Idling with Captain Beefheart

The Idler: Lie Back and Protest

The latest edition of The Idler magazine contains a nice piece about Captain Beefheart accompanying a series of quotes from the man himself. It’s only a smallish piece and many of the quotes may already be familiar to you, so just consider this a flimsy excuse to plug one of my favourite things.

The Idler is undoubtedly the finest publication I have ever had the pleasure to read. Published approximately twice a year in colourful nice-smelling A5 soft-back book format it extols the virtues, pleasures and techniques of a more contemplative, less pointless existence.

I’ve been an avid reader for almost all of my adult life – just looking at all their coloured spines lined up on my bookshelves is an idle pleasure in itself. I recently tried to persuade them to publish my “musical autobiography” (a series of musings about significant stages of my life intertwined with ruminations about the music which gripped me at the time) but they were wisely having none of it. I say wisely because, even if they had been worth reading, there was very little likelihood of me getting round to ever producing more than one or two of the things.

It’s a minor joy to see that Beefheart looms large in their world too. Indeed, the only boob in their 14 year history was a credulous interview with Uri Geller and I can forgive them even that.

If you would like to muse upon the pleasures of writing with wooden pencils, playing the ukulele, freedom from consumerism, peeing in your back garden, the horrors of the full-time permanent job or Louis Theroux’s latest adventures then you need an Idler subscription today.

To test the water, you can order the latest issue (the one with Beefheart in) from


  1. Glad to see their for peeing in your garden, ive been doing that for years, sometimes even sober.

  2. The article was good. It featured a Beefheart quote I hadn’t heard before. When asked if he used a typewriter, Don said ” What type of writer do you mean?”

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