Captain Beefheart & The Magic Band
Sargent Gymnasium, Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts
January 23, 1971
Lineage: AUD>Tape (unknown gen)>WAV (using Wavelab)>FLAC (level 8, using Trader's Little Helper)
Sound Improvement: Freefilter using sound template of 1971-01-19 files shared some weeks ago.
01. Tuning-The Crowd-Opening Drum Solo (7:04)
02. Alice In Blunderland (7:34) middle cut
03. Bass Interlude: When Big Joan Sets Up Theme (0:35)
04. When Big Joan Sets Up (9:32)
05. Hair Pie: Bake III (2:05)
06. My Human Gets Me Blues (3:36)
07. Hair Pie: Bake II (0:48)
08. I Wanna Find A Woman That'll Hold My Big Toe Till I Have To Go (2:31)
09. One Red Rose That I Mean (2:20)
10. Abba Zaba (3:15)
11. Gimme Dat Harp Boy (5:12)
12. Woe-Is-Uh-Me-Bop (2:21)
13. Flash Gordon's Ape (10:41)
14. Golden Birdies (3:42) including saxophone-drum duet
Total length: 61:16
Photos by: Ronald Karr http://www.branchlinepress.com/RonKarr/RockGallery.html
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
Winged Eel Fingerling/Elliot Ingber: guitar, slide guitar
Ed Marimba/Art Tripp: marimba, drums, percussion
Langdon Winner: The tour drew 2,000 delighted fans at Boston University while 700 more waited outside in the snow.
(Langdon Winner: In Search Of America. Captain Beefheart and the Smithsonian Institute Blues. Rolling Stone #79. April 1, 1971)
Stephen Graham: Most people who have atttended a fair number of rock concert will tell you that what makes it all worthwhile are those rare nights when the combination of talented musician, the right atmosphere and a variety of intangibles produces a couple of hours of really good solid music; the kind that makes you want to jump out of your seat, or scream, or pound your chest.
One of these magic evenings happened at Boston University's Sargent gym a week ago Saturday, when the widely diverging talents of Captain Beefheart and Ry Cooder came together to produce an uninterrupted flow of beautiful sound in front of a packed house.
The first act was Cooder and his four-piece blues band. (Ry Cooder has been playing guitars and various instruments since he was three, and he has spent the last six years as a studio musician - among his recent credits is the mandolin part on the Rolling Stones' version of Love In Vain. (...) like his whole act, it was honest and unpretentious, and these two qualities alone go a long way towards making a great bluesman.)
Things shifted into totally different gear for the second act, as Captain Beefheart, with his band and entourage, filed through the audience and filtered onto the stage. The Magic Band, as it stands now, includes Zoot Horn Rollo (Bill Harkleroad) and Winged Eel Fingerling (Elliot Ingber) on guitars, Rockette Morton (Mark Boston) on bass, Ed Marimba (Art Tripp) on percussion and marimba, and Drumbo (John French) on drums.
The audience was suitably impressed by their weirdness. And Beefheart is obviously content with the bizarre image he projects. However, this leads to a tendency to dismiss the Captain and his band as just another of just another of Frank Zappa's freak shows, on a par with Alice Cooper and the G.T.O.'s. Nothing could be further from the truth. Captain Beefheart plays a wild, intense, dissonant brand of music which has been compared to the avant-garde styles of Ornette Coleman and Cecil Taylor. Actually, his music is less formal and less organized than theirs, but much more personal. The Magic Band is, in fact, an extension of Beefheart and his musical ideas.
He has been rehearsing them for months, teaching them his melodies and rhythms note for note, and as he stands impassively among them on stage, you get the impression that he is mentally directing the whole show. Without his unique personality the music could not stand. He and the music were both in fine form on Saturday; the Magic Band was incredibly tight, both with each other and with Beefheart. They played almost continuously for over an hour, intermingling songs from Trout Mask Replica with new material.
The Captain would frequently step up to the mike to blow shrieking choruses on soprano sax and harmonica, leading the band through changes that were so precise as they were complex. The powerful sound of his four-and-a-half octave voice was muted somewhat by a distorting p.a., but this was the only bummer of the evening, and the fact that the tickets were priced at one dollar made up for it. And so, despite what you may have concluded after dozens of musical rip-offs, there still can be such a thing as a well-run concert.
(Stephen Graham: Captain Beefheart: Magic Band, Magic Man. Boston After Dark. February 2, 1971)
Bill Harkleroad: While I'm on the subject of sexcapades, I remember a particularly strange gig we played in a gymnasium in Boston. We showed up and the equipment was sitting up there but there was no sound check. To get to the stage we had to walk right through the middle of the audience accompanied by a few bodyguards to stop people grabbing at us - which was kind of lame but made us feel important. The stage was this 6 to 8 foot high big plywood construction at the end of the gymnasium. I'm sure it was an echo bin for everybody.
Anyway, it was very crowded and there were about 3,000 people jammed in on the floor right infront of us. So, we're playing along and Don gives me the nod as if to say, "Look, what's going on down there!" As ever, I was onstage left and I came up to the front of the stage and looked off this 8 foot cliff at the people sitting on the floor and there's this couple humping away, and I thought, "Wow, that's shocking." But I couldn't look too long, for fear of losing concentration on playing the parts - if I noticed too much of anything I'd be totally lost. So back to business, and a little bit later I come up to the front of the stage again and this time there's three couples down there going at it! Well that's about all I can handle, I'm cracking up laughing and trying to play at the same time.
(Bill Harkleroad: Lunar Notes)