Captain Beefheart & The Magic Band
Fenway Theater, Boston
Lineage: AUD>tape (low gen)>WAV (using Wavelab)>FLAC (level 8, using Trader's Little Helper)
01. Taper's Intro (0:21)
02. Hair Pie: Bake III (2:29)
03. When It Blows Its Stacks (4:27)
04. Japan In A Dishpan (3:26)
05. Click Clack (4:03)
06. Grow Fins (4:21)
07. I'm Gonna Booglarize You Baby (5:01)
08. Old Black Snake (3:43)
09. Peon (2:38)
10. Abba Zaba (3:22)
11. Woe-Is-Uh-Me-Bop (2:46)
12. Alice In Blunderland (3:49)
13. Spitball Scalped A Baby (5.46)
Total length: 46:12
Captain Beefheart/Don Van Vliet: vocals, saxophone, harmonica
Rockette Morton/Mark Boston: bass guitar, guitar
Oréjon/Audi Hon/Roy Estrada: bass guitar
Zoot Horn Rollo/Bill Harkleroad: guitar, slide guitar
Winged Eel Fingerling/Elliot Ingber: guitar, slide guitar
Ed Marimba/Art Tripp: drums, percussion, marimba
Hank Grebe: Next (gig) was January 22, 1972 at Boston's antique Fenway Theater with a bizarre silent chimpanzee act as an opening act. The Real Audio clips linked to (Hank's) page were recorded at that concert on a small Sony portable cassette recorder. Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band performed tunes from Lick My Decals Off, Baby and the Spotlight Kid albums, with an encore saxophone/drum composition with Arthur D. Tripp called A Spitball Scalped A Baby.
(Hank Grebe: Media Spin Presents Captain Beefheart)
'geo': Saw Beefheart and the Magic Band around 1972 or so in Boston, and in Berkeley in 1975 ... unlike anything I ever saw ... breathtaking ........
Milton Moore: The curtain rose at the Fenway Theater to reveal a most astonishing event. The marquee out front billed Captain Beefheart And His Magic Band, but onstage, amid the array of equipment, stood one lone magician, bassist Rockette Morton (Mark Boston), clad in bright orange with a panama hat and an amazing moustache. He dipped low, pointed his bass menacingly at the audience, and began to swing.
Rockette sailed into a free flowing, melodic bass solo, not the farting, one-note syncopations that a rock bassist would perform, but full chords, falling into each other in a delicate cascade. He swayed and played and danced around the stage for a full five minutes before ending casually, as if he had scarcely noticed he had been playing at all. The audience, to a man, was mystified.
The ancient theater, with its crumbling blitz-victim ceiling and massive new p.a. system, was only half full. The audience seemed comprised of familiar young longhairs equipped with their hip credentials - a bottle of wine and a handful of joints. They were quite casual about their ritualized anesthesia ceremony, as they nonchalantly got loaded.
No one appeared to mind the half-hour delay before the show; it only meant they would be all the more gassed when the music began. It mattered little what band they were awaiting, as most were only vaguely familiar with the Captain's music. One fan was actively worried about his investment: "This better be good... I never heard of these guys before".
After the audience had thoroughly insulted and harassed Sapo's chimps, showering the warm-up act with obscenity, and after the chimps had thoroughly explored the Captain's equipment (he later commented: "I would set up with those cats anytime") and after Rockette's solo, the rest of the band appeared, a truly strange apparition.
Zoot Horn Rollo (Bill Harkleroad), truly eel-like in his ectomorphic jumpsuit, played bottle-neck guitar. small and hairy, Winged Eel Fingerling (Elliot Ingber) unleashed a frenzy of six-string guitar notes, while Ed Marimba (Art Tripp) explored the drums. Captain Beefheart looked so much the Chicago gangster, with his heavy-set, determined stance, his black leather coat and black wide-brimmed hat, that his sub-basement growl of a voice seemed appropriate.
As the band performed their open-ended, free flowing songs, they danced and whirled in manic stop-action, like witches around a kettle. Rockette moved from one end of the stage to the other in his unique slow-motion stalk, and the Captain threw back his head, savoring his band's pulsing, polyrhythms as he paused.
Beefheart's music is totally engaging and always dynamic. Each of the musicians is at liberty to play whatever he feels, yet they still remain open and aware of the music surrounding them; this is a group effort, not the jamming one-upmanship of many bands. The Captain once commented: "I don't teach them how to play.... I teach them how to keep from not playing". Thus the music they create is uninhibited, to say the least. When Beefheart was asked (about) his favorite pop star, he said the last musician to turn him on was Bill Haley, and it shows in his set.
Now beefheart is the last band you would find on the rock 'n' roll revival bus with little Eva and Bo Diddley, but the way that the Magic Band whoops it up, flinging themselves and their instruments around while creating unfalteringly fresh music, is certainly reminiscent of the early days of rock 'n' roll.
Their set was a short one, with the material culled from four of Beefheart's albums, and the band was constantly shifting, members walking on and off for duets and solos. The Captain played a double role, sometimes a menacing growler, sometimes the solicitous host. After one number, he asked the audience, in his unpretentiously tutorial style: "Did you hear that?" referring not to the volume but to the music itself. At one point, Ed Marimba pounded out a horse hooves cadence, and the Captain sang through his clarinet: "Merrill Lynch is bullish on America".
The highlight of the set was Black Snake Blues. No one sings like Beefheart (he claims seven octaves), and most of the audience was mesmerized. When one bozo tried to sing along, the Captain waited to see if perhaps their duet would work, then asked him: "Either keep quiet or keep in time". Then the set ended quickly, the Magic Band disappeared, and the audience yelled for more.
(Milton Moore: Captain Beefheart On Stage. Boston After Dark. Februray 1, 1972)
Steve: I saw Beefhart in Boston in the early 70's. They did 2 short shows same night very inexpensive for the times i think it's was $2.50!. Opening act was a guy with 4-5 real monkeys at one point riding bicycles seated on their heads peddling with their feet. Was the Captain trying to set the mood? Show opened with a bass solo and many of the same songs off of this setlist. Memories of the rest of the shows are in a 60's "hazy" except for the encore. The crowd was chanting for "more, more, more." Capt came back out and whistled "more than the greatest love"and walked off. I kid you not too funny....