captain beefheart electricity

the interviews


collection of fragments

THIS is part 1 1977/79 - 1980/81


from SEARCH & DESTROY #3 autumn 1977 usa
by lynnx
is 07.77 interview

note: reproduced in usa 1996 book SEARCH & DESTROY #1-6 the complete reprint


on new magic band member eric drew feldman:
a bearded dumpling who plays music from the other side.


here is a brief conversation with the captain of controlled dissonance:

i don't dig music, except as an irritant. what the hell better irritant is there than music? i like painting. leger is my favorite artist.... what kind of ring is that?

lapis lazuli.

oh, i've been there.... i mean, not with my shoes on. do you know what i mean?

you mean you have left your body?

oh, many times. just now, in fact. you knéw i just left my body, didn't you? that's why you asked, isn't it? isn't it?

are you serious?

there's corn in my cap. (don van vliet was born under the 'capricorn' sign of the zodiac.)

is it true that when you see a good commercial on television you call up your friends and tell them to watch?

no.... well.... have you seen that carpeteria commercial?

captain beefheart - usa magazine 'serach and destroy' #3 1977
picture by richard peterson


the number one weirdo comes back to earth

from GIG vol.4 #6 010278 usa
by john morthland
is feature / 25or26.11.77 interview


on 'brick bats' from his unreleased 'bat chain puller' album:
i can't put that out - they'll never get it.


i dig words. shakespeare is what's shaking'. when you hear that guy, ain't no massachusetts to it.


on his 'trout mask replica' avant garde phase:

i don't think i'm thát artistic. i don't know if there even is such a thing, but i was always vomiting as good as i could. i mean, the thing that happened later is i got bagged by 'i consciousness'. and it's pretty easy for that to happen to a painter. 'i see that, i do this'. the artist routine. i got into that. in order to paint, you have to do that, you have to put on that fucking ego cloak.



from CREEM #100 010479 usa
by billy altman
is feature / 27.11.78 interview


don van vliet has just spent the last fifteen minutes wandering around the conference room at warner brothers' new york headquarters, investigating the possibilities of undoing the corporate environment. he has painstakