The Mascara Snake

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Victor Hayden
Hayden at the house where Trout Mask Replica was rehearsed and recorded in 1968
Born(1948-08-16)August 16, 1948
DiedDecember 7, 2018(2018-12-07) (aged 70)
Other namesThe Mascara Snake
Occupation(s)Musician, painter
RelativesCaptain Beefheart (cousin)
Musical career
Instrument(s)Brass and woodwind instruments
Formerly ofThe Magic Band

Victor Hayden (August 16, 1948 – December 7, 2018), also known by his stage name the Mascara Snake, was an American painter and musician.

The Magic Band[edit]

Hayden was a cousin of Don Van Vliet,[1] better known as Captain Beefheart. Hayden joined Beefheart's Magic Band as guest bass clarinet player in 1968, but is heard only on the 1969 album Trout Mask Replica. He can also be heard on one of the sections of dialogue interpolated between the album's tracks, in which he and Beefheart agree that some unknown thing is "fast and bulbous".[2] He appeared on stage with the band at the Amougies Festival in Mont-de-l'Enclus, Belgium, in October 1969, where they were recorded playing two compositions in the film Music Power.[3]

In Pamela Des Barres' memoir I'm with the Band, she mentions that Hayden befriended her while she was in high school, introducing her to his cousin Beefheart and asking her to be the president of the local chapter of the Beefheart fan club. Also, Des Barres and Hayden worked together at a factory in Van Nuys, California, to support their love of rock music (especially the Rolling Stones, whom they eventually met). Des Barres described Hayden as "living among the Redwoods", dropping out of mainstream society completely, while also citing him as an important influence on her life.[4]

Later works[edit]

Hayden co-founded Alchemy Records in 1986 with Mark Deutrom, and worked there through 1991. From 2007 to 2018, he was the A&R Director for PIG Records.[3] He produced records for Ever Rat Records, Subcore Records, and PIG records. While holding these positions, Hayden also created cover art for Melvins, Poison Idea, Potbelly, and the Senseless Death Compilation. After having met the Mascara Snake, John Frusciante named a track "Mascara" on his first album, Niandra LaDes and Usually Just a T-Shirt.[5] Hayden produced the painting that was used as cover art for the 1974 Beefheart album Bluejeans & Moonbeams.

After designing an advertisement for Absolut Vodka in 1991, Hayden exhibited his paintings periodically. His most notable shows were in New York City, New York in 2001; Seattle, Washington in 2004; Austin, Texas in 2011 (as part of the SXSW festival);[6] and 2019 at Lisa Derrick Fine Arts in Los Angeles.[7]


Hayden died on December 7, 2018, from complications after being struck by a van.[8]


With the Magic Band[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

Year Title Notes Magic Band personnel
1968 Strictly Personal
  • Released in October 1968
  • Label: Blue Thumb (US), Liberty (UK)
  • John French
  • Alex St. Clair
  • Jeff Cotton
  • Jerry Handley
1969 Trout Mask Replica
  • Released on June 16, 1969
  • Label: Straight
  • John French
  • Jeff Cotton
  • Bill Harkleroad
  • Mark Boston
  • Victor Hayden


Year Single
1970 "Pachuco Cadaver" / "Wild Life"


  1. ^ Harkelroad, Bill (2013). Lunar Notes. London, UK: Gonzo Multimedia. p. 25. ISBN 978-1-908728-34-0.
  2. ^ Clarke, Donald (December 18, 2010). "That's right, the Mascara Snake. Fast and bulbous". The Irish Times.
  3. ^ a b "Victor Hayden". Discogs.
  4. ^ Des Barres, Pamela (2005) [1987]. I'm with the Band: Confessions of a Groupie (Updated ed.). Chicago, IL: Chicago Review Press. pp. 34–35. ISBN 978-1-55652-589-6.
  5. ^ "RIP Victor "The Mascara Snake" Hayden (Captain Beefheart)". Steve Hoffman Music Forums. December 11, 2018.
  6. ^ "Victor Hayden aka the Mascara Snake". Captain Beefheart Radar Station. 27 September 2012.
  7. ^ Handsone, Mitch (May 11, 2019). "Fast & Bulbous: The Art of Victor Hayden, curated by Anthony Ausgang". Artillery.
  8. ^ "Victor Hayden RIP". Captain Beefheart Radar Station. 9 December 2018. Retrieved 10 December 2018.

External links[edit]