near the end of the second number. This made the non Captain Beefheart And The Magic Band attendees somewhat nervous, "what in the hell is going on?" Of course the consumption of a large quantity of a certain herb popular at the time, my the Miller fans, didn't help matters much.

Chester Prudhomme: I was lucky enough to have been living, working and going to school in San Francisco and Berkeley in the 60's and early 70's and got to see everybody I ever wanted to see and hear during that time. One show that always stands out in my memories is Tim Buckley, the Captain and Zappa at the newly opened Pepperland in San Rafael, CA.
This smallish to midsize hall had the first (and only as far as I know) Quad sound system and everybody was really on this night. One of the all-time great events - music included!
Well, my atrophied brain cells may or may not be showing. I remember this as Zappa, Beefheart and Buckley (all Bizarre/Straight labelmates) but I could certainly be wrong. It may have been Beefheart with any of those folks or maybe not. I do remember that I did see him there and I also saw Zappa topbilled with Buckley third billed there on the same show .... .and I didn't go to a lot of shows there as it didn't stay afloat very long! In fact, I would have said it was more like January or so of 1971!! In any case I definitely don't remember Hot Tuna as the headliner nor do I think Steve Miller played as well ... but that is more of a possibility. I do remember though that some guy dressed in a butler's outfit kept coming out on stage and bringing the Capt. what looked liked glasses of wine and I also remember that the stage and piano were set up with bright white tablecloths with candles in candelabras. Also, I saw Charles Lloyd only once and I'm pretty sure that was at Fillmore West. I will call a friend of mine tonight who may have a better memory of what was what than I do. It'll be a good chance to check out my memory banks!

robinrosedrumme: Captain Beefheart And The Magic Band.Pepperland.San Rafael CA. 1971. Lick My Decals Off, Baby tour... The most amazing show ever.Dedicated to Jimi by the Captain. 2000 people levitated 30 feet into the air.....NOBODY has done anything like it before or since. Rockette Morton, Drumbo and Ed Marimba's solo for Bass and 2 drummers was truely MAGIC....abduction