In late 1970 Bob Chorush recorded this lengthy interview with Don. It formed the basis for an article by Bob that was published in Coast Vol. 12 #4 April 1971. A few years ago Bob sent me his original tapes of the interview. They have since escaped into the wild      Read More →

On 23 July 1993 Dutch radio presenter Co de Kloet recorded a wonderfully relaxed Don for this telephone interview for the ‘Supplement’ programme Radio 4 in Holland. Co has been a great advocate for Don and his music as well as Frank Zappa. Don’s voice is weak but his mind is still sharp. It’s a great interview.Read More →

Zappa talks about the Captain Beefheart/Grunt People movie, Donnie Vliet and Grown So Ugly and Don’s carved werewolf head. I think the date, 1969, is correct and it seems to have been recorded as a radio show. If anyone has more detail about when, where etc., please let us know.Read More →

A winter night in January 1981 I drove up to Reseda in Los Angeles to see Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band at the Country Club. It was a fantastic concert and Don and the band were flying. At the time I was working for the Danish Radio as a freelancer and I asked a guy at the door if Don would be available for an interview. To my surprise he came out and told me to meet Don at a Denny’s restaurant across the street. And there he came in his stage-clothes, very nice and we talked as you can hear here. After theRead More →

Just unearthed from Gary Lucas’s archives: A phone interview Gary conducted with Don Van Vliet broadcast on Yale University’s radio station WYBC FM January 18th 1972 three days before Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band’s show at Yale University’s Woolsey Hall January 21st 1972. Gary was Music Director of WYBC at the time, and had seen Beefheart’s first gig in NYC at Ungano’s the year before, a show which changed his life–as after witnessing that concert he vowed that if he ever did anything in music professionally, his number one priority would be to join Beefheart’s Magic Band–which he eventually did in 1980. This interviewRead More →

Kristine McKenna is an American music journalist who has written for Wet, NME, Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair, The New York Times, The Washington Post and many other publications. Over the years she has often written about Don, having interviewed him a number of times she was trusted by him and became a friend of his. In 1987 she had Don take part in a phone-in programme with her on her late night KCRW show. Some of this show is included in ‘Electricity: Conversations With Captain Beefheart’ available as part of KCRW’s ‘Lost Tapes’ series. In this Kristine talks about her encounters with Don and alsoRead More →

[alert_box type=”info”]This article originally appeared in the December 1982 edition of Musician magazine. It focuses on the making of the Ice Cream For Crow video, and includes an interview with Don conducted at that time.[/alert_box] Don Van Vliet was born in Glendale California on January 15 1941, the Only child of Glenn and Sue Van Vliet. Don began showing artistic talent at a very young age, but Glenn and Sue were none too keen on the prospect of having an artist in the family (“‘Cause you know, all artists are faggots,” is how Don explained their rationale), so they moved to the Mojave Desert, anRead More →

[alert_box type=”info”]This article and interview was taken from the May/June 1981 issue of Music & Sound Output[/alert_box] In 12 albums spread out over 13 years, Captain Beefheart has created a body of work that breaks most every rule in American music and results in something that couldn’t possibly be anything but American music. Hey, man, take a look at these,” Captain Beefheart exclaims, holding some slides up to the bare bulb in his dressing rooms at the Beacon Theater in Manhattan. “These are some pictures!” Taken by a local freelancer, the slides show Beefheart standing at the microphone, blowing his soprano sax. “These were takenRead More →

[alert_box type=”info”]This article was taken from Creem, March 1981, Vol. 12 No. 10. Many thanks to our man in Mexico City, Jesus Quintero for kindly scanning this article and sending it to me.[/alert_box] *May 1970. High School kids in my living room. Singing. “Hot and slimy weenie, knocking at my door/Hot and slimy weenie, crawling ‘cross the floor/Hot and slimy weenie/hot and slimy weenie/hot and slimy weenie… WHERE ARE YOU NOW?!?” The tape still exists, us mindlessly wailing away over the same bass pattern with our 1970 rock band equipment, seconds later me grabbing the microphone and reciting the words to “The Blimp” from TroutRead More →

[alert_box type=”info”]This excellent introductory article to the work of Don Van Vliet first appeared in April 1981’s Down Beat.[/alert_box] “My music is terribly personal,” Don Van Vliet says, his eyes fixed intently on me. “I think any artist is that way. I think there’s a lot of people out there that are kidding about art. I mean, literally kidding.” Van Vliet speaks in a soft, slow Southern California drawl that sounds nothing at all like the raw, rasping bellow he usually affects when he’s singing under the name Captain Beefheart. But his intensity is the same, and he is every bit as captivating, clever, charmingRead More →