discography - bootlegs
LIVE tuesday 28.10.69 AMOUGIES belgium MONT DE L'ENCLUS the first paris music festival 'actuel'
THIS is VINYL - go to the main page
ZAPPA / PINK FLOYD / CAPTAIN BEEFHEART * INTER-ZAPPA OVERDRIVE
[side 2:] the magic band - in their only concert in support of trout mask replica
usa 2006 turnip turnip 001 limited and numbered edition coloured vinyl
the captain beefheart front insert
(side 1: pink floyd
with guest frank zappa)
track listing side 2:
my human gets me blues [time unknown]
when big joan sets up [±8:00]
jam (with guest frank zappa) 'who will be the next?' [±12:14]
[total time unknown]
for almost thirty years there weren't many 'remains' from the live performance of captain beefheart and his 'trout mask replica' magic band at the music festival 'actuel' late october 1969. just a few rare pictures, and - most important and interesting - two short songs from their show on a cinema film. unfortunately, that film never was brought out as video. however, since the fragment was released as a part of the grow fins rarities, everyone* can experience it....
* = that is: everyone with enough money. less lucky people can choose from several uploads at youtube.
in 2005, a lot has changed! for, in return for their sponsoring, the broadcast company 'radio tele luxembourg' had recorded the five-day non-stop 'music heaven for brave weirdos' through and through. it appeared that the complete footage had been long forgotten, but not lost! and it even was burnable onto ceedee (maybe even veedee?)....
since then, we could expect 'something bootleggy'. and...: it happened (or else i wouldn't have to write this page, big dummy) - and in an unbelievable shocking way! for in this digital age it is lunatic to release it on vinyl, i repeat: v-i-n-y-l....
THE TROUBLE IS...
however, it is unlikely that more than a handful of beefheartians will ever see a copy of the elpee FRANK ZAPPA / PINK FLOYD / CAPTAIN BEEFHEART * INTER-ZAPPA OVERDRIVE in real. because:
it is forbidden to advertise for illegal products - so nobody knew about it until the stock had gone.
the two hundred hand-numbered copies (with a retail price of 100 usd) were sold as soon as they hit the shops.
you got to have a pick-up.
the outside of this 'limited collectors edition' doesn't tell anything about the content, for it is a common, plain white cardboard sleeve. but inside the cover there are three inserts with a lot of information. these 28cm square sheets have different and all sorts of colours, and contain general data, an explanatory text, and a collection of pictures.
part of the text information
the text insert, with the title a long time ago on a chilly turnip field in belgium..., has notes about the wintery festival and parts from interviews with frank zappa (who was the master of ceremonies, and played / jammed with all the artists), captain beefheart and pink floyd's nick mason. it is illustrated with a photo of frank, and one of him and captain beefheart taken in the weekend after the 'freezing experience' at a london press meeting.
the collection of pictures includes two small shots of zappa, and three bigger ones from his guest performance with pink floyd. it also shows the two known advertisements for the 'actual' festival, and...: the backstage photo of captain beefheart and the (one-off) magic band from the french 'viva zappa' book.
the third leaf is an 'instant front', but, watch out, there appear to be two versions. probably half of the copies of this so-called 'split record' contains a pink floyd insert, while the others feature beefheart. both versions have the track listing and a smaller picture of frank zappa with the other main act. by the way, the second side of the album is subtitled: the magic band - in their only concert in support of trout mask replica.
for several reasons music lovers sometimes flip, and become fanatic collectors. they want to have all the releases of their favourite band or musician, stare at picture and international sleeves, or read books and magazines about their heroes, are fond of press kits, glossy photos and promos, or think they need every concert tape, and so on.
some of those maniacs focus on bootlegs, regardless of the artistic level of the recording or the quality of the pressing. and many of them will get out of their minds knowing that this one (named after the pink floyd song 'inter-stellar overdrive') has been pressed on coloured vinyl! and with several different colours and effects....
the elpees are multi-coloured but can be called green, gold, and blue (so far); and the state of the melted plastic is splattered - also wrongly known as 'swirled' - or marbled. of course, every copy is unique, and even if there had been no music on it, it is a beautiful artefact.
green splattered example
by the way, in stead of the often used confusing blank labels, this bootleg has related pictures of the artists in question on 'their' sides. in case you would like to know: the rare picture of frank zappa and don van vliet on the beefheart side (and the 'pink floyd' front) comes from a french book about zappa.
each side of an elpee can contain about 25 minutes of music, so the bigger part of beefheart's short show of only twenty pláying minutes fits on what is said to be the second face. but the wrong end was chosen, most likely because the bootleg should feature frank zappa - who only enters the record as a guest to play along with pink floyd and jam with beefheart.... let me explain:
since the recording of 'trout mask replica' half a year earlier captain beefheart hadn't been on any stage, as he nor producer zappa had thought about the 'follow-up' to the album.... and also: john 'drumbo' french and jeff 'antennae jimmy semens' cotton had left the band. so when the deal for the festival was made, the band reformed their unemployed roadie jeff bruchell to a drummer and teached him five songs.
that was all beefheart could entertain the frozen hippies with, beside tunings and long interludes. no wonder zappa jumped on stage to help 'his boys' by filling up time with a twelve minutes blues jam. and, ridiculously, this mediocre session is the longest track! i think it had been a better idea to pick the complete beefheart performance followed by an outtake from the improvisations....
blue splattered example
as the first of the two other songs on the bootleg is the known 'my human gets me blues', only 'when big joan sets up' is a first-time hearing. but both tracks are of historical interest, because don van vliet seldom or never had practised 'trout mask replica' with the magic band. the live versions are even more unstructured than the studio recordings, and vocally the captain often is far off the track. but his enthusiasm is amazing!
however, the sound quality is far from good (supposing the vinyl source is the same as the one for the burnlegs going round). it's a stage recording by the 'luxembourg' professionals, but the weather conditions are a mean spoilsport. according to eyewitness frank zappa: it was so cold, and in that temperature several things happen to musical instruments [and recording equipment]: guitar players' fingers get cold, and the strings go out of tune at different levels.
and you can hear that! for instance: although the cold and mist in amougies seemed to be a bit friendlier during 'when big joan sets up', the song still is made up of many unrecognizable noises. but it's funny how don and the mascara snake throw in a few clarinet duets, in order to stretch their performance as long as possible....
A KIND OF CONCLUSION
this piece of vinyl is something to dream of. mainly because of the historical value: beefheart's first attempt to perform 'trout mask replica' tracks on stage! but if you can't stand the sound quality, it still is a beautiful record to watch.
gold marbled example
notes concerning the images and the webpage:
better reproductions very welcome
many thanks to 'misty mountain' for important additional information
click clack to the power station, the news or the other BOOTLEGS
captain beefheart electricity
as felt by teejo