Stuck for a Christmas Present? Why not give something cheap, unique and really interesting?

The Christmas present to suit all tastes – an Opher Book!

It fills the gap.

They look great!!

Reasonably priced


And supporting an excellent cause (my writing!)

Utterly unique


Your friends and relatives, loved ones and enemies will all be amazed!

There’s one for every occasion!


All my books are available here:

In the UK

In the USA

In the rest of the world via your regional Amazon store.

Thank you for buying an Opher book.

If I may be allowed to make a few suggestions:

If you like Sci-fi

a. Ebola in the Garden of Eden

b. Green

If you like Rock Music

a. The Blues Muse

b. In Search of Captain Beefheart

If you are concerned about the Environment

a. Anthropocene Apocalypse

If you are interested in Art

a. Opher’s Art and Outpourings.

If you are interested in Education

a. A Passion for Education – the story of a Headteacher

Or maybe you want some poetry, antitheist books, experimental novels or Beat/Alternative novels. There’s plenty of choice.

Thanks for stopping by and looking.

A big thank you to all those who have been reading my books under the free Kindle scheme and to those who have either bought digital versions for their electronic readers or paperback versions.

If you have enjoyed your read please leave a review on Amazon. It all helps.

In Search of Captain Beefheart – Reviews – read what people say about the book.

In Search of Captain Beefheart – the reviews


This is what people said about the book –

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase

The title is a little misleading; as it is not a book about Beefheart , but rather an account of growing up through the 60s and 70s in Britain. For people like myself 60+ year’s of age and like the author, a keen collector of records and tapes, this book will have a deep resonance. It was like living my early years of music all over again, as Mr. Goodwin kept mentioning the recording artists that I knew.
An enjoyable read, made for the coach, train, or ‘plane trip.

Comment 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? 

Format: Kindle Edition

If you were there, the 60s that is, and you have forgotten much, and you will have, then this is an interesting memory jogger. It is Chris Goodwins account of the real ‘underground’ music scene of the time and not what is popularly touted to the interested young of today.
If you are genuinely interested in the genesis of modern music and its evolution especially through the 60s and 70s then this is an interesting guide and full of quirky anecdotes which may appeal to the young of all ages

Comment One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? 

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase

How very dare you captain sweetheart weird only to the tone deaf with t h no hearts. Pink Floyd are not just Roger waters all their best music came from three good music players making up for their average bass player.other wise locally book.

Comment One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase

We move from the rock of a 2004 White Stripes gig to the deep blues of Son House performing in 1968 in the very first paragraph, which gives some idea of the huge range of personal and musical experience covered in this always lively and thoroughly engaging personal testimony. We are taken on a freewheeling and cheerfully anarchic journey across time and space from the earliest days of rock’n’roll through the vibrant 60s and its many musical offshoots and current influences, with every anecdote giving ample evidence for the author’s central idea – that music transforms and inspires like nothing else, forging an organic link with our own lives and even the politics and beliefs we live by. There are sharp, vivid, honest and cheerfully scatological portraits of his musical heroes with warm praise and candid criticism providing the salty ring of truth. The book has wry down-to-earth humour, a breakneck momentum, mostly good musical taste, fascinating gossip, strong opinions, passionate loves and equally passionate hates – and there’s not a dull moment in it. Written with a warm and generous spirit, in the end it amounts to a radical critique of much more than music. It captures the modern zeitgeist with zest and courage. Recommended.

Most Recent Customer Reviews

If you grew up listening to music in the 60s then like me you will love this book, there were so many similarities between my musical awakening and the author’s that it was… Read more

One man’s journey to find his “religion” which arrives through his “prophets” Roy Harper & Captain Beefheart & his Magic Band. Read more

Rock music lovers and anyone who has lived through the sixties and seventies will LOVE this book!

In the UK

In the USA

Captain Beefheart – Opher’s World pays tribute to a genius.

Captain Beefheart – Opher’s World pays tribute to a genius.

