captain beefheart electricity

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saturday 08.04.72 AMSTERDAM holland CONCERTGEBOUW

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REVIEW 6

'ONZIN-MUZIEK' OP BEEFHAERTS' CONCERT
willem-jan martin - trouw - 10 april 1972

'NONSENSE MUSIC' AT BEEFHAERT'S CONCERT

note: don't mind the spelling error

Amsterdam – Saturday night at the Concertgebouw the second performance took place (Groningen had been programmed the day before) of Captain Beefheart (Don van Vliet) - who is one of the strangest personalities in contemporary music - and his five piece Magic Band, in which as the latest acquisition the former Zappa employee Roy Estrada. The latter, by the way, was in familiar company because his old colleagues Elliot Ingber (guitar) and Artie Tripp (drums) also were present. Operating under quite mysterious pseudonyms Beefheart had thought out, the gentlemen Rockette Morton (mark boston - t.t.) (bass) and Zoot Horn Rollo (bill harkleroad - t.t.) (guitar) were the remaining musicians.

As said, Beefheart is a remarkable person. A pioneering loner, a relentless, almost maniacal explorer of new forms and ways, which once had the blues as starting point. In the beginning the result of this search was very much orientated on that same blues and as such very understandable to everybody. However, that changed when the Captain took the idea that creative energy shouldn't be restricted by any fixed form or rule. To make music like a child was his credo and the result was a complete incomprehensible, monomaniacal pile of noise (the double elpee Trout Mask Replica).

Yet Beefheart rather returned to his roots again with the albums "Lick My Decals Off, Baby" and "The Spotlight Kid". Especially this last one: "The Spotlight Kid" contains a number of short, well defined songs with clearly audible blues and rock influences. Thus the performance could be faced with somewhat ambivalent expectations. This ambivalence has remained.

There was a clear distinction possible in the repertoire. On the one hand there was something like an extremely long duel of Beefheart on soprano sax and the anyway very competent drummer Art Tripp (alias Ed Marimba) which you couldn't make head or tail of ('spitball scalped a baby' - teejo), and the deafening loose fiddling about of some men in "Alice In Blunderland". On the other hand one could be a witness of the utterly fascinating growling sound of Beefheart in songs like "Click Clack", "I'm Gonna Booglarize You Baby" (both known from "The Spotlight Kid") and the very bluesy "Old Black Snake" (originally a john lee hooker song - teejo), which had a clearer structure and a better accessibility.

However, unfortunately these pieces also quite suffered from the sound equipment which hardly could handle the instrumental violence combined with the impressive timbre and volume of Beefheart, so that the listening pleasure - which already had received a pretty punch from the dose of nonsense music pointed out - was brought down even a bit further.

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translation by Robert Cloos 1998



PICTURE 11

captain beefheart - live picture 'amsterdam, holland, concertgebouw' performance 080472 - art tripp / ed marimba - by ton damman
ART TRIPP ed marimba

picture by TON DAMMAN
which means it may not be published in whatever way without his permission
if you have plans to use it you can email me to get in touch with him

go to the next review and pictures

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captain beefheart electricity
as felt by teejo

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