Years ago I was quite into tropical fish.
As well as being psychedelically mesmerizing, they were meditative, calming, friendly, and a darn sight more interesting to look at than anything on the television.
Anyway, went to score myself a fish one day; visiting a new shop in town to see what they had to offer.
I soon cast my eyes on a fine specimen: a Jack Dempsey; apparently, I found out later, named after an American boxer; so called because of the fish's aggressive behaviour and a visage that is said to resemble that of the 1920's heavyweight champion of the world (rather unfair on the fish I thought, as he was lovely; cute, even).
As the owner, a genial old dude grateful for my venturing into his new shop, filled the plastic bag containing the Jack Dempsey and six inches of water with air from an air line, he looked me straight in the eye and said, in a knowing, insightful way: 'He'll like a bit of beef heart.'
This was hard to take in straight away; my perplexity was obvious, so he went on: 'O yes, they like a bit of beef heart; all the large cichlids like a bit of beef heart'.
So I took my Jack Dempsey home, popped him in his new world, placed a speaker at each end of the tank and played through the whole of Trout Mask Replica, hoping the Jack Dempsey would appreciate this and soon settle in.
And you know what? The dude was right.
The Jack Dempsey, and all the other tank denizens, absolutely loved Beefheart!
And why not!
And if my old Jack Dempsey was still in the world of the floating I'm sure he'd really dig this: a slice of swampish blues from The Magic Band, circa '67.
Unfortunately it doesn't last very long - just over thirteen minutes - but it's really very cool indeed.
I have liberated this from a monster of a compilation called It Crawled Out From the Vaults of KSAN (1966-68). It's just so rare to have good quality live Magic Band from this period (any period in fact. Beefheart, for some reason, didn't attract bootlegging anoraks: merely opportunists.
So many Magic Band shows have I downloaded; so many have I deleted before reaching the end), I thought it was worth giving it a platform of its own; especially as it includes a glorious rendition of Howling Wolf's 'Evil', and concludes with an instrumental jam that's heading straight for Mirror Man.
This may only last thirteen minutes, but with so little of worth to choose from, the Beefheart head gets it where they can.
Captain Beefheart & The Magic Band - Live, Avalon Ballroom, 1967.
Extracted from It Crawled Out From the Vaults of KSAN (1966-68).
Old Folks Boogie
Quality rip @320kbs
Feed the fish here