He Is For Me: My Intersections with Captain Beefheart

January 14th, 2011, 12:29 pm by Sara

Men & Volts original poster

In the month since Don Van Vliet died, I’ve been considering my connection to the music he created under the name Captain Beefheart. His albums “Trout Mask Replica” and especially “Lick My Decals Off, Baby” provided some of the soundtrack to my high school years. I’m glad I was an adolescent when a major label saw fit to record and release Beefheart’s music.

Though Van Vliet’s musical career only spanned sixteen of his 69 years, that decade and a half overlapped with my own awakening curiosities. Among them was an interest in music. With my bass guitar, I formed or joined a series of bands in my hometown of Erie, Pennsylvania, until the early ’70s when I headed off to college and not-college and college.

By 1979, I’d been living in Boston for a while, when I had an urge to play in a band again, something I’d not done since leaving Erie. Checking listings in the weekly arts paper, the first one that leapt out at me, unexpected and impossibly perfect, stated “Seeking bass player to play music of Captain Beefheart.” The band was six musicians including two singers, and augmented by a couple additional musicians on saxophone and marimba, in the few instances they were needed.

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Max Weinberg Splits with Conan O’Brien

September 28th, 2010, 11:01 am by Greg

Max Weinberg

Max Weinberg

After 17 years of leading the band for late night stalwart Conan O’Brien on both “Late Night With Conan O’Brien” and his short-lived stint on “The Tonight Show,” drummer Max Weinberg won’t be following O’Brien to TBS, where the late talk show host is slated to debut his new show, “Conan,” on Monday, November 8.

Weinberg’s departure was by mutual agreement, and in a statement, O’Brien said, “Max has been a huge part of my life for the past 17 years, and he is an incredible band leader and musician. I hope he can find time to stop by the new show, sit in with the band, and pretend to find my monologue funny.”

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Pearl Jammin’ the new “Tonight Show”

May 21st, 2009, 10:52 am by Greg

When “The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien” launches on NBC-TV’s late night schedule with its inaugural broadcast on Monday, June 1, the new host will undoubtedly have a few surprises up his sleeve.

But some things will be comfortingly similiar to his old show, including his first guest Will Ferrell, who was also the last guest on “Late Night With Conan O’Brien” back in February.

Upping the ante considerably, however, O’Brien welcomes Pearl Jam as the musical guest on his first show – just a week before frontman Eddie Vedder launches his solo tour with a sold-out two-night stand at Albany’s Palace Theatre.

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