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The story of Captain Beyond

Classic Rock has a feature story on Captain Beyond, based on two interviews with the band’s guitar player Larry ‘Rhino’ Reinhardt and drummer Bobby Caldwell, who kept remembering things slightly differently from each other:

Looking for bright new horizons, Evans moved to Los Angeles. He soon found himself jamming with Captain Beyond. The results, according to Reinhardt, were both magical and miserable.

“Rod had a great voice and a great singing style,” he remembers. “Unfortunately he also had mental problems. He quit the band four times before we ever even hit the road.” Although Caldwell confirms Evans’ fight-or-flight behaviour, he doesn’t agree with Rhino’s assessment of his old singer’s mental status.

“Rhino’s right, he did quit a few times,” Caldwell says, “but I don’t think his behaviour had anything to do with mental problems. Rod was very insecure about his abilities, so any little thing would make him feel like maybe he wasn’t up to the job. That’s not very uncommon for people in the arts. As to what his insecurities were attributed to, I couldn’t tell you. All I can say is he was a great singer.”

From Captain Beyond’s performance in Montreux on September 18, 1971:
YouTube Preview Image

The feature is now available for your reading pleasure online. It had originally appeared in print in Classic Rock issue No.162 (cover date September 2011). Since that date, Larry Reinhardt and the bass player Lee Dorman have both passed away. Rod Evans still remains in self-imposed incommunicado.



28 Comments to “The story of Captain Beyond”:

  1. 1
    cyclone says:

    Very good band and I really dig the band’s name. Anyone here have any knowledge on how the band’s name came about?

  2. 2
    Nick Soveiko says:

    cyclone: did you try to read the linked article? it’s right at the beginning.

  3. 3
    Troy Wickman says:

    Captain Beyond was highly underrated and ahead of their time.

  4. 4
    Scoot says:

    Very good article. Love how the band name came about…LOL…very funny. Surely one day Rod will be willing to discuss what happened post DP and post CB. Would love to hear his take on the 1980 DP fiasco and how he was convinced that this would be a good thing for him to be involved with.

    Several years ago while working the AV side of a medical conference being held in Galveston, TX, one of the presenters, a Dr. from California, was thanking his researchers and staff of assistance. I clearly heard him thank Rod Evans. This would jibe with the story that Rod was somehow working in the medical profession. Could have been a different Rod Evans of course. But it certainly caught my attention when I heard the name.

  5. 5
    Scoot says:

    PS to my previous…this clip is just shy of three months before the Casino at Montreux burned to the ground. The casino burned on December 4, 1971. This clip is Sept. 18 of 1971.

  6. 6
    Deb says:

    Thanks for posting! Interesting how the other members of CB once played with Iron Butterfly, The Allman Brothers & Johnny Winter. Rod Evans’ voice had a somewhat mysterious & haunting quality about it….just like the man himself. This CB article was added here on January 19, which would be Rod’s 67th birthday. Happy Birthday, Rod……..wherever you are!

  7. 7
    paul anderson says:

    i doubt Evans will ever ‘re-appear’ to discuss anything music related. He cant earn money performing etc due to the legal proceedings following the bogus Deep Purple and the organisers walked away scot free.

  8. 8
    paul anderson says:

    PS Rod Evans was a great singer and shows here. He was a bit of a crooner and cabaret when in Deep Purple but he set the foundations. Pity he isnt still around

  9. 9
    MacGregor says:

    It certainly was a a shame that CB didn’t go anywhere in terms of a successful career in the rock music world! I suppose with the stories of certain artists who make it big, coming from obscurity to become a major success, you will have the stories like CB & others, that for various reasons, missed the boat! Life’s duality I guess, it happens in everything, where there is one thing, there will be the opposite!
    Pavlov’s Dog also missed the boat big time from the mid 70′s, didn’t they have a $600,000 advance payment from CBS for their record, I am not sure if it was the first album Pampered Menial (what an album), or their second album At the Sound Of The Bell.
    But a really dodgy manager & a ruthless record company & the band members naivety if you want to call it that, well say no more!
    The British band Badfinger were another who missed out also, man did they write some great songs, that other people ended up having a hit with. What happened to them was a disaster! Regarding Rod Evans, it makes me ALMOST have some sympathy for him, but after his ‘cash in attempt’ on Purple in 1980, No way. Man that farce sure has tarnished his name, now that is a shame indeed! Cheers.

