2. Date of Birth: August 3, 1952, born in Gosport, Hants, UK
3. Occupation: Technical, commercial and legal translator
4. Place of Residence: Hannover, Germany
5. Years as a Fan:
32 on and off (since 1968!)
8. Number of Albums owned:
1200 vinyl LPs, 500 CDs, about 400 other albums etc. on cassettes
9. How did you first discover CB and the MB,
and was there a particular song that made you see the light?
I first came across CB on John Peel's "Top Gear" back in 1967 at the
time of Safe as Milk. By comparison with other stuff going down at the
time (Love, the Doors, Jefferson Airplane, Grateful Dead, Hendrix, Traffic,
Cream etc.etc.) I thought he was good, even if a bit overrated, but thought
I'd "fileaway" his growling voice for "future reference".
Got more into him in '68 at the time of Strictly Personal (Ah Feel Like Ahcid, Son of Mirror Man, Gimme Dat Harp Boy (a true classic at the time for me) which I felt was a great progression on SAM, though the phasing rather
ruined everything, and reckoned he'd develop into a major musical force if he stayed around.
Heard a lot about TMR when it came out and got really curious after hearing some of the more "musical" pieces on
Top Gear. Bought it at the end of 1969 mainly due to that immortal cover (greatest album cover of all time?) and
the list of nonsensical song titles. Was utterly floored on first hearing, could see barely any connection with SAM and SP and could only make sense of "China Pig", "Moonlight on Vermont" and "Veteran's Day Poppy", apart from
which I thought the whole order of 60s music, even the most progressive stuff, was being turned completely upside down. About a year later it all began to fall into place. "Hair Pie, Bake 1" was the one that finally did it
10. Number of Beefheart gigs seen, and which years:
None, to my everlasting regret. Meant to go to the Portsmouth Guildhall show in 1972 but didn't as I
thought he was past his prime by then ...
11. Any contact with Don?
Wish I had had!
12. Musical ability/training:
Fairly competent self-taught acoustic guitarist, very much influenced by John Fahey/Leo ottke/StefanGrossman/
Jacques Stotzem. Initially honed my chops on electric guitar in a group called "Bogey-Bogey" in my student days at Reading University in the early 70s; we immortalized appalling Zappa and Hendrix covers and the band's own material on cassette tape (predating punk by about 5 years). (The cassettes still exist.) The founder of the band was about the only other person I've ever got to know in my entire life who liked Beefheart, he was really mad on TMR and Decals.
13. Any other info you wish to add?
Gave up on Don in his disastrous mid-70s period, but felt he'd got back on track by the end of the decade. Was very disappointed that no new material was forthcoming after "Crow" and finally gave up hope of him ever recording
anything again by about 1987. Regained interest in the 90s as bootlegs started to appear, am glad that that terrific "Grow Fins" is out and that interest in Beefheart's music is still alive. Looking forward to reading Mike Barnes' book!
Other interests: Constantly trying to improve my competence as a guitarist but don't have much time. Would like to write, but work and family commitments constantly get in the way. Very much enjoy cycling tours, help me to temporarily forget said commitments.
Thanks for reading!