French writes of being punched by band members, thrown into walls, kicked, punched in the face by Beefheart hard enough to draw blood, being attacked with a sharp broomstick.
He admits complicity in similarly attacking his bandmates during "talks" aimed at them. In the end, after the album's recording, Beefheart ejected French from the band by throwing him down a set of stairs, telling him to "Take a walk, man" after not responding in a desired manner to a request to "play a strawberry" on the drums. Beefheart replaced French with drummer Jeff Bruschel, an acquaintance of Hayden.
Referred to as "Fake Drumbo" playing on French's drumset this final act resulted in French's name not appearing on the album credits, either as a player or arranger.
Bruschel toured with the band to Europe but was replaced by the next recording. It took the band about eight months to mold the songs into shape, with French bearing primary responsibility for transposing and shaping Vliet's piano fragments into guitar and bass lines, which were mostly notated on paper. He was getting more into that part of who he was instead of this blues singer. The album's cover artwork was photographed and designed by Cal Schenkel and shows Van Vliet wearing the raw head of a carp, bought from a local fish market and fashioned into a mask by Schenkel.
The relentless practice prior to recording blended the music into an iconoclastic whole of contrapuntal temposfeaturing slide guitarpolyrhythmic drumming with French's drums and cymbals covered in cardboardhonking saxophone and bass clarinet. Van Vliet's vocals range from his signature Howlin' Wolf -inspired growl to frenzied falsetto to laconic, casual ramblings. The instrumental backing was effectively recorded live in the studio, while Van Vliet overdubbed most of the vocals in only partial sync with the music by hearing the slight sound leakage Bat Chain Puller: The Movie - John French - O Solo Drumbo (CD the studio window.
It seemed to me that if he was going to create a unique object, that the best thing for me to do was to keep my mouth shut as much as possible and just let him do whatever he wanted to do whether I thought it was wrong or not. Van Vliet used the ensuing publicity, particularly with a Rolling Stone interview with Langdon Winner, to promulgate a number of myths that were subsequently quoted as fact.
Winner's article stated, Bat Chain Puller: The Movie - John French - O Solo Drumbo (CD instance, that neither Van Vliet nor the members of the Magic Band ever took drugs, but Harkleroad later contradicted this. Van Vliet claimed to have taught both Harkleroad and Boston to play their instruments from scratch; in fact the pair were already accomplished young musicians before joining the band.
When asked how this was possible, he claimed to have only eaten fruit. Critic Steve Huey of AllMusic writes that the album's influence "was felt more in spirit than in direct copycatting, as a catalyst rather than a literal musical starting point.
However, its inspiring reimagining of what was possible in a rock context laid the groundwork for countless experiments in rock surrealism to follow, especially during the punk and new wave era. But the seeming sonic chaos is an illusion—to construct the songs, the Magic Band rehearsed twelve hours a day for months on end in a house with the windows blacked out.
Producer Frank Zappa was then able to record most of the album in less than five hours. But I'd like to. Very great played at high volume when you're feeling shitty, because you'll never feel as shitty as this record. Lick My Decals Off, Baby continued in a similarly experimental vein.
An album with "a very coherent structure" [ attribution needed ] in the Magic Band's "most experimental and visionary stage", [ attribution needed ]  it was Van Vliet's most commercially successful in the United Kingdom, spending twenty weeks on the UK Albums Chart and peaking at number An early promotional music video was made of its title song, and a bizarre television commercial was also filmed that included excerpts from Woe-Is-uh-Me-Bopsilent footage of masked Magic Band members using kitchen utensils as musical instruments, and Beefheart kicking over a bowl of what appears to be porridge onto a dividing stripe in the middle of a road.
The video was rarely played but was accepted into the Museum of Modern Artwhere it has been used in several programs related to music. Journalist Irwin Chusid interprets this change as "a grudging concession of its members' at least semiautonomous humanity".
He toured in with Ry Cooder on the bill to promote the album. The atmosphere of The Spotlight Kid is, according to one critic, "definitely relaxed and fun, maybe one step up from a jam". This was in part an attempt by Van Vliet to become a more appealing commercial proposition as the band had made virtually no money during the previous two years—at the time of recording, the band members were subsisting on welfare food handouts and remittances from their parents.
I realized that I had to give them something to hang their hat on, so I started working more of a beat into the music". According to John French, the worst of this was directed toward Harkleroad.
