Don Van Vliet by Anton Corbijn

Don Van Vliet © Anjon Corbijn, used with kind permission.

Don Van Vliet not only created a unique and arresting body of work with his music, words, sketches and paintings, he was also a compelling human being with a complex, funny insightful and fascinating way of expressing himself to whomever he was addressing.

As Mike Bugbee put it in his account of Don and Jan’s wedding:

With Beefheart it wasn’t “look at me, look at me.” It was much more: “I dare you to look away.”

The man himself was possibly even more interesting than his music and art. Who else could actually have people believing that he had stayed fully awake for a year and a half simply because he had a lot of things to do?

Here at the Radar Station we have a wealth of information about all aspects of Don’s life, thoughts and concerns.

  • 1941-2010 contains items relating to significant points in Don’s life: birth, school, marriage, life at Woodland Hills and his death in 2010.
  • BBC documentary – view the classic documentary The Artist Formerly Known As Captain Beefheart in full (via YouTube).
  • Bibliography – information about various books published about Don Van Vliet’s life, art and the Magic Band’s music.
  • Life articles and interviews – many words have been written about Don’s life. Many of them are available on this site, including classic interviews with the man himself.
  • Cartoons – some have told the story in comic strip form.
  • Poems – Don’s own words.


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