[alert_box type=”info”]By Jan Van Vliet. Originally appeared on The Spotlight Kid[/alert_box] All you ever do is blabber ‘n smoke There’s ah big pain in your window ‘N all your waters turn t’ rope It gonna hang you all Dangle you all Dang you all If you don’t hurry there will be no hope Why don’t you quit actin’ like ah dope All you ever do is blabber ‘n smoke It don’t matter where you got your start Which side of your head you wear your heart Clean up the air ‘N treat the animals fair I can’t help but think you treat love like ah jokeRead More →

Published by Rhino Handmade/Artist Ink Editions ISBN 0 7379 0284 1 Deluxe Slip Case (23.5cm x 32.5cm x 7cm) Limited Edition (1500) with original signed print. Individually numbered $500 2004 Contents: Signed Coloured Etching (20cm x 27cm) 2 Books (both 19cm x 25cm) – “Splinters” (96 pages) & “Riding Some Kind of Unusual Skull Sleigh” (88 pages) One is a collection of photos, lyrics, artworks, cuttings plus the text of the pieces on the accompanying CD. The other includes an essay by Ben Watson and 60 colour plates of Don’s paintings and drawings. – See full list of artwork CD – “Riding Some Kind of UnusualRead More →

Anton Corbijn taking Don's photo

[alert_box type=”info”]Some of the greatest Beefheart photos were taken by Anton Corbijn, who writes here. He took the famous Ice Cream For Crow desert snaps, and numerous others scattered through this site. Originally appeared in Mojo Magazine, December 1993[/alert_box] 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 weRead More →

[alert_box type=”info”]Interview taken from December 1993 Mojo Magazine.[/alert_box] On September 30, 1993, Dave DiMartino received a phone call from Don Van Vliet. I heard that you have a new studio up there. Is it a big one? Yeah. Is it complete? Yeah. I’m painting like a house afire. (laughs) How do you spend your time now? Mostly painting? Yeah. Do you do any drawing? Oh yeah. All the time. How is your day spent up there? Do you see many people? Just paint. No people. Just painting. Are you happy up there like that? Yeah. Happy as a clam. (laughs) Does it seem as ifRead More →

[alert_box type=”info”]This excellent article / interview was taken from the October 1st – 7th 1980 edition of Voice.[/alert_box] He’s alive, but so is paint. Are you? Don Van Vliet is a 39-year-old man who lives with his wife Jan in a trailer in the Mojave Desert. They have very little money, so it must be pretty hard on them sometimes, but I’ve never heard them complain. Don Van Vliet is better known as Captain Beefheart, a legend worldwide whom the better part of a generation of New Wave rock ‘n’ roll bands’ have cited as one of their most important spiritual and musical forefathers: JohnRead More →

[alert_box type=”info”]Dennis recalls the time when Don would regularly pop by to visit.[/alert_box] In 1981, a friend and I were shopping for spirits at a “liquor supermarket” in Lancaster, California by the name of “Liquor Barn” (My friends name is Matt Livingston, and as far as I know, he lives in Palmdale, CA currently.) We were searching for the cheapest bottle of vodka we could find, when suddenly I heard a VERY LOW VOICE ask: “Is there really a difference between expensive and inexpensive vodkas?” Of course, he was talking to himself. My friend Matt spotted him instantly, and whispered “That’s Captain Beefheart….” We struckRead More →

[alert_box type=”info”]An example of the Captain’s often enormous hospitality from Danny Houston.[/alert_box] There used to be a great club in Glasgow, Scotland called The Maryland, and the owner Willie Cuthbertson (one of the great unacknowledged heroes of Scottish Rock) brought Captain Beefheart & The Magic Band up to play at a place called the Kelvin Hall. This venue was famous already in the halls of rock n roll fame as the site of the Kinks first “Live” album. Because we knew Willie he promised to take us back stage to meet the Captain before the concert. We were all massive Beefheart fans – there wereRead More →

[alert_box type=”info”]March 2002, exclusive to beefheart.com[/alert_box] My first meeting with Don Van Vliet–whom I’ll just refer to as Beefheart–came on a rainy night about 12 hours before his wedding. It was November 1969; I was 19 years old. I was at my parent’s home in Northridge, California when the phone rang about 9:30 p.m. I thought it was my girlfriend whose house I had left an hour before. But it was my friend, Jan Jenkins. Jan had just been in a traffic accident while driving alone in Beefheart’s Volvo. She was not injured, but the Volvo had been towed. She needed a lift back toRead More →

In 1984 Don and I had renewed our friendship for many years in north California after we’d both left the music biz. Our homes were only about a mile apart. He came to my office periodically for chiropractic treatment, and we’d also get together frequently just for laughs. In the late 1980’s he seemed to be developing some neurological symptoms which were resistant to cure from chiropractic adjustments. I told Don and Jan that he needed a consultation with a neurologist. He refused to go, and Jan was unable to convince him. Around 1992 he and I had a falling out. As a result, IRead More →

We’re very saddened to hear that Don has passed away. He has succumbed to complications with the multiple sclerosis that he’s been suffering with for many years. Our thoughts go out to Jan. The world has lost a unique individual. Update: 11am 19/12/2010 I have been too upset to write much as yet so have just been watching all the wonderful tributes coming into our blog here and elsewhere across the web. I do hope Don, and Jan, were aware of the great love and respect in which they are held. Don’s music has been my companion since 1967. Safe As Milk changed my viewRead More →