‘Le Nouvel Hippodrome, Paris 1977′
Rare Concert Recording
Press Release Courtesy of
London, UK – Much to the excitement of Captain Beefheart fans worldwide, Gonzo Multimedia just released on DBL CD a rare live recording of the Captain in concert at the Le Nouvel Hippodrome in Paris on November 19, 1977!
Don Van Vliet (born Don Glen Vliet; January 15, 1941 – December 17, 2010) was an American musician, singer-songwriter, artist and poet known by the stage name Captain Beefheart. His musical work was conducted with a rotating ensemble of musicians called the Magic Band (1965–1982), with whom he recorded 13 studio albums. Noted for his powerful singing voice with its wide range, Van Vliet also played the harmonica, saxophone and numerous other wind instruments. His music blended rock, blues and psychedelia with avant-garde and contemporary experimental composition. Beefheart was also known for exercising an almost dictatorial control over his supporting musicians, and for often constructing myths about his life.
During his teen years in Lancaster, California, Van Vliet developed an eclectic musical taste and formed friendship with Frank Zappa, with whom he sporadically collaborated. He began performing with his Captain Beefheart persona in 1964 and joined the original Magic Band line-up, initiated by Alexis Snouffer, in 1965. The group drew attention with their cover of Bo Diddley's “Diddy Wah Diddy”, which became a regional hit. It was followed by their acclaimed debut album 'Safe As Milk', released in 1967 on Buddah Records. After being dropped by two consecutive record labels, they signed to Zappa's Straight Records. As producer, Zappa granted Beefheart unrestrained artistic freedom in making 1969's 'Trout Mask Replica', which ranked 58th in Rolling Stone magazine's 2003 list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. In 1974, frustrated by lack of commercial success, he released two albums of more conventional rock music that were critically panned; this move, combined with not having been paid for a European tour, and years of enduring Beefheart's strict discipline, led the entire band to quit.
Beefheart eventually formed a new Magic Band with a group of younger musicians and regained contemporary approval through three final albums: 'Shiny Beast (Bat Chain Puller)' (1978), 'Doc At The Radar Station' (1980) and 'Ice Cream For Crow' (1982).
Van Vliet has been described as “One of modern music's true innovators” with “A singular body of work virtually unrivaled in its daring and fluid creativity.” Although he achieved little commercial or mainstream critical success, he sustained a cult following as a 'highly significant' and 'incalculable' influence on an array of New Wave, punk, post-punk, experimental and alternative rock musicians.
Known for his enigmatic personality and relationship with the public, Van Vliet made few public appearances after his retirement from music (and from his Beefheart persona) in 1982. He pursued a career in art, an interest that originated in his childhood talent for sculpture, and a venture that proved to be his most financially secure.
His expressionist paintings and drawings command high prices, and have been exhibited in art galleries and museums across the world. Van Vliet died in 2010, having suffered from multiple sclerosis for many years.
This extraordinary record catches the Captain at his best; live on stage in 1977. A few days after the show he said:
“This band is so good - the best I have ever had! They play with a smile. They really breathe up there when they are playing. After all this time I have finally found the band I'm looking for. It's amazing! Playing with this group is like going for a walk: they are so happy when they play. People I meet from the audience have been coming up and telling me how pleased they are that I have finally found a band that I am content with - and they are right”.
“The gig we played in Paris was monstrous. It was three days ago, but I haven't slept since - it was so good! And my voice, well, I can still feel that show in my voice. It hit me so hard I am down to three octaves.... I couldn't get over the way the audience was singing along with it, singing the words back at me in English - and I don't speak a word of French”.
“This group, I tell you, I couldn't believe that there were such nice people still around on this earth. True, they are playing what I have written, but they really are playing. This band is moving so fast that very soon I won't have to tell them anything. I really must say this band is the best”.
To purchase Captain Beefheart 'Le Nouvel Hippodrome, Paris 1977' DBL CD:
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Glass Onyon PR,
PH: 828-350-8158 (USA)