Monday, January 16, 2012

John Huntsman Loves Captain Beefheart

Crap! I was just about to support John Huntsman, but he stepped out of the race this morning.

I learned last night that, almost unbelievably, the guy is a huge Captain Beefheart fan. Not just as a name to throw out in order to seem more quirky and less Mitt-ish. But, per a little-noticed Slate report last September, Huntsman really knows his stuff!
Slate: Do you have a particular favorite era of Beefheart?

Huntsman: I'd have to say that I like Trout Mask Replica, which came out in '68, all the way through Bat Chain Puller -- I mean, they represent the diversity of Beefheart. I'm a fan of the really innovative spirit of Beefheart came with the Magic Band, and they really hit it off in '68.

Slate: Which songs on the record?

Huntsman: Ella Guru, China Pig Hammer -- the whole double album. Part poetry, part improvisation. All cutting edge. And then when you get to Bat Chain Puller, it's a little more accessible.

Slate: But Trout was the one they put together when Beefheart forced them to practice in that house...

Huntsman: Yeah, when he played with Zoot Horn Rollo and Mascara Jimmy, and Mascara Snake -- these were great players. He didn't hold onto them very long. The crew he put together for Ice Cream for Crow was good, too, but it was less experimental.

Also, how do you know about this?

Slate: Well, you tweeted about it.

Huntsman: I didn't think anyone would read that! I put it out there to see if anyone was actually paying attention.


vhliv said...

What would Lester Bangs have thought? A politician who is clearly knowledgeable about Beefheart. You are right, this is not just George H. W. Bush talking about Country music and pork rinds. Far too specific. Of course, it would be too late for a White House command performance.

Dave said...

And what is "Safe as Milk?" Chopped liver?

I think I've only asked three people for their autographs, and one of them was Capt. Beefheart (at a 1970 concert, I held up his 45 of "Diddy Wah Diddy" and he freaked out.

[For the record, my other two autographs were Brian Wilson and Soupy Sales].

Jim Leff said...

I actually played a gig with Soupy once. Nice guy!

Dave said...

He sure was a nice guy. I was a pre-teen and Soupy was patiently sitting at an International House of Pancakes giving every kid in front of him a moment of his time and attention -- classy. I met him at the Friar's Club when he was in his 80s (and Henny Youngman was celebrating his 90th birthday at another table!). His health was already in decline, but he was just as sweet to a middle-aged man.

Did you know that JLTV is re-running vintage Soupy shows every day? Time-Warner stations in big cities are running JLTV.

Jim Leff said...

Dave Feldman (of Imponderables fame) once turned around in a restaurant and unexpectedly locked eyes with Soupy. He was , for a moment, at a loss, but his first instinct was to raise his thumb toward his nose and wave his other fingers. Soupy of course returned the gesture.

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