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Captain Beefheart: The Alternative Safe As Milk (1967)
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Post 2006-10-17 19:13   [Quote] 
Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band

Safe As Milk Demos AKA Buddah Takes AKA Disneyland Demos
March 1967
Original Sound Studios, Los Angeles, California
Producer: Gary Marker

01-Somebody's Leaving (2:14) AKA Leave Me Alone AKA Don't Bother Me AKA Almost Grown (Chuck Berry, 1959)
02-Somebody In My Home (2:41) AKA Somebody Walkin' AKA Somebody Walking In My Home (Howlin' Wolf, 1957)

Lineage: acetate>tape (unknown low gen)>WAV (using Wavelab)>FLAC (level 8, using FLAC frontend)

Captain Beefheart/Don Van Vliet: vocals, harmonica
Ry Cooder: guitar, slide guitar
Drumbo/John French: drums, percussion
Jerry Handley: bass
Doug Moon: guitar
Alex St. Claire/Alex Snouffer: guitar

John Platt: The chronology gets confusing here. Seemingly the band cut more material for A&M (including Here I Am I Always Am, which came out with the single tracks in 1984) plus the notorious Electricity, which so enraged A&M that the band were dropped from the label. One school of thought even suggests that a whole album was cut and after being dropped by A&M, the tapes were simply sold to Buddah, the results being released as Safe As Milk. This seems unlikely. More likely they demo-ed a few new numbers which were then rejected and the new album was recorded after the Buddah deal was signed. A tape of demos from this era does exist, however, containing alternate versions of several Safe As Milk tracks including Yellow Brick Road and Sure Nuff 'n' Yes I Do - but no Electricity - so who knows?
(I May Be Hungry But I Sure Ain't Weird booklet)

John Platt: With French on board, the band finally left the desert and moved to L.A. to work on what became Safe As Milk. Initially, Gary 'Magic' Marker acted as producer. As Marker recalls, "I was going to produce that album as well as manage the band - or so I was led to believe by Don Van Vliet himself." However, he now feels that it was just an attempt by Don, and to a lesser extent by Bob Krasnow, to get his former Rising Son's band-mate, 20-year-old whiz kid Ry Cooder, to join the band. Marker continues, "... I delivered Cooder, got as far as producing the original demo sessions, worked on all the pre-production, scheduled the studio time, blah, blah, blah - and then the day before the first recording session at Sunset Sound, I was given the boot."
A tape, obviously taken from an acetate, exists, and comes (in whole or in part) from the Marker sessions. Containing six songs [five songs: the listed Call On Me is a 1965 demo], the most interesting are versions of the blues standard, Somebody In My Home and Chuck Berry's Almost Grown.
(Safe As Milk (Buddha 1999) booklet)

John French: A very reluctant Cooder eventually agreed to do the album with the group. As far as the band was concerned, he was hired as a studio musician to finish and 'tighten up' all the songs. The band were unaware of all the behind the scene politics. After Cooder had whipped the band into shape on a few of the tunes, a demo session was planned. The New York office was demanding a tape of the band. So time was booked in a studio. The band didn't realize that this was also to be a testing ground for hope-to-be producer, Gary Marker.
Gary Marker: I produced that demo session. See, everybody forgets that. It was upstairs, above Buddah records at Art Laboe's Original Sound.
John French: I believe the tunes recorded in that session were Sure Nuff 'n' Yes I Do, Yellow Brick Road (entirely too fast, not the drummer's fault), Plastic Factory, Electricity and Abba Zaba. Ry didn't entirely pleased by this session; in fact, he seemed downright distressed. His main objection was that it wasn't 'blues'. Don had never rehearsed with the band, and Ry seemed visibly displeased with the vocals.
Doug Moon also played on these sessions. It was puzzling to me for years why Doug insisted that he had played on Safe As Milk and this guitar parts had been erased. It has been confirmed by Handley, Snouffer and my own memory that Doug was not in the Safe As Milk session. He recalls it being 'upstairs'. I'm sure that this demo session is the one that he mistakenly recalls.
(Grow Fins booklet)

Safe As Milk Acetates (Kamasutra Records) monoaural
April/May 1967
Sunset Sound Studios, Hollywood, California
RCA Studio-B, Los Angeles, California
Producer: Bob Krasnow, Richard Perry
Engineers: Hank Cicalo, Gary Marker