Clear Spot' s production credit of Ted Templeman made AllMusic consider "why in the world [it] wasn't more of a commercial success than it was", and that while fans "of the fully all-out side of Beefheart might find the end result not fully up to snuff as a result, but those less concerned with pushing back all borders all the time will enjoy his unexpected blend of everything tempered with a new accessibility". The review called the song "Big Eyed Beans from Venus" "a fantastically strange piece of aggression".
Inimmediately after the recording of Unconditionally Guaranteedwhich markedly continued the trend towards a more commercial sound heard on some of the Clear Spot tracks, the Magic Band's original members departed. Disgruntled and past members worked together for a period, gigging at Blue Lake and putting together their own ideas and demos, with John French earmarked as the vocalist.
At this time Vliet attempted to recruit both French and Harkleroad as producers for his next album, but his pleas fell on deaf ears. Andy Di Martino produced both of these Virgin label albums. Vliet was forced to quickly form a new Magic Band to complete support-tour dates, with studio musicians who had no experience with his music and in fact had never heard it.
Having no knowledge of the previous Magic Band style, they simply improvised what they thought would go with each song, playing much slicker versions that have been described as "bar band" versions of Beefheart songs.
A review described this incarnation of the Magic Band as the "Tragic Band", a term that has stuck over the years. Mike Barnes said that the description of the new band "grooving along pleasantly", was " Neither was well received; drummer Art Tripp recalled that when he and the original Magic Band listened to Unconditionally Guaranteedthey " As we listened, it was as though each song was worse than the one which preceded it".
By the fall of the band had completed their European tour, with further US dates in the New Year ofsupporting Zappa along with Dr. Van Vliet now found himself stuck in a web of contractual hang-ups. At this point Zappa had begun to extend a helping hand, with Vliet already having performed incognito as "Rollin' Red" on Zappa's One Size Fits All and then joining with him on the Bongo Fury album and its later support tour.
The form, texture and imagery of this album's first track, "Debra Kadabra", sung Bat Chain Puller: The Movie - John French - O Solo Drumbo (CD Vliet, has 'angular similarities' to the work he would later produce in his next three albums.
In early Zappa put on his producer hat and, once again, opened up his studio facilities and finance to Vliet. This was for the production of an album provisionally titled Bat Chain Puller. Much of the work on this album had been finalized and some demos had been circulated when fate once again struck the Beefheart camp. This resulted in Zappa's finances and ongoing works becoming part of protracted legal negotiations. The Bat Chain Puller project went "on ice" and did not see an official release until In he appeared on Jack Nitzsche 's soundtrack to the film Blue Collar.
Having extricated himself from a mire of Album) difficulties Beefheart emerged with this new album, inon the Warner Bros label. However, he and Vliet were now joined by a whole new line-up of Richard Redus guitar, bass and accordionEric Drew Feldman bass, piano and synthesizerBruce Lambourne Fowler trombone and air bassArt Tripp percussion and marimba and Robert Arthur Williams drums.
The album was co-produced by Vliet with Pete Johnson. Members of this Magic Band and the "Bat Chain" elements would later feature on Beefheart's last two albums.
Doc at the Radar Station helped establish Beefheart's late resurgence. Released by Virgin Records during the post-punk scene, the music was now accessible to a younger, more receptive audience. One of the most important American composers of the last fifty years, [and] a primitive genius"; Van Vliet said at this period, "I'm doing a non-hypnotic music to break up the catatonic state Richard Redus and Art Tripp departed on this album, with slide guitar and marimba duties taken up by the reappearance of John French.
This line-up made a video to promote the title track, directed by Van Vliet and Ken Schreiber, with cinematography by Daniel Pearlwhich was rejected by MTV for being "too weird". Gary Lucas tried to convince him to record one more album, but to no avail.
One book, entitled Splintersgives a visual "scrapbook" insight into Vliet's life, from an early age to his painting in retirement. The second, eponymously titled, book is packed with art pages of Vliet's work.
The first is bound in green linen, the second in yellow. An onion-skin wallet, nestling at the package's inner sanctum, contains a matching-numbered Vliet lithograph on hand-rolled paper, signed by the artist.
The two books are by publishers Artist Ink Editions. Throughout his musical career, Van Vliet remained interested in visual art. He placed his paintings, often reminiscent of Franz Klineon several of his albums. In the mids, Van Vliet became reclusive and abandoned music, stating he had gotten "too good at the horn"  and could make far more money painting. He was interviewed on Granada regional television standing in front of his bold black and white canvases.
