I first heard Beefheart’s Safe As Milk at Mike’s on the day of its release. To say I was bowled over is an understatement. I was into both the blues and psychedelia, but this seemed to combine the two in a way that blasted your mind and body into atoms. It shook me, and I was hooked. I’d never heard anything like it. By this time I was also going to London underground clubs Middle Earth, UFO, The Roundhouse, The Marquee and Les Cousins. For me it was to see mainly Pink Floyd, Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac, Jimi Hendrix and Roy Harper. When I heard that Captain Beefheart was going to play at Middle Earth, I was ecstatic. There was only one problem: I was in the midst of my A-level exams. I had been offered a provisional place at university, and needed the grades, but music was more important to me, and besides, my biology exam was a week away. Surely I could afford a night off. High on adrenalin, I drove to London on my trusty motorbike, only to discover that the gig had been postponed. Beefheart’s bassist Jerry Handley was ill, and they’d been replaced by the Aynsley Dunbar Retaliation. Now, I quite liked Aynsley Dunbar, but he was no substitute for Captain Beefheart, who was rescheduled for the following week as a double bill with John Mayall (another favourite of mine). That made it an absolute must.
The gig was now going to be the night before my A-level biology exam. If I went, I wouldn’t be home until 3:00 a.m., and my exam started at 9:00 a.m.. I would have no last-minute revision, and I’d be knackered. Still, needs must. No choice! It was truly one of the best gigs I have ever been to. I can’t remember anything about John Mayall that night, but Beefheart just blew me away! Needless to say, I didn’t get the required grade, and the course of my life changed. However, I’d seen Captain Beefheart in all his glory! I wouldn’t change that even if I could.
Exciting times!! After 2 years in the writing, the book is finally released in the UK tomorrow!!
The Release Date in the UK is Aug 26th. (Sept 30th in the USA).
The book is available through Burning Shed (The publisher’s own distribution site) Captain Beefheart On Track (burningshed.com)
Or through Amazon:
I do have a batch of copies that are available signed (including post and packaging) for: £17 – UK £20 – Europe £23 – USA
If you are interested please message or email me with your address. Payment through paypal – email@example.com