  10. 10
    William Daffern says:

    Larry! Did you find rod ? BOBBY CALDWELL HAS A BAND ON THE ROAD NOW! HE CALLED ME AND ASKED ME TO GO ON THE ROAD WITH HIM! BUT I WAS NOT INTERESTED DID NOT WANT TO GO BACKWARD ! I HAVE SOME NEW PROJECTS COMEING OUT SOON! ZOOMLENZ! WELL BE OUT SOON! GOOD PROJECT IT SHOULD DO WELL & RAINBOW FIRE THIS SUMMER! I LIKE THIS SET OF PROJECTS A LOT! BOBBY SHOULD DO WELL! BUT I HAVE NOT HEARD THE NEW GROUP? SO WE WELL SEE! A FRIEND ALWAYS WILLIE DEE.

  11. 11
    cyclone says:

    @2 duh..yep I got it. A.D.H.D or brain fart moment! @3 I agree.

  12. 12
    Micke says:

    Rod Evans have always tried just a little to hard to look cool.. which makes him look silly. Insecure maybe, he sings great here though.

  13. 13
    Moreblack says:

    Great band!!!!!!Rod was great too,he had his trauma from the purple days indeed

  14. 14
    Moreblack says:

    wow what a blast.the most britsh american band of rock

  15. 15
    Tracy(Zero the Hero)Heyder says:

    Saw them in Miami in 1971 or 72. At the time I bought my ticket, I didn’t know who they were. Back in the day, there wasn’t access to internet info like today and usually either the local radio station or entertainment section of the local newspaper was where one was informed of upcoming events and music news. I was 15 years old at the time and some friends of mine mentioned going to the Miami Jai-alai Fronton for some big concert involving a few big upcoming bands. The headliner was Wishbone Ash. Opening for them was a couple of newer bands, REO Speedwagon and Captain Beyond. I had heard of Wishbone Ash, but never heard their music. The other two were unknown. Then I heard on the radio that Captain Beyond consisted of ex-members from Deep Purple and Iron Butterfly. I was pumped big time. I hit the store and found their 8-track tape and purchased it. I pretty much wore it out from then until the concert. What an awesome sound they had. Then came the show…. FINALLY! REO opened and were promoting their debut album also. Man they rocked. I remember telling my buddy next to me… “These guys are going to make it big”. They did. Then came Captain Beyond. Man I was blown away. They were so friggin’ powerful sounding. They blasted through almost the entire album. When they were done, I was not very excited to have to sit through Wishbone Ash, whom I assumed were going to be a lame band. WRONG!!! Can’t judge a band without listening first… (Familiar point anyone?). They were promoting their upcoming album ‘Argus’. Incredible performance and I became an instant fan. Have been ever since. As for CB, I still blast that album today. Yes, I went from 8-Track to Cassette to Vinyl to CD. As with Purple. The debut of CB was an awesome album, not to be even closely matched by the next 2. Plus Rod Evens left after the 2nd one and the 3rd did nothing for me. Poor Rod. He really blew his shot at a big break after Purple with CB. They surely were headed for glory had they hung in and continued in the vein of the first album. Oh well, at least we have that and some of us have the memory of the live experience from this incredible short lived band.

    !Ch-BeerZ?

  16. 16
    Scott W. says:

    Great article, i was not aware that Chris Squire (a fave Bass player of mine for years) is behind the name of the band Captain Beyond referring to one who is very stoned!

  17. 17
    Deeperpurps says:

    Tracy @15. Interesting views you provide on Wishbone Ash. I bought a remastered copy of Argus a few months ago having read an article in Classic Rock Magazine about them and the accompanying list of album recommendations. I also read somewhere how when that band was young, the guitarist encountered Ritchie Blackmore and jammed with him, and apparently Blackmore was instrumental in securing a recording contract for Wishbone Ash.

