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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.

Monday, 24 March 2014

Jack Nitzsche / Captain Beefheart :: Hard Workin’ Man (1978)

captain-beefheart
I recently re-watched the underrated/half-forgotten Blue Collar – Paul Schrader’s 1978 directorial debut starring Richard Pryor, Yaphet Kotto and Harvey Keitel. Filmed on location at the Checker Motors plant in Kalamazoo, Michigan, the film boasts one of the decade’s most effective pairings of music during an opening credits sequence.
Schrader tapped Jack Nitzche to score the film. In an inspired move Nitzche brought in Captain Beefheart (née Don Van Vliet) to lend his rust-leaden vocals to “Hard Workin’ Man”, the Nitzche penned track that acts as an aural introduction to the late 20th century metal-machine world the film’s characters inhabit. A blues, the song hits of two fronts: the obvious (lyrics), and in keeping with the auto manufacturing plant visuals of the opening sequence, the instrumental. Raw and chugging, that’s Ry Cooder on accompanying guitar as Beefheart growls out the lyrics along to the sight of steel and sparks.


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Don Van Vliet (born Don Glen Vliet; January 15, 1941 – December 17, 2010) was an American musician, singer-songwriter, artist and poet known by the stage name Captain Beefheart. His musical work..


Don Van Vliet (born Don Glen Vliet; January 15, 1941 – December 17, 2010) was an American musician, singer-songwriter, artist and poet known by the stage name Captain Beefheart. His musical work..

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