Zappa.com

The Official Frank Zappa Messageboards
It is currently Fri Oct 24, 2014 11:13 pm

All times are UTC - 8 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 61 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3  Next
Author Message
PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2008 6:29 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Apr 03, 2006 6:54 pm
Posts: 5413
Location: Birthplace of Grand Funk Railroad & Mr Don Preston
Happened to run across this interview from an old Jethro Tull fanzine.

To change the subject completely, what was your relationship with Captain Beefheart in the '70's?

Just that he rang up one day, because I'd mentioned to somebody at Warner Brothres that we, that is Jeffrey Hammond and I, particularly liked Captain Beefheart and Frank Zappa. but not much else about American music at the time. Somebody at WB must have mentioned this to Captain Beefheart and one day, out of the blue, he rang me and said he would like to be on our next tour as the support band.
I was a bit nervous about it because, although I thought they were a very interesting band and I enjoyed the things they did and could see that he was obviously a real character, I worried that the American audience might not like him, because he was really unknown in the USA, although through the efforts of John Peel he'd become very much a sort of cult hero in the UK. So I was nervous about how he would go down with the Americans, but we agreed to have him for at least a part of the tour, and they did die a death pretty well all the time; the audience really didn't like them at all. But they were travelling around with us, and we were all fairly chummy and matey with all the guys in the band, but Beefheart was a tyrant and a bully with his own boys, and a very insecure man, Very charismatic, and used to total domination, but that was covering up for a very deep seated insecurity. If he didn't feel he had manipulated and totally controlled you he was desperate to try to do so; desperate, and terrified if he hadn't gained the power, which he seemed to have over lots of people that he met, as well as the guys in his band.

He was a strange guy; very intense. He used to ring me in the middle of the night and say "Hey man, can we rap?", and I'd say "Don, look, it's 3 in the morning, I've got a show tomorrow, can we talk in the morning?", you know. "Hey man, I need to talk to you"...."Sorry Don, I can't talk now, I'm going back to sleep. Goodnight!", and stuff like that. So he had a strange relationship with me where he was trying desperately to make me one of his 'followers', and I was singularly unimpressed by it.
He was a nice guy, he was OK, but he was just one of those incredibly intense and domineering people who just had to control, and was very insecure. He would cover his insecurity by forcing himself on people , and be bolstered by having a constant entourage around him, and if you didn't want to be part of that he wouldn't just ignore it, he became even more determined that he had to be your pal, on his terms.

So it wasn't exactly that easy of a relationship with Don himself, but the rest of the guys were really nice fellas. But he was a bit hard with them. I've seen him reduce at least two of the band to tears, by publicly humiliating them as to their performance onstage -by 'publicly' I mean offstage, but in front of several people -and actually not quitting until they were both crying. He was a real bully boy.

I saw him a couple of times after that tour; I went to see the show back in England, and he came to my house for dinner, but we gradually....well, the band split up and he got another "Magic Band", so I got the old one together and said "Right, come on guys, why don't you have a go?", you know. And I said "You should call yourselves The Magic Band. You were the Magic Band!" It brewed up into some nasty stuff, and they chickened out and decided to call themselves "Mallard". And I insisted they should not try to replace Captain Beefheart with another, less charismatic frontman, but try to do it themselves, but that's exactly what they did; they got a friend in to sing the songs. And it wasn't a great album. We paid for them to come over to England, put them up for a couple of months and paid for all the studio time and so on.

_________________
*********************************************************************

Once upon a time, musta been 'round October, few years back

Image


Last edited by Milton Bradley on Wed Mar 05, 2014 7:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2008 6:35 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Apr 03, 2006 6:54 pm
Posts: 5413
Location: Birthplace of Grand Funk Railroad & Mr Don Preston
Were you involved in the recording?

No, no. I kept out of it. In fact I think I wasn't about at the time, I think we were on the road. I just basically said "I'll give you the studio time. If you get a deal and make some money, pay me back". But, although the record did come out, nobody made any money so I didn't get paid back. I've seen Rocket Morton a couple of times since then, but...I don't know...Captain Beefheart went back to his trailer in the desert with his wife Jan, made a few more records...[/b]

_________________
*********************************************************************

Once upon a time, musta been 'round October, few years back

Image


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2008 6:41 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sat Oct 29, 2005 12:26 pm
Posts: 2243
There was this interesting thing Ian Anderson said on an interview once...something like Dweezil calling him up and saying that Frank wanted to talk to him. It was when Zappa was very sick, and he passed away before Ian could call him.

