Yes, it’s real.

Don Vliet's graduation photograph

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 picture taken just for chuckles.”

Alternatively, many schools take graduation pictures early and it is possible that Don dropped out in the time between having his photograph taken and when he would have actually graduated.

Anyway, whatever the story behind it, that’s definately Don in the picture. As a bonus here is the graduation photograph of Frank Zappa from the same school, a photograph which you may be more familar with:

Frank Zappa's graduation photograph


  1. Jeff Holliman says:

    Did Don and frank go to school together? Did they hang out together while going to school?

  2. Abel Ashes says:

    Yes, they spent a lot of time together listening to blues records. The first ever recording of either of them making music is of the two of them together along with Frank’s brother Bobby doing an original song they came up with called Lost In A Whirlpool with Don on vocals and Frank and Bobby on guitars. It’s on the Frank Zappa album The Lost Episodes.

    • AJ says:

      A lost classic: Lost In A Whirlpool, but still available on the Cucamonga, Studio Z recordings if you can find it.

  3. Very good says:

    Very good there’s a rare interview with kappa just Google send in interview with kappa I’m responsible for it should have been called the dumb all over interview

Leave a Comment »

Popular topics:

2017 | Alex Snouffer | Anton Corbijn | Art Tripp | Bat Chain Puller | BBC | Benjamin Horrendous | Big Eyed Beans From Venus | Bill Harkleroad | Bluejeans and Moonbeams | Bongo Fury | Byron Coley | Cal Schenkel | Captain Beefheart The Biography | China Pig | Clear Spot | Collaborations | Covers | Creem Magazine | Dave Dimartino | Death | Denny Walley | Derek Laskie | Diddy Wah Diddy | Dirty Blue Gene | Doc At The Radar Station | Don Aldridge | Down Beat | Encounters in the wild | Eugene Chadbourne | Exhibitions | Frank Zappa | Freddy Bannister | Gary Lucas | Gary Marker | Graham Johnston | Grow Fins | Henry Kaiser | Herb Bermann | Ice Cream For Crow | Interview | Jan Van Vliet | Jasper Leach | Jeff Cotton | Jerry Handley | Jimmy Carl Black | John French | John Lennon | John Peel | Knebworth | Knoedler and Co | Kristine McKenna | Legendary A&M Sessions | Lester Bangs | Lewis Taylor | Lick My Decals Off Baby | Los Angeles Times | Magic Band reunion | Mark Boston | Michael Traylor | Michael Werner Gallery | Mike Barnes | Mirror Man | Mojo Magazine | New York Times | Nulsh | Old Fart At Play | Orange Claw Hammer | Orange Claw Hammer (band) | Outtake | Pachuco Cadaver (tribute album) | Pamela Des Barres | Retirement from music | Revenant | Rhino Handmade | Robert Palmer | Robert Williams | Robyn Hitchcock | Rolling Stone | Ry Cooder | Safe As Milk | Samuel Andreyev | Shiny Beast | Sounds | Spotlight Kid | Steal Softly Thru Snow | Steve Froy | Strictly Personal | Sundazed | The Artist Formerly Known As Captain Beefheart | The Dust Blows Forward | The Wire | Through The Eyes Of Magic | Tragic Band | Tributes | Trout House | Trout Mask Replica | Unconditionally Guaranteed | Victor Hayden | Wha?
Captain Beefheart Radar Station - about us