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Most of this blog is related in some way to the music, books and films produced by Gonzo Multimedia, but the editor has a grasshopper mind and so also writes about all sorts of cultural issues which interest him, and which he hopes will interest you as well.

Saturday, 2 August 2014

Captain Beefheart: Live UK review




CAPTAIN BEEFHEART And The Magic Band 
Live at Harpo’s Detroit 1980
Gonzo 

Ah, Captain Beefheart. Hate him or hate him, he certainly cut an interesting figure, with his interesting approach to music. And by interesting, I mean “bypassing it totally”. However, there are people out there with malfunctioning ears who like this sort of thing. 

It’s one for the diehards, though, as it’s basically a bootleg. Recorded at Harpo’s, Detroit on December 11, 1980, it sees the “Captain” presenting his aural aneurysms with a band comprising bassist Eric Drew, drummer Robert Williams, and guitarists Richard Snyder, Jeff Tapir-White, and Jeff Morris Teeper. In amongst that there is some mumbling and bellowing, which I assume is the “Captain” “singing”. 

The thing I enjoy most about Beefheart fans is their breathtaking condescension towards people who don’t get it. It’s a joy to wind them up and watch them slowly melt down as you explain to them that there is more musical merit in three minutes of ‘You Could Have Been A Lady’ by Hot Chocolate than there is in the entire Beefheart oeuvre. And, Beefheart fan, I do know what oeuvre means, so don’t wave your second class Arts degree at me. 

Back on the CD, there are things called ‘Abba Babba’, ‘Dr. Dark’, ‘Sugar And Spikes’ and ‘A Carrot Is As Close As A Rabbit Gets To A Diamond’, soundtracked to the noise of a rutting walrus playing out of tune jazz. Enjoy.

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