Skeleton Breath, Scorpion Blush

Published by Verlag Gachnang & Springer
ISBN 3-906127-15-X
Price varies
96 pages



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


My Human Gets Me Blues
Pachuco Cadaver
Orange Claw Hammer
The Dust Blows Forward ‘n The Dust Blows Back
Old Fart At Play
Fallin’ Ditch
Making Love to a Vampire with a Monkey on My Knee
Hey Garland, I Dig Your Tweed Coat
Skeleton Makes Good
A Tin Peened Reindeer
The Tired Plain
Three Months In The Mirror
Odd Jobs
Seam Crooked Sam

Overview by Graham Johnston

This is a wonderful selection of some of my favourites of Don’s paintings and poems, beautifully put together in a slender but substantial paperback. The reproductions of the paintings are simply glorious – they may be small in size, but the detail and colours are exceptional, putting the vastly inferior scans on this web-site to shame.

A small note near the back of the book states: ‘The poems have been assembled by Don Van Vliet especially for this edition’. It is probably fair to assume that these are Don’s favourite poems, and I certainly wouldn’t disagree with him.

The book features a poetic introduction from A.R.Penck entitled To Don Van Vliet, fortunately a different piece from his alarmingly self-indulgent For Don Van Vliet that appeared in Stand Up To Be Discontinued. Also included is a charcoal sketch by Don, what looks like a lino cut of Don by A. R. Penck, and a black and white snap of Don on the phone in 1985.

Highly recommended.


Difficult to find a copy of this as the book is now long out of print.


  1. How much is that book worth today?

    1. Author

      Not sure that I can give you an exact or definitive figure but I think you’d have to spend over 40GBP to buy one, probably a lot more. The book is long out of print and was pretty expensive to buy in the first place.

      1. I have one I could part with for the right price, is there a Beefheart fan page I should be posting it to?
        I don’t like EBay as prefer to sell to a fan than a speculator…

        1. Author

          There’s not a site just for selling Beefheart related items. It’s not something we’d want to get involved with here on the Radar Station. Ebay isn’t perfect but it does offer some protection if the buyer causes a problem for you.

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