Formed out of the ashes of Iron Butterfly, Captain Beyond set a course to produce sophisticated progressive rock music, resulting in a classic first album and a cult status which continues to grow.
When Iron Butterfly keyboard player & vocalist Doug Ingle left the band after their 1971 European Tour, bassist Lee Dorman and guitarist Larry 'Rhino' Reinhardt teamed up with Johnny Winter Band drummer Bobby Caldwell to launch Captain Beyond. In August 1971 Rod Evans was contacted and agreed to join. On the recommendation of Duane Allman the band landed a record deal with Capricorn Records.
excitement over the signing was dissipated by Capricorn's expectations
for the type of Southern style rock approach which brought the label
considerable success when The Allman Brothers 'Eat A Peach' album
took off in February 1972. 'Captain Beyond' was certainly far-removed
from Southern rock, and the album was lost amid record company indifference,
and a subsequent lack of tour support, leading to only a relatively
small amount of live gigs. Their debut was at the Montreux Festival
on April 30th 1972 (the show was filmed and at least part screened
on Swiss TV). By late 1972 Bobby Caldwell had become disillusioned
enough to quit the band.
After some difficulty the band recruited English drummer Brian Glascock (late of Carmen), and as a response to the more percussive, Latin flavoured music being written they added Cuban-born Guille Garcia on congas, and Reese Wynans on keyboards.
The band were soon ready to enter Capricorn's appointed studio in Macon, Georgia to record their second album. Once there things went quickly wrong. Their record company's chosen producer Giorgio Gomelski's first comment was that he didn't like their new drummer, and the band felt obligated to let Glascock go (he later enjoyed success with The Motels). They hurriedly brought in a second Cuban-American player, Marty Rodriguez, on the recommendation of Guille Garcia. [photo: Brian Glascock]
Captain Beyond's six man line-up managed to make the 'Sufficiently Breathless' album, but by the time recording had finished the band had effectively ceased to exist.
Tension in the studio increased due to difficulties with production, with the quality of the actual studio itself, and because new drummer Marty Rodriguez proved not to be up to the same level as Bobby Caldwell.
Eventually the whole process became too much for Rod Evans, and in early/mid 1973 he left unannounced to fly home to Los Angeles. Evans was eventually persuaded to finish more of the vocal work, which he did at the Record Plant in Sausalito. The album was duly released in the autumn of 1973. All things considered it turned out quite well, though not up to the standard of its predecessor.
[Photo (left to right): Larry Reinhardt, Lee Dorman, Reese Wynans, Rod Evans, Marty Rodriguez, Guille Garcia.]
Captain Beyond's original line-up reunited soon after the release of 'Sufficiently Breathless', and toured America playing songs from both of the band's albums. The shows were a success despite a continuing lack of record company support, and a new album was planned for the new year. However, around Christmas 1973 Rod Evans announced his final departure, and any immediate plans were scuppered. His final gig with the band was on December 31st. Captain Beyond eventually returned in 1976, with Jason Cahoon and then Willy Daffern on vocals. With the latter they recorded the album 'Dawn Explosion', before breaking up in 1977. Twenty years on Caldwell and Reinhardt reformed the band (without Evans and Dorman) and debuted on the same bill as Deep Purple at the 1999 Sweden Rock Festival. After leaving Captain Beyond, Rod Evans left the music industry until being lured back to front a bogus version of Deep Purple in 1980.
(with thanks to Doug Sheppard)
.... 1971-73 Rod Evans & Captain Beyond Discography ....
2005 DPAS/Darker Than Blue.
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