Captain Beefheart & The Magic Band
The Dome, Brighton
Lineage: audience>Wav (using Wavelab)>sound improvement (using Freefilter with 1972-03-24 as sound template, using equalizer for hiss reduction)>FLAC (level 8, using Trader's Littel Helper)
01. Hair Pie: Bake III (0:54)
02. Smoking Rio 6 (1:01)
03. Hair Pie: Bake III (0:54)
04. The Mascara Snake (0:45)
05. The Mascara Fake (0:39)
06. The Mascara For God's Sake (2:31)
07. When It Blows Its Stacks (4:33)
08. Click Clack (4:48)
09. Grow Fins (5:13)
10. Band Intro (1:37)
11. Hobo Chang Ba (2:46) instrumental
12. I'm Gonna Booglarize You Baby (5:49)
13. Old Black Snake (3:21)
14. Peon (3:53)
15. Abba Zaba (3:18)
16. Woe-Is-Uh-Me-Bop (2:48)
17. Alice In Blunderland (4:17)
18. More (5:40)
19. Neon Meate Dream Of A Octafish (4:29) bass solo
20. My Human Gets Me Blues (4:10)
21. Steal Softly Thru Snow (3:45) instrumental
22. Spitball Scalped A Baby (7:27)
23. Golden Birdies (2:10)
Total length: 76:48
Captain Beefheart/Don Van Vliet: vocals, sax, 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
Nick Kent: After a seemingly endless journey - the first coach had broken down halfway between London and Brighton - we finally arrived at the Dome, a sort of mini-Albert Hall filled to capacity, as all the Beefheart gigs have been. In the dressing-room the band get changed, while Zoot Horn Rollo gets his spider-like fingers around the fret-board of his guitar, crafting almost impossible chords from the instrument in preparation for the show. Beefheart disappears into the john, eventually emerging in his stage clothes: an incredible red silk suit over a black shirt with a gold necklace in place of a tie. All this is topped off with a black cloak emblazoned with some weird embroidered design and he looks every inch a rock and roll star just like Little Richard.
"Better man. Richard was too little."
The stage looks fine. It must be after the first three bars of When It Blows Its Stacks that you realise something truly astounding is going to be laid on you. The Captain told me that the band never do free gigs because "we need money to buy good food in order to play good music". All I can say is that Beefheart and company are no vegetarians, they're cannibals. Their music comes right out and eats up the audience. The guitars slip and slide with a vengeance, slicing up the music into magnificent splinters while Beefheart howls like some croned shaman going werewolf.
The numbers the band does, come from Trout Mask Replica, Lick My Decals Off, Baby and The Spotlight Kid exclusively and the live sound that they get now, makes most of their studio effects look sick by comparison. The Magic Band at full strength on such numbers as Click Clack, I'm Gonna Booglarize You Baby and My Human Gets Me Blues are quite unique: Beefheart sums it all up - "their playing is so together that they look as if they are untogether, if you know what I mean". Their music is both jagged and flowing and when, for an encore, the Captain produced his alto sax and proceeded to assault the p.a. with his highly 'unconventional' style of playing it was all literally a bit too much for some of the kids in the audience - although I would imagine that the whales coasting off Brighton beach appreciated the communication from a fellow spirit.
(Nick Kent: Rough Trade From Venus Hits It Big. Frendz #26. April 28, 1972. Reprinted in: The Lives And Times Of Captain Beefheart)
Brian Bashford: Hmmm ... My decaying memory seems to recall that during the 1972 tour in the UK the supporting act was a small troupe of overweight ballet dancers (this was the Brighton Dome) and the Magic Band drummer wore a pair of ladies knickers on his head throughout the concert.
Perhaps 'belly' has mutated into 'ballet' in my mind over the years but I'm sure there was more than one.
Ben Waters: I too saw Beefheart for the first time in 72, in Brighton, and had my life changed forever. There was something truly magical generated on that tour, and yes I do feel honoured to have witnessed it. I would guess that the majority of the audiences were first timers like you and I; probably with very high expectations; and the reality of seeing that particular magic band so far surpassed those expectations that we'll never forget it.
Ben Waters: I was 17. I'd been a fan for 2 years and had all the albums, but this was to be my first (and best) concert. I travelled the 25 miles to Brighton on the back of my mates Yamaha 100 motorbike. The first thing I remember is all the weird and wonderful characters in the audience: people with plastic ray guns, someone had an inflatable robot, and one guy was dressed up like the Trout Mask sleeve, complete with shuttlecock. The support band came and went. I can't remember anything about them. There was an air of excitement and anticipation in the hall that was very strong. The lights dimmed and some strange classical music drifted out of the speakers. A female ballet dancer comes on and dances about. She goes off, the music changes, and a belly dancer comes on and shakes about.
Next thing I remember is Beefheart swooping on stage in that embroidered cape with the clouds. He waits for the ecstatic welcome to die down, then says, "Meditation soothes the mind and body" and walks off. Then we got Rockette Morton dancing like a cross between Groucho Marx and an epileptic ballet dancer, playing an amazing free form bass solo. He really claws at the strings, producing chords and runs of unbelievable dexterity. Suddenly he stops and makes a big show of lighting a cigar. Then he leaps in the air, and resumes playing, faster and harder than ever, still puffing on the cigar. After this there were some more shenanigans with a wooden fish being scraped and called the mascara fake, mascara for god's sake by various band members. Suddenly they're all there on stage: Winged Eel Fingerling, black clothes, black hair and beard, black shades, I think he even had a black guitar, looking mean and brooding; Rockette Morton dancing wildly as he did all through the gig; Ed Marimba, long arms and legs and a monocle, Zoot Horn Rollo, very tall in a patchwork coat.
They started playing and it was like hearing a band from another planet, while at the same time it occurs to you that this is how music SHOULD sound, if it is done in a spirit of truth and beauty. These are the tracks I remember them playing: Abba Zabba, Human Gets Me, Hobo Chang Ba, When It Blows, Woe Is A Me Bop, Peon, Alice,Old Black Snake, Booglarise Ya, Spitball. They may have played Click Clack, Grow Fins and others. Beefheart was on fine form; assured, confident and playful. There were many little games with the audience and band. I remember him telling us about Rockette Mortons' waxed moustache, and taking a phial of liquid from his sax case to give a sniff of it to Ed Marimba to revive him after some strenuous drumming. The phial was then thrown into the crowd. I wonder what it contained.
I saw Beefheart 5 more times after that, each time (except maybe Drury Lane) he was utterly brilliant. But that first concert at the Dome must be my favorite. I've just remembered the encore, a few bars of the 50s song More whistled by the Capt.
(Ben Waters: Brighton Dome)