In 1972 Captain Beefheart (the late Don Van Vliet, who passed away in 2010) and the Magic Band were touring Europe after releasing the album The Spotlight Kid and getting set to release another, Clear Spot, when they took some time out from their schedule to film a session at the Beat Club studios in Germany for later broadcast on television. Only one song from these sessions has ever been broadcast, and the rest of the footage has been locked away in the vaults for 40 years. Now, thanks to the folks at Gonzo Multimedia, they are releasing these sessions in their The Lost Broadcasts DVD series. At roughly 30 minutes, this is pretty brief but does give you a quick snapshot of where Beefheart and his band were at musically in 1972.
The band at that time was comprised of Captain Beefheart (Don Van Vliet) vocals, harp; Rockette Morton (Mark Boston) guitar and bass; Zoot Horn Rollo (Bill Harkleroad) guitar; Orejon (Roy Estrada) bass; Ed Marimba (Art Tripp) drums; and Winged Eel Fingerling (Elliot Ingber) guitar. Some will remember Estrada as being with Frank Zappa's Mothers of Invention, as well as Little Feat, and he had recently joined the Magic Band prior to this recording. There are only a few songs on display here, some from the classic Trout Mask Replica as well as a few new pieces. The bulk of what is on display here are three takes of the excellent "I'm Gonna Booglarize You Baby", a wild mix of funk, rock, blues, jazz, and avant-garde, with the guitar army laying down some heavy, funky riffs and Beefheart spewing out his bizarre rantings and noises. A real treat is the jazz-fusion piece "Steal Softly Thru the Snow" from Trout Mask Replica, complete with Beefheart tearing it up on clarinet.
The audio is decent here, as is the video quality, though the camera work for the most part is terrible, failing at almost every spot to zoom in on whoever is soloing, which is very annoying. For the Captain Beefheart completists, this will be a must have, though at barely 30 minutes there's not much here for the casual fan.
1) Mascara Snake (bass solo)
2) Click Clack 1
3) Click Clack 2
4) Golden Birdies
5) Band Intros
6) I'm Gonna Booglarize You Baby 1
7) I'm Gonna Booglarize You Baby 2
8) Steal Softly Thru the Snow
9) I'm Gonna Booglarize You Baby 3