Captain Beefheart & The Magic Band
Fox West Coast Theatre, Long Beach, California
Lineage: Audience>tape (unknown gen)>WAV (Wavelab)>FLAC (level 8, Trader's Little Helper)
01. Hair Pie: Bake III (0:50)
02. The Mascara Snake (1:12)
03. When It Blows Its Stacks (4:14)
04. Steal Softly Thru Snow (3:12)
05. Click Clack (4:22)
06. Grow Fins (4:29)
07. I'm Gonna Booglarize You Baby (5:27)
08. Old Black Snake (3:33)
09. Abba Zaba (3:13)
10. Woe-Is-Uh-Me-Bop (1:14)
11. Japan In A Dishpan (1:00)
12. Spitball Scalped A Baby (5:44)
13. Thank You Very Much (0:54)
Total length: 39:24
Very loud clicks are on the tape each time when the taper stopped his recorder. For my own listening pleasure I deleted these clicks and smoothed the transitions from one track to another.
Captain Beefheart/Don Van Vliet: vocals, sax, harmonica
Rockette Morton/Mark Boston: bass, guitar
Oréjon/Audi Hon/Roy Estrada: bass
Zoot Horn Rollo Bill Harkleroad: guitar, slide guitar
Winged Eel Fingerling/Elliot Ingber: guitar, slide guitar
Ed Marimba/Art Tripp: drums, percussion
Richard Rainey: In the spring of '68, I went down to Mother Earth in London to see the group. ...
I saw him twice more over the years, in Long Beach in '72 and in Chicago in '80 or '81. They were all great shows, but the first was definitely the best.
(Richard Rainey: Up Me 'N Up The Canyon)
Voot Zombo: (Beefheart gig #1) March 11, 1972 Fox West Coast Theatre, Long Beach, California.
Voot Zombo: The first time I saw the Magic Band in concert was at the Fox West Coast Theatre in Long Beach, CA. The opening act was The Pure Food and Drug Act featuring Mr. Harvey Mandel on guitar AND Mr. Sugar Cane Harris on electric violin. Sugar Cane's violin was made out of a clear acrylic and had a small blue lamp inside that made the insturment glow brightly in the darkened theatre. Nice effect.
Voot Zombo: While standing outside the theatre waiting to get in to see Beefheart just after the release of The Spotlight Kid, the road crew was bringing the band's equipment in through the side alley door. My friend and I were checking out the Magic Band's drum cases and were confused by what was stenciled on them in large letters: CAUTION - LIQUID DRUM SET. What the hell is a liquid drum set?
Finally, after sitting through too many opening bands (including The Pure Food and Drug Act with Harvey Mandell and Sugar Cane Harris on electric violin - how's that for a real 60's rock and roll band name?) the curtain went up for Beefheart.
The stage is PITCH BLACK with only the power lights on the amps glowing. Soon a single guitar is heard. A black light is turned on the figure playing the guitar. It's a very bizarre sight because the fellow is wearing a black and white diagonally stripped suit. The stripes are about 4 inches wide and his guitar is striped the same way, so it all sort of looks like you are looking through a set of window blinds at this guy. His guitar seems to be some weird part of his body, because of the stripes. A wonderful sight!
Anyway, when the lights go up so the band can be seen, it turns out that the drum set is constructed entirely of a clear acrylic. All that shows up from the first row on back is the chrome hardware. Behold! A liquid drum set!
(Voot Zombo: Caution - Liquid Drums....)
Chester Bob: I saw that same show and later saw Sugar Cane Harris in the Mothers Of Invention ......... but did you know he was 'Don' of 'Don and Dewey', a vocal duo out of Southern California on the Specialty label (Little Richards' label) in the 50's? They had a couple of hits, most notably Don't Ever Leave Me and their most remembered ..... Justine, which became a garage band staple of the 60's.
Nigey Lennon: I recollect one night in 1972, for instance, when Beefheart and The Magic Band were playing a concert in Long Beach. I hadn't seen Beefheart for a few months at the time, but I was totally unprepared for my reception after the show, when I went backstage to say hello. Beefheart seemed literally not to know me. "Hi, Don," I said, walking up to shake hands. He mumbled a hello, but looked right past me.
Puzzled, I walked around to his other side, as though to enter by another door and start over again. "Hi - it's me, Nigey, you know." I thought he was playing a strange, zen-like joke on me. But he wasn't; he really seemed not to know who I was or what I was doing there. Finally, I walked right up to him and waggled my index finger under his nose.