IMG_1631I’ve see most of the world’s greatest bands from Pink Floyd, Jimi Hendrix and the Rolling Stones to Stiff Little Fingers and Ian Dury & the Blockheads but right up there with Jimi for excitement and brilliance is Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band.

Don Van Vliet came out of the desert with his acid drenched blues poetry in 1967. I saw them play at Middle Earth and it blew me away. I’d never heard anything like it. The beat was incredible, complex and heavy. The guitars weaved in and out of each other, swapping riffs, spikey and jagged and that voice growled and boomed over the top of it all with such range and intensity. Then we get to the lyrics. You can talk of poetry but there is nobody who plays with words and sounds like Don Van Vliet.

At first hearing the sound is so different to anything you’ve ever heard that it appears discordant. That soon passes when you get into it. The power drives you forward and what appears at first to be clashing guitars rapidly clarifies into complex mesmerising brilliance. There is nothing subtle of simple about it and that is what makes it so interesting. I never grow tired of listening to the music or lyrics because the complexity yields more and more pleasure and insight. This is the classical music of Rock. This is when it all came of age. There is an emotional and intellectual depth to it.

I think one of the problems people sometimes have with Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band is that it is so opaque at first that it is difficult to find a way in. I was fortunate because that first album was less complex and so more accessible and I also got to see them perform live. When you experience the band in a live situation in a small club you cannot help getting sucked into their spell. It is so pulsatingly powerful that it overwhelms you. It is loud, aggressive, raw and yet sophisticated at the same time.

I’d bombarded my youngest son with Beefheart most of his life and he hated it. Then I persuaded him to go to a Magic Band concert and he was as blown away as me. He came out saying that it was the best thing he’d ever heard. It is. It was as exciting as Hendrix!

One of my best concerts ever was seeing Beefheart at the Rainbow around 1973 with Zoot Horn Rollo, Rockette Morton, Drumbo and Alex St Clare. The band was steamin’.

There were lots of stories surrounding Don Van Vliet and the band. It’s all part of the mythology. He supposedly took on a bunch of people who couldn’t play instruments and taught them from scratch. That wasn’t true. He didn’t teach them to play but he certainly taught them to play differently to anyone else. He could neither read or play music and hummed and sang his stuff so that Drumbo (John French) could interpret it and teach it to the band. That is as maybe. You might think that John French was the force behind it all – and there’s no denying the man played a major part – if it wasn’t for the fact that (with the exception of the mediocre Tragic Band of 1974) he took on a series of musicians and got them all to perform in the same extraordinary manner. Don was a genius on many fronts. I even love his saxophone playing which wails and screeches perfectly with the music. He might be an untutored musician but he had an ear for perfection.

While the band did not achieve the commercial recognition it should have done it did gain a huge reputation and has had an influence well beyond their financial success. Many great artists cite Don as a major influence.

Don became ill and stopped producing music in 1981. That was a tragedy. But he left us with a string of outstanding albums, incredible poetry and stupendous sounds. He went on to produce equally impressive art. Fortunately for us John French went and put the Magic Band together with Rockette Morton, Denny Walley and Eric Klerks and it is brilliant. It keeps the music alive.

Check out more at the Radar Station. Which has lots and is run by a good friend of mine!!

Or check out my books on Rock. You’ll love ’em! :

Photos – Magic Band – Leeds 2011

Another SUPERB gig!!!

Opher's World

Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band were my favourite band of all-time. As they disbanded back in 1981 I thought I would never get the chance to hear that brilliant music again. With the Captain indisposed (and then later dying) it looked like the end. But then John French, who was the musical director of the band, put together a band to commemorate the incredible music of Don Van Vliet.

I went to see the new incarnation without much hope for great things. They did have four original members in Denny Walley, Rockette Morton Gary Lucas and John French (Drumbo) but I was still not allowing my hopes to get too strong. Who else could sing like Beefheart? How wrong I was. John French did an admirable job on vocals and the band were so hot they burnt a hole in the stage. True they did not look quite as…

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Magic Band – 2015 November Tour Dates – The Best Band in the Universe!

A SUPER gig!!!

