captain beefheart electricity

THE DUTCH INTERVIEWS
translated interviews


 

BONO & BEEFHEART

from OOR #25/26 15.12.01
HOLLAND fortnightly music magazine
by paul hewson aka bono
is 17.11.01 usa telephone chat

as well as

'THIS IS YOUR CAPTAIN SPEAKING'
beefheart speaks... to bono!

from MOJO #101 01.04.02 england

notes:
* the first version of this 'conference call' between don van vliet and the frontman of the irish pop group 'u2'
- who knew each other vaguely from (at least) the mid 70s and one day halfway june 1980 -
was a DUTCH translation by bas brattinga for a christmas special edited by anton corbijn
* the later 'natural' version in ENGLISH - which is a bit shorter - is the base of the combination of both texts used here

part 1 - THIS is PART 2 - part 3

*

well, i tried to go to ireland and they wouldn't allow me to because of the i.r.a. (irish republic army, one of the many local religious murder gangs - teejo).

i.r.a.

god, frightening....

most likely it was from fear of the raccoons and mountain lions you might take along (laughs)... so, you never made it to ireland?

no, they didn't allow it, damn.

why? were you threatened by the ira, or did you have friends who were republican sympathisers?

oh, no! no, the plane wouldn't go.

(laughs.) i hate that: wilful machinery... you're an old-style adventurer, aren't you? you went down the - so to say - amazon kind of rock 'n' roll?

well, i....

in a helicopter!...

i'll tell you the truth: i..., i don't know what 'rock 'n' roll' is.

okay.

i know the midnighters. does that sound familiar to you?

the midnighters? no.

they are a rhythm and blues group, i guess.

yeah.

'annie had a baby'....

yeah, but the baby wasn't called rock 'n' roll.

the baby was too bold.

i know. rock 'n' roll is no longer bold - it is a bit cowardly, in fact...

er, that's exactly what í think...

yes...

can i play you a tune?

that would be a treat.

allow me to turn this on.

don van vliet plays two songs:  duke ellington's 'take the a-train', and 'i don't know' by sonny boy williamson II...


captain beefheart / don van vliet - untitled drawing for mr. b. 160680 - oor 25/26 151201
untitled drawing for mr. b - don van vliet 160680

how was that?

wow, who was that?

that was sonny boy.

oh my god, it sounds so fresh, like the paint isn't overworked. it sounds so fresh, while it is very difficult to let those chords sound fresh, but i think that that was the discovery of the whole movement. that's an original recording, right?

he plays horrible harp.

wow!

horrible harp. uh-huh!

yeah, extraordinary.

yes.

and who's the girl that sings, the woman who creates her own language, a jive...

betty rochelle. rocher (pronounced in french), to be precise.

in ireland we would say roach.

that's cool.

did you play that on that on cd or vinyl?

must ask the boss. (calls his wife.) jan? jan! jan, was that a cd, or vinyl?

jan van vliet: vinyl.

vinyl.

yeah, just like i thought. even across the phone you can kind of feel the groove of it. it's just different, don't you think?

right.

it really is. are you suspicious of all the, say, digitalising of everything nowadays?

i hate it.

yeah?

i hate it, you hear me. goddamn sons of bitches.

nowadays it are binary numbers. what to do with a óne and a zéro?...

exactly! (laughs.)

i know. there's something about the physical thing of the needle in the groove, it's like sex and it's a contact sport.

right. (laughs.)

i think the digital recordings have a personality, but it is the personality of formica. it is a shiny surface. some music can sound good on it, some hip hop, because they've got lower end. but i agree with you, vinyl is a solution.

tell me what hiphop is.

oh, hip hop is an amazing thing. hip hop is how - it's an interesting subject - how black people use technology to discover africa.

ah god, i wish they would quit killing the beasts.

the what?

elephants.

yeah.

and the lions.

yeah.

(*)

IF YOU WANT TO KNOW HOW THIS ENDS, CLICK CLACK TO PAGE THREE


click clack back to the power station


captain beefheart electricity
as felt by teejo

^