Hairway To Steven is my favorite Butthole Surfers album. Every song on it is gold. It’s one of the greatest experimental rock albums of all time, easily on par with Beefheart’s Trout Mask Replica. I have the original Touch & Go release from 1988, with the impossible-to-remove MADE IN CANADA sticker. This disc is thirty years old.
Tag Archives: Captain Beefheart
Imagine if you will, a world parallel to our own, identical in many ways, disparate in others. Long story short, in this mirror universe, Bands I Useta Like was optioned by a major independent film studio, and made into a hit movie. It combined animation and live action, and because the producers had deep pockets, licensing songs for a decent soundtrack wasn’t a problem.
Whether I allowed the film to be produced at all was contingent upon the quality of the music choices. If they balked at a crucial song, or refused to include it, I would walk off the project. Which I did, and they replaced me on-screen with a real actor. Like I said, the movie was a hit.
The 2-disc soundtrack sold out of stores overnight. Even though it came packed in that shitty double jewel-box, which just winds up broken, on the floor of a car.
It’s a modern fallacy that the oeuvre of Don Van Vliet, more commonly known to the world as Captain Beefheart, is impenetrable. As with many worthwhile pursuits, the point of introduction is crucial. Most people who bristle at Beefheart simply haven’t been ushered in the right direction.
Captain Beefheart and Frank Zappa were high school buddies with a shared love of R&B, in particular Howlin’ Wolf, whom Don loved to imitate. Don had a girlfriend named Laurie, whom his pervy uncle would sexually harass by flashing her as she walked past the bathroom; he would squeeze the end of his schlong and muse “ah, look at that. Looks like a big, fine beef heart.” Thus, a legend was born.