WRMB 339: CAPTAIN BEEFHEART “What’s all this Booga-Booga music?”

WRMB 337: Led Zeppelin ‘Plant Waves’ – previous review under the title link                            

WRMB 338: King Crimson ‘Groon’ – ditto


Captain Beefheart WatBBMusic

All seen copied have the US sized Din A 4 slip sheets (216x279mm  vs Euro Din A 4: 210x297mm).

Captain Beefheart WatBBMusic detail

Captain Beefheart WatBBMusic disc

If you’ve been following the blog or you are reading all Wizardo entries in sequence, you will have already guessed that under the Wizardo law of bootleg manufacturing, this just had to be a colored wax release (although black wax copies exist as well).

The following descriptions come from Beefheart afficionados and seem much more trustworthy than any other source:

Side 1:  Suction Prints/ Golden Birdies/ Black Snake Blues/ I’m A King Bee/ Jimmy Bill’s In Town

Side 2:  Alice In Blunderland/ Abba Zaba/ Big Eyed Beans From Venus/ I’m Gonna Booglarize You Baby
“Recorded live at The Troubadour, Los Angeles on 5th(?) January 1973. This the very first Live Recording captured of THE MAGIC BAND on vinyl at their absolute finest!  The sheer speed and live dexterity of the magic band ripping thru’ their repertoire and enjoying themselves so much that Don and the Band played some bonus live Blues classics that cannot be heard anywhere else!

Original pressings were on black & red splatter vinyl  in ‘200 Copies Only’.”

“”A classic… with a basic white cover and paper insert. A great photo of Don on the front cover (from 1972?) but for some reason the song titles and names of the band are from the Knebworth Festival in 1975. Curious…”

“When I first heard this record I was a bit disappointed at the sound quality, being an audience tape. It didn’t take more than two or three listenings to appreciate the great performance that was captured on that tape. I now consider the only downside to be the wavering pitch on Jimmy Bill’s In Town. Guess the guy with the tape recorder didn’t change the batteries in time!”

Sold to the public as being from the Roundhouse, L.A. , listed on the slip sheet as being from the Roxy, L.A. on 7/16/75 but known to be from the Troubadour, LA. In 1973. With all of the literature available on the Ct. & his band, there doesn’t seem to be any consistency as far as the line-up on this recording. From what is audible on the LP there is Alex St. Clair (guitar), Zoot Horn Rollo (guitar), Rockette Morton (Mark Boston (bass and guitar?)), Ed Marimba (Arthur D. Tripp-drums) and someone I have never seen referenced anywhere, Eddie Horn (or at least that is what it sounds like in the introductions on bass.)

It is said that this disc is of particular interest because it contains the only known recording of the song Jimmy Bill’s In Town. As far as I know, it has the only recording of Old Black Snake, as well.

troubadour LA


“Midway through the Clear Spot tour, Alex St. Claire rejoined the Magic ranks after a five year hiatus, and this was the second show following his return. Bill Harkleroad, Roy Estrada, Mark Boston, and Art Tripp round out the Magic line-up. My particular copy sounds ok, however, the drums and bass are pretty muddy, and the dual bass attack is sadly sonically indistinguishable. St. Claire and Harkleroad, though lacking the usual Magic Band syncopation, provide really straight forward, down-home, butt kickin’ blues (listen to I’m A King Bee and Jimmy Bill’s Back In Town). Art Tripp, who was extremely well received during the introductions, was an adequate alternative to Drumbo (check out Suction Prints and Golden Birdies). The Captain was in top form, exercising his four and a half octave range and does a superb a Capella rendition of Old Black Snake. Although this line-up did nothing special on the standards (Big Eyed Beans, Abba Zaba, I’m Gonna Booglarise You), the appeal here is the sludgy blues tunes. In fact, if one didn’t know one’s Beefheart, this easily sounds somewhere between A&M and Mirror Man. One last point of interest: for some reason, Golden Birdies is listed from the 1-3 Troubadour set although its sound is consistent with the rest of the show. Methinks the Suction Prints may have been from another show because the drums and cymbals are more audible.” http://www.beefheart.com/datharp/reviews/boogajim.htm

