A new book about Don’s work looking at his music, words and paintings. Currently only available in Italian. Published by Arcana Edizioni Price: € 25 Year: 2017 384 pages Contact: moderndance78@yahoo.it Publicity blurb: Captain Beefheart, born Don Vliet, is one of the most important and mythologized artists in the entire history of rock music. Starting from a solid blues basis and armed with a powerful voice worthy of Howlin ‘Wolf, in the Sixties he recorded, with his Magic Band, some of the most decisive works for the evolution of blues-rock, releasing in 1969, also thanks to the support of his friend Frank Zappa, the prodigiousRead More →

Published by Verlag Gachnang & Springer ISBN 3-906127-15-X Price varies 1987 96 pages Contents: Paintings: It’s Like A White Onion-Fleshed Pumpkin, 1985 Copper Diver, 1985 Pig Erases Statue in Passing, 1985 Ghost Gait, Ghost Gait, 1985 Bromboline Frenzy, 1985 Night Nitrate, 1985 Red Cloud Monkey, 1985 Rolled Roots Gnarled Like Rakers, 1985/6 Whalebone Farmhouse, 1986 Check Bif, 1986 Carp Catcher, 1986 Garden Lion, 1986 With Twinkling Lights and Green Sashes, 1986 Crepe and Black Lamps, 1986 Sea Wig, 1986 Candle Powered Rodeo Ghosts, 1986 Poems: My Human Gets Me Blues Pachuco Cadaver Orange Claw Hammer The Dust Blows Forward ‘n The Dust Blows Back OldRead More →

A look at the new book from Herb Bermann, Don’s co-writer on Safe As Milk. It’s not that long ago that many people thought that Herb Bermann was just another myth created by Don Van Vliet. Although he shared writing credits on eight songs on the Safe As Milk album, and, much later, one on Shiny Beast, he seemed to have disappeared off the radar. But the Radar Station kept looking for him … You can read about my and Derek Laskie’s search here. We were certain he was out there and Derek eventually managed to secure an exclusive interview with him for the RadarRead More →

Paperback : 300 pages No publisher Published 2012 Overview by Steve Froy The title pretty much says it all about this book. This is a collection of around 40 articles, reviews and interviews about and with Don van Vliet over nearly five decades. From the 1966 ‘Great Gnome Biography’ press kit by Derek Taylor to the text of Bono’s chat on the phone with Don in 2001 (don’t let put off you though!). Originally published in music magazines, some well known and others more obscure, all of the pieces are available on this website or on others around the net but they’ve now been convenientlyRead More →

John French’s long-awaited exhaustive account of his time working with Don Van Vliet was published in 2010 by Proper Music Publishing. Purchase Buy the hardback from amazon.co.uk Buy the hardback from amazon.com Related items John French answered Radar Station visitors’ questions while writing the book – highly recommended reading! Press release from Proper Music Publishing Twelve page PDF of extracts and promotional material from Proper Music Publishing Trailer for the book by Elaine Shepherd Reviews The Radar Station’s review by Steve Froy The Fringe Magazine review Brief review in The Guardian Help us out If anyone is able to complete or update any of theRead More →

Published by Babylon Books ISNB: 0 907188 03 6 Many thanks to Steve Froy for the cover scans. Overview by Graham Johnston: This book is a collection of numerous press interviews, reviews, photographs, articles, poems, drawings, lyrics, and any other bit or bob about the Captain. It’s a splendid collection and well worth buying if you happen to find a copy anywhere and fancy a nose through the critics’ view of the history of Captain Beefheart.Read More →

Published by Kawabata Press 1st edition published in 1987 2nd edition published in 1989 ISBN: 0 906110 61 0 Many thanks to Steve Froy for all the cover scans. Overview by Graham Johnston Captain Beefheart: The Man & His Music is a serious and entertaining attempt at telling the story of the Magic Band from Don and Frank’s first meeting to Ice Cream For Crow and Don’s retirement from the music industry, though it does contain considerably more music than man. It includes a section of quotes, a look at his painting exhibitions, Magic Band line-ups, discography, live-tape and bootleg discography, Beefheart trivia, a MagicRead More →

