The Torture Never Stops (Original Version)

Notes and Comments

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From: Francesco Gentile <>
  Wrong date on the booklet: it should have been performed on May 1975 during the "Bongo Fury" concerts (if the location specified in the booklet is correct)
Flies all green and buzzin'
In this dungeon of despair
From: Andreas Klaer <>
  some months ago i bougth a Howlin' Wolf record (Chess label) where's a song by HW called Smokestack Lightnin'.
  To me it seems that the so called 'original' version of the torture never stops (YCDTOSA) sound VERY much like that song, not to mention that CB style of singing is similar to Howlin' Wolf's one. (Of course, the lyrics are completely different, but the music is pretty much the same)
  As FZ mentioned in his real book, he and Don v. Vliet spent a lot of time listening to HW, which might be a reason for this sort-of-cover-version.
From: AJ Wilkes <>
  Yes, it is very similar to Smokestack Lightning - could also be attributed to Denny Walley, who is a slidey/bluesy/smokestacky kind of a guitar player.
From: Patrick Neve <>
  I haven't heard Smokestack Lightnin, but it sounds interesting. Is it just the vamp and vocal tone that's the same, or does the vocal melody actually follow as well?
  As far as CB resembling Howlin Wolf in general, he is certainly derivative, this is one of the most often made comparisons of Don to his influences. I always thought of Don as sort of a mad prophet Howlin Wolf on acid. I've also played Beefheart to blues fans who had never heard the Magic Band and they've said, "Who's the Howlin Wolf sound-alike?"
From: (MDec500157)
  No, it's basically the vamp. You should hear the original SL. Hosea Lee Kennard is playin' this almost etherial piano line that compliments the gotta listen closely, but it's beautiful. You can practically hear Beefheart embryos in there. And yeah, Don does sound likeWolf, but Wolf's phrasing is much different than that on "Torture".
From: Vladimir Sovetov <>
  Another funny CC link between Zappa and Howlin' Wolf is another Wolf' song from 1973 - Watergate Blues! Yes.
Hey, body,
Have you heard the news
The folks in White House
They got a Watergate Blues.
From: (Biffyshrew)
  Funny, I was just listening to this two days's from _The Back Door Wolf_, his last album, I believe.
Torture never stops
Torture never stops, torture
Torture never stops
Torture never stops, talkin' to you
Torture never stops
From: John Henley (
  I was there when they played that (at the Bongo Fury concert, 21 May 1975, regardless of what the booklet says) and as I recall, it damn near put the audience to sleep. Still nearly puts me to sleep. A badly missed opportunity, and the worst "blues" I've heard except for The Who's "Mannish Boy" on their late-80s tour. Might be better if the Captain could be understood.

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