Considering that some of Zappa's comments about Tull were quite negative, I wonder what he wanted to say?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2008 7:23 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Apr 03, 2006 6:54 pm
Posts: 5413
Location: Birthplace of Grand Funk Railroad & Mr Don Preston
He's painting now, isn't he?

Well, he always was, and that's what he went back to, to carry on with his art. But he was a...one of life's characters who....I mean, music is much much richer for Captian Don Beefheart, but like a lot of people of that peculiar sort of naive talent, he was not an easy man, and was doomed by his own personality to destroy everything around him; relationships with his musicians, other people, and particularly his relationships with record companies.

He had a giant chip on his shoulder-everybody was out to get him all the time- and it became insufferable really, because his attitude was constantly that everybody was against him and he was a true artist, and you know,....we all knew that. He was a talented, special guy. A crazy man, but he had a special something, and he didn't need to keep telling everybody about it all the time. It got really boring, and it pissed off record companies. He would get advances and then go and spend all the money, and he had no concept at all of running the group and the business side of it.

He would get some money from the record company and then go spend it all on himself, and the other guys had no food, nothing......I mean, it was just awful, the stories they told. They lived this life, they all wanted to play with Beefheart, they'd all gone into the desert and become his camp followers, but they were actually pretty straight forward guys, all of them....well, apart from...who was it...Roy, I think, went off for murder after that! I think he murdered somebody or did something terrible.

But anyway, apart from Roy, who was actually a very nice chap but just unfortunately decided to kill somebody, they were all fairly regular guys, and they deserved better than they got in terms of both the financial side and the personal relationship that Don insisted on maintaining, which was not too far away from that....was it Rev. Jones or somebody, who killed all his followers in their hideout? He was one of those guys, Don. He was a fueuhrer sort of personality, and everything was done by this power and charisma. And people fall for it. Wether it's in Romania, South America....Charlie Manson, Adolph Hitler....there are people out there who are able to somehow carry this off, to dominate people and persuade them against their better judgement, and Don, in a very minor way...

I mean, I'm not painting him as an evil figure....well, I am, but I don't mean it to really sound that way, but he had that degree of power should he have wished to have applied it in a particularly unsavoury fashion. As it was he just was a bit of a bully boy, and the guys just cracked up under the strain of it eventually, and it was all very sad.
But he was a great and very talented fella. Maybe he still is; I don't know if he still plays music.

The album "The Spotlight Kid" is, for me, the peak point. "Trout Mask Replica" had some great ideas and some fun things on it, but it was kind of hard work. He couldn't play any instruments; he just could not play anything at all, but he used to sit at the piano and just play anything, just a random series of notes, and record it on a cassette and then say to Bill (Zoot Horn Rollo) and Mark (Rocket Morton) "Right. Learn that!" And they'd go off and sit there and learn it note for note. I mean, they could have had a monkey running up and down the keyboard, but that was how the songs were done. And Rocket Morton had the job of always having a notebook with him, and they'd be sitting in a restaurant or something and Don might say something and then say "I like that . Write it down!", and Rocket Morton would write it in his notebook and that became part of the lyrics.
It was ridiculous, and there was a degree of self parody in the way that Don did it, because when he was in a good mood and was being fun and cheerful and we were all having a laugh about it he did appreciate...he did parody in a sense, his own thing, and he could laugh at it, but he used to get very black moods when it wasn't fun, you know.

He was a complicated chap.

_________________
*********************************************************************

Once upon a time, musta been 'round October, few years back

Image


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2008 8:51 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Apr 03, 2006 3:29 pm
Posts: 7021
Location: exile
FeralCats wrote:
There was this interesting thing Ian Anderson said on an interview once...something like Dweezil calling him up and saying that Frank wanted to talk to him. It was when Zappa was very sick, and he passed away before Ian could call him.

Considering that some of Zappa's comments about Tull were quite negative, I wonder what he wanted to say?


Quote:
M: Did it hurt your feelings in the late ’70s when all the punk bands were citing Jethro Tull as the antithesis of rock ’n’ roll? Like, hey, why me?

