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Beefheart: Through the Eyes of Magic Hardcover


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 880 pages
  • Publisher: Proper Music Publishing Ltd (January 11, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0956121217
  • ISBN-13: 978-0956121219
  • Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,050,800 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

This book is 850 pages long!
Professor
If you're a Zappa / Beefheart fan - you need to read this book.
Christopher G. Kaiser
I really admire him for surviving it all.
Fred Rayworth

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

84 of 88 people found the following review helpful By Bill Harkleroad on February 8, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I just received John French's book "Beefheart: Through The Eyes Of Magic"
WOW!
What an effort, but that shouldn't be a surprise. John has always been a very dedicated hard working guy.
The reason I am writing this is because if you care anything about the history of that band go buy this book!
An incredible amount of detail and work went into this project, his memory blows my mind.
If anybody should collect on anything about "The Magic Band" it should be John.
Get the book and find out why!
Bill Harkleroad
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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Theodore Allavan on February 8, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This is as intimate and as detailed a book about Captain Beefheart (and, specifically, the making of TROUT MASK REPLICA and other classics) as we are ever likely to get. EYES OF MAGIC is almost the exact opposite of LUNAR NOTES, which had some interesting material but raised more questions than it answered. The one drawback, and it's a big one, is that this is the UNADORNED TRUTH about what went on in the Trout House and elsewhere in "Beefheart Land," and it's not a pretty picture. If you love Beefheart and his music, your feelings may be somewhat more complicated after reading. One positive is that Frank Zappa comes off much better than expected (certainly more so than in his recent bio) and compared to Don seems almost saintly. (Almost!) The best thing I can possibly say is that this book is filled with stories, anecdotes, and information you have NEVER HEARD OR SEEN BEFORE. What more could you ask? Other reviewers might quibble about typos or lax editing, but for the Beefheart fan, the Meat far outweighs the potatoes. Thank you, John, for taking this obviously difficult journey in getting this book done; it is nothing less than a gift to musical history.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By J. Mazzella on January 28, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I have been waiting for this book for quite some time now. Until this book came out, there hasn't been much information on the making of the famed Trout Mask Replica, among other albums. This book delivers! The great thing about it is that almost every band member has an interview or some sort of line in this book. You really get to know the band members and feel their pain and frustration having to deal with a man like Van Vliet. The only reason I didn't give this book 5 stars is because it has a tendency to digress and drag on for a while. Still, a must have for any die hard Beefheart fan.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Christopher G. Kaiser on February 10, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Let's get this out of the way right now - if you consider yourself a Captain Beefheart fan (or even a Frank Zappa fan), John French's new book is essential reading. Nowhere else have I ever encountered such a well-researched, deeply probing, articulate and insightful account of the musicians to come out of the Mojave Desert region of California in the 1960's. It just so happens that Don Van Vliet and Frank Zappa were two of the most well-known of those musical figures, but many others along the way helped to give birth to the revolutionary sounds the fans usually associate with just those two names. John French - as the longtime on-again, off-again drummer for Captain Beefheart's Magic Band - gives the reader of his book the kind of insight only someone who came from that scene could possibly give. The high level of research that has gone into this work is just staggering. French includes many interviews with other important figures (Jim Sherwood, Denny Walley, Bill Harkleroad) who either support or sometimes contradict his own recollections - at once adding a splendid complexity and clarity to the overall narrative. All of this is presented in a scholarly, yet (and this is important) also entertaining way - his wit and dry humor that caused this reader to laugh out loud more times than I can count. And considering the intensely stressful experience of being the drummer (which included a LOT more than just drumming) for the Magic Band - it is indeed magical that Mr. French was able to keep his sense of humor intact! We are all the better for it.Read more ›
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Professor on May 27, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is stunning book, written by a man who was right in the middle of the chaos.

Beefheart may be a genius, but this book reveals a lot about his neuroses and his behavior that borders on the psychopathic.

This book is 850 pages long! French really did the job here, documenting every detail of the history of the Magic Band.

It's overwhelming, and it raises the question: If somebody is a genius, how much of his aberrant behavior are you willing to put up with?

This book is a very important historical document.

It's sad that no American company was willing to publish it. It comes from the UK.

Typically, Britain and Europe are more interested in great American music than Americans are.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By James N. Howell on March 25, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Drumbo's Through the Eyes of Magic is a monumental rock "biography" in length, psychology, detail, and the view from the inside out. It is disturbing in many respects, in that Drumbo (a longstanding Beefheart collaborator, drummer, and admirer), reveals so much about cult behavior, submissiveness, mythmaking, and the willingness of artists to suffer for their art (or to become successful) that I could not stop reading. A detailed analysis of Beefheart tracks at the end helps to wrap it all in a "musical" context and provide further fine points about the songs. If you are a full blown Beefheart freak, or simply have an interest in human behavior, or the underbelly of music making in the late sixties to the early eighties, this book is a goldmine and required reading. Thank you, Drumbo, you have destroyed myths, set the record straight, and made me again realize that often the most disturbed minds are part of the greatest art.
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