BEEFHEART: THROUGH THE EYES OF MAGIC
Pub. Date: 01-07-2010
Category: Composers and Musicians
Imprint: Omnibus Press
Pages: 880 page/s
Stock: New, Available
Price: $59.95 AUD
A no-holds barred account of working with Captain Beefheart drawing on new reminiscences and interviews with all the key players from the inside and around the Magic Band and the cross pollinated Mothers of Invention.
John French is better qualified than anyone to talk about Beefheart, joining the Magic Band in 1966 at the age of 17 just before recording their Safe As Milk debut album, finding himself plunged into a tyrannical regime which would dominate his life for the next 14 years as he played a major role in eight subsequent albums, including translating the mindblowing avant-blues assault of 1969's Trout Mask Replica into readable music for the Magic Band from the Captain's piano poundings under torturous conditions he likens to a cult
You don’t have to be a fan of the Magic Band to enjoy this book. If not, I can imagine that you might come out of it wanting to explore the music, such is the dedication and detail with which French describes his journey from teenager onwards at the heart of a unique and unreplicated musical process, and with the help of an exceptional discography companion at the end.
If you are a fan of who you think is Captain Beefheart – the man or the myth, or a little of both – you might be advised to approach this book with care, because whilst some indications of an uncomfortable ‘other thing’ were there – as I experienced it, through articles and Mike Barnes’s biography (I haven't yet read Lunar Notes) – nothing could prepare a dedicated fan for the extent of the scenes described in this book. But that’s the point – this is Beefheart, through the eyes of Magic, and it’s an amazing journey of discovery.
As a well known cohort of Frank Zappa’s, Beefheart revolutionized a form of bizarro rock that came from the high deserts of California and took Don and the Magic Band around the world over three multi-colored decades. John French (given the moniker ‘Drumbo’ during the sessions for the famed ‘Trout Mask Replica’ album) sat behind the drums for Beefheart for eight albums, (beginning with ‘Safe as Milk’) and has recounted the behind the scenes going-ons throughout discombobulated recording sessions and wild global romps that solidified the Captain’s image in the hearts of fans of rock’s outer fringes for years.
There is an incredibly detailed social and historical perspective on the development of the local bands in the desert where French grew up, a seeming antidote to newly built settlements in barren surroundings. He describes three generations of musicians who contributed to the Magic Band lineups over a decade and a half, and he interviews many of them, including those who resolutely remained on the outside of the increasingly claustrophobic and isolated unit. It’s one story of mid-20th century American youth and you really feel the essence of French as a child / teenager – and see how that changes as he grows older.
There are some interesting appearances, both on and off the road, including Ornette Coleman, Wild Man Fischer and Jim Morrison, but they are just that – cameos. You get the impression French yearned for more contact with musicians outside his immediate circle, but was denied it. My admiration for Frank Zappa, who as you’d expect comes and goes throughout the book, only grew through reading this book. He comes across as an incredibly talented, intelligent man who wasn’t afraid to let his musicians experiment and express the talents they had. A complete dude.
What was the thing I read Beefheart said, that after recording the album, they had to exorcise the trees?
Similar themes continue throughout the book, but never in the same ways. In frightening, insidious, joyful events and conversations, through French growing older, not playing music, returning to the Captain, separation, re-connecting with his religion, fatherhood, purging the magic, and beyond.
The Fringe is open to submissions of poetry, flash fiction and short stories of any genre. Stories accepted will be published online in our Ezine and also in the monthly pdf magazine.
We are also open to submissions from artists for inclusion in the magazine.
Submissions should be in RTF format or in the body of the email. Send email submissions only to firstname.lastname@example.org
Currently we only offer payment for one story selected as the feature story in the monthly pdf magazine only. The successful author will be contacted to organise payment via paypal for a $5AUD payment. Authors of other accepted stories published on the webzine and in the pdf copy will receive a copy of the pdf version of the mag the story appears in.
We are open to unpublished and previously published stories up to 40,000 words in length.
About The Fringe Magazine
Here at The Fringe Magazine we publish Short Stories, Flash Fiction, Poetry in all genres and reviews of books, roleplay games, music and movies.
Our variety seems to be hiting the mark with over 100,000 views of our Online Magazine with a good spread across all articles.
Our variety seems to be hiting the mark with over 100,000 views of our Online Magazine with a good spread across all articles.?xml:namespace>From surveys we've conducted, our readers are like most people and enjoy reading all kinds of books, both fiction and non-fiction.
With over 350 readers visiting our site each day, we listen to the voice of the masses and try and procure books in all genres to review. To date, we have reviewed over 600 books, including; non-fiction reference, music, art, photography, gardening, cooking, Self Help, architecture, design, biographies and roleplay games.
We also review fiction in all genres; Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Historical Romance, Paranormal Romance, Horror, Crime, Thriller, Comedy, Western. We also publish Author Interviews, Paintings, Sketches, Art Work, Art Work by Susie Wilson, and non-fiction articles. The only thing you won't find at The Fringe Magazine is a bad review, if we don't like something, we won't put up a review at all.
You will also find music and dvd reviews and the occasional interview with musicians and actors.
- ► 2011 (753)
- The Rescues of Brittan Courvalais by Tom Sheehan
- The Old Man of the River by Tom Sheehan
- Jail Break at Bear Creek by Tom Sheehan
- Chigger Boom and the Night the Devil Broke Loose b...
- Review: God of Clocks by Alan Campbell
- Realm by James Jackson
- Review: A Touch of Dead: A Sookie Stackhouse Colle...
- Legends! Beasts and Monsters by Anthony Horowitz
- Review: Of Saints and Shadows By Christopher Golde...
- Review: Henry VIII: Wolfman by A.E Moorat
- Review: Beefheart - Through the Eyes of Magic
- BLACK SWAN RISING by Lee Carroll
- Review: Bitten and Smitten: Immortality Bites #1
- Review: Blood Feud by Alyxandra Harvey
- Review: Black Prism by Brent Weeks
- Full Flight From Yuma by Tom Sheehan
- Indignant by J Mac Stone
- Interview with Gordon Reece
- The Moonbow by Max Keanu
- Tip And Alice by David Perlmutter
- Glissando by Christina Murphy
- Unseasonable Shadows by Charlotte Jones
- The Cheek Prints of The President By Joseph Farley...
- A Dragoon’s Adventure Tom Sheehan
- The Good People of Island Watch by Ken Sieben
- Back Nine Narrative By Matthew Dexter
- Chickens: Revenge of the Flock by Paul Lewellan
- God Denied By Lee Pletzers
- Stalemate by Ron Koppelberger
- The Duplicate by Ron Koppelberger
- The Twelve Point by Ron Koppelberger
- Sasquatch by Hugh Fox
- Doghouse Review
- King Arthur: Dragon's Child Review
- ▼ September (34)
- ► 2009 (214)