Published by Cantz Paperback £21.95 1993 ISBN 3-9801320-2-1 Hardback Limited Edition (1500) with CD £32.50 1993 ISBN 3-9801320-3-X Deluxe Slip Cased Limited Edition (120) with original etching £180.00 1994 136 pages with 70 colour plates Contents: Don van Vliet in Bielefeld: Andreas Beaugrand Animals and Black Ladies: Karsten Ohrt Don van Vliet – The Painting: Jessica Rutherford “Stand Up To Be Discontinued”. On Don van Vliet as Painter and Musician: Paolo Bianchi Pearls before Swine. Ice Cream for Crow. On the Relationship between Music and Painting in Captain Beefheart’s Work: Luca Ferrari Captain Beefheart: Diedrich Diedrichsen Don van Vliet: Roberto Ohrt Fur Don van Vliet:Read More →

A tribute to the art of Captain Beefheart Published by Sonic Books Price unknown 1996 118 pages plus CD Contents: Introduction. Pointed at the Moon, Looked at the Finger. The Past Sure Is Tense. A pocket history of Captain Beefheart Fast ‘n’ Bulbous. A modest attempt to savage Don Van Vliet’s music Old Fart At Play. Reprint of 1983 ‘Heavy Metal’ interview with Lou Stathis Ten Poems by The Captain Beefheartiana (collection of aphorisms) Walking with Rembrandt. Short notes for an analysis of the paintings of Don Van Vliet Discography, June 1996 Exhibitions Bibliography 8 photographs 10 paintings 4 drawings Overview by Steve Froy SonicRead More →

[alert_box type=”info”]A legendarily poor attempt at telling the Beefheart story through the analysis of all his released songs.[/alert_box] Published by Agenda ISBN 1 899882 25 1 Price £5.99 July 1996 86 pages Synopsis from the back of the book The enduring story of an innovator, an artist in oils, a sculptor in soap, a poet, and a creative musician. Don Van Vliet was to change his name to Captain Beefheart and then invent by altering the blues, a new modern music. A cult following which paralleled the music of his good friend Frank Zappa, with whom he wrote a screen-play in their high school days.Read More →

An insider’s story. Published by SAF Publishing Ltd ISBN 0 946719 21 7 Price £11.95 1998 151 pages 16 photographs Synopsis from the back cover: Bill Harkleroad joined Captain Beefheart’s Magic Band at a time when they were changing from a straight ahead blues band into something completely different. Through the vision of Don Van Vliet (Captain Beefheart) they created a new form of music which many at the time considered atonal and difficult, but which over the years has continued to exert a powerful influence. Beefheart re-christened Harkleroad as Zoot Horn Rollo, and they embarked on recording one of the classic rock albums ofRead More →

A critical overview of the artistic output of Don Van Vliet. W C Bamberger, a one-time member of the Fire Party (the Radar Station’s Beefheart discussion list), has published a book focussing on the vision and message contained within the work of Don Van Vliet, including his paintings, poems and songs. Author: WC Bamberger Title: ‘Riding Some Kind of Unusual Skull Sleigh: On The Arts Of Don Van Vliet’ ISBN: 0-917453-35-2 Small Press Distribution 1341 7th St. Berkeley CA 94710 USA Synopsis from the back of the book Riding Some Kind Of Unusual Skull Sleigh looks at the phases of Van Vliet’s musical career throughRead More →

Published by Agenda Published in 2000 ISBN: 1 899882 11 1 Overview by Graham Johnston I am about to write about a book that I haven’t read. I doubt that the author would mind too much, however, as I suspect that he hasn’t given his book much thought either. After having read Steve’s review for it below, I doubt whether I’d cross the street to get a copy even if Mr Brooks himself was giving them away with a free bag of magic beans stuck to every cover. This untrustworthy tome is published by the same company that brought us the laughably lame Fast &Read More →

Captain Beefheart by Mike Barnes, second edition

UK second edition Publisher: Omnibus / Music Sales Limited Date of publication: November 2004 ISBN: 1844494128 Dimensions: 210 x 135mm soft back Extent: 400 pages Price: £16.95 Order: Amazon.co.uk Mike Barnes has made considerable updates to this new edition but confusingly the book has been published with the same cover as the first edition (apart from the addition of a John Peel quote) and no obvious indication that changes have been made. This second edition was reprinted in 2009 with a different quote, this time from ‘Mojo’ magzine, on the front cover. A competition was run to win copies of the UK second edition – see the fiendish questions and the detailed answersRead More →

