captain beefheart electricity

CAPTAIN'S COVERS
cover versions


 

'DISCONTINUED STAND' sweden

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sweden 1996 ceedee THE MUSIC OF CAPTAIN BEEFHEART (LIVE) uae disc 3

captain beefheart - cover versions - various artists 'the music of captain beefheart (live)'

tiny, almost invisible notes in the tray of this album say:

this project was put together in collaboration with the travelling exhibition of don van vliet's paintings ('stand up to be discontinued' - t.t.). the art galleries wanted to have don's music played and a band was put together for three appearances only. fortunately some of this material was recorded. have it !

yeah, sure. because it was such a simple idea, but where to get a band that satisfactorily could play that quite different kind of music - and learn it in a short while of time, too? and how to find a singer with a voice like the captain's (beit incomparable, of course)? but the impossible became close to reality when a handful of local beefheart fans with the right mixture of musical skills, time and enthusiasm could be prod to form an occasional 'tribute band'.

the core of five swedes included some famous - swedish - names, like mats öberg (keyboards, harmonica), and the ågren brothers on guitar and drums, with the singing problems solved in the person of freddy wadling - despite having nó outside resemblance to don at all! moreover, some of the members knew DENNY WALLEY - one of the former (zappa and) beefheart lead guitarists, and when they all discovered he was free from obligations at the intended period, the one-off deal was made....

of course, the presence of denny walley meant a great break-through because he mainly 'just had to recollect' all the melodies he had played when he was a beefheart employee during don's darkest 'come back struggle' years 1975-77 (at concerts rather than on elpees). legend has it that the 'stand up to be discontinued' band practised for only a week before they had their first gig, but his olden experience with the beefheart matter and practical advices surely must have helped to master the 'damn stuff' in time. the talents of the other folks to understand it, could have helped too, yes.

captain beefheart - cover versions - various artists 'the music of captain beefheart (live) - denny walley
denny

with some other material added to the 'walley pile' (especially to mention 'lick my decals off, baby'), the group was ready to storm sweden - but thrée places is not enough to conquer a whole country. so the idea to bring out a record with the best cover versions is much better: it might bring them the wórld!

however, those rehearsals and live performances must have cost so much energy the group was out of inspiration when this marvellous tribute album was brought out to memorize those memorable shows. for a small problem with the title is, it doesn't contain áll 'the music of captain beefheart', and they even couldn't invent a proper name for the once-only band ('live'? by no means; that name already is given away). so i suggest we call the one-off group DISCONTINUED STAND: besides the obvious word play with the name of the exhibition, it also refers to the occasional character of the unique happening....

for the ELEVEN SONGS - two of which have an additional trombone - they chose:

live 020495 [venue unknown] umeå, sweden:
GROW FINS the spotlight kid 1972 live 4:39
NOWADAYS A WOMAN'S GOTTA HIT A MAN clear spot 1972 live 3:49
WHEN IT BLOWS ITS STACKS the spotlight kid 1972 live 5:58
SUN ZOOM SPARK clear spot 1972 live 3:17
TROPICAL HOT DOG NIGHT shiny beast (bat chain puller) 1978 live 8:54
BIG EYED BEANS FROM VENUS clear spot 1972 live 4:06
live 040595 [venue unknown] stockholm, sweden:
BAT CHAIN PULLER shiny beast (bat chain puller) 1978 live 5:38
ICE CREAM FOR CROW ice cream for crow 1982 live 4:08
CHINA PIG trout mask replica 1969 live 4:28
LICK MY DECALS OFF, BABY lick my decals off, baby 1970 live 5:50
HARRY IRENE shiny beast (bat chain puller) 1978 live 7:48
total time: 58:35
really are as close as cover versions can get to the magic originals...!

the occasional captain beefheart and the magic band seldom fails the (beef)heart and soul of the original songs: this well could have been a reunion gig by the real guys - if that ever was possible. during the set the band sometimes even improvises in a beefheartian way a magic band would have done (if it had been allowed)....

and i'm not the only one who is dumbfounded by this successful 'imitation'. the concerts in sweden lead to raves i can't understand but look praising, like:

(looks like it has something to do with 'world class').

but you should hear it yourself! freddie sings like beefheart, denny plays like denny, and everyone is very pleased (the audience even is only listening instead of also being uncomfortable). if you like the music of the 'mojave beef' and know that he's not performing music any more, this is a superb way to imagine he travelled through time and space and came back for a crackling show!

CONCLUSION: almost perfect MY ADVICE: immediately get it

captain beefheart - cover versions - various artists 'the music of captain beefheart (live) - freddy wadling
freddie
[taken from a rough original]

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convince your record shop to sell you this item, or order it online (maybe after listening to some samples...)

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important additional information !

the umeå concert later was BROADCAST in the swedish RADIO program 'p3 live', so some lucky people have tapes of three more covers:

live 020495 [venue unknown] umeå, sweden:
A CARROT IS AS CLOSE AS A RABBIT GETS TO A DIAMOND doc at the radar station 1980 live
TOO MUCH TIME clear spot 1972 live
THE FLOPPY BOOT STOMP shiny beast (bat chain puller) 1978 live

and the super-lucky people who attended the performances also have heard the unreleased:

live [3 dates april / may 1995], sweden:
ALICE IN BLUNDERLAND the spotlight kid 1972 live
BLABBER 'N' SMOKE the spotlight kid 1972 live
CIRCUMSTANCES clear spot 1972 live
CRAZY LITTLE THING clear spot 1972 live
LONG NECK BOTTLES clear spot 1972 live
THE PAST SURE IS TENSE ice cream for crow 1982 live
THERE AIN'T NO SANTA CLAUS ON THE EVENIN' STAGE the spotlight kid 1972 live

note: they really should release another ceedee

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later information:

the morgan ågren home page, which at the moment contains the picture of denny walley shown above (and an interview with bill harkleroad aka zoot horn rollo), once had a well deserved picture of this band:

captain beefheart - cover versions - 'discontinued stand' band

[revised 081102]

also spot this group in captain's curiosa, that is: morgan ågren

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captain beefheart electricity
as felt by teejo

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