He wrote Plastic Factory, now he sells credit cards – the careers of a Zig Zag Wanderer Second telephone interview between Herb Bermann and Derek Laskie, Tuesday 10th February 2004 (see part one) In The Malibu Times piece you mention that you’ve done other collaborations with music. I was wondering what these might be. Oh gosh, I meet once or twice a year with several songwriters and musicians and we write new material. Marty Grebb, an original Buckingham from Lindsey Buckingham’s group in the sixties, Marty’s a one-man band. Marty toured with Bonnie Raitt for twenty-five years. Marty and I collaborate at least once orRead More →

First telephone interview between Herb Bermann and Derek Laskie Tuesday 13th November 2003 I’d just like to start talking about your poetry, your recent reading for example. How did that go? It went very well. It was very well received. It was some fresh poetry that came to me. Beyond Baroque is the premiere venue for West Coast poets and poetry. It was a packed house and everyone showed up courteously in the thank-you line. So the kid’s still got it, his legs aren’t gone yet. The kid? Me, meaning me. I’m sixty-seven now. I think I’m eight or nine years senior to Don VanRead More →

Art answered a few questions via the Fire Party discussion list which I thought I’d include here for more fans to read. Derek Laskie asked: Was your stage headgear a trophy of some sort, or was it personally styled for you by DVV? I thought the panties would be both suggestive and practical. One ponytail hanging out each leg hole, and one out where the crotch would be. It also kept my hair from flapping around too much. It remains one of the most favorite stage costumes I used. No trophy. The first pair were from my girlfriend. Subsequent ones were store bought. Elliot RogersRead More →

At last, I’m pleased to present an interview with Art Tripp that I thought several times might never get finished. When I originally asked Art if he’d be willing to do this he was happy to do so – he said he ‘an open book’ and I could ask what I wanted. Then, before I could begin asking any questions Art and his partner Kitty were forced to evacuate their home in Gulfport when Hurricane Katrina hit. Luckily, they were safe and unharmed but their home and business premises suffered wind damage although it did escape any flooding. I, of course, put the interview onRead More →

[alert_box type=”info”]This interview was recently aired on Marc Riley’s Mint radio show on BBC 6Music (broadcast on Don’s 65th birthday!) and is a recording from 1980. Many thanks indeed to Michael Alderson for painstakingly transcribing it.[/alert_box] DH: Don, it’s been five years since you last came to England and played. What have you been doing since? DVV: Trying to get the right group to play my music. DH: Aha – you had a lot of trouble? DVV: It wasn’t that much trouble, it was just a lot of childish nonsense, you know, like, uh, with the other group – I mean it takes a longRead More →

Sent to me by Sheldon Reber, bought at a show on 22nd January 1981 in Arcata, California. The striking poster was designed by Jere Smith and, not surprisingly, got a mention from Don a few tunes into the show. The Red Pepper is a bar / bowling alley / cheesy disco, hence Don’s bowling shirt and pins in the illustration. Many thanks to Sheldon for sending this along.Read More →

Sent to me by Charles Holzhauer, from a show on 5th December 1976 at Todd Barkan’s Keystone Korner in San Francisco. Featuring (as you can see) a Van Vliet sketch. Charles wrote about this evening: My friend Paul suggested that I go to an Italian cafe down the street and order a “two day espresso” (the Keystone was in Italian North Beach). I did so, and was soon bouncing off the walls. I knew the bartender at the Keystone, who was sometimes able to get me in free on the guest list, and I could hang around after shows. This I did, and helped DennyRead More →

This flyer was kindly sent along by Ken Shaddock who was lucky enough to be at the gig… Ken writes: Back in early ’71, CB&TMB toured through Austin, Texas. This is the flyer for that concert. I have looked for weeks for this flyer, praying that I had not thrown it away! The concert, of course, was incredible. Held at the Armadillo World Headquarters, it was filled to capacity with Beefheart fans. I think this must have been just after Lick My Decals Off, Baby had been released. I was absolutely amazed at these guys and their performance. I had seen many of the majorRead More →