captain beefheart electricity

the interviews



 from DISC and music echo 210473 england
by caroline boucher
is mid 04.73 interview


captain beefheart is talking about women for whom he has always had great empathy. he wrote 'clear spot' for and about them, and has always been amazed by man's attitude towards them. his pretty wife, jan, sits nearby and he constantly turns to her for confirmation of what he is saying - 'that's so, isn't it, jan. yes? yes?'.

the captain is in britain again for another tour with his fine magic band. he has always got on very well over here and been an adored cult figure for years. but being a cult figure doesn't make for shekels, and it has only been comparatively recently that beefheart has become a more universally accepted big attraction. 'clear spot' actually got radio play!

i like 'clear spot' the best of all the albums i have ever done. i've finally got across what i wanted to get across. the engineer was excellent, and so was the producer, ted templeman. i told him where to leave me alone.

i wrote that album in two-and-a-half hours, and nothing led up to it. i was in the car traveling to a gig, and i was just thinking about the way men do women. i think that's really backward, i see it everywhere i go with my wife, don't we, jan, don't we?

i really wanted to say something about that, i thought it was up to me as a man to say something - not be soothing because i know women can take care of themselves - but just state how it is between men and women.

the captain follows up his statements with piercing blue-eyed stares.

one girl disc jockey i met in arizona was scared to death of me, i really intimidated her, don't you remember that, jan, don't you?

[jan:] no.

well, i asked her if she has listened to my music, and she said: 'no'. i said: 'you really should, because i'm all for you. i don't see any difference between us. i don't see the necessity of putting up a shield against women'.

captain beefheart thinks he'll continue his theme of women and their natural superiority on to his next album.

always when i sing i think of a female receiving it. i talked to john lee hooker about it, and to roland kirk and they both play to women. i wrote a track on 'safe as milk' about walking in the park and kissing, oh it was a lovely track and everybody thought it was a joke (that song must be 'zig zag wanderer' - teejo.)! they thought i was being camp, and it was terribly serious.

beefheart wants to start his own record label soon, and keep the name of his production company - god's golf ball. he'll start looking round for other acts soon.

but some groups are scared to death of women. i've séen them. i have never had that fear, i would almost go as far as to say that an artist can't be an artist unless he thinks my way and doesn't have shields up against women. i've almost been treated as a woman, you know. isn't that so, jan?

when i was just a kid at school (mistake, don! you never went to school, remember? - teejo),  i was always with women and when i was a sculptor, when i was about six, i was always being patted on the head and trying to duck out of the way. so i know how women feel, always being patted on the head. you see i'm not a competitive person, that's why i understand women, who aren't basically competitive either, it's just that the media forces them to compete, compete the whole time.

one of the captain's few male heroes is mohammed ali (a heavy-weight boxing champion - t.t.).


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captain beefheart electricity
as felt by teejo