DON'T ARGUE WITH THE CAPTAIN
history - interview
BEEFHEART, HAMBURGERS, HANG-UPS...
from england 8 november 1969 DISC and music echo
with some slight corrections
when captain beefheart was five years old he decided to be a sculptor. one day when his parents went out and he was left with a baby sitter he sculpted her and got so carried away he pulled out all his eyelashes and eyebrows and stuck them into the sculpture. his parents returned and tried to put a stop to his career.
but undeterred, beefheart (then known by his proper name, don vliet) continued to sculpt and was one day discovered chipping away at the los angeles griffith park zoo by the famous sculptor agostinho rodrigues, who took him under his wing until he was thirteen.
nowadays, at the age of twenty-eight, the fine captain is still living around los angeles, and still showing the same determination in the pursuance of his career which has now branched out into many directions - writing, painting and most notably, music. he has twelve thousand poems, five books and some plays he wants to publish.
last week in london, where he and frank zappa (a friend for fourteen years) dropped in on their way home from the actuel festival in belgium, beefheart talked about his struggling career.
wearing the genuine mad hatter's top-hat (used in the 'alice in wonderland' film made in the twenties), bright red socks and a pair of what looked like outsize girl's shoes, but were in fact spanish men's shoes, the captain looked somewhat bleary after only half an hour's sleep in eight days.
caption: beefheart talks to caroline boucher
yes, better quality of this picture wanted...
though it still won't show his bright red socks
beefheart's main hang-up has always been money, although he doesn't look at it that way. his whole pattern of life is to avoid getting involved in petty hang-ups - consequently his strong affection for the high desert just outside los angeles where he goes for weeks on end to sort himself out.
we live off positive energy, that's what we feed off. i think people eat for eye reasons. i have seen people eat teevee, and i don't think that's fit for human consumption.
he has had a band for five years now, and his new magic band has been together for about three months: drumbo, the mascara snake, zoot horn rollo and rockette morton [that's more or less according to truth - teejo]. they were all artists before, which says beefheart, is a good thing because art is all the same but music is the slightest form of it.
he composes the lyrics and music, but doesn't write music because that makes it through the eye and limited. he communicates it telepathically to the group which means they have got to work and live very closely together.
i want to get my music across to people, but i don't want to force it on them. i think it's definitely a music that will knock doors down. the thing is that the doors come from outside, they're not on the inside - so, maybe we can appeal to people's little reasoning. because if they're going to reason, they're not going to put a door into something there isn't a door in.
if there are forty people in the world, five of them are hamburgers.