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PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2011 11:49 pm 
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In 1996, Gary Lucas talked to Seconds Magazine about Bat Chain Puller, Don and Frank:

SECONDS: He and Frank Zappa had a pretty famous feud...

LUCAS: I have a story about that. When we came to do "Ice Cream For Crow," the last Beefheart record, Don wanted to use some tracks that had been produced by Frank and recorded a couple of years earlier for a record that never came out called "Bat Chain Puller," the forerunner of "Shiny Beast." So when Don was doing "Ice Cream For Crow" for Virgin, the idea was, "Why don't we get some of these tracks back and then we can save money on this record? They're great tracks and Frank probably won't want them." I was acting as his manager at this point—as well as his guitar player—which was a role I never relished [being the manager, that is]. So we tried to get these tracks and I called up Frank's manager and he said, "I'll talk to Frank." He then called back and said, "Frank says 'okay.'" As the project approached, I would call the manager back to ask if he would send us the tapes and he stopped taking my calls. Don was really mad, "Shit, Frank's jerking us around." So I said, "Why don't we just find him? What does he want them for?" This is like the summer of 1982 and we called and we still couldn't get Frank on the phone. Then we talked to his wife and found out he was rehearsing on a soundstage that Zoetrope—Francis Ford Coppola's studio—was renting out to Rock groups. So we said, "Let's go visit Frank." Don and I drove down to this studio and there is Frank with his fifteen-piece band about to leave the next day on a tour of Europe. In the audience watching the rehearsal are all of these ex-Mothers and ex-Beefheart musicians all hoping that Frank would give them the nod and say "I want to work with you again." It was really sad. I saw Dweezil Zappa there hanging out. From the corner of his eye, Frank saw Don and he kind of whirled around to confront him. Don said, "Frank, you know what we want, don't you?" in an authoritative voice. Frank said in a hostile voice, "No Don, what do you want?" I was like, "Oh man...I thought these guys were childhood friends." Don just said, "Gary?" and I went into my schpiel, which was, "Frank, we've been trying to get ahold of your manager because he promised we could get these tracks that you have the rights to for our record we're doing for Virgin." He said, "That's right. I heard about that...I changed my mind. Unless you buy all the masters back from me, it's not worth it for me to split up the set. It won't be worth that much out there in Beefheart-land." I was thinking, "What a disrespectful thing to say, 'Beefheart-land'. He looks at it like a freak show." I said, "Look, you promised us those tracks. We've got a fifteen-minute hole on this record that was predicated on getting these tracks to fill the time and now you're telling us we can't have the tracks. You really put us in a bad spot." Frank wouldn't look me in the eye. He kept studying the ground. He was embarrassed because he fucked us. Then he said, "How many minutes do you need?" and I said fifteen and he said, "Well, I've got a track called 'Do You Want A Pepsi?' Don sings on it but it's my tune." I said, "Do you really think we want to put a Frank Zappa tune on a Captain Beefheart album?" Don, meanwhile, is chanting the lyrics to "There Ain't No Santa Claus on the Evening Stage," which is a song about, among other things, show business. He just started chanting it, like "I'm oblivious to this bullshit." We walked away and it was like, "Great to see ya..." I got out in the car and I was really crestfallen. I said, "Don, this is terrible." He was like, "Gary, that was great. I'm really proud of you. That's the best thing any manager ever did for me. The way you talked to him, and he was so embarrassed he couldn't look you in the eye...thanks a lot." What are we going to do?" He said," Don't worry." That night, we went back to the studio for a rehearsal. He took a hit of pot, which is something I didn't see him do too much, and he just came up with all the music for the last track on the record, which was called "Skeleton Makes Good." It was beautiful. He came up with the goods under pressure. That story was later recounted by Frank in a book called "The Real Frank Zappa." He has a thing in there like, "The last time I saw Don, he came to a rehearsal." It doesn't mention what went down at all. It was kind of patronizing. I love Frank though I never knew him that well. I met him a couple of times with Don and both times I thought he was not very nice. His whole credo was "I don't have any friends, you can't have any friends in the music business"—he really believed that. Don had a much bigger heart.


http://www.garylucas.com/www/rvw/seconds.html

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2011 4:18 pm 
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Well....we didn't forget Bat Chain Puller,....but it seems like the ZFT has???


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 03, 2011 9:04 am 
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Sunday?

WOW!

SUNDAY, SATURDAY... TUESDAY THROUGH

MONDAY - MONDAY!

...

Time passes

January, February, March, July...

Wednesday, August, Irwindale...

... 2:30 in the afternoon

Sunday, Monday...

