Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band

Excellent history
Discogs member swagski has written a great history of this ground-breaking band. Read it at this Discogs link .


Diddy Wah Diddy¹ / Who Do You Think You're Fooling?¹
Dixon-McDaniel (2:22) / Van Vliet (2:10)
A&M 794, 4/66

Moonchild¹ / Frying Pan¹
Van Vliet (2:26) / Van Vliet (2:04)
A&M 818, 10/66

Magic Mountain Music Festival(6/11/67)

Ry Cooder quits after disaterous appearance at Magic Moutain (Beefheart walked off stage)
Sought after for session work (Taj, Stones, Arlo, others) and a solo career

Safe As Milk
Buddah BDS-5001
8/67 [UK: 2/68]
Back Cover

UK Back Cover is same, except black & white
Inner Sleeve

Inner Sleeve

Bumper Sticker

Included in first pressings only
Safe As Milk ad

Side One
Sure 'Nuff 'N Yes I Do Bermann-Van Vliet 2:15
Zig Zag Wanderer Bermann-Van Vliet 2:40
Call On Me Van Vliet 2:37
Dropout Boogie Bermann-Van Vliet 2:32
I'm Glad Van Vliet 3:31
Electricity Bermann-Van Vliet 3:07
Side Two
Yellow Brick Road Bermann-Van Vliet 2:28
Abba Zaba Van Vliet 2:44
Plastic Factory Bermann-Handley-Van Vliet 3:08
Where There's Woman Bermann-Van Vliet 2:09
Grown So Ugly Williams 2:27
Autumn's Child Bermann-Van Vliet 4:02
Don Van Vliet-lead vocals, harmonica, marimba, arrangements
Alex St Clair Snouffer-guitar, backing vocals, bass, percussion
Ry Cooder-guitar, slide guitar, bass, percussion, arrangements
Jerry Handley-bass, backing vocals
John French-drums, backing vocals, percussion
Samuel Hoffman-theremin (Electricity, Autumn's Child)
Milt Holland-log drum, tambourine, percussion (Zig Zag Wanderer, Dropout Boogie, and Electricity)
Taj Mahal-tambourine, percussion (Yellow Brick Road)
Russ Titelman-guitar (Autumn's Child)
§Cover Photo-Guy Webster
Produced by: Bob Krasnow


Yellow Brick Road / Abba Zaba
Bermann-Van Vliet (2:40) / Van Vliet (3:25)
Buddah BDA-9, 9/67

1/20/68: Middle Earth, London
see update note about an earlier "festival"

Strictly Personal
Blue Thumb BTS-1
10/68 [UK: 12/68]
Back Cover

Inside Cover

Recording Notes

Originally, Captain Beefheart & the Magic Band's second album was intended to be a double-album set called It Comes to You in a Plain Brown Wrapper. See note to Mirror Man for further details.
Side One
Ah Feel Like Ahcid Van Vliet 3:05
Safe As Milk Van Vliet 5:27
Trust Us Van Vliet 8:09
Son of Mirror Man—Mere Man Van Vliet 5:20
Side Two
On Tomorrow Van Vliet 3:26
Beatle Bones 'N' Smokin' Stones Van Vliet 3:17
Gimme Dat Harp Boy Van Vliet 5:04
Kandy Korn Van Vliet 5:06
Don Van Vliet-vocals, harmonica
Alex St Clair-guitar
Jeff Cotton-guitar
Jerry Handley-bass
John French-drums
§Cover Art-Tom Wilkes
Produced by: Bob Krasnow


Alex St Clair and Jerry Handley quit

Plastic Factory / Where There's Woman
Bermann-Handley-Van Vliet (3:00) / Bermann-Van Vliet (2:05)
Buddah BDA-108, 3/69

Working In Seclusion

Bill Harkleroad and Mark Boston join the magic
Meanwhile, Drumbo helps translate the Capt's weird piano stylings into cohesive songs (and got no credit for his efforts). The band rehearses in Laurel Canyon for months before recording the album. Watch this Vox Video for a quick history.

