This time YouTube Junkies strike gold! The utterly awesome Captain Beefheart live in Paris from 1980, a mere two years before he gave up music. The man of which John Peel exclaimed “there was never a greater, not even Mark E Smith!”
Most commonly, Beefheart fans prize the early 'Trout Mask Replica' and regard his Virgin era as naught but second helpings. But, perhaps because this album ('Doc At the Radar Station') was the first of his I ever owned, I've always held it close to my heart.
The deranged mutant funk, the stop-start structures seemingly obeying some higher calling than conventional song composition, the sound as if each instrument is a spring permanently coiling and uncoiling, it all seemed a fellow-traveller of post punk. (In much the way Bowie's Berlin trilogy did.) Perhaps partly because, however off the wall it gets, it never stops being a really catchy dance number!
There's five tracks uploaded from the gig, each with their own page. (Check out the links from the clip below.) But not only is this a particularly fine version of 'Dirty Blue Gene', including the (ad-libbed?) line “I hope Reagan don't start a fight”, it contains the great man's credo - “if you got ears, you gotta listen!”