captain beefheart electricity


don van vliet SINGING INK
poetry and fine art - drawingsflits


two untitled drawings 1975 and 1977
two occasional label designs 1977

1978 usa elpee L.A.F.M.S. * BLORP ESETTE lafms 5 limited edition 500 copies
1980 usa elpee L.A.F.M.S. * BLORP-ESETTE volume two [for guitar players] lafms 10 limited edition 250 copies
1980 usa elpee L.A.F.M.S. * BLORP-ESETTE volume two [blorp esette's greatest hits] lafms 11 limited edition 250 copies
1993 usa 4cdbox L.A.F.M.S. * BLORP-ESETTE collector's edition transparency tran 022
2002 usa 10cdbox L.A.F.M.S. * the LOWEST FORM OF MUSIC rrr records rrr cd 17 limited edition


in 1975, while his alter ego captain beefheart struggled to come back after his disastrous 'country and western' adventure, don van vliet produced two drawings which who knows why were used for record sleeves of other artists. both pieces of art work were brought out some years later, with the drawing inside the gatefold of the notably frénch release znr * barricade 3 from 1977 being the strangest item.

more logic was involved in his contribution to some elpees released by l.a.f..m.s. or in full (the) LOS ANGELES FREE MUSIC SOCIETY: because then he lived quite close to that metropole. i don't possess any of the elpees with all sorts of alternate music without clear direction titled BLORP ESETTE, so i'll let alan saul explain it  step by step:

actually, there were three elpees in the blorp-esette series, but only two volumes.

VOLUME ONE was LAFMS 5, released in 1978, and features don's well-known 1975 drawing of a woman holding a chicken with another chicken on her head and another seemingly making up her dress. the label on side two is a piece of don's art [with 'l.a.f.m.s.' text, dated '77 - t.t.].

LAFMS 10 was the first elpee of a separately packaged double album BLORP-ESETTE VOLUME TWO. this is from 1980, having '1979' crossed out. the label has don's other 1977 art label on side one - this one says 'los angeles' - and for guitar players on side two.

LAFMS 11 was the other half of also BLORP-ESETTE VOLUME TWO, has don's 'l.a.f.m.s.' label on side four and blorp esette's greatest hits on side three.

both of the volume twos come from the same time (1980) and both have don's red and black drawing of a person in a hat. i always associate this with the song 'sam with the showing scalp flat top' [from the 1975 zappa / beefheart / mothers * 'bongo fury' tour - t.t.] with the sky looking down.

these obscure releases were seldom seen items until the whole project - including previously unused material - was collected on a re-mastered 4cd edition in 1999. the set is accompanied by an extensive notes booklet which also reveals: 'blorp esette volume one is dedicated to lisa and helene, don and jan van vliet and all those dead guys who aren't around to appreciate it, then or now'.

the four pieces of van vliet art work coming with the ceedee re-issue are:

front of box PERSON IN A HAT
printed on ceedee one 'L.A.F.M.S.' LABEL
printed on ceedee four 'LOS ANGELES' LABEL
booklet cover BLORP ESETTE



okay, over to the drawings. right! first, let's look at the most used front cover of the series, the PERSON IN A HAT - although i do it with great reluctance because it's so ugly! usually don van vliet could make brilliant drawings, but this one sure is a failure!... maybe he was nervous as the following day he would have his birthday - the signature date says: 1 14 77 [which are the usa hieroglyphs for 14 january 1977] - or because he used an uneasy drawing pen, but the result actually is unworthy to the quality of this website (it also is a mystery why it was used as the front of the 4cd box instead of the other drawing)! so, just for the record:

captain beefheart / don van vliet - drawing - 'blorp esette' vol. 2 - front cover lps 1980

captain beefheart / don van vliet - drawing - 'l.a.f.m.s.' - label 'blorp esette' albums

captain beefheart / don van vliet - drawing - 'los angeles' label - 'blorp esette' albums

last but not least is the untitled drawing which adorned the cover of the first elpee. that 'BLORP ESETTE' woman with chickens really has the touch of brilliance failing in the later cover, as you can see for yourself:

captain beefheart / don van vliet - untitled drawing 1975 - 'blorp esette' (vol. 1) - front cover lp 1978
don van vliet 1975

yeah, a very, very nice drawing i can look at for hours - but errrr, that's not the cómplete sleeve... which is here because it is an essential addition to the interview there with the following dialogue:

you did a cover for the album 'blorp esette'.

oh, ace and duce. i like those guys. they seem to be among those people who have a hold. which is why i did that. i was quite annoyed by the fact that he put 'blorp esette' right in the middle of my drawing. i think he could have found some other way to do that. he's a nice guy.


some more information you'd like to have:
* an edited version of the 'blorp essette' drawing appeared on the handbill for the early december 1976 concerts at keystone korner, san francisco, usa.
* a smaller, green reproduction of it can be found on the front cover of the bootleg best batch yet.

[updated 281219]


go to the DISCOGRAPHY of this guest art work....


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captain beefheart electricity
as felt by teejo