Introduction by Anton Corbijn: Finally the time has arrived… Bono will meet Captain Beefheart! Albeit from a distance – Bono is staying in a hotel in Hollywood, in the middle of the second part of the American U2 tour, performing for about 30.000 people. Don Van Vliet, alias Captain Beefheart, is at home in the north of California where he has lived for so many years now. He´s not that fond of humanity and has practically no companions except for his wife, Jan. He retired from music in 1982 and is now a well-known and gifted painter. This conversation is something I was looking forward
I am a photographer who is a friend of Beefheart’s, rather than being an authority on him. When I met Beefheart on an NME assignment in September 1980, I didn’t know much about him at all. I met him at the County Museum of Art in LA and suggested photographing him in the desert, where he’d just come from. He said yes rather reluctantly, and we drove for two-and-a-half hours. It helped that I could pronounce his name properly. Once we’d found the spot to do the pictures, he took off his hat for one shot only and then put it back on, saying, My
Anton Corbijn persuaded Don Van Vliet to remove his hat during the Ice Cream For Crow cover shoot. Corbijn later recalled that Don put it straight back on his head again. “My wife’s not gonna like this,” Don said. I don’t suppose that Jan minded too much. The resulting photograph became iconic and Don later made the short film Some Yo Yo Stuff together with Anton. Part of that film, plus an impressive selection of Corbijn’s music videos and other film work are to be released as a DVD on Tuesday 13th September. A 56 page book accompanies this Directors Label DVD from Palm Pictures.