Opher's World


Even without the Captain this band are superb. Rockette Morton on brilliant bass, Denny Walley and Elliott Ingber on guitar and John French on Drums and vocals. Unbelievably good.

The music is spot on; the musicianship outstanding, sound brilliant and music superlative. I’ve not heard better!!!

I’ve been raving about Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band since 1967. Here they are albeit without the Captain. I never believed anybody could take his place but Drumbo (John French) is amazing.

This may be their last tour. Don’t miss it!!  Here’s where they are:

4th Nov – Nottingham – Rescue Rooms

5th Nov – Manchester – Band on the Wall

7th Nov – Preston – Continental

8th Nov – Liverpool – Kazimier

10th Nov – Sheffield – Greystones

11th Nov – Leeds – Brudenell Social Club

16th Nov – Wolverhampton – Robin 2

17th Nov – Bristol – The Fleece

20th Nov…

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Captain Beefheart – Big Eyed Beans From Venus – Oh my oh my! What a stormer!

Dig the words! Dig the guitar! Dig the power!

I love this track! Well distant cousins – there’s a limited supply – don’t let anyone get in between us.

In these times we need something magical to bring us together!

Big Eyed Beans From Venus

Distant cousins, there’s a limited supply.
And we’re down to the dozens, and this is why:
Big Eyed Beans from Venus! Oh my, oh my.

Boys and girls,
Earth people around the circle,
Mixtures of man alive.
Big eyed beans from Venus,
Don’t let anything get in between us.

Beam in on me baby,
and we’ll beam together
I know we always been together,
but there’s more.

Mister Zoot Horn Rollo, hit that long lunar note,
and let it float.

Men let your wallets flop out,
and women open your purses,
Cause a man or a woman without a big eyed bean from Venus
Is suffering with the worstest of curses
Yeah, you’re suffering, with the worstest of curses.

Put ’em out in the sun, and when the night come
You don’t have to go out and get ’em
They’ll glow with you
They’ll go with you
They’ll show with you
Ain’t no losers
Cause they’re on the right track
Cause they’re on the right track
You can be on the right track, woman,
Of course, of course

Ain’t no SNAFU, no fol-de-rol

Check these out, Big eyed beans from Venus
Oh, let a few out, let ’em pass in between us

Distant cousins, there’s a limited supply.
And we’re down to the dozens, and this is why…

Don’t let anything get in between us!
Big eyed beans from Venus
Big eyed beans from Venus.


Big Eyed Beans from Venus – the Magic Band

A great track by the Captain!

Opher's World

This is a live track from the Magic Band back in 2014 in London.

It was wonderful to see the Magic Band performing. Captain Beefheart was my favourite Band and after Don Vliet (Captain Beefheart) retired and then went and died on me I was thinking I would never hear that brilliant music again (apart from on the wonderful albums of course) but I was wrong. The Magic Band, under the direction of John French (Drumbo) were superb.

Here’s the original Magic Band from around 1980 with the inimitable Captain on vocals.

See what you think.

Here’s a few photos I took of the Magic Band.


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Captain Beefheart – Blabber ‘n’ Smoke – brilliant environment lyrics from a Rock poet.

One of many great numbers.

Opher's World

captain beefcaptain-beefheart--his-magic-band-501d02aa67abccaptaingigs1time

Captain Beefheart (AKA Don Van Vliet) was a brilliant and highly original poet before going on to become a idiosyncratic artist.

This was one of his poems from the early 1970s. It still holds as much weight today as it did then. All we humans do is blabber and smoke. We allow the world and wild-life to be destroyed around us.

The blabber and smoke lyrics work on many levels – dope – industry – governments – activists.

My praise goes out to the demonstrators who march, protest and actively oppose the destruction of the worlds.

But I cannot help thinking that the pollution is the symptom. The real disease is overpopulation. Unless we solve that quickly the planet is doomed.

I outline the problems and solutions in my book Anthropocene Apocalypse:

Blabber ‘n Smoke

All you ever do is blabber ‘n smoke
There’s ah big pain in your window

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