"You do know who I am, don't you?" he looked almost frightened. "Of course I know who you are." With that, he shuffled away nervously, leaving me staring after him ... (He later excused this behavior by saying that he had been in 'a trance' for a period of time, owing to problems he was having with his landlord in Santa Cruz, as well as personnel problems regarding the Magic Band.)
(Nigey Lennon: Trout Mask Rendezvous. Eleven Straight Hours In A Desert Denny's With Captain Beefheart. Reader, May 30, 1980)
Lance Buterbaugh: I happened across your Captain Beefheart page this evening and enjoyed it, it brought back memories from way back. I thought I might add a few trivial details to your description of the March 10th, 1972 concert, since I was at that particular event.
1. A local whacked-out character walked down and sat at the edge of the stage for a while playing violin along with Sugar Cane Harris. (the atmosphere there at the Fox West Coast Theater (a former movie theater from earlier days) was very casual. there was no security at all, so no one really cared about this. the audience was probably about 99% stoned, since pot smoking there in the theater was very common.)
2. Daddy Cool was an Australian group who was getting some minor local airplay. The did very cool arrangements of 50's-style songs that transitioned into long, spaced-out 70's-style solos, and then broke unexpectedly back to the 50's to end. Very innovative at the time, I thought, and very entertaining.
3. The Captain Beefheart set began with Rocket Morton alone on stage doing a very tasty bass solo. Beneath his suit coat, which he shortly removed, he was wearing a western-style two-tone shirt (black on the bottom part and red on the top, with pearl snaps) which had embroidered fighting roosters on the front. I remember being rather astounded by this, because I had just the week before purchased this exact same shirt and a local clothing store there in Belmont Shores, except that mine was green on the bottom and yellow on the top. I was amazed to see one of my great heroes there with a shirt like mine. (I still have it.) The music was fantastic, but the details are slightly fuzzy due the mental state of the time (see note 1). I remember being amused by Captain Beefheart's technique of putting the bell end of his soprano sax over the microphone and playing it in quarter tones while flapping his arms, bird-like.
Michael Agnos: I did see Beefheart and the Magic Band in concert at the Fox Long Beach Theater, CA, in 1972. Harvey Mandel/Sugercane Harris, followed by Aussie band Daddy Cool opened the show. It was without a doubt the most memorable concert I've ever attended, even though I can't remember the specific compositions Beefheart performed! At one point during the Magic Band's set, Beefheart announced, "and now Rockette Morton would like to perform a composition." This was the most artistic, profound, inventive, and Beautiful bass playing I've ever heard. That much I do remember. Wow! Double Wow!!
My friend and I swear to this day that the whole concert, from Harvey Mandel's opening guitar notes, to the last echo of the Magic Band, had been scripted! I know it sounds wierd, but it seemed to us that we were watching a play; a very strange and wondrous play unfold before our eyes and ears...
Phil Kellogg: I was there! I'm 54, and I took my girlfriend at the time and her brother and his wife to the show. I remember we drove a long time - brother lived in Thousand Oaks and we were staying with him for a visit (we lived in Portland, Or). I remember Harvey Mandel/Sugarcane, but don't recall Daddy Cool. I do recall being blown away by Rockette Morton's bass solo.
I recall the Long Beach show as the worst of the 3 I saw back then. But then, the other two were REALLY good. One was at a small jazz club in SF called Keystone Korner - that was incredible, loose, almost jazzy; basically a TMR-style outing. The other was at the Paramount Theatre in Portland - a delightful, playful romp with both Drumbo and Art Tripp on percussions; the full LMDOB band in excellent form. Don't ask me for dates, or even the sequence of shows; no, was not on drugs but all were a long time ago. The Keystone show was one of the 3 best shows I've ever seen by anyone period.
Interview with Daddy Cool member Ian 'WSllie' Winter: Was there a great price difference on the door, compared to here?
Well a concert is about $3 or $4 dollars a head to get in, but there's generally three bands, like say one of them might be Captain Beefheart, which is pretty good value for your money.
What bands did you dig the most over there?
Well, Captain Beefheart was the most impressive visually and musically. The audience treats Beefheart as a bit of a freak you know, because he's a jolly, big type of fellow and he walks onto the stage in a cape and he really looks bizarre.
He gets right across to the audience. I think they're just getting into what he's on about now. When we played with him the first few times at the Fox Theatre he went over really good and the band were insane, but the last gig we played with him in Santa Monica when he'd got back from England, the audience went wild and Beefheart and his band had actually improved even though they were incredible before. They were the most impressive and John McLaughlin's band were amazing musically. In the States they try to toss you out, (the audience, that is) after a band's set so they can fit more people in for the next set, so I hid because I wanted to see McLaughlin's second set.
(Jenny Brown. Planet, June 21, 1972.)