Funny Cars!

Walnut!

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2011 4:17 am 
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Here's a pretty cool animation for the title track - as heard on Shiny Beast :arrow: http://www.vimeo.com/11291536

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2011 3:35 am 
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In the Mother of All Interviews, Matt Groening asks Zappa about Beefheart's music --

MG: what do you think of Don's [Van Vliet's] music?
The best of it is unbelievable, and the worst of it is under the influence of some really bad A&R people at Warner Brothers. But there are things on Trout Mask Replica that are unbelievable, and on Clear Spot also.

MG: Is there more from the Trout Mask period?
There are some other things. Yes.

MG: Do you think those will ever come out?
I don't know. There were things in the original sessions that he didn't want to have used. The original plan for the album was to do it like an ethnic field recording. He and his group lived in a house out in the [San Fernando] Valley, so I wanted to take a portable rig and record the band in the house, and use the different rooms in the house as isolation - very slight. The vocals get done in the bathroom. The drums are set up in the living room. The horn gets played in the garden, all this stuff. And we went over there and set it up, and did tracks that way.? thought they sounded good, but suddenly he was of the opinion that I was just trying to be a cheapskate producer, and not do any studio time. So I said' "Well, you want to go in the studio? Let's go." So -

MG: There's a little bit of it on the album, isn't there?
Yeah. There's some stuff off of a cassette machine that we wanted to have in there - "Dust Blows Forward, Dust Blows Back."

MG: And "The Blimp." That's yours.
I was in the studio mixing some other tapes, and the band that's playing on "The Blimp" is actually the Mothers Of Invention. The vocal on "The Blimp" was recorded by telephone. He had just written these lyrics, and he had one of the guys in the band recite it to me over the phone. I taped it in the studio, and recorded it onto the piece of tape that I had up at the time, which was my track. So, that's how that came about.


http://home.online.no/~corneliu/mother2.htm

To be honest with you, I always felt that to be a rather mean appreciation. I mean, there's no mention of the fine albums before the Zappa-produced Trout Mask Replica, and no mention of albums like Lick My Decals Off, Baby, or Shiny Beast and Doc At The Radar Station from Beefheart's great late period. Above all - no mention of Bat Chain Puller. I've come to think that Zappa's involvement with the album became a total embarassment to him. If you look at the interview with Gary Lucas in Seconds Magazine, you see Zappa at his worst as a penny-pinching producer. And he has the nerve to call the Warner Brothers A & R people bad? I guess he sort of helped Beefheart get his career going again with the Bongo Fury tour and the BCP recordings. But after that, he sure didn't do much good for him, with Discreet suppressing the album, and Zappa continuing to refuse Lucas and Van Vliet to use any of the tapes in 1982 and later. And now, the ZFT live up to this history by delaying the album interminably, after Gail's promise of a January release. No matter what happens, the history of Bat Chain Puller can't be rewritten, and to my mind it shows the Zappa family at their worst. This is a liability that is getting more embarassing every day that passes without the release. So get the goddamn album out and get over with it. The damage is done, but there is a way of redeeming it (to some extent) - that's the release with no further delay. Waiting for the right moment, after the next Zappa release? Lameness and insincerity. Prove me wrong - communicate!

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2011 7:03 pm 
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Hmm well this is all very interesting, isn't it? Since Gail mentioned the January 2011 release in November, yet the man passed the following month... I'm thinking it should either speed up the process, or only delay for some reason/excuse. Now if they were to suggest adding it to a greater package to commemorate Beefy, then I'd be okay with that, as long as it's actively being focused on. It's only right.

I'm also wondering if there might be any unreleased recordings from Hot Rats session featuring Captain Beefheart. That would be amazing.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2011 10:45 pm 
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scabdates wrote:
Since Gail mentioned the January 2011 release in November, yet the man passed the following month... I'm thinking it should either speed up the process, or only delay for some reason/excuse. Now if they were to suggest adding it to a greater package to commemorate Beefy, then I'd be okay with that, as long as it's actively being focused on. It's only right.

