captain beefheart electricity

don van vliet SINGING INK
poetry and fine art - drawingflits


untitled drawing 1975
main releases:
1976 france elpee ZNR * BARRICADE 3 les disques du rat et du serpent associés drsa 5001(?) non-gatefold with insert

1977 france elpee ZNR * BARRICADE 3 isadora isa 9002 gatefold
1981 england elpee ZNR * BARRICADE 3 recommended records rr seven non-gatefold with fold-out insert
1993 usa ceedee ZNR * BARRICADE 3 rer znr 1 with notes booklet
2018 4cdbox ZNR * ZNR rer megacorp rer znrbox lc 02677 with fold-out notes booklet


outtakes from an internet news group discussion in 2000:

alan saul first wondered:
> did don van vliet do any published cover art other than for beefheart releases and the l.a.f.m.s. things?
and later added:
> the lafms - los angeles free music society - records were discussed some time ago. they are called blorp esette, and were compiled by [future magic band guitarist] rick snyder's comrade ace. somebody (theo!!!) must have it on the web somewhere. 

to which i said (because he cried out on me): actually, the 'blorp esette' things and the eazy teeth single are the only van vliet fine art products that were used on the frónts of sleeves. to my best knowledge there are two other 'guest' drawings, but they ended up inside: a sketch of magic band member bruce fowler on his solo ceedee ants can count, and one from 1975 in an album by some - notably - frénch artists.

comment by stephane vuilleumier:
> the album is indeed by ZNR (hector zazou and joseph racaille): BARRICADE 3. there is a black and white van vliet drawing from '75 in it. but i think only in the original gatefold cover on isadora, distributed by rca france. no idea if the drawing was used in the ceedee reissue.

and by arild stromsvag:
> i have an album by hector zazou and joseph racaille that has a drawing by don van vliet as an insert. it's silver on blue, but i guess it doesn't qualify as cover art properly.



provided with that basic information, it was possible to search for don's untitled drawing, which he gave to (one of) the artists as a thank-you for a cozy chat during his concert tour in france in autumn 1975. the oldest version mentioned above is the black and white one on the inside of the french gatefold release from 1977. it measures 31 by 19 centimetres, 'black on grey' would be a better description, and it looks like this:

captain beefheart / don van vliet - untitled drawing 1975 - znr * barricade 3 elpee 1977 - black on grey reproduction

however, it's a reproduction of an earlier reproduction! because that gatefold just was an overhaul of an initial album privately released on znr's les disques du rat et du serpent associés label a year before. the re-modelled version actually was the stock of the original limited edition with their 'isadora' labels pasted over those on 'face serpent' (= side snake) and 'face rat' (side rat), and the jacket replaced the single sleeve and [fold-out?] insert with van vliet's drawing on squared paper. unfortunately i can't prove this last fact, for a picture of the first 'barricade 3' i had saved long ago got lost in one of the early-day computer crashes....

as examples of the original release are almost impossible to find and i don't want to remove the glued labels off my copy of the second release, all i can do to confirm the existence of the 'rat and snake' company by showing the label of the only other album it brought out (hector and joseph also were members of 'les mirabelles'):

captain beefheart / don van vliet - untitled drawing 1975 - znr * barricade 3 elpee 1976 - similar label 'rat et serpent' company

as the design wasn't made by don, you might wonder why it is on this page about his drawings.... well, because it is the base for the 'back to the roots' labels of the re-issue following the gatefold:

captain beefheart / don van vliet - untitled drawing 1975 - znr * barricade 3 elpee 1981 - label recommended records

that third vinyl release, by recommended records from england, is a non-gatefold with a fold-out insert, both printed as colourful silk-screens in an array of variations. the sleeves are gold or silver or black on blue or red or mint and maybe more, the drawing in silver - again sized 31 x 19 cm - sometimes is reproduced on a mint background but usually a dark-blue one:

captain beefheart / don van vliet - untitled drawing 1975 - znr * barricade 3 elpee 1981 - silver on blue reproduction

or red:

captain beefheart / don van vliet - untitled drawing 1975 - znr * barricade 3 elpee 1981 - silver on red reproduction

of course one day the record got transformed into compact disc, forcing the reproduction to shrink to an insignificant 12 x 7,5 black on white image in the notes.

captain beefheart / don van vliet - untitled drawing 1975 - znr ceedee - black and white reproduction

then followed two exact replicas of the french gatefold with the black on grey version: a japanese mini-lp and a usa elpee. in 2018 a new version of the drawing was included in a 4cdbox with znr's collected works. the fold-out notes booklet to the 'barricade 3' digipak presents a 12 by 24 cm (including fantasy margins and a crease) gold on blue version:

captain beefheart / don van vliet - untitled drawing 1975 - znr * znrchive 4cdbox 2018 - gold on blue reproduction

p.s. off the record: the box also contains a cover version of captain beefheart and the magic band's song 'ella guru' from 'trout mask replica'.

[updated 140120]


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


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captain beefheart electricity
as felt by teejo