Those of you who have read the Grow Fins booklet written by John will find the structure of this book familiar – verbatim interviews with Magic. This astonishing book is both a vigorous debunking of the Captain Beefheart myth – a myth sold by the old snake oil salesman himself and swallowed willingly . Buy Beefheart: Through The Eyes Of Magic by John Drumbo French (ISBN:) from Amazon’s Book Store. Everyday low prices and free delivery on eligible.

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In a way it makes sense that the guy’s ascetic aesthetics were brought to this medium with his eye for the minutiae of particulars. Beasts and Monsters by Anthony Horowitz Review: I found it hard going for the first fifty pages but once I got used to John French’s approach to writing and his use of snippets of interviews it was an engrossing read. A good read, though. It starts out kind of like an oral history of the Magic Band: Then there is a very thorough critical review of Beefheart albums from an insider’s viewpoint, providing a track-by-track history of the music, as well as a particularly detailed musical and cultural commentary on Trout Mask Replica.

Steve Froy December ———————————————— The Radar Station would like to thank Proper Records for all their help with this review and allowing us to use these rare photographs.

Captain Beefheart Radar Station. John gives us some interesting details about the recording of each track, the history of the lyrics, who plays what and how the musical parts were devised. The Radar Station would like to thank Proper Records for all their help with this review and allowing us to use these rare photographs.

However, that’s not of great concern as the book is so utterly, utterly compelling as to make such criticisms minor affairs. I threw it in the bin after a hundred pages or so.

There were many occasions when John would get quite depressed about his writing and wondered whether it was really worth all of the effort and time it was taking when he could be better off looking for a proper job to support his family. These are very interesting, but also kind of patchy, alternating between personal stories about the tracks, personal feelings on them, technical information about them, etc.


Return to Book Page. Jul 12, Kiof rated it it was amazing. The band was run by Beefheart in the same way your average cult leader runs his cult. The guts of the book is taken up with John French’s own story, interspersed with pieces of interviews held with other band members to fill in gaps in the story of the Magic Band and provide alternative viewpoints. Ribs were broken at times, fists were used.

Beefheart: Through the Eyes of Magic

I have eyez clue why people would dislike this book eyds they are interested in the man- to me density in a biography of someone I’m interested in is always a great thing. It remains a valid musical statement all these years later, except for the bass which was recorded very badly, and because the wolverine had eaten most of my left legsome of the drum parts were too technically difficult by the time we came to record My Human Gets Me Blues.

There is plenty in here to fuel debates for years to come. French’s remarkable memoir starts with a vivid description of the rarely-documented early 60s Lancaster garage-rock scene So you would get the band living communally and being subjected by Beefheart to extreme social isolation, starvation and that most delightful of brainwashing techniques, scapegoating.

The only thing you won’t find at The Fringe Magazine is a bad review, if we don’t like something, we won’t put up a review at all.

Once you get past the first pages and he finds himself in the Magic Band the pages keep on turning. Not that I’m unhappy it’s so long, but it feels like a lot of it is kind of unnecessary and repetitive and unstructured. As other reviews have mentioned, there is some duplication of information in this approach, but I didn’t find this too intrusive.

Given that these stories are throughh through interviews with several former band members, I think it’s safe to conclude that they are accurate accounts of what actually happened, and not tales spun by a bitter John French. The story of a unique talent and how it came to be, warts and.

Review: Beefheart – Through the Eyes of Magic ~ The Fringe Magazine

A lot of the interview material repeats what he writes in previous paragraphs too. Every page has a fish blowing bubbles on it … There are two sections to the book. I did not realise until 37 years later that it was not normal. The people who will slog through the whole of the pages deserve medals and an intense course of counselling. The Fringe is open to submissions of poetry, flash fiction and short stories of any genre.

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So it’s interesting to have these glimpses of beefehart perspectives on the story, beefhezrt it’s not really comprehensive in that regard either.

Captain Beefheart connections but end up finishing it with a renewed, and beefhaert justified, appreciation for The Magic Band and its individual members, of which the author has been a driving force since joining beefehart a seventeen year old in Just as interesting is how he deals with such a situation and manages to come out at the other end a strong person, as well as how the band overcame numerous obstacles most created by Van Vliet himself to create some of the most original music of the last century.

Nov 04, Jim rated it it was amazing. Jul 19, Mick Bordet rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: As a book, you can be critical and suggest it could be more tightly edited – some stories are referred to more eyyes once, for example – or that there is simply too much information.

Any Beefheart fan would be amiss not to have John French’s tome on their shelf. Every page has a fish blowing bubbles on it …. For a start, there is a lot more cross-over with Zappa history than I expected and tthe was already quite a bitespecially at the start of the book, as Van Vleit’s friendship with Mayic and others in the area is considered. In fact, I think it might even work if you dipped into the book at random points.