[alert_box type=”info”]This curious oddity was a prank that first appeared in a Baltimore Maryland newspaper, The Sun, on 8th September 1973. The autographed version that you see below later appeared in an underground publication from 1985 called “DDC#040.002 #3”, published by “tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE”.[/alert_box] This was very kindly sent to me by Brainpang – many thanks to him for this bizarre curio. Joan Lobell is a Beefheart fan who, in 1973, thought it would be amusing to announce her engagement to none other than ‘Captain Don Van Vliet Beefheart, USAF’ in the local paper. Five years later she ended up meeting Don at a MagicRead More →

[alert_box type=”info”]This article was taken from Creem Magazine, mid 1972. Many thanks to Andrew for the info about this piece.[/alert_box] WHAT DOES one say to a man who, at the age of three, used to talk with lions inside their cages? How does one cope with a greeting – ‘Haven’t I met you somewhere before’ ‘No, I don’t think so, actually.’ ‘Weren’t you at my concert last night? Weren’t you sitting up there (he points) in a group of seven in a box. That’s where I’ve seen you.’ It’s all very easy when one is talking to Captain Beefheart. My journalist’s paranoia which had beenRead More →

[alert_box type=”info”]This interview with Don Van Vliet was taken from the 19th March 1972 edition of Crawdaddy[/alert_box] “New York is a slow turtle with diarrhea” says Captain Beefheart, alias the Spotlight Kid, alias Don Van Vliet. The Anderson Theatre is in that area of New York now known as the Lower East Side. Once it was called The Last Village, when Flower Power sowed its stone fields with the waifs and strays and prophets of the New America. Even if it is no longer a cool ‘n groovy place to live, let alone hang out on a Saturday night, some Junior Entrepreneurs chose the AndersonRead More →

Refusal of leave to land report

On the 18th January 1968, The Magic Band were involved in a bizarre and humorous incident which resulted in their being refused entry to the UK and deported to Hanover. Here is the cover sheet and text of the official report – the text originally came from the Edinburgh Review no. 86. Refusal of Leave to Land (Remarks) Mr VLIET was detained in the approved detention quarters in the Queen’s Building from 1230 hours until 1700 hours. He had previously remained in the Arrivals Hall. Mr VLIET is the leader of an american “pop group” known as Captain Beefheart’s Magic Band, which specialises in so-calledRead More →

Los Angeles Council tribute to Don Van Vliet

On the 5 January 2011 at the request of Los Angeles City Councilmember Paul Koretz, the City Council unanimously agreed to adjourn its meeting early in memory of Don Van Vliet. The Council member also spoke at some length about Captain Beefheart, when making his adjourning motion. Adjourning certificates are created following such an adjournment, to be sent to loved ones. In this case the certificate was passed to Gary Lucas (at his Beefheart Symposium on 13 January) for him to send on to Jan. Click the image for a larger view.Read More →

In March 2000, John French sent me a message commenting on Angel’s photographs of the house in Woodland Hills where the Magic Band lived and rehearsed Trout Mask Replica. I asked him if he would like to write a paragraph about the house that I could include at the Radar Station. This is what he sent me, many thanks, John. Actually, I know the people who live there and had their email address for a time. They allowed me to come in during August of 1998 and take pictures inside and out. However, the shots of the outside didn’t show as much detail because: itRead More →

Still of the Trout House from The Artist Formerly Known As Captain Beefheart

The Woodland Hills house on Ensenada Drive was the venue for the Magic Band’s endless rehearsals of Trout Mask Replica, and also where the Trout Mask Sessions on Grow Fins were recorded. Its inclusion at the Radar Station is a must! So many legendary stories surround this magical-looking building, which appeared to have been left to decay. Then in 2006 it was put up for sale, and in 2010 as well. Angel’s photographs of her & Chris’ trip to the Trout House John French’s response to these photographs … Stills of the Trout House from The Artist Formerly Known As Captain Beefheart See also: ConfluenceRead More →

[alert_box type=”info”]March 2002, exclusive to beefheart.com[/alert_box] My first meeting with Don Van Vliet–whom I’ll just refer to as Beefheart–came on a rainy night about 12 hours before his wedding. It was November 1969; I was 19 years old. I was at my parent’s home in Northridge, California when the phone rang about 9:30 p.m. I thought it was my girlfriend whose house I had left an hour before. But it was my friend, Jan Jenkins. Jan had just been in a traffic accident while driving alone in Beefheart’s Volvo. She was not injured, but the Volvo had been towed. She needed a lift back toRead More →

Don Vliet's graduation photograph

Yes, it’s real. This is the graduation photograph listed for one Don Vliet in the high school yearbook at Antelope Valley High School, Lancaster, CA. Having jokingly claimed to have only spent half a day at kindergarten, this photograph would suggest otherwise. However, it is still possible that he did drop out as claimed. When I asked one person who was actually at school with both Don and Frank Zappa about this photograph, she replied: “Don dropped out sometime during his senior year and probably didn’t actually graduate. Knowing him, he probably found a way to don the cap and gown and get his pictureRead More →

Scary Go Round Trout Extract

Scary Go Round, John Allison’s long-running internet comic strip, has this week turned its attention to The Captain Beefheart Story. A warning caption states that this is a difficult and complex yarn and is not for weak minds. How true this is. The notorious deal made between Don, Frank Zappa and the cat-starved Arabs is described in more detail than I have ever encountered, while the quotations from Captain Beefheart’s lyrics can only have been sourced from previously unheard out-takes in the Zappa vaults. All that being as it might or might not be, this is a compelling account of a story which all tooRead More →

Kelly Shane and Woody Compton’s website Is This Tomorrow contains what they say is “The Finest in Contemporary Picto-Literature!” Their two part Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band strip condenses the entire history of the band into just twelve frames: Part one: Part two:Read More →