Published by Subterraneous Archives Press Pickpocket Poets Series #1 Price unknown 2000 28 pages plus 4 page insert Contents: Poems: The Stars Are Matter Odd Jobs Gil A Tin Peened Reindeer Tulip I Like The Way The Doo Dads Fly One Nest Rolls After Another Bleeding Golden Ladder Infra-Grams Brown Star You Should Know By The Kindness Of Uh Dog The Way Uh Human Should Be Lick My Decals Off Baby Doped In Stunned Mirages The Smith That Clear Out Stars (sic) Seam Crooked Sam Rockette Morton Winged Eel Fingerling Zoot Horn Rollo Ed Marimba Untitled A Christmas Card From Don van Vliet Three MonthsRead More →

Published by Rhino Handmade/Artist Ink Editions ISBN 0 7379 0284 1 Deluxe Slip Case (23.5cm x 32.5cm x 7cm) Limited Edition (1500) with original signed print. Individually numbered $500 2004 Contents: Signed Coloured Etching (20cm x 27cm) 2 Books (both 19cm x 25cm) – “Splinters” (96 pages) & “Riding Some Kind of Unusual Skull Sleigh” (88 pages) One is a collection of photos, lyrics, artworks, cuttings plus the text of the pieces on the accompanying CD. The other includes an essay by Ben Watson and 60 colour plates of Don’s paintings and drawings. – See full list of artwork CD – “Riding Some Kind of UnusualRead More →

Contents: The Book – Riding Some Kind of Unusual Skull Sleigh The Paintings Untitled (1967) Green Tom (1976) Flame and Speckled Chemistry (1976) Poinsettia (1976) Untitled (1977) Devil and the Deep Blue Sea (1984) Avah Creen (1984) Red Shell Bats (1984) Egyptian Toss Up (1984) Pet Surprises pet surprising Pet (1984) Royal Hind Doer (1985) Pig Erases Statue in Passing (1985) Sixteen Chrome (1985) A Woman a Dog Walked By (1985) Fur on the Trellis and Just Up into the Air (1985) Measures Balance (1985) Two Rips in a Haystack (1985) Riding Some Kind of Unusual Skull Sleigh (1986-87) China Pig (1986-87) The Navy BlueRead More →

Published by Ozit-Morpheus 2005 Thanks to Andy Bean for the cover scan Overview The cover may look familiar, which is not surprising because this is pretty much a straight copy of the first edition of the Lives & Times booklet. It’s smaller (about 6″ x 9″), with a glossy cover. Apparently it is a ‘limited addition’ (sic). A few extras have been added. There are four pages on Zappa inserted in the middle of the book (two pages from the Zappa Reprise press statement of 1971 or thereabouts, a cartoon, and a bad drawing). There are a few extra pages inserted of photos, flyers, ticketRead More →

Published by Salt Publishing, September 2005 Salt Studies in Contemporary Literature and Culture Paperback and Hardback Publisher’s blurb A comparative account of the musical and cultural acts of Zappa and his cohort, collaborator and antagonist Captain Beefheart. Written in the iconoclastic spirit of Zappa’s art, this book traces the mixed media experiments of California freakdom through the dada blues of Beefheart, mapping out the pleasures of imaginative excess. This book is not another critical biography, but an interpretive essay investigating what we feel is the cultural and historical importance of Zappa and Beefheart in the context of a wide-ranging network of references that run fromRead More →

Published by Ozit A4 size Thanks to Andy Bean for the cover scan Publisher’s blurb “Hungry But Weird” is one of the definitive books about Captain Beefheart and The Magic Band. 108 pages on glossy art paper with many photographs and illustrations, put together in the style of late 60s/early 70s underground magazines, this is one of the best in-depth collections of writings/jottings/articles/drawings/illustrations about Captain Beefheart and The Magic Band. Full colour card cover with images of Captain Beefheart back and front. Radar Station Review After Ozit’s shameful reprinting of Babylon Books’ ‘The Lives & Times Of Captain Beefheart’ with new title & author credit,Read More →