“The Artist Formerly Known As Captain Beefheart“ is a BBC documentary special about Captain Beefheart, hosted by the British radio DJ John Peel. The documentary was filmed in 1993, around the same time the BBC Television Tribute was filmed and was originally also intended to be a BBC 2 Late Show Special. Originally it would have been broadcast in 1994, but since the “BBC Late Show” was cancelled around this time production of the documentary was halted for a while. Eventually it premiered on BBC 2 on August 19, 1997, in the series “Rock Cults”.
The documentary is narrated by John Peel and features archive footage and interviews with Frank Zappa, John French, Matt Groening, Jimmy Carl Black, Ry Cooder, Bruce Fowler, Doug Moon and Eric Drew Feldman. Beefheart himself wasn’t interviewed. Zappa talks specifically about his teenage friendship with Beefheart, the production of Trout Mask Replica and the Bongo Fury period.
The documentary was repeated on BBC 2 on August 29, 1999, as part of a special tribute night to John Peel.