    So armed with all that info out I went to the local CD shop and found a copy of Argus and rushed home to play it. I was disappointed. It wasn’t at all what I was expecting. Quite mellow and folky is what I recall. I tried a couple more times to listen but just wasn’t getting it. With an open mind I went out and bought one of Wishbone Ash’s live albums. But apart from a track or 2 with some extending jamming, I really wasn’t all that bowled over by them. I let a few months pass by and have tried another couple of listens of Argus, but it just doesn’t really ignite my interest.

    You being a Purple fan, I would be interested in your further insights on them, and any special tracks or albums you think I might want to check out?

  18. 18
    MacGregor says:

    Deeperpurps@17- I own the early 4 Wishbone Ash records, Pilgrimage, Wishbone Ash, Argus & There’s The Rub. Personally, Argus is the one I cannot enjoy as much as the other 3, it seems to lack direction or something, many people rate it as their best for some reason. They are or were a very English sounding band at the time & one of the most influential double guitar bands! Iron Maiden were influenced by them & I think the Purple connection is through Derek Lawrence & maybe even Martin Birch also! The first 2 albums have good material on them, some rock & of course quieter pieces but the album I really like is There’s The Rub.
    Laurie Wisefield joined the band on second guitar & rocked them up a bit, like Joe Walsh did with The Eagles. I didn’t follow the band after the mid 70′s, so I am not privy to their later material at all, although a house mate back then had a late 70′s album. I sort of remember not liking it a lot at the time! Cheers.

  19. 19
    Tracy(Zero the Hero)Heyder says:

    Deeperpurps @17..

    I hadn’t heard of Wishbone Ash until I attended that Concert in Miami nor heard their music. Sometimes the experience of seeing a band LIVE has a profound effect on ones attraction or further interest. I was thoroughly impressed by their sound and performance that I immediately went out to buy their “8-Tracks” (still have them, along with a working player). At that time they had 3 albums out. The self titled debut, Pilgrimage, and Argus. I fell in love with Argus. I understand your point regarding being ‘folksy’. But I wouldn’t call it mellow. It is well rounded with some incredible variations and range. Very melodic and quite medieval. The first 2 are more raw and are quite different from Argus which is more polished and in all due respects is their ‘Machinehead’. As a matter of fact it was produced by ‘Martin Birch’ as was Machinehead. The thing with Wishbone Ash that I found as an attraction and at times disappointing is their lack of direction and constant change. There is a huge difference between the sound of each of their albums to the point that if you didn’t know any better, you would almost think the albums were by different bands. They were one of the first ‘Double Guitar’ rock bands at the time and their masterful playing against and with each other is their signature sound that was the main constant and draw. The follow-up to Argus was quite a letdown for me. They pulled away from the medieval overtone and I didn’t care for it as much. They never went back to the sound that was so admired with Argus as many bands seem to do. They experience quite a bit of notoriety for their effort in Argus and were achieving a huge following and then totally got away form what worked so well with the fans at the peak of their time. Sound familiar? As with any music, it isn’t everybody’s cup of tea. Had I not been drawn to them by the incredible experience I witnessed from them LIVE, I may have never gotten into them because their music is hard to pin down and much of it isn’t that great for me either, but overall once you give them a good go, it seems to draw you in more and more.

    An example of how a LIVE show can change ones perception of a band is another experience I has with the band ‘America’. They had a huge hit back in the early 70′s called ‘Horse With No Name’. I couldn’t stand the song. It was constantly played on the radio and I would switch the station as soon as it came on. I never heard anything else from them. I wasn’t interested due to my distaste with that song and figured all their stuff was similar. I began dating this girl and a couple of months into the relationship, she told me that one of her favorite bands was America and they were coming to our area in concert and wanted to go. Funny thing is, her favorite album at the time was ‘Deep Purple’- In Rock. I reluctantly accompanied her to this show. It was at the Key Biscayne ‘Marine Stadium’ which was an Amphitheater on the waters edge of Biscayne Bay in Miami. The setting was incredible. Boats were all lined up out in the water where they could experience the show for free and we had great seats, dead center about 12 rows back. All I could think was… “Why couldn’t this be Deep Purple”? I could only think that I was wasting a couple of hours of my life that I would never get back. Then the band was introduced and they began to play. All I can say is that I was overwhelmed with the performance and sound of this band. They actually rocked and jammed out some incredible music. I found myself thoroughly enthralled by their prowess and playing ability. I had one of the best experiences ever at this show. The defining moment was when they finished the main set and the came back on for the encore. Of course ‘Horse With No Name’ was their big hit and it was the one. After seeing and hearing it LIVE and how they jammed it and extended it and just tore it up musically, I was completely converted. I immediately went out and bought their stuff and found that not only did I warm up to Horse With No Name, but they were incredible song writers and musicians. As with Wishbone Ash, the can be a little ‘Folksy’, but overall musically I am still a huge fan. Had I never given them a real shot, I would forever be under that negative view that I had about that one song and missed out on the rest of what they had to offer.