“The rarest and most desirable Captain Beefheart bootleg ever, AFAIK. I only got a copy this year when Detlef Jurgens posted the show to Dime. Only ever version of ‘Jimmy Bill’s In Town’.” rushomancy, http://www.zappateers.com

winterland73 Capt Beefh

Photo taken by Ryk Ekedal during the Magic Band’s set supporting the Mahavishnu Orchestra at Winterland San Francisco, 31st March 1973

Some Comments:
Jim Ryan: Early January 74 (73!), Troubadour L.A. w/Martin Mull as opener for the first three nights of I think a five or six night run. Would have gone to all but had to fly home w/ Mom & Dad. What a happy accident to be in L.A. on vacation to find the Captain playing. Thanks to mom and dad for letting me stay in Hollywood, while they went south to San Diego.
Talked with Don at third Troubadour show. It seemed like he knew about me as he had chatted with a friend of mine on “Triad Radio Show” in Chicago some time between the Aragon show & the Troubadour shows. Introduced to Jan and got autograph “To Jim Love Over Gold”.
(Fireparty People)

Alan Saul: I met Jerry (Handley) while waiting in line at the Troubador in early 1973. I had a pleasant little conversation with him and don’t remember any hint of a British accent. He was living in Lancaster, had a business that had to do with cars (leasing?, maybe a body shop?, I forget now). I told him how much I admired his work on “Mirror Man” and he was pleased but modest. He wasn’t playing music at that point, because he needed to make a living. I would tend to doubt that people wouldn’t have left the band if they had been able to make a living at it! Remember that Don didn’t pay people anything – even after a little money started coming in. But Jerry greeted Don quite warmly when he arrived, and Don seemed happy to see him, though he was staggering around with a blonde to whom he referred as Captain Bottles.
Jerry had told the person at the ticket window that Don Vliet should have put him on the list, and at that time it surprised me to not hear the Van? That enabled me to discover who Jerry was, otherwise he was completely nondescript, just hanging out with everybody else in the line. I’m fairly sure that he was from Lancaster/Palmdale originally. Was he really playing with Don in 1965 though?

Alan Saul: I just wanted to relate that I met Jerry once. We were standing next to each other in line at the Troubador in 1972 or 73 until he got the tickets Mr. Vliet had left for him. Gerry Pratt had the impression that he was British, but as far as I could tell he was quite American, I presumed from the high desert. He was extremely nice, although I didn’t ask him much, mostly just complimented him on his tremendous playing on “Mirror Man” and asked what he was doing (I forget now, I think some automotive business) ….
That night at the Troubador, when Don arrived, he was staggering, supported by a tall blonde who he introduced as Captain Bottles. I didn’t catch whether her first name was Long Necked. Don proceeded to heckle Martin Mull (the opening act) mercilessly, then gave one of a series of fantastic concerts under the influence of Art Tripp, Roy Estrada, Mark Boston, and Bill Harkleroad.

Jeff Moris Tepper: I was up in the California redwoods to check out housing and schools, and I saw Don drive by in this orange pumpkin-coloured stingray and park at a Corvette dealership. I had met him in Los Angeles in ’72 during the Clear Spot tour, when we had talked and he had drawn me a picture, but I was kind of scared. I walked up to his car and went, very softly: “Don”, and he fucking jumped – hit his head on his car roof! He said: “Man, you scared the shit out of me! Hey, I know you!”. I go: “Yeah, we talked once at the Troubadour”. And he goes: “I gave you a piece of art, I don’t ever do that”. This was all within the first 10 seconds, it was really weird. Within two hours he was showing me a house next door to his that he wanted me to rent.
And so I got my housing.
(Mike Barnes: Hello Goodbye. Moris Tepper & Beefheart’s Magic Band. Mojo #51. February 1998)

  1. About Captain Beefheart at the Troubadour bootleg of which you speak. I was there for at least 5 day as I only missed one night. They never did suction prints as it probably had;t been written yet. The drummer was Tripp an not Jimmy Carl Black, and I don’t remember any Alex St Clair whom I met through Dr. Demento. Orejon is off course Roy Estrada. The band of course was at their peak. When one of their friends asked them to play something from Trout Mask they went in to Dali’s Car or Moonlight on Vermont and just played it perfectly. They (Hacklewood and Boston) probably hadn’t played it for a year and Tripp never had, but it was perfect and for me at least the whole room light up. Wish I had’t missed any of it.

    David King

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