According to Dr. John Lane, director of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Artinalthough Van Vliet's work has associations with mainstream abstract expressionist painting, more importantly he was a self-taught artist and his painting "has that same kind of edge the music has". Curator David Breuer asserts that in contrast to the busied, bohemian urban lives of the New York abstract expressionists, the rural desert environment Van Vliet was influenced by is a distinctly naturalistic one, making him a distinguished figure in contemporary art, whose work will survive in canon.
I'm trying to completely bare what I think at that moment"  and "I paint for the simple reason that I have to. I feel a sense of relief after I do. Exhibits of his paintings from the late s were held in New York in and It was claimed that he stopped painting in the late s. He exhibited only few of his paintings because he immediately destroyed any that did not satisfy him.
After his retirement from music, Van Vliet rarely appeared in public. Many of his art contractors and friends considered him to be in good health. One of Van Vliet's last public appearances was in the short documentary Some Yo Yo Stuff by filmmaker Anton Corbijndescribed as an "observation of his observations". Around 13 minutes and shot entirely in black and white, with appearances by his mother and David Lynchthe film showed a noticeably weakened and dysarthric Van Vliet at his residence in California, reading poetry, and philosophically discussing his life, environment, music and art.
Van Vliet often voiced concern over and support for environmentalist issues and causes, particularly the welfare of animals. He often referred to Earth as "God's Golfball" and this expression can be found on a number of his later albums. The track lasts 34 seconds and was recorded over the telephone.
Van Vliet died at a hospital in Arcata, Californiaon Friday, December 17,about a month before his 70th birthday. Van Vliet met Frank Zappa when they were both teenagers and shared an interest in rhythm and blues and Chicago blues.
Their efforts were unsuccessful, as "Beefheart's Howlin' Wolf vocal style and Zappa's distorted guitar" were "not on the agenda" at the time. The friendship between Zappa and Van Vliet over the years was sometimes expressed in the form of rivalry as musicians drifted back and forth between their groups. Their relationship grew acrimonious on the tour to the point that they refused to talk to one another.
Zappa became irritated by Van Vliet, who drew constantly, including while on stage, filling one of his large sketch books with rapidly executed portraits and warped caricatures of Zappa. Musically, Van Vliet's primitive style contrasted sharply with Zappa's compositional discipline and abundant technique. Mothers of Invention drummer Jimmy Carl Black described the situation as "two geniuses" on "ego trips".
Zappa finished concerts with the song for many years afterwards. Beefheart also provided vocals for " Willie the Pimp " on Zappa's otherwise instrumental album Hot Rats According to Peel, "If there has ever been such a thing as a genius in the history of popular music, it's Beefheart I heard echoes of his music in some of the records I listened to last week and I'll hear more echoes in records that I listen to this week.
Because it breaks so many of rock's conventions at once, Beefheart's music has always been more influential than popular. Many artists have cited Van Vliet as an influence, beginning with the Edgar Broughton Bandwho covered "Dropout Boogie" as Apache Drop Out  mixed with the Shadows ' " Apache "  as early asas did the Kills 32 years later. The Minutemen were fans of Beefheart, and were arguably among the few to effectively synthesize his music with their own, especially in their early output, which featured disjointed guitar and irregular, galloping rhythms.
Michael Azerrad describes the Minutemen's early output as "highly caffeinated Captain Beefheart running down James Brown tunes",  and notes that Beefheart was the group's "idol".
More notable were those emerging during the early days of punk rocksuch as the Clash  and John Lydon of the Sex Pistols reportedly to manager Malcolm McLaren 's disapprovallater of the post-punk band Public Image Ltd.
Cartoonist and writer Matt Groening tells of listening to Trout Mask Replica at the age of 15 and thinking "that it was the worst thing I'd ever heard.
I said to myself, they're not even trying! It was just a sloppy cacophony. Then I listened to it a couple more times, because I couldn't believe Frank Zappa could do this to me—and because a double album cost a lot of money. About the third time, I realised they were doing it on purpose; they meant it to sound exactly this way.
About the sixth or seventh time, it clicked in, and I thought it was the greatest album I'd ever heard. He considered the appeal of the Magic Band as outcasts who were even "too weird for the hippies ".
Another devotee from the film industry is Woody Allenwho was found singing along to Beefheart's music in the audience in New York. Smith of the Fall. Beefheart is considered to have "greatly influenced" new wave artists,  such as David Byrne of Talking HeadsBlondieDevothe Bongosand the Bs. Tom Waits ' shift in artistic direction, starting with 's Swordfishtromboneswas, Waits claims, a result of his wife Kathleen Brennan introducing him to Van Vliet's music.
