If you can cope with the interviewer’s ego then this is pretty entertaining – hear it!
From 1969 with Don, possibly in London. Hear it!
This lecture took place at the Gifford Auditorium, Syracuse, 23rd April 1975. Don is fairly quiet throughout the lecture; when asked a direct question he gives not so much oblique answers as abstract statements beamed into his brain from who-knows where. When asked to talk a little about Trout Mask Replica, Don instead quotes sections from Sam With The Showing Scalp Flattop. Unmissable, but not particularly helpful. Frank Zappa, who does the vast majority of the talking, makes considerably more sense with his genuinely insightful ruminations on the workings of the music industry. Lecture part 1(44 minutes 26 seconds) Lecture part 2 (44 minutes 48 seconds)
Just unearthed from Gary Lucas’s archives: A phone interview Gary conducted with Don Van Vliet broadcast on Yale University’s radio station WYBC FM January 18th 1972 three days before Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band’s show at Yale University’s Woolsey Hall January 21st 1972. Gary was Music Director of WYBC at the time, and had seen Beefheart’s first gig in NYC at Ungano’s the year before, a show which changed his life–as after witnessing that concert he vowed that if he ever did anything in music professionally, his number one priority would be to join Beefheart’s Magic Band–which he eventually did in 1980. This interview
Welcome to my very favourite item here at the Radar Station. It’s a streaming audio interview broadcast on the John Peel show on the 24th April 1973. Fourteen minutes long, it is less of an interview than a friendly chat. John Peel states at the beginning that he is notoriously bad at interviewing people, but this is one of the best interview I have ever heard with the Captain and really captures his sense of fun. This tape was sent to me by Peter Cooney, many thanks indeed. Click to hear the show.
18th October 1987 interview with Don’s friend Kristine McKenna. Hear it!
Recorded and broadcast live in 1972 by a DJ entirely unable to cope with Don, and who could really blame him? Hear it!
Kristine McKenna is an American music journalist who has written for Wet, NME, Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair, The New York Times, The Washington Post and many other publications. Over the years she has often written about Don, having interviewed him a number of times she was trusted by him and became a friend of his. In 1987 she had Don take part in a phone-in programme with her on her late night KCRW show. Some of this show is included in ‘Electricity: Conversations With Captain Beefheart’ available as part of KCRW’s ‘Lost Tapes’ series. In this Kristine talks about her encounters with Don and also
Here you will find streaming audio files which make up a full interview which took place in California, July 1969, between Don Van Vliet and Meatball Fulton. Divided into 5 parts, each part is just over 20 minutes long for your convenience. You may occasionally hear sentences abruptly clipped due to the original tape running out in the machine recording the conversation. I doubt there is a more complete audio version of this interview available anywhere. This is a fascinating interview, with Don making a startling succession of inspired observations about music, art, drugs, literature, human society, nature etc etc. I tip my hat to
By Michael Tearson – hear it!