captain beefheart electricity

history - story


is september 1980 picture
from holland 19 november 1980 OOR vol.10 #23

inspired by the release of 'doc at the radar station', around september 1980 the english magazine 'new musical express' sent over two guys to captain beefheart for an interview. paul rambali's tales of transmutation from the mojave magic man appeared in their 1 november issue, along with photos which drew international attention to its maker ANTON CORBIJN. that (to be very famous) star photographer from the dutch music magazine 'oor' in fact came to visit his unknown victim just as a hired craftsman, but eventually left to become one of don's few friends outside the musical scene.

but before that fact took place, don and ton did a photo shooting in beefheart's daily garden while the evening was approaching. all in colour, but as anton was (and is) a 'black-and-white' freak, not many of those shots have been published in full glory. and not all of them were used right away too. so when captain beefheart and the magic band toured holland some weeks later and 'oor' held an interview entitled de vooruitziende blik van captain beefheart, more shots from that historic meeting were published.

the picture below is one of those. but it's not a photo taken of captain beefheart right after he was dropped on earth.... although he looks like he is curiously wondering in which strange world he has ended up (but that's an on-going dispute), he's probably spying around to be sure nobody saw his soul or hair-do a few moments ago, when he took his hat off....

captain beefheart / don van vliet - mojave desert, usa september 1980 - picture by anton corbijn

later, in a caption along the heavy metal interview an old fart at play from 1 august 1983, don would recall:

he and i were in los angeles, at the la brea tar pits. we were sitting in the car, and i said: 'i'll take you to the right place - the líght place'. we drove out into the desert, and we had fifteen minutes of just the right light. i said: 'i'm a piece of meat, anton. you just put me where you want me'. he just kept saying: 'i don't need to do that, this is fine'. and he told me to take my hat off for a moment, so i took my hat off, and he said: 'that's fine'. it was all done in fifteen minutes. i knew then that these would be the best pictures i had ever seen.

[revised 040400]


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captain beefheart electricity
as felt by teejo