Those of you who have read the Grow Fins booklet written by John will find the structure of this book familiar – verbatim interviews with Magic. This astonishing book is both a vigorous debunking of the Captain Beefheart myth – a myth sold by the old snake oil salesman himself and swallowed willingly . Buy Beefheart: Through The Eyes Of Magic by John Drumbo French (ISBN:) from Amazon’s Book Store. Everyday low prices and free delivery on eligible.

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I hope it has exorcised his demon s and he can now move on to pursue his own career as the talented musician he is. As other reviews have mentioned, there is some duplication of information in this approach, but I didn’t find this too intrusive.

A must for any person remotely obsessed with the Beef.

Inevitably many of the old Beefheart myths are demolished but there are some revelations in here that will surprise you and make you wonder once again about the personality and strange powers of Don van Vliet. Vol 2 Iss 4. At the basic level it is a detailed insight into the life and work of Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band, as experienced by the author long-running drummer in the band and his colleagues, but if has much eyew to offer.

Vol 2 Iss 3. Any Beefheart fan would be amiss not to have John French’s tome on their shelf. So, it’s interesting, but patchy and sort of unfocused. At times it really is harrowing.

Beefheart: Through the Eyes of Magic by John “Drumbo” French

I bought it quickly when it came out just because I thought it would go out of print quickly; I figured I’d read it some time in the next 10 years. Amongst other ramblings, he goes into a three or four page discussion with other musicians over whether the music shop they all used to go to in their teens was called Ling’s or Lang’s, he claims him and his mates were the originators of the Bart Simpson crank call, he describes ‘marijuana cigarettes’ like he’s talking to an alien and tells of how him and his devout christian therapist were convinced that Van Vliet was an actual demon attached to French’s soul.


But what do I think of the book overall? John French may throigh the first man to go to as a source, but the final product here is raw and undigestible.

May 05, Rog Harrison rated it liked it. In a way it makes sense that the guy’s ascetic aesthetics were brought to this medium with his eye for the minutiae of particulars.

I love a well written biography, but this is the beehfeart of one: John French is not a good writer in the first place, and the absence of an editor reinforces this impression.

Authors of other accepted stories published on the webzine and in the pdf copy will receive a copy of the pdf version of the mag the story appears in.

Beefheart: Through the Eyes of Magic

But I certainly cannot recommend this volume as an engaging account of the life and times of the Captain and those around him. Fascinating, but just overly long at over pages! As a consequence, I skimmed large parts, in particular the tgrough Trout Mask chapters, as these in addition to being as poorly written as the previous chapters hold less interest for me personally.

A true Beefheart bible, with all kinds of inside stories. I’m beefhsart a hard time describing this. It is sad reading about the relationships within the band especially with Don van Vliet but I could not say that I was surprised. Another problem is that this book has kind of an identity crisis.

I saw some review on here critisizing Through The Eyes thhrough Magic for being too vast, unedited and throwing everything in there, but fairplay to French – I’m sure he left a fair bit out. Too much of this book echoed the personality destroying mental torture depicted in Perfect Victim: I read the first 10 pages and couldn’t put it down.

His humour is the saving grace here because without it you might not get through to the end. This monster of a book is certainly not for the faint of Beef heart.

It has been quite some time since a book has captured my attention like this. It is a exercise in memory and I see no reason to doubt what Mr French says. Don was mad Don was a bully Don stole all our ideas Don told us what to think There ya go. No trivia or quizzes yet.

Review: Beefheart – Through the Eyes of Magic ~ The Fringe Magazine

However, I did take away some things from Drumbo’s tome, eyex regarding the uglier sides of Van Vliet’s personality. Somehow the book captures the spirit of Southern California in the Sixties and Seventies better than almost any other book I’ve read. I visited their house in the summer of with Frank Zappa’s wife, Gail, and saw beefhert myself the po In my presence, although Beefheart was bewildering with his strange manner of speech, he was always charming, so I was as surprised as other readers to learn of his bullying and cruel ways, something that John French tells with unflinching honesty.


This book is very obviously his gargantuan, un-proof-read, unedited first draft of small-print pages which reads as if it was spewed forth into a dictaphone or speed-typed into a laptop and never on a point of principal re-read by the author.

In fact, I think it might even work if you dipped into the book at random points. What a hideous obsessive-compulsive nightmare of a document this is – yet another rockbook which reveals that the author needs some serious psychological intervention – compare Chuck Berry’s self-hagiography, John Fahey’s Vampire Vultures memoir and Brian Wilson’s painful and aptly titled “Wouldn’t it be Nice”.

Coming across like Alan Partridge crossed with Father Ted’s Golden Cleric acceptance speech, it’s clear that French is still and probably quite rightly incredibly bitter towards Don Van Vliet. Every page has a fish blowing bubbles on it …. The entire period of once Beefheart stopped working in music is covered in one chapter. Also, of course, Dons vocal overdubbing technique, as usual, left much to be desired. Nov 04, Jim rated it it was amazing. Vol 2 Iss 5. Submissions should be in RTF format or in the body of the email.

There are still some repetitions though and a couple of minor factual errors which could have been edited out.

David rated it it was amazing Jul 11, Jul 26, Blog on Books rated it it was ok.

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