captain beefheart electricity

DON'T ARGUE THE CAPTAIN
the interviews


 

'YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN?'
collection of fragments

1977/79 - THIS is part 2 1980/81



RANDOM NOTES [news items]

from ROLLING STONE #316 010580 usa
is very short feature / 04.80 telephone interview

note: reproduced in usa 2007 (book+4dvd)boxset ROLLING STONE * COVER TO COVER 40 years of rolling stone 1967-2007

*

on the band ready to record 'doc at the radar station':
wait till you hear this band. i almost can't stand it. i look like a chipmunk from puffing up with a smile.

***

on his home:

i live out in the sticks, in a trailer in the high mojave desert.

***

on the album:

i'll tell you one thing: it's gonna be núde. this is gonna be a killer.

*



CAPTAIN COURAGEOUS

from NEWSWEEK 201080 usa
by jim miller & janet huck
is article / ±09.80 interview

note: janet huck is don van vliet's wife

*

for a recent interview, he arrived wearing a fedora stained with turpentine and a wooden clothespin clipped to his pocket.

they are the most interesting artistic shape,  and so practical to pin money in your pocket.

***

on his youth:

when my mother took me to kindergarten i screamed and wet my pants so they asked her to take me home. at three, i told her as long as she called me don, i'd call her sue. i always ran away from school as a kid. the truant officer and i became great friends. he took me hunting uranium in the desert. i wasn't supposed to be in school - i was a sculptor. i had a scholarship to study sculpture in europe, but my parents wanted to keep me away from those queers over there and wouldn't let me take it. i switched to music because the solidity of sculpture became annoying. i used music to sculpt thoughts.

***

money has been a lamentable concern. i can only afford to do pen-and-ink drawings on paper now. i would like a large audience so that i can buy marble to sculpt.

***

on 'being an influence':

i'm not bitter, even though there's so much thievery of my stuff, especially by the english.

***

on the 'moma heartbeat':

the mother heartbeat in rock 'n' roll is the same thing over and over again. it's pretty boring. i've been trying for fifteen years to change that heartbeat consciousness. it's scary because it's almost like fascism.

***

on 'doc at the radar station':

is it possible to change a leopard's spots? maybe now they've changed into a polka-dot tie (grins). i think i will sell more than i've ever sold before.
*



CAPTAIN BEEFHEART
method to his madness

from DOWN BEAT #100 010481 usa
by peter keepnews
is feature / end '80 or early '81 interview

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i think an artist is one who kids himself the most gracefully

captain beefheart / don van vliet - 810401 down beat - by deborah feingold
picture by deborah feingold

***

my music is terribly personal. i think any ártist is that way. i think there's a lot of people out there that are kidding about art. i mean, literally kídding.

***

on the 'moma heartbeat' and sugar:

i think that beat is related to fascism, i really do. it's so fixative, so hypnotic. and they make the stuff so synthesized - to where it's dangerous to the heart, i mean, faster-than-the-heart disco - some of that disco is dangerous! it doesn't mean it won't sell! but then again, sugar sells, which i think is extremely dangerous!

***

we're all trapped by gravity. we must turn inside out. i've always wanted to. i always try to. it's the only thing that makes me feel good. i mean, not the ónly thing... but i definitely think it should be done all the time, or not done at all. because i don't like lullabies - unless billie holiday sings them.

***

on frank zappa making it possible for him to record 'trout mask replica':

it was also me who made it possible for frank to record 'suzy creamcheese, what's got into you?'. i said that. i said a lot of those things. my mother was in the room when i did it. we taped eleven and a half hours - an artistic explosion! i wrote 'trout mask replica' in eight and a half hours, so you can imagine how much i did at that time. and he was taping me.... i never thought that he was gonna play me!

***

on artistic influences:

my baby won't let me have a baby. the artist in me won't let me do that [take from other sources]. because i feel that if i turn myself inside out, that's what i want seen. i don't want somebody else hanging from my left ventricle or something.

***

i just think my music doesn't fit on the conveyor belt. but i think if they worked a little harder they'd be real surprised, because what i get is people really, really staying with me..., for years, fífteen years. i think 'doc at the radar station' could be a hit, if exposed enough. three times they hear my record, they'll buy it. i know that.

***

on 'trout mask replica':

that's a funny album.

i found parts of it hard to listen to...

oh, yeah! me too! i never listen to it! i had to learn a lot of that stuff for this tour.

***

on the use of synthesizer and mellotron:

the technology of such instruments is e-co-lo-gy if it's used correctly. i'm trying to eke out of that instrument what i want.

***

it's hard to play my music. i'm a sculptor. i'm doing sound sculptures.

***

on the rewards for the magic band (as financially there wasn't much in it):

as good as they are, i don't think they'd do it unless they wanted to.

***

on the reviews:

i read my reviews occasionally. i think it's very nice of them to even try to explain an artist. i think it's really gallant. brave.

***

i like painting the most. van gogh - whew! i mean, really talk about nerve! i've tried to trace [paintings], but i can't do it. it always goes off in another vein.

***

it's the same with music. i couldn't copy anyone if i wanted to. the music just comes out of me. it always has.

i hope it doesn't quit.

*
 

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captain beefheart electricity
as felt by teejo

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