In April 2003 I received a message from Dave DiMartino, the author of the 1993 Mojo article “Yeah I’m Happy” featuring interviews with Don, various members of the Magic Band and Henry Kaiser. This article caused John French to write a letter to Mojo expressing his unhappiness with the article and apologising for any upset to Don that may have been caused. Years later, Henry Kaiser wrote to me to say that he never conducted an interview with Dave DiMartino and that the quotes attributed to him in the article were made up. Dave DiMartino contacted me around 1999 to express his sadness at JohnRead More →

[alert_box type=”info”] This letter originally appeared in Mojo Magazine as a response to their article about Captain Beefheart entitled ‘Yeah I’m Happy‘ from December 1993. John French (Drumbo) wanted to set the record straight, though the allegations in this letter are strongly denied by the author of the original article, Dave DiMartino. See also Henry Kaiser’s statement on the matter and Dave DiMartino’s response. [/alert_box] I just read the Beefheart story a week or so ago. DiMartino, the author, was supposed to send me a copy (all writers promise, most never carry out their promises.) Eventually, I stumbled on it by myself through a friend,Read More →

[alert_box type=”info”]This article first appeared in Mojo Magazine, December 1993 as an introduction to an interview with the man himself.¬†Please also see John French’s response to this article.[/alert_box] He is alive. A recluse. Painting in seclusion up near the Oregon border. There have been weird signals through the ether since he stopped making music 11 years ago, but they were faint, confused, unintelligible. But now Dave DiMartino has finally made contact with the man who used to be Captain Beefheart. It is entirely fitting that Don Van Vliet, painter of international repute, and one of a handful of truly legendary figures in rock ‘n’ roll,Read More →