Stand Up To Be Discontinued. Die Malerei von Don van Vliet / The Art of Don van Vliet

Published by Cantz

Paperback £21.95
1993 ISBN 3-9801320-2-1
Hardback Limited Edition (1500) with CD £32.50
1993 ISBN 3-9801320-3-X
Deluxe Slip Cased Limited Edition (120) with original etching £180.00

136 pages with 70 colour plates


  • Don van Vliet in Bielefeld: Andreas Beaugrand
  • Animals and Black Ladies: Karsten Ohrt
  • Don van Vliet – The Painting: Jessica Rutherford
  • “Stand Up To Be Discontinued”. On Don van Vliet as Painter and Musician: Paolo Bianchi
  • Pearls before Swine. Ice Cream for Crow. On the Relationship between Music and Painting in Captain Beefheart’s Work: Luca Ferrari
  • Captain Beefheart: Diedrich Diedrichsen
  • Don van Vliet: Roberto Ohrt
  • Fur Don van Vliet: A.R.Penck
  • Sketch for a Poem for Don van Vliet 8/93: A.R.Penck
  • Don van Vliet Biography/Exhibitions
  • Bibliography/Literature
  • List of Illustrations
  • Don van Vliet Poetry Reading Sequence

Overview by Steve Froy

If you’re interested in Don’s artwork then this is the book to get (if you can lay your hands on a copy that is!) A high quality artefact, beautifully designed, printed and packaged. There are 70 stunning colour plates … okay, they’re not the same as seeing the original painting but it’s the next best thing. Apparently, it did get Don’s approval although he had some reservations about certain essays that are included.

Published to coincide with the wonderful travelling exhibition of the same name there are also a number of articles about Don’s art from the curators of the various galleries that staged the exhibition. These are a fascinating read, attempting to put Don within the context of 20th Century Art they’re inclined to often disappear up their own profundity. This is done in both English and German.

The one disappointment in the book is a poem, or rather, a piece of self-indulgent crap written by A.R. Penck called ‘Fur Don Van Vliet’ which is basically the same ten line verse repeated too many times with a few variations and takes up 8 pages when a good editor could have made a decent one page poem out of it, – what a waste of paper.!

Although this book concentrates on Don the painter, and despite attempts to shed the rock musician background to gain acceptance in the ‘Art World’, some concessions have been made to include articles about his alter ego, Captain Beefheart. This takes the form of (photo)copies of articles from musical papers such as Melody Maker, Sounds and New York Rocker.

There is also a list of other exhibitions of Don’s artwork plus a bibliography that, although not comprehensive, included a number of obscure items not previously known about.

The hardback edition came with a CD single, within a plastic sleeve securely fitted to the inside back cover, containing six poems – Fallin’ Ditch, The Tired Plain, Skeleton Makes Good, Safe Sex Drill, Tulip, Gil – read by Don himself. This was an extra exciting prospect as next to nothing had been recorded by Don for a decade. But, like many others, when I heard it I couldn’t believe how ill Don sounded, it was seriously depressing at the time.

I have never seen a copy of the very limited deluxe edition but I understand there were two different etchings used, i.e. 60 of each (I think).

Pretty much essential!!

Here’s one of the prints … showing Don’s now shaky signature:


If anyone has copies of this book left it would be the Michael Werner Gallery, although they are only likely to have the very expensive limited edition. Copies have turned up on ebay over the past few years. Another good source to check out is Abe Books.

If this situation changes, or you know of anywhere selling this book, please let me know.


  1. I bought a brand new copy of this a couple years ago for my boyfriend but we broke up before Christmas and it’s been sitting, unopened and untouched since. If you are interested, please email me.

    1. Hi Kate,

      I would be interested in the book. Please email me with more info about how I could purchase it from you.



    2. Hi Kate, I am very interested but do not see how to email you.

  2. hi

    i own 2 copies of this book from my brighton days (i’m in paris currently)

    both are in great condition, both have the original cd unplayed. i’m happy to let one go

    if you are still looking, feel free to get in touch.


    1. I’d love to get a copy somehow!

    2. Hello Andrew,

      I’m interested. Please email me with details.

  3. i have a mint copy of this book with slipcover cd and etching.

  4. Hi All,

    I am looking to replace my lost original copy of this wonderful book.
    Any edition considered if anyone should have a spare or want to part with one.


  5. Hallo,
    Bin auch sehr an der Don van Vliet deluxe Edition mit Original Ätzung interessiert.

    Ist es seiner Zeit zum Deal gekommen oder besteht das Angebot noch?

    Sehr interessiert!

    Thomas Nebbe

    1. Das Buch war eine limitierte Auflage. Es war sehr schnell ausverkauft. Kopien erscheinen manchmal bei eBay oder Abebooks, sind aber sehr teuer.

      [The book was a limited edition. It sold out very quickly. Copies sometimes appear on ebay or Abebooks but are very expensive.]

  6. I have a very nice hardcover edition of this book that I am selling. No cd, but I don’t think the book has ever even been looked at in its’ entirety. It is in excellent condition. Please email me if you are interested.
    Thank you,

  7. I have a copy of this book that I am selling. No CD, but it is in excellent condition. I am not sure if it was ever even looked at start to finish. Please contact me if you are interested.
    Thank you,
    Mike McKinney

  8. I have a copy of this book that I am willing to sell. No CD, but it is in excellent condition. Please contact me if you are interested.
    Thank you,
    Mike McKinney

  9. I no longer have a copy of this book. I have sold it.
    Thank you,
    Mike mcKinney

  10. Does anyone still have a hardcover version for sale?

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