Captain Beefheart | Artist
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Don Van Vliet aka Captain Beefheart was an American singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, poet and visual artist born 1941 in Glendale, California. Working with The Magic Band and sometimes collaborator Frank Zappa, Beefheart created a blend of experimental blues-rock overlaid with growling vocals and superb poetic lyrics. The Magic Band was founded in 1964 with original lineup comprising Beefheart (vocals, harmonica, saxophone, clarinet, shenai), Alexis Clair Snouffer (guitar, drums), Jerry Handley (bass), Doug Moon (guitar) and PG Blakely (drums). Over the years The Captain made many lineup changes, at various times Magic Band players included John French aka Drumbo (drums, vocals, guitar, harmonica), Ry Cooder (guitar), Jeff Cotton aka Antennae Jimmy Semens (guitar), Bill Harkleroad aka Zoot Horn Rollo (guitar, flute), Mark Boston aka Rockette Morton (bass), Victor Hayden aka The Mascara Snake (bass clarinet, vocals), Arthur Tripp aka Ed Marimba (drums, percussion), Elliot Ingber aka Winged Eel Fingerling (guitar), Roy Estrada aka Orejón (bass), Jimmy Carl Black aka Indian Ink (drums), and many others. The group released their debut album Safe as Milk in 1967 on Buddah Records. After being dropped by two consecutive record labels they then signed to Zappa's Straight Records, where they released 1969's Trout Mask Replica; the album would later rank 58th in Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. Beefheart released 12 studio albums, including Magic Band and solo releases. Standouts include Safe as Milk, Trout Mask Replica, Lick my Decals Off Baby, Mirror Man, Clear Spot and Shiny Beast (Bat Chain Puller) and Doc at the Radar Station. Since his death in 2010, there have been several excellent compilations and archival releases including Sun Zoom Spark: 1970 to 1972 from 2014. The Magic Band released an album Back to the Front, without Beefheart, in 2003. Also Bill Harkleroad and other Magic Band members released two albums under the group name Mallard.
Artist Website: beefheart.com
Featured Albums: Captain Beefheart