03-Electricity (Version 4) (3:02)
04-Electricity (Version 5) (3:01)
05-Plastic Factory (Version 2) (2:57)
06-Grown So Ugly (Version 3) (2:18)
07-Where There's Woman (Version 2) (2:07)
08-Yellow Brick Road (Version 2) (2:12)
09-Abba Zaba (Version 2) (2:38)
10-Autumn's Child (Version 2) (3:48)
11-Sure 'Nuff 'N Yes I Do (Version 2) (2:14)

Lineage: acetate>?>CD-R>WAV (ripped with EAC)>FLAC (level 8, using FLAC frontend)

Captain Beefheart/Don Van Vliet: vocals, harmonica, bass marimba
Ry Cooder: guitar, slide guitar, bass (on: Abba Zaba, Grown So Ugly)
Drumbo/John French: drums, percussion
Jerry Handley: bass
Alex St. Claire/Alex Snouffer: guitar, bass (on: Where There's Woman)
Russ Titelman: guitar (on: Where There's Woman, Autumn's Child)
Milt Holland: percussion, log drums (on: Zig Zag Wanderer, Abba Zaba, Where There's Woman)
Taj Mahal: percussion (on: Yellow Brick Road)
Samuel Hoffmann: theremin (on: Electricity, Autumn's Child)

John Platt: After Marker was ousted around April 1967, the then virtually unknown Richard Perry was brought in to co-produce with Bob Krasnow. ... Safe As Milk was the first album he produced.
Marker stayed on for at least two sessions, working with the engineer on mike placement, EQ, and other studio tasks, not to mention contributing to arrangements. He says of the album, "Several basic tracks and a number of overdubs were done at Sunset Sound on what was then state-of-the-art 8-track. Perry reduced the 8-tracks down to 4-tracks and moved the entire operation down the street to a really inferior studio - RCA's by-the-skin-of-our-teeth operation."
Marker had left before the move to RCA, but on hearing about it he called Krasnow, who allegedly told him, "Well, Richard was getting really confused with all those tracks. He's more comfortable with 4-track." According to Marker, Krasnow had more or less taken a back seat until it became clear that Perry's mixes didn't work. Then he took over and re-mixed the album. Marker does, however, credit Perry with an excellent ear and an all-around knowledge of music theory, both of which he demonstrated during the recording of the album.
Meanwhile, Cooder's role in all of this was to translate the Captain's wilder notions to the rest of the band and generally act as musical director. He rapidly discovered that all was not well. At one of Cooder's first sessions, Don fired Doug Moon, who couldn't get his head or fingers around the new music, and almost fired Jerry Handley, who apparently couldn't remember the bass parts.
Presumably by Cooder's instigation, several session musicians were drafted, but it's never been totally clear who played on what tracks. ...
With Cooder supervising the music, the sessions proceeded more or less smoothly, and the album was completed in less than a month.
(Safe As Milk (Buddha 1999) booklet)


Last edited by jazzfan on 2006-10-18 13:47; edited 3 times in total
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Post 2006-10-17 19:19   [Quote] 
thanx jazzfan, some early beef is a real treat

I don't have to dig into the bullshit to know what the bull ate!
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Post 2006-10-17 19:56   [Quote] 
[clap] [clap] [clap] [clap] [clap]

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Post 2006-10-17 20:41   [Quote] 
Awesome! Thanks!

My tone! My precious tone! I'm going to sound plastic!
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Post 2006-10-17 20:50   [Quote] 
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Post 2006-10-17 21:18   [Quote] 

Awesome, thank you again, jazzfan.
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Post 2006-10-17 21:58   [Quote] 
Oh good you found where you belong, the Beefheart Corner! thanks!!
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Post 2006-10-18 00:03   [Quote] 
rare beef well done, thank you.
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Post 2006-10-18 00:46   [Quote] 
Cool.... thanks!
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Post 2006-10-18 10:32   [Quote] 
Big Big thanx clapping
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Post 2006-10-18 15:23   [Quote] 
Thanks for sharing.
I've been searching for a long time for these tracks
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Post 2006-10-18 16:30   [Quote] 

Nanook rubs it, Alfie loves it...
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Post 2006-10-18 17:25   [Quote] 
Thanks jazzfan, happy to see you here !!!
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Post 2006-10-18 17:45   [Quote] 
Thanks a lot for your warm welcome. I appreciate that.

laryddave sent excellent covers for this item. I don't know how to load them as attachment. Firefox crashes when I tried and Internet Explorer seems not to be able to add a local address. Anybody knows how to do it? Please gimme some advice.
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Post 2006-10-18 18:27   [Quote] 
Wonderful!!! Thank you!!!!
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