CAPTAIN BEEFHEART The Revenant Demos (1965-1967)

band01The Revenant Demos (1965-1967)
The Evolution Of A Weird Blues Band

A collection of demos from Captain Beefheart’s early days as a budding blues man, circa ’65-’67. This set comes from Revenant Records’ Grow Fins box set, a massive collection of rarities put together by various members of The Magic Band. Personally, I’m not the biggest fan of the box – too many muddy live recordings for my tastes. But, along with the cool disc of Trout Mask Replica rehearsals is this disc of early demos, featuring Van Vliet originals some Howlin’ Wolf & John Lee Hooker covers.

Obeah Man (1966 Demo) (2:49)
Just Got Back From The City (1966 Demo) (1:56)
I’m Glad (1966 Demo) (3:48)
Triple Combination (1966 Demo) (2:51)
Here I Am I Always Am (Early 1966 Demo) (3:16)
Here I Am I Always Am (Late 1966 Demo) (2:35)
Somebody In My Home (1966 Live) (2:49)
Tupelo (1966 Live) (4:10)
Evil Is Going On (1966 Live) (2:34)
Old Folks Boogie (1967 Live) (3:07)
Call On Me (1965 Acetate Demo) (3:04)
Sure Nuff N Yes I Do (1967 Acetate Demo) (2:11)
Yellow Brick Road (1967 Acetate Demo) (1:39)
Plastic Factory (1967 Acetate Demo) (2:53)



  • Slarty Bartfast
    March 19, 2009 - 00:24 | Permalink

    I have the box set, and I rarely listen to it. It's a missed opportunity. The video clips, in this YouTube era, are a waste of space. I don't get much from the vox-free Trout Mask sessions, either … never had any trouble picking out the instruments on the album. All this, plus graphic design by a ten-year old. Still, the text is great, and so are a handful of cuts which you've cherry-picked for us here … nice work! Thanks.

  • Capt. Willard
    March 19, 2009 - 02:30 | Permalink

    I was so stoked to fork over the dough for this one when it came out and had pretty much the same reaction as you. I'd give a little more credit to the box design and there are a handful of fun live moments buried within the five discs… but you've hit the nail on the head – it's a missed opportunity. You used the word cherry-picked. This post is just disc one, put perhaps you're right… a good going over and a "best of the box" single disc might be a better post. If I can get through it, maybe someday. Thanks for commenting.

  • Slarty Bartfast
    March 19, 2009 - 02:46 | Permalink

    I like the box design, as a package, well enough. I hate the graphic design of the book – it's hard to read, and self-consciously "challenging" or "weird", as if the deisgner is striving for something Beefheartian. The layout and color separations are crude to the point of insult, and the stock is that horrible gloss art that goes against the archival feel of the package. Also, the focus on the Trout Mask sessions (using outtakes from the cover shoots as the pack image) sidelines the other material. I know it's a labor of love that we're all supposed to be grateful for, but it left hardcore Beefheart fans (are there any other?) feeling strangely short-changed. This is *not* the Beefheart Box we all wanted, and that does this extraordinary band justice.

    A "best of the box" is a nice idea though … when you have the time!

  • Ansina
    March 19, 2009 - 03:36 | Permalink


  • Capt. Willard
    March 19, 2009 - 10:06 | Permalink

    You're not by any chance in the printing business, are you?

  • AKA Slarty Bartfast
    March 19, 2009 - 13:58 | Permalink

    Willard, I was a graphic designer for twenty years (before I learned to write). Beefheart's album designs have always been at the least interesting, and at the best mad genius. These things matter, dammit. Beefheart never had a coherent look, but the scattershot approach seemed to work for him. I also think the creative slide in Uncle Frank's music after Cal Schenkel (My Hero) got his ass fired from the gig wasn't entirely co-inkydink.

  • Capt. Willard
    March 19, 2009 - 14:32 | Permalink

    Those things DO matter, dammit… to a Graphic D. "…horrible gloss art that goes against the archival feel…" was the giveaway. You rarely hear that kind of talk outside of a print shop.

  • Art Ducko
    March 20, 2009 - 04:14 | Permalink

    As befits a long-time fan of Mr. Van Vliet, I don't think anyone can go wrong with purchasing a copy of "The Spotlight Kid/Clear Spot" on cd for the Prime Stuff along with downloading the odd copy of "Lick My Decals Off Baby"(why aren't we on cd?) to get the inner recess/access of what it is to be truly fast & bulbous. So there.

  • Capt. Willard
    March 20, 2009 - 07:37 | Permalink

    Ditto. I've vacillated some over the years, but Spotlight Kid & Clear Spot are probably still my favorite cuts of Beef.

  • Pants Elk
    March 20, 2009 - 08:21 | Permalink

    Hoboy! I am so up for turning this into a Steve Hoffman Music Nerd Discussion Top Ten-stylee thread!
    I'm sorry to so effortlessly out-hip you weekend Beefheart fanboys, but Safe As Milk is his "best" album no matter how you write the word. But he made a lot of best albums.

  • Capt. Willard
    March 20, 2009 - 09:06 | Permalink

    Didn't say "best," Pants.

  • Pants Elk
    March 20, 2009 - 09:33 | Permalink

    Safe As Milk *does* tend to get overlooked in lists of "bestest" albums of the sixties, though, and it's hard to say why. Maybe the later, more *difficult* works tend to put people off investigating what is a fantastically accessible pop album, right up there with Surrealistic Pillow, Electric Music, etc. etc.

  • Capt. Willard
    March 21, 2009 - 16:27 | Permalink

    I'm a Drumbo fan, myself.

  • Pants Elk
    March 23, 2009 - 09:36 | Permalink

    Yeah! Those big ears, and the circus train – what's not to like?

  • gkapageridis
    April 1, 2009 - 08:10 | Permalink

    What can I say? He was and always be one of a kind. And though his music and life proved that this is true. Thanks very much for this very very special post.

  • illlich
    April 5, 2009 - 05:19 | Permalink

    I too have this box set, mainly because I got it more-or-less as music-industry swag from my old boss. Glad I didn't fork over the dough (and I would have too, before hearing it).

    Actually I think the best part of the box set is the book: a great history pieced together by the John French.

    Yes– Spotlight Kid and Clear Spot are my faves too, along with Bat Chain Puller

  • annmargretfan
    June 1, 2009 - 02:09 | Permalink

    I'm not too familiar with his work outside of the stuff he did with Zappa so i'm looking forward to hearing this. Thanks

  • W
    April 25, 2011 - 00:01 | Permalink

    Find it HERE.

  • Hazy Dave
    April 24, 2011 - 22:05 | Permalink

    While I'm here, I'll echo the accolades for Clear Spot, and mention that I think Unconditionally Guaranteed is much better than the Conventional Wisdom would have you believe. Cheers!

  • October 14, 2011 - 14:05 | Permalink

    Thank you, Willy-Ard.

  • Slidewell
    June 6, 2014 - 13:48 | Permalink

    In ’66, the Captain & the Magic Band made a couple of singles for A&M. Produced by David Gates of Bread(!) no less.

    Diddy Wah Diddy is killer.

    Captain Beefheart & his Magic Band- Diddy Wah Diddy EP

    • FrankZappelin
      January 30, 2015 - 08:38 | Permalink

      Could you re-up this link please?

      • FrankZappelin
        January 30, 2015 - 08:39 | Permalink

        The Diddy Wah Diddy EP, not the demos. Thanks.

  • Anonymous
    September 16, 2014 - 07:42 | Permalink

    Fantastic- nothing ever sounded so fresh, so unique as the Captain -thanks for this early peek

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