Good reasoning, scabdates - I feel the same way. But as long as the Zappa Family don't communicate properly, it's impossible to know if they're intentions are good or shitty, and even if the delay is caused by some problems between the ZFT and the Van Vliet estate. It's about time they realize that the only way to nurture the fan base is by straightforward and honest communication, even if that is against their basic instincts.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2011 11:18 pm 
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Don on Letterman:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nQs8dka52H4&feature=fvwrel

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 16, 2011 6:18 am 
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Dark Clothes, the best we can possibly do is to try and inhale this until March next year (or thereabout:)

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2011 12:04 pm 
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Thanks for the tip, Buffalo! The CD of that is listed at $200 and more on Amazon (!), but there's also a download option. The reviewers are all glowing, so it looks like a must-have - like Bat Chain Puller itself.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2011 8:30 am 
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Dark Clothes wrote:
The reviewers are all glowing, so it looks like a must-have - like Bat Chain Puller itself.
This is very true, DC -- it's still holding up as one of my top 5 favorite CB releases, of sorts. Wait a minute, let me break 'em down like this:
-Decals
-Doc
-Crow
-Trout
-Beast
-My Father's Place
...Well, almost -- 8)

Plus, it has excellent sonics, even more so given that it's merely a 2-track recording. It's a dry-sounding 200-seater club type of place, I'm sure that's helping a lot. I dig Eric D. Feldman's Minimoog! CD1 has the main concert (app. 74 minutes), CD2 (3-inch) comes with the encores (10 minutes.) There also was a FLAC version for download on rhino.com, I guess it's still there. -- Same venue for Bruford's 'Bruford Tapes' in '79, a raunchy soundboard affair (hope i remember it correctly) and not quite as shiny, but a nice one, nonetheless.
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 7:08 am 
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Image

http://andyfreeberg.com/editorial/m1_beefheart.html

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2011 1:29 am 
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2011 1:23 am 
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The bootleg --

Image

So far the ZFT haven't beat this boot.

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PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2011 2:06 am 
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I was excited about this, some months ago.

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PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2011 2:07 am 
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PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2011 12:34 am 
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Here's one clip that I haven't even been able to sit through, because it's so "beautiful and heartbreaking", as UrbanGraffito says.

http://www.killuglyradio.com/2010/12/22/beautiful-heartbreaking-vliet-recites-poetry-1996/#more-4453

And a nod to the late kill ugly radio!

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PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2011 2:40 am 
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The Dutch photographer and filmmaker Anton Corbijn took the iconic shot of Don in the desert that you all know from the cover of Ice Cream For Crow. He also made an exceptional short documentary about Don, which has so many points of interest that I figured I should put up a link, even though many of you have probably seen it already. For those of you with an interest in film, it's sort of intriguing to see David Lynch asking some of the questions. And Don's answer to the question "Zappa?" is really more revealing than you would think, initially.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vEKkRNq3OBQ

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PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2011 3:37 am 
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Dark Clothes wrote:
(...) it's sort of intriguing to see David Lynch asking some of the questions.
He's adoring the Captain like crazy, I remember he was going on record calling 'Trout Mask' his all-time favorite album. I think, seeing his films, ...uhm ... there's a point -- 8)
That 'Yo Yo' short is just so beautifully filmed, IMHO, and still some mofos are complaining that it's no straight-ahead documentary and only 13 minutes long etc. -- Pathetic!
:P
Meanwhile: The ICFC Video --
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iqRHr5pEIFU


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PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2011 1:03 am 
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She's just like a vampire chain puller
Oh yeah, oh yeah, oh...

Rennenhenninnahenninnenninahennn

Way over on the bat side
Of the bed (blood for moisture)

Just like the mighty VAMPIRE
Flappin' her skinny wings

Flappinum, flappinum

Lord, you know it's all over

If she dives atcha & wraps'em 'round
Yer bloody pearl necklace

Don't you wish you'd never met her

Don't you
Wish


A Van Vliet/Zappa composite,
cut and pasted by DC

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Last edited by Dark Clothes on Fri May 20, 2011 1:01 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2011 8:26 am 
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PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2011 10:17 am 
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Didn't Gail tell Drumbo that it would come out after something else they had in the pipeline (penguin) ? I'm ready to order...


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PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2011 1:03 pm 
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brainpang wrote:
Didn't Gail tell Drumbo that it would come out after something else they had in the pipeline (penguin) ? I'm ready to order...

I know, me too, but I wonder if Gail might have been thinking about something a little more substantial than that little penguin, like Australia 1973 or even Dance Me This. I just hope that the two estates haven't gone into a fruit fight again :roll:

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PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2011 10:59 pm 
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I sent Gail some questions about why this is still unheard music. She has remained silent --

Questions:

Why is it taking so long to get Bat Chain Puller out?

Why haven't you given any update on this, when you clearly made people very excited with your announcement of the release at the Roundhouse in November?

Is everything all right between you and Jan Van Vliet?

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2011 7:14 am 
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Well, let's wish for a double whammy: a Bongo Fury double ceedee set along with the Bat Chain. "Save 5.00 on shipping when ordering both." Okay, ZFT?


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