Trout Mask Replica
Straight STS-1053
6/16/69 RS500 [UK: 11/69] UK
Back Cover

Inside Cover

Tri-fold Lyric Sheet

Tri-fold Lyric Sheet

Side One
Frownland Van Vliet 1:39
The Dust Blows Forward 'N the Dust Blows Back Van Vliet 2:04
Dachau Blues Van Vliet 2:21
Ella Guru Van Vliet 2:23
Hair Pie: Bake 1 Van Vliet 4:57
Moonlight On Vermont Van Vliet 3:55
Side Two
Pachuco Cadaver Van Vliet 4:37
Bills Corpse Van Vliet 1:47
Sweet Sweet Bulbs Van Vliet 2:17
Neon Meate Dream Of A Octafish Van Vliet 2:25
China Pig Van Vliet 3:56
My Human Gets Me Blues Van Vliet 2:42
Dali's Car Van Vliet 1:25
Side Three
Hair Pie: Bake 2 Van Vliet 2:23
Pena Van Vliet 2:31
Well Van Vliet 2:05
When Big Joan Sets Up Van Vliet 5:19
Fallin' Ditch Van Vliet 2:03
Sugar 'N' Spikes Van Vliet 2:29
Ant Man Bee Van Vliet 3:55
Side Four
Orange Claw Hammer Van Vliet 3:35
Wild Life Van Vliet 3:07
She's Too Much For My Mirror Van Vliet 1:42
Hobo Chang Ba Van Vliet 2:01
The Blimp (Mousetrapreplica) Van Vliet 2:04
Steal Softly Through Snow Van Vliet 2:13
Old Fart At Play Van Vliet 1:54
Veteran's Day Poppy Van Vliet 4:30
Captain Beefheart [Don Van Vliet]-lead and backing vocals, spoken word, tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone, bass clarinet, musette,
   simran horn, hunting horn, jingle bells
Drumbo [John French]-drums, percussion, arrangements [uncredited]
Antennae Jimmy Semens [Jeff Cotton]-guitar, steel appendage guitar, lead vocals (Pena, The Blimp), flesh horn (Ella Guru),
   speaking voice (Old Fart at Play)
Zoot Horn Rollo [Bill Harkleroad]-guitar, glass finger guitar, flute (Hobo Chang Ba)
Rockette Morton [Mark Boston]-bass guitar, narration (Dachau Blues, Fallin' Ditch)
The Mascara Snake [Victor Hayden]-bass clarinet, backing vocals (Ella Guru(, speaking voice (Pena)
Doug Moon-acoustic guitar (China Pig)
Gary "Magic" Marker-bass (Moonlight On Vermont, Veteran's Day Poppy)
Some of da muthers help out on The Blimp [all uncredited]
Roy Estrada-bass guitar
Arthur Tripp III-drums, percussion
Don Preston-piano
Frank Zappa-speaking voice (and Pena)
Richard "Dick" Kunc-speaking voice (She's Too Much For My Mirror)
§Cover Art-Cal Schenkel
Produced by: Frank Zappa

Note: Came with tri-fold lyric sheet, complete with Cap't's drawings

Atlanta International Pop Festival(7/3/70)

Lick My Decals Off, Baby
Straight RS-6420
12/70 [UK: 1/71] T20
Back Cover

Lyric Sheet

Cap'n's artwork on back cover

Side One
Lick My Decals Off, Baby Van Vliet 2:38
Doctor Dark Van Vliet 2:46
I Love You, You Big Dummy Van Vliet 2:54
Peon Van Vliet 2:24
Bellerin' Plain Van Vliet 3:35
Woe-Is-Uh-Me-Bop Van Vliet 2:06
Japan In A Dishpan Van Vliet 3:00
Side Two
I Wanna Find A Woman That'll Hold My Big Toe
   Till I Have To Go
Van Vliet 1:53
Petrified Forest Van Vliet 1:40
One Red Rose That I Mean Van Vliet 1:53
The Buggy Boogie Woogie Van Vliet 2:19
The Smithsonian Institute Blues (Or The Big Dig) Van Vliet 2:11
Space-Age Couple Van Vliet 2:32
The Clouds Are Full Of Wine (Not Whiskey Or Rye) Van Vliet 2:50
Flash Gordon's Ape Van Vliet 4:57
Captain Beefheart-vocals, bass clarinet, tenor sax, soprano sax, harmonica
Zoot Horn Rollo [Bill Harkleroad]-electric guitar and glass finger guitar
Rockette Morton [Mark Boston]-bassius-o-pheilius
Drumbo [John French]-percussion, broom
Ed Marimba [Artie Tripp]-marimba, percussion, broom
§Cover Art-Ed Thrasher
Produced by: Captain Beefheart

Note: as Captain Beefheart & The Magic Band; came with lyric sheet (one side blank) with bonus lyrics

Mirror Man
Buddah BDS-5077
4/71 [UK: 5/71] UK
Back Cover

Die Cut Cover

Recording Notes

Originally, Captain Beefheart & the Magic Band's second album was intended to be a double-album set called It Comes to You in a Plain Brown Wrapper. Although 1968's Strictly Personal has the same artwork that was created for the double album, it's a single disc.
   As part of the same post-Trout Mask Replica closet-cleaning that led to Buddah (the parent company of Blue Thumb Records, which released Strictly Personal), the label released Mirror Man, the second disc that was intended for the Plain Brown Wrapper release.
   Recorded in November 1967 (an odd misprint on the sleeve claims it was recorded in 1965, when the band barely existed), the four lengthy tracks on Mirror Man are even more simplistic and primal than those on Strictly Personal.
Side One
Tarotplane Van Vliet 19:00
Kandy Korn Van Vliet 8:00
Side Two
25th Century Quaker Van Vliet 9:50
Mirror Man Van Vliet 15:38
Captain Beefheart-vocals, harmonica, oboe
Alex St Clair Snouffer-guitar
Jerry Handley-bass
John French-drums
Jeff Cotton-guitar
Mark Marcellino-keyboards
§Cover Art-Maurier Mendel
Produced by: Bob Krasnow

Note: This is actually the second part of Strictly Personal. See the blue note for details

The Satsop River Fair And Tin Cup Races(9/3-6/71)
The Captain, along with varying Magic Bands, released albums until 1982.
Retired to paint.


The Captain Beefheart Radar Station
The Crackling Cyberverse of Captain Beefheart


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