In late 1978 Don was touring to promote the release of Shiny Beast (Bat Chain Puller). At the end of October or beginning of November he called in at the studios of KROQ Pasadena for an interview with Darryl Wayne and to answer questions from fans over the phone. Wife Jan is also in attendance and can be heard speaking to Don briefly. (Note: the information given on YouTube is mostly incorrect. The correct date and album details are given above and can be confirmed by Don’s mention of Richard Redus as being in the touring band.) Take a listen:
A surreal few minutes here as Don is interviewed on the telephone on American Bandstand by one of the show’s young girl dancers promoting the Diddy Wah Diddy single. Don plays the game as he is asked some banal questions … a few years later he would give interviewers short shrift if they asked him this sort of stuff. A great piece of vintage television.
In November 1980 whilst Don was in London as part of his UK tour with the Magic Band, music journalist David Hepworth recorded this short interview with him.
Recorded in December 1980 music writer Dave Di Martino talks with Don
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
An interview with Don on the Boston radio station WBCN.
Composer and musicologist Samuel Andreyev interviews bass player Mark Boston, the third in his series on interviews with musicians who played on Trout Mask Replica.
Composer and musicologist Samuel Andreyev interviews guitarist Bill Harkleroad, the second in his project to interview all the musicians who played on the Trout Mask Replica album. This lengthy interview is in two parts.
Composer and musicologist Samuel Andreyev continues his project to interview all the musicians from the Trout Mask Replica with the first ever interview with guitarist Jeff Cotton.
Composer and musicologist Samuel Andreyev begins his project to interview all the musicians who played on the Trout Mask Replica album. He begins with drummer and arranger John Drumbo French
Composer and musicologist Samuel Andreyev talks to percussionist Art Tripp about his time in the Magic Band as well as his classical music experience
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.
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.
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 the
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 interview
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 also
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, an isolated, harsh environment guaranteed to bleach the creative juice out of anybody. But Don Van Vliet just had too much to dry out. The drive to translate the world around him (and the one inside
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 taken in 1969 at Ungano’s, the first time I came to New York” he exclaims, and it’s hard