It stains, like coffee or blood. She cited Van Vliet as one of her influences. Harvey's first experience of Beefheart's music was as a child.
Her parents had all of his albums; listening to them made her "feel ill". She cited him as one of her greatest influences since. Parish described Beefheart's music as a "combination of raw blues and abstract jazz. There was humour in there, but you could tell that it wasn't [intended as] a joke. I felt that there was a depth to what he did that very few other rock artists have managed [to achieve].
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Redirected from Paul Blakely. American musician. Beefheart performing at Convocation Hall in Blues rock avant-garde experimental rock. He had dropped out of school by that time, and spent most of his time staying at home. His girlfriend lived in the house, and his grandmother lived in the house, and his aunt and his uncle Album) across the street. And his father had had a heart attack; his father drove a Helms bread truck, part of the time Don was helping out by taking over the bread truck route [and] driving up to Mojave.
The rest of the time he would just sit at home and listen to rhythm and blues records, and scream at his mother to get him a Pepsi. Ice Cream for Crowthe title track of the final Beefheart album. Van Vliet's idiosyncratic vocal on Zappa's "Willie the Pimp" was among their collaborations. Main article: The Magic Band.
Main article: Captain Beefheart discography. Retrieved December 18, Retrieved July 18, Retrieved March 17, Archived from the original on October 26, Retrieved October 26, London: Bauermedia. The Guardian. London, Bat Chain Puller: The Movie - John French - O Solo Drumbo (CD, England: Guardian Media Group.
Retrieved April 28, Retrieved February 16, Retrieved August 25, New York City: Viacom. Rolling Stone. Retrieved February 11, Financial Times. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 17, Archived from the original on January 6, Archived from the original on February 27, The Real Frank Zappa Book. Poseidon Press. Archived from the original on August 17, Continuum International Publishing Group.
Retrieved January 26, The Captain Beefheart Radar Station. Archived from the original on April 7, Archived from the original on September 18, International Times. Interlink Publishing. Archived from the original on October 20, Archived from the original on June 16, Retrieved September 2, Retrieved January 25, Archived from the original on September 24, Lunar Notes p Guitar Player Jan.
Archived from the original on December 13, Retrieved December 9, Zappa: A BiographyGrove Press, pp. London: Cherry Red Books. During the Trout Mask Replica sessions, French transcribed the musical ideas Beefheart played for him on piano for the rest of the band. He was interested in the local music scene as a teenager, hanging out with Doug Moon and watching The Omens on stage.
French and Cotton joined Mark Boston in another band innever recorded, called Blues in a Bottle. French was invited to join Beefheart and the Magic Band in lateas a replacement for Paul Blakeley. Shortly after the completion of Trout Mask ReplicaFrench was booted out of the group rather violently thrown down some stairs[ citation needed ] and Beefheart replaced him with the inexperienced Jeff Bruschell. French was contentiously omitted from the credits of Trout Mask Replica and was largely absent from the band photos taken for the artwork.
Then in latejust before an American tour, he left again. Beefheart's contractual problems in forced him into joining Frank Zappa's Bongo Fury tour, [ citation needed ] but when he was able he set to reforming The Magic Band. French was recruited as both drummer and music director. French also played guitar on some of these songs. He walked out on Beefheart when his friend John Thomas keyboards was sacked from the band. He was back to help out again inbut had become disillusioned working with Van Vliet.
French visited Van Vliet in looking for work; he went on to record Doc at the Radar Station with the band, playing guitar and drumming on two tracks.
He left before the band toured though, when Van Vliet handed him a list of 40 songs to learn over a 3-month period. French sealed the walkout the next day by returning the guitar Van Vliet had loaned him. French has subsequently made solo records, and played with the experimental group French Frith Kaiser Thompson [ 2 ] and again with Kaiser in Crazy Backwards Alphabet.
Inhe was involved in compiling and writing the sleeve notes for the anthology of Beefheart rarities Grow Fins. They divided the show into an instrumental and a vocal section. French handled the vocals and harmonicahanding over the drum kit to Robert Williams. InFrench released a new solo album under his "Drumbo" moniker entitled City of Refuge.
The album was released on UK label Proper records. This entry is from Wikipedia, the leading user-contributed encyclopedia. It may not have been reviewed by professional editors see full disclaimer. Donate to Wikimedia. All translations of john french musician. A windows pop-into of information full-content of Sensagent triggered by double-clicking any word on your webpage. Give contextual explanation and translation from your sites! With a SensagentBoxvisitors to your site can access reliable information on over 5 million pages provided by Sensagent.
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