    What lesson did I learn here? You have to actually listen to and experience music before you can make judgment……. (Klaus).

    !Ch-BeerZ?

  20. 20
    MacGregor says:

    Deeperpurps – Regarding the Wishbone Ash ‘story’, I have been listening to the albums I have, due to the recent comments here & I am enjoying them, I haven’t played them for a while. As I stated earlier, There’s The Rub is the one for me, a new second guitarist in Laurie Wisefield & moving to the US & being produced & engineered by the renowned Bill Szymczyk, this album has it all.
    Superb guitar tones, sublime melodies, some wonderful rock songs, two quintessential quieter songs ‘Lady Jay’ & ‘Persephone’ & the brilliant F.U.B.B, a 9 minute guitar instrumental.
    Possibly one of the best guitar instrumentals ever recorded IMHO. I think they nailed it on this album & it came together brilliantly. Cheers.
    Tracy@19- lucky you for seeing them live back then, that would have been a blast. Same with America, who I witnessed ‘live’ in the mid 80′s, Dan Peek wasn’t a member then, but it was still wonderful & as you said, great songs etc! Cheers.

  21. 21
    Deeperpurps says:

    MacGregor @18 & Tracy @19, thanks very much for that info on Wishbone Ash….I will try to track down the earlier stuff and see how it strikes me. Tracy, interesting you mention those medieval overtones of the Argus album, I wonder if Blackmore’s attraction to that sort of music is what initially picqued his interest in Wishbone Ash!?

    Tracy, good points re America. I have never seen them but I do like a lot of the music of theirs I heard on the radio. I do know that the critics were savagely brutal to them though…they never got a fair review. Here’s an excerpt from the RollingStone Album Guide 1992 ….”You can hear the entire catalogue of America’s wimpy hits recycled any night of the week by hapless folk duos in hotel bars – there’s no reason to endure the originals”………And so on and on it goes, a typical RollingStone Magazine (aka RRHOF mouthpiece) review for anything that isn’t about the anointed chosen few (aka Springsteen, Nirvana, U2, Sting, Ramones, etc, etc, etc) of the self appointed arbiters of musical taste and fashion. But I digress…..now knowing that a Purple fan has high regard for their music, and RollingStone Mag hates them, I think I will now certainly invest in a CD or 2 of theirs, as I am very sure there is some very worthwhile music to be found and enjoyed on them.

    If you like America, what do you think of Neil Young?….he has all the styles under his belt…folk, rock, grunge, jams, etc….are you into any of his music? I have seen him 3 times…..when he is with his band Crazy Horse, it is all electricity and guitar jams (10 to 15 minutes a song). Good stuff! I’m interested in your views? You too MacGregor, what’s your take on him?

  22. 22
    Svante Axbacke says:

    Neil Young is God.

  23. 23
    Tracy(Zero the Hero)Heyder says:

    @21

    Yes, I was into Neil Young back in the day and his band Crazy Horse. I have a large array of his vinyl. Never saw him LIVE but have seen some great LIVE footage and as you state is quite the jammer. Some of his best was with Crosby, Stills and Nash. Never cared too much for them without Young. CSN&Y… ‘Cinnamon Girl’ comes to mind. He was actually the Original Grunge Rocker and is given credit by Eddie Vedder for being his main influence when forming Pearl Jam.

