THE FIRST STEPS ON THE WAY BACK
this time it's not the picture which is interesting, because it's just a photo of the captain live 'upon the my-o-my' (boo...!!!), taken at one of his depressing concerts in england in may / june 1974 - as you can immediately tell by the ugly shirt (which was in loud yellow in real life):
no, the most important thing is the accompanying text. for i always thought that after his ('unconditionally guaranteed' and 'bluejeans and moonbeams') mis-adventure with mercury records captain beefheart was so depressed that he wanted to quit the music business [true] - and only started thinking about playing again right before frank zappa's '200 years old united states' tour in april 1975 - which would become the 'bongo fury' tour when don passed the audition as a guest singer....
so i really was stunned to read thís in a copy of the 180175 english magazine MELODY MAKER:
BEEFHEART VENUE PROBLEMS
captain beefheart and his magic band, scheduled to tour britain during a two month european visit in february and march, have run into theatre problems for their manchester concert. the original dates had beefheart playing manchester opera house on march 2, but this now has been cancelled because the venue is too small, according to chrysalis agency's john jackson. they still hope to play manchester, preferably the free trade hall. and arranging this could mean a change of date for hanley steam machine and hove town hall, originally set for march 11 and 4 respectively.
beefheart's european tour opens in copenhagen on february 13 and ends in paris on february 26. british dates: newcastle, mayfair ballroom (february 28), leeds university (march 1), birmingham town hall (5), edinburgh university (7), glasgow strathclyde university (8), bristol colston hall (9), southampton university (10), tunbridge wells assembly hall (13), london rainbow theatre (14 and 15). the manchester, hanley and hove concerts will be slotted in among these dates.
although, later i found out that the message was a sequel to a few words in the 191074 MELODY MAKER:
MAGIC BAND BACK IN NEW YEAR
captain beefheart and the magic band are returning to britain early in the new year. and they will be playing two dates at london's rainbow.
beefheart is coming to europe for a tour starting on february 13 and continuing until march 16. the latter part of the itinerary will be british concert dates. and already scheduled are two concerts at the rainbow, on march 14 and 15.
a new beefheart album, meanwhile, is being rush-released within the next three weeks. the album, 'bluejeans and moonbeams', features most of the musicians who accompanied beefheart on his recent european tour, although guitarist 'fuzzy' fuscaldo has been replaced by winged eel fingerling (elliot ingber, who had been a member of the magic band on earlier occasions - t.t.).
but eventually don faced so many problems the whole tour was cancelled, leaving us with some questions: * why?; but in particular: * with which line-up was he supposed to perform? * and which songs did he have in mind?
now, i think - but you don't have to agree - the following was the case:
after the disastrous 'unconditionally guaranteed' album and tour he realized the poor level of the session musicians of his band and soon replaced one of the tragic guitarists by elliot ingber (winged eel fingerling) and the bassist by his brother ira ingber for the contractually obliged 'bluejeans and moonbeans'. that record came out in october 1974, and then he discovered mercury records had erased every note elliot had played!
it made him so angry that he refused to do the above mentioned tour, of course - that is: with the 'tragic' rest of the band, as it seems he still was convinced to be able to build up a new magic band around the ingbers... in fact, that's not so strange: because when that plan (which he still had in early january, as this news item shows) failed - still want to know: why? - and after the following 'bongo fury' outing he managed to form the 'knebworth crew' in just over a month (including elliot ingber)...!
an indication of what beefheart intended to play, can be found in the repertoire which that short-lived band played:
moonlight on vermont, dali's car, ella guru [trout mask replica],
beatle bones and smokin' stones, gimme that harp boy [strictly personal],
and golden oldies like
electricity, abba zaba [safe as milk],
mixed with stuff such as the new
sam with the showing scalp flat top hat [beefheart original from the 'bongo fury' tour].
anyone who knows (more), may tell......
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captain beefheart electricity
as felt by teejo