August 26, 2015 – 1:46 pm

Click on the panels for a better view or to download jpg artwork.

Crazy Little Things [Triangle PYCD080, 1CD]

Live at the Cowtown Ballroom, Kansas City, MO; April 22, 1974. Excellent FM broadcast.

Don Van Vliet: Five days before the tour - a tour all over the world, starting in America - they just dropped me. It was terrible, awful; I learned them the music note by note at the time, and just before such a big tour they cut the collaboration because they think they are essential. I like this new band very much. these guys already could play from the start, that’s important.
[Bert Jansen: THE CAPTAIN! Captain Beefheart: Magie Voor Eenzamen Of Voor Het Volk? OOR, June 19, 1974]

Barry Alfonso: Scrambling to put a group together in time for a tour only a few weeks away, DiMartino hired a lounge-circuit rock combo down in Hollywood to be an ersatz Magic Band. Among these musicians was keyboardist Michael Smotherman, who, like his bandmates, had little or no idea who Captain Beefheart was. “Talk about worlds colliding,” he remembers. “We started practicing these songs of Don’s, things like Big Eyed Beans From Venus, and they seemed totally alien, totally foreign to our ways of thinking. At the time, we were all guys in leather jackets and tight jeans, and we treated Don with this slightly patronizing attitude. He was, like, this old kook to us. We truly didn’t know shit.”

Somehow, Beefheart managed to teach these musicians his songs, and they toured together in Europe and the US into the fall of ‘74.
[The Dust Blows Forward booklet]

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Thanks to hindcol for sharing the show at Dime.

Thanks to Sgt Weatherman for the artwork, posted at bootlegzone.

cd > cdparanoia IIIr9.8 (-z) > shorten v2.3a

Click on the highlighted tracks to download the MP3s (224 kbps). As far as we can ascertain, these tracks have never been officially released on CD.

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Track 01. Mirror Man 7:31 (12.6MB)
Track 02. Upon The My-O-My 3:17 (5.5MB)
Track 03. Crazy Little Things 5:08 (8.6MB)
Track 04. Full Moon Hot Sun 4:21 (7.3MB)
Track 05. Sugar Bowl/One Nest Rolls After Another [poem] 3:01 (5.1MB)
Track 06. This Is The Day 7:58 (13.4MB)
Track 07. Keep On Rubbing 4:59 (8.4MB)
Track 08. Be Your Dog 7:45 (13.0MB)
Track 09. Sweet Georgia Brown 4:44 (8.0MB)
Track 10. Abba Zaba 3:26 (5.8MB)
Track 11. Peaches 6:51 (11.5MB)
Track 12. Peaches 2 5:48 (9.7MB)
65 mins

Magic Band #29: “Tragic Live Band”
Captain Beefheart Don Van Vliet - vocals, harmonica, saxophone, clarinet
Fuzzy Fuscaldo - guitar
Ty Grimes - drums
Del Simmons - tenor saxophone, flute
Dean Smith - guitar
Michael Smotherman - keyboards
Paul Uhrig - bass

Roger Ames: So there’s a New Magic Band with a keyboard player from Buckwheat, a drummer from Ricky Nelson’s band (Ty Grimes), a bass player from Bobbie Gentry’s old band (Paul Uhrig), and a throwback sax player who led his own band in Dixieland days. Dean Smith is on lead, Fuzzy Fuscaldo on rhythm.
[Roger Ames: CaptainBeefheart. People Weekly. September 1974]

Steve Lake: These people being 54-year-old ex-Charlie Parker clarinet and-all-other-reeds-man Del Simmons, guitarist Dean Smith and Fuzzy Fuscaldo (the latter recently with Curtis Mayfield), keyboard player Michael Smotherman from the now defunct Buckweat, bassist Paul Uhrig from Bobbie Gentry’s group (!), and drummer Ty Grimes, fresh from Rick Nelson’s Stone Canyon Band. Impeccable enough credentials for the average Los Angeles session, one imagines, but hardly the boys to get to grips with Big Eyed Beans From Venus or Ah Feel Like Ahcid.
[Steve Lake: Music is A Poor Second Every Time. Melody Maker. June 1974]

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  1. 11 Responses to “CAPTAIN BEEFHEART - KANSAS CITY 1974”

  2. Wow! Now we are cookin’! Thanks Big O didn’t think we’d see much new or revamped Captain so this is a rare and getting rarer treat. The Cow Town boot is semi-legendary if only for the line up and how it came about check the Smotherman comment. This is the Magic Band pick-up version (five days?) that people hate but I’m a completist where Don’s concerned and I say it’s of historic interest at the very least and worth listening to since we lost Don it’s worthy of reappraisal so thanks Big O
    It’s appreciated . . .
    Bogota Boogie!

    By swappers on Aug 26, 2015

  3. Hey BigO, thanks for posting this - interesting and much better than I thought it was going to be

    By bing bongong on Aug 26, 2015

  4. i did some research someone called them “the tragic band” lmao!

    its hard to believe that professional musicians in the rock field hadnt heard of the captain. this should be interesting, thanks bigO.

    By barth on Aug 26, 2015

  5. thanks for this one! a pleasant surprise! like bing says, better than I expected.

    By muddy on Aug 26, 2015

  6. Del Simmons was never a “Charlie Parker clarinetist.” He was an also-ran in obscure Dixieland bands and could never have handled the fast and difficult bebop changes that Yardbird demanded. Every musician alive in the ’40s and ’50s added Charlie Parker to their resumes. Bird wasn’t around to set the record straight. Also, this really was the “tragic band”. The band members were dismissive of Don’s “crazy” music, so all of the songs are played in a neutered, homogenized manner. At the time, Don grinned and tolerated it. Just a year or two later, he dismissed the band as shit, which they pretty much were, unless you are a huge fan of ’70s soft-rock. Never again would Van Vliet allow such candy-ass players in his studio or touring bands.

    By Lightning Popkins on Aug 27, 2015

  7. This one is officially released in excellent quality
    I love this set

    By Bertl on Aug 27, 2015

  8. Not listed at Beefheart,.com as ‘official’ but a Gonzomedia production. There are many such unofficial bootlegs and bottom of the barrel dragging items listed on Amazon which scarcely makes it legit. See if they sue!?
    This I thought worth checking out again but for completists only perhaps. The snide about ‘tragic’ ‘magic’ doesn’t really allow for Don’s desire to create at this time albeit the Martino’s influence on him to record love songs etc some of which are amongst my favourites. I find them funny but admit they are not for everyone. ‘Georgia Brown’ here is an extraordinary anomaly and some would say totally out of place. Some short while later he had ditched all of this band after Bluejeans and Moonbeams

    By swappers on Aug 27, 2015

  9. Oh, man…..oh, man……oh, man! THANKS BigO!

    By walter on Aug 27, 2015

  10. Wish all the boots were this clean soundwise…..was in Humboldt county when The Magic Band and Don lived there during Clear Spot days.This could be worse although not up to the rhythms created by his other bands…thanks a lot,am enjoying this.

    By russ on Aug 30, 2015

  11. Thanks, BigO

    By tony on Sep 6, 2015

  12. Finally got around to downloading this–having been discouraged by what I’ve read about the band–and I’m pleasantly surprised. There’s definitely a weird contrast between the Captain and his backup, but that just kinda makes things interesting.

    By YogaforCynics on Mar 31, 2016

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