For fans of The Good Cap’n: At Beefheart.com, an interesting entanglement of letters and articles (check the links in the top grafs) by members of The Magic Band on what it was like to work with Don van Vliet (consensus is, generally miserable but rewarding) and on whether Beefheart actually wrote every note of every track of Troutmask Replica on piano in 8.5 hours — a factoid that’s casually tossed into most cocktail conversations about Beefheart but that turns out to be almost certainly untrue — a leftover from an old Rolling Stone article, now almost canonical. Or even whether he wrote most of the music at all.
Amazing (or perhaps not) to hear that the band to this day hasn’t seen a single check from royalties (Bill Harkelroad tells of running a record store and re-ordering Trout Mask regularly, even into the 90s, without ever receiving royalties).
And some weird bamboozlement about a Henry Kaiser interview that Kaiser claims never happened. But “You can read Henry Kaiser’s statement about a non-existent interview and made-up quotes, along with Dave DiMartino’s response and a full transcript of the interview which Kaiser claims never took place.”
Trying to make sense of it all feels like it might have felt to play in The Magic Band for even five minutes. Got to check out some of this reunion material (sans van Vliet).