    @22…. Sorry Svante, but there is only one GOD and it definitely ain’t Neil Young.

    !Ch-BeerZ?

  24. 24
    MacGregor says:

    Deeperpurps@21- I am not really a Neil Young ‘fan’ so to speak, but I have always respected him for his down to earth outlook on life & also his political stance on certain issues! I do like some of his earlier music, the obvious Harvest & a few songs here & there. I used to own the Stills Young band album ‘Long May You Run’ but after lending it to a Neil Young fan, he never gave it back even after I asked him about it! Love the title track & play it often on my computer system. I also used to own back in the 80′s the vhs concert from the early 80′s, was it live from Berlin? Nils Lofgren was his lead guitarist from memory.
    I have the dvd from 2006, Heart of Gold, a wonderful concert & I particularly like the piece where he is sitting in the theatre, solo & playing the song ‘the old laughing lady’, classic Young that! He is a legend no doubt & definitely is the original ‘grunge’ king & man does he have an awesome guitar sound, heavy or what!
    He was in Oz a year or so back & so many people went to the concerts thinking Neil Young, as they would & were pissed off big time as he cranked the heavy extended jamming material right out & blew their minds! I rather enjoyed reading a lot of the comments from pissed of fans expecting the Harvest type of material! It was known that was what he was performing at the gigs, some people just don’t do any research in regards to concerts they are about to purchase tickets for!
    Speaking of legends, RIP to Pete Seeger! What a guy he was, a very positive character & a huge influence on so many! Cheers.

  25. 25
    Deb says:

    How about Neil with Buffalo Springfield? I’ve always liked BS and especially ‘Mr. Soul’…..great song! Deep Purple and Neil (with Crazy Horse) will be performing in Italy this coming July at the Collisioni Festival.

  26. 26
    Deeperpurps says:

    MacGregor @24, yes Neil is not everyone’s cup of tea, and he does tend to keep changing styles every record or two. I think he does it deliberately at times to alienate people, either that, or he just likes to do things on his own terms (kind of like Ritchie Blackmore in a way). I like a lot of Neil’s 70′s stuff. He lost me in the 80′s but rebounded in ’89 with Freedom. If you like lots of jamming and electricity, look for the double live album WELD from about 1991/92. His latest with Crazy Horse from late 2012 “Psychedelic Pill” is probably one of the better albums he has put out in 20 years or so. He has about 40 some albums out there with a variety of styles, so there is something for everybody.

    Deb, that sounds like a dream come true! both Purple and Neil Y at the same festival. Might try to get there myself!

  27. 27
    MacGregor says:

    Deeperpurps@26- Yes, the album Everybody’s Rockin was a ‘up yours’ to the record company if I remember correctly. Classic, I loved it when he did that in response to their ‘demands’ so to speak! As I said, I have always liked his ‘attitude’ or outlook on life, he is a classic indeed! Thanks for the info, I will check some of it out. Cheers.

  28. 28
    Deeperpurps says:

    MacGregor @27, yes definitely try to check out Neil’s album “Freedom” from 1989, it is in my opinion his strongest, most cohesive but varied album of his career. There is everything on it, ranging from nice acoustic melodic songs; a couple of story-telling songs (in particular Crime in the City); up to heavy distorted jamming. It really is an excellent album overall, my highest recommendation, and it signaled Neil’s renaissance and ushered in his strong 90′s period. If you like Freedom, then try “Sleeps with Angels” from 1994, another very strong album with a lot of variety.

    I can identify somewhat with those fans down in Oz who didn’t get what they expected….the very first time I saw Neil was in 1985 during his country phase….apart from about 3 songs (Old Man, Harvest, Needle & Damage Done) it was all fiddles, pedal steel and country jamboree. I was very disappointed. But when I saw him again in 1996 with Crazy Horse during the Broken Arrow tour and again in 2003 during the Greendale tour, totally redeemed…..excellent shows! Though my ears rang for days afterwards! His concerts with the Horse are extremely loud, I would say in fact they are much louder than Deep Purple’s.

    Interested to know your reaction to those albums I have mentioned. All the best!

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