IA: It didn’t upset me particularly when Johnny Rotten lumped Jethro Tull together with a bunch of other things that he despised at the time. In recent years I’ve heard he says “Aqualung” is one of his all time favourite records, so who knows? It upset me more in the early ’70s when Frank Zappa said he didn’t like us. I was quite a fan of Zappa’s music, I admired and revered him as a contemporary, and yeah, having him turn around and suddenly slap us down obviously hurt a little bit.

It made it that much more difficult a few years ago when I got a message from his son saying that Frank, who was terminally ill at the time, would really like me to call him and left me his home phone number. I sat and looked at this number, I even dialed it a few times and hung up, because I just didn’t know what you would say to a dying man, especially one who was on record as not liking my work. But I wanted to speak to him, I just found it really difficult. Then I heard on the news one day that he’d died. I felt a profound sense of loss and deep regret that I had never made that call. I would have liked to have spoken to him, just for a minute.


link

_________________
"bit of nostalgia for the old folks."


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2008 2:30 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat Apr 22, 2006 11:33 am
Posts: 3567
Lester Bangs on Ian Anderson:
once when i interviewed Ian Anderson - who had
probably the single most offensive megalomaniacal monologue I've ever
encountered - his publicist and I ended up down in the lobby just mutually
shaking our heads and agreeing that it was a pathetic shame that a grown
man
should reach such a state, and an even greater irony that it was we, the
very people who were supposed to be helping or at least monitoring him, who
were perpetuating it every step of the way.

(courtesy of my friend Ben)


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2008 1:45 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sat Oct 29, 2005 12:26 pm
Posts: 2243
Oh, that's Lester Bangs.
He seemed to make everyone whose music he enjoyed a saint and everyone whose music he didn't like a moron.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2008 11:28 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jul 14, 2006 5:11 pm
Posts: 2394
Location: Just N. of Boston, MA, USA
FeralCats wrote:
Oh, that's Lester Bangs.
He seemed to make everyone whose music he enjoyed a saint and everyone whose music he didn't like a moron.
That's exactly what he did but by what other honest normative standard can anyone go by unless it's by how much you satisfy the monetary standard of the publication you work for because you already know what its editorial standard has been paid to be and how keeping your job depends entirely on that.

--Bat

_________________
Image<------PhotoArtWerk by debutante_daisy http://www.facebook.com/BatchainTheMovie


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 3:01 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sat Oct 29, 2005 12:26 pm
Posts: 2243
Batchain1001 wrote:
FeralCats wrote:
Oh, that's Lester Bangs.
He seemed to make everyone whose music he enjoyed a saint and everyone whose music he didn't like a moron.
That's exactly what he did but by what other honest normative standard can anyone go by unless it's by how much you satisfy the monetary standard of the publication you work for because you already know what its editorial standard has been paid to be and how keeping your job depends entirely on that.

--Bat


I just wish a composer/musician's personality didn't have to factor into musical journalism.
I actually don't really like Bangs much, for a variety of reasons; he was pretty funny, but I'd never have gone to him for advice on buying an album.
(It always sorta bothered me that the ZFT quoted Lester Bang's review of Hot Rats on the reissue, when that review spends most of it's time talking about how this album is surprisingly good, coming from Zappa, and that Captain Beefheart must have written a good portion of the music since it sounds so much like him (!?!))


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 5:15 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sat Feb 12, 2005 7:11 am
Posts: 1023
Location: North German Wasteland
Quote:
but they were actually pretty straight forward guys, all of them....well, apart from...who was it...Roy, I think, went off for murder after that! I think he murdered somebody or did something terrible.

But anyway, apart from Roy, who was actually a very nice chap but just unfortunately decided to kill somebody,


Is this meant seriously? Who? Roy Estrada? I hope Ian is confusing something here. Don't think this is true. Never heard about that.

Thinman

_________________
Active forum member since 2005 - R E T I R E D from public forum activity in 2013


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 6:17 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Aug 20, 2002 1:17 am
Posts: 847
Lumpy Gravy wrote:

Quote:
It upset me more in the early ’70s when Frank Zappa said he didn’t like us. I was quite a fan of Zappa’s music, I admired and revered him as a contemporary, and yeah, having him turn around and suddenly slap us down obviously hurt a little bit.


I've heard this a few times but never seen any comment by Frank regarding Jethro Tull. Do we know Frank said this?

Interesting if he did considering Tull were one of the most musical and unique bands around.

I wish GZ or DZ would clear up what Frank wanted with Ian so late in his life. My guess was some Flute sampling :roll:


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 12:36 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Apr 03, 2006 6:54 pm
Posts: 5413
Location: Birthplace of Grand Funk Railroad & Mr Don Preston
Thinman wrote:
Quote:
but they were actually pretty straight forward guys, all of them....well, apart from...who was it...Roy, I think, went off for murder after that! I think he murdered somebody or did something terrible.

But anyway, apart from Roy, who was actually a very nice chap but just unfortunately decided to kill somebody,


Is this meant seriously? Who? Roy Estrada? I hope Ian is confusing something here. Don't think this is true. Never heard about that.

Thinman


Yeah Thinman, that confused me as well. I just didn't type in the (sic)...thinking I should give the reporter the benefit of the doubt.Maybe Ian was thinking of Jim Gordon instead?? He murdered someone in 1983. I dunno.

_________________
*********************************************************************

Once upon a time, musta been 'round October, few years back

Image


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 1:37 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed May 07, 2003 9:57 am
Posts: 379
Location: long island ny
Regarding Feral Cats comments, Lester sometimes judged music by
whether or not he enjoyed hangin' out with someone - I guess he
loved Lou Reed, they could have fun getting wasted together....
But that's jusy my humble opinion, I realize that thousands or
hundreds of thousands love Lester Bangs....
Maybe I would like Lou Reed's music if I got fucked up with him...
I gotta admit, I like "Ennui"...


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2008 7:15 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2007 3:43 pm
Posts: 64
Location: Maine
You know, I am a fan of both Jethro Tull and Frank Zappa, and I'm surprised that Zappa didn't like Tull. Can anyone Quote exactly what Frank said? It's kinda sad that Ian didn't call him.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2008 7:56 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Apr 03, 2006 3:29 pm
Posts: 7021
Location: exile
piperian396 wrote:
You know, I am a fan of both Jethro Tull and Frank Zappa, and I'm surprised that Zappa didn't like Tull. Can anyone Quote exactly what Frank said? It's kinda sad that Ian didn't call him.


never seen in any official interview what zappa said about jethro tull.
he could have made a comment 'off-the-record', maybe..?

_________________
"bit of nostalgia for the old folks."


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2008 9:28 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jul 14, 2006 5:11 pm
Posts: 2394
Location: Just N. of Boston, MA, USA
FeralCats wrote:
Batchain1001 wrote:
FeralCats wrote:
Oh, that's Lester Bangs.
He seemed to make everyone whose music he enjoyed a saint and everyone whose music he didn't like a moron.
That's exactly what he did but by what other honest normative standard can anyone go by unless it's by how much you satisfy the monetary standard of the publication you work for because you already know what its editorial standard has been paid to be and how keeping your job depends entirely on that.

--Bat


I just wish a composer/musician's personality didn't have to factor into musical journalism.
I actually don't really like Bangs much, for a variety of reasons; he was pretty funny, but I'd never have gone to him for advice on buying an album.
(It always sorta bothered me that the ZFT quoted Lester Bang's review of Hot Rats on the reissue, when that review spends most of it's time talking about how this album is surprisingly good, coming from Zappa, and that Captain Beefheart must have written a good portion of the music since it sounds so much like him (!?!))
Obviously today the personal life is the first and foremost thing about all composers/musicians to be put on the table. Lots of intense moral scrutiny takes place long before the substance of their output is considered. People love and devour that shit and it sells in no small way. My guess is that's why there are so few people with talent left around today, they're almost all just celebrities who really don't do much of anything artistically, just a whole lot of drink/drug/rehab, bed hop and beat the shit out of each other -- both verbally and physically. It's mostly a ridiculously soap-operatic circus.
As for Lester's perception of Hot Rats being written mainly by Beefheart he was either lying, temporarily deaf or looking for some way to slam Zappa and reduce his stature because that's patently absurd bullshit right on the surface.

--Bat

_________________
Image<------PhotoArtWerk by debutante_daisy http://www.facebook.com/BatchainTheMovie


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2008 6:01 am 
Offline

Joined: Sat Apr 22, 2006 11:33 am
Posts: 3567
Never could get into Tull...except for maybe a 6 month period where I liked Thick Brick and Passion Play. Always thought Ian Anderson was a jack off and his interview proves it.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2008 10:08 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Dec 29, 2005 1:40 am
Posts: 3493
Location: The Blue Light
Oh, all this is like living in the past. :roll:

_________________
Country music + Black music = Rock and Roll


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2008 11:33 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Apr 03, 2006 4:04 pm
Posts: 2863
Location: Chicago, sort of.
I've always loved Tull and Ian Anderson. He's put out consistently solid music since the late 60's, and is still going pretty strong. Most folks stopped listening after Aqualung, but there are dozens of albums after that that are just great. I'm not surprised that he liked FZ, because I think there are some common elements in their music: elaborate musical interludes, rhythmic complexity, using all the different sounds a band can offer, a certain cynical attitude, to name a few. I find it strange that most folks don't like this music, but what the hell, that's life.

_________________
Everytime we picked a booger we'd flip it on this one winduh. Every night we'd contribute, 2, 3, 4 boogers. We had to use a putty knife, man, to get them damn things off the winduh. There was some goober ones that weren't even hard...


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2008 12:05 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2005 6:07 pm
Posts: 5691
Location: Closer than I Appear
I used to be fanatical about them and had all their albums through Rock Island at one point, but at some point I soured on most of their stuff and now it's pretty much limited to Stand Up thru Passion Play, with just a couple others (Heavy Horses is quite nice). Oh, and the 20 Years of JT 3 CD compilation is pretty neat too. I don't have any personal opinion on Ian Anderson as a dude, but he can be pretty funny on stage.

_________________
Let's hear it again for the London Philharmonic Orchestra!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2008 12:43 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2008 12:38 pm
Posts: 137
Location: Connecticut
Tull was very popular back in the 70s. Most people liked some of the songs, the popular ones from Aqualung, and there were a few that were fanatics, back in high school & college. Another equally popular band at the time, at least in Queens, NYC (high school) and Philadelphia (college) was Hot Tuna. At my schools, Tull was slightly better known than FZ and had probably fewer fanatical fans, but their relative popularity was similar.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2008 1:05 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Tue Apr 04, 2006 10:21 am
Posts: 5228
Location: Rhineland
Imo Ian Anderson is damn funny. His announcements between songs use to be pretty witty. Check out Little Light Music for instance.

I got all Tull albums and most of his solo stuff. Saw Tull five times live and I would like to see them one more time again.

_________________
What's the ugliest part of your body ?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2008 6:35 pm 
Offline
Banned
User avatar

Joined: Sat Sep 30, 2006 5:40 pm
Posts: 2342
I saw Tull quite a few times, back in the 70's and 80's.

Always a good show, and Martin Barre is a great guitarist. One of my favorites.

Thick as a Brick is way better than Aqualung. So is Passion Play.

_________________
Image


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2008 7:14 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Nov 07, 2002 8:05 pm
Posts: 2814
Location: where the dogs roll by
I've seen Tull more than 20 times...more than any other band. Started with Warchild tour in '75, then every tour through 25th anniversary tour in '93. Some great concert memories to be sure, especially the Songs From the Wood tour in '77. Thick As A Brick and Heavy Horses are faves. For those folks who stopped listening after the 70's but might have an interest, check out Crest of A Knave (1987) or Roots To Branches (1995). I've always thought IA to be very sharp-witted and funny. I knew he liked FZ, but never heard any of this Beefheart stuff before...thanks Milton Bradley!

_________________
I can't tell when you're telling the truth.
>I'm not.
How do I know anything you've said to me is...
>You don't.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2008 7:36 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Apr 03, 2006 3:29 pm
Posts: 7021
Location: exile
after not having listened to jethro tull at all for probably 20 years, I have recently rediscovered them, and have realized how much I like those old albums, from 'stand up' and up to 'a passion play.' guess I'll have to look into what they did after...

same goes for yes, also, actually. have become a big yes fan again. 8)

_________________
"bit of nostalgia for the old folks."


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 61 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3  Next

All times are UTC - 8 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group