Archive for maart, 2016

Sean Murphy – “O Captain! My Captain!: The Unique Magic of Captain Beefheart” (2010)

maart 12, 2016

The Beat Patrol

A tribute to late, great Captain Beefheart by Sean Murphy from the PopMatters website, dated Dec. 20, 2010…

As Ian Anderson said, “We’re getting a bit short on heroes lately”.

And Ian, while he wasn’t speaking of Don Van Vliet, nevertheless would—and has—endorsed the man better known as Captain Beefheart. Indeed, the list of well-loved and iconoclastic artists who have cited CB as an inspiration and hero include the likes of Tom Waits, Nick Cave, P.J. Harvey and Matt Groening. When the people lots of people worship name you as someone they worship, you can safely conclude you have done influential work, even if it didn’t necessarily pay the bills.

To say Don Van Vliet, who passed away on December 17th, was unique is rather like saying the sun radiates heat: it doesn’t quite capture the enormity and impact of the subject. To assert that he was brilliant would be…

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Kurt Loder – “Captain Beefheart’s Ship Comes In” (1980)

maart 12, 2016

The Beat Patrol

Kurt Loder piece from Rolling Stone, Nov. 27, 1980… 

After 16 years and a dozen albums, the world has finally caught up with Don van Vliet.

It’s a dogshit day on West Forty-second Street, the neon-choked main drag of Manhattan’s cheap-thrills district. As the daily midmorning traffic jam congeals into an unmoving mass, Don Van Vliet peers out a drizzle-streaked car window at the shuffling tribe of hookers, hustlers and head cases that clogs the sidewalks, then squints up at the lewd movie marquees looming above: SLAVES OF THE CANNIBAL GOD. SUGAR BRITCHES. THAT’S PORNO! Reeling out into the street, a sputtering madwoman, dizzed-out and in full rant, does battle with her demons, flinging curses at the soggy September sky Van Vliet perks up, chuckling in appreciation. “Tell you what, I like her style,” he says, flipping to a fresh page in the squiggle-filled sketch pad on his lap…

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Steve Weitzman – “Zappa and the Captain Cook” (1975)

maart 12, 2016

The Beat Patrol

Taken from Rolling Stone, July 3, 1975 – this was the period where Zappa and Beefheart kissed and made up and went on tour together. You can still sense a bit of patronising and condescension though between the two, if you read between the lines…  

Captain Beefheart, rock’s sometime genius, had just finished a show with Frank Zappa, with whom he’s touring after the end of their longtime feud. Slumped backstage at the Capitol Theatre, he scratched his shaggy head and slowly related the latest bizarre turn in his odd life.

“I said some silly things,” Beefheart noted, “because I’m a spoiled brat and I don’t understand business to the degree that Frank does. I probably felt neglected. I’ll admit it… and I told him so. I said, ‘I’m sorry Frank and I don’t mean that for an excuse.’ We shook hands and that was that.”

Zappa and…

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Billy Altman – “Captain Beefheart Knows He’s a Man” (1979)

maart 12, 2016

The Beat Patrol

This article on Beefheart comes from the April 1979 issue of Creem magazine…


Don Van Vliet has just spent the last fifteen minutes wandering around the conference room at Warner Brothers’ New York headquarters, investigating the possibilities of undoing the corporate environment. He has painstakingly adjusted and readjusted the dimmer switch until the lighting in the room matches the twilight outside, and he has also managed to pry open one of those standard office building windows, the kind that no one who works in places like this ever even gets near for fear that if they do try and get some fresh air in, some alarm will ring and a team of security guards will haul them away (“Mr. Smith, why would you want to tamper with the scientifically designed heating and cooling system of this structure? I mean, you have a window to look out of, don’t you?…

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Langdon Winner – “I’m Not Even Here: The Odyssey of Captain Beefheart” (1970)

maart 12, 2016

The Beat Patrol

This famous article from the May 14, 1970 issue of Rolling Stone is the main source of the Captain’s infamous “legend” to this day – his beefs with Frank Zappa, his strange behavior, his sometimes cruel treatment of bandmembers – but also of the genius that is Captain Beefheart… 


“Uh oh, the phone,” Captain Beefheart mumbled as he placed his tarnished soprano saxophone in its case. “I have to answer the telephone.” It was a very peculiar thing to say. The phone had not rung.
Beefheart walked quickly from his place by the upright piano across the dimly lit living room to where the telephone lay. He waited. After ten seconds of stony silence it finally rang. None of the half dozen or so persons in the room seemed at all surprised by what had just happened. In the world of Captain Beefheart, the extraordinary is the rule.

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Ben Edmonds – “Captain Beefheart” (1970)

maart 12, 2016

The Beat Patrol

Article written by Ben Edmonds for ZigZag magazine about the always enigmatic Captain – August 1970…

Beefheart is and always was a Zigzag hero; we get more letter about him than any other artists, I should think — asking for news and articles. This piece, reprinted from Creem magazine, contains a lot of information which will already be known to Zigzag readers, but there are some interesting quotes from the Captain and news of his new band and next album.
Although they appear to be fading somewhat, the rock and roll audience lines of demarcation are still very much in evidence. On one side are the bubblegum kids, with their transistor radio and Christian Youth Fellowships, stuck in the grooves of the latest B J Thomas or Archies hit. Little needs to be said about them because all of us, at one distant time or another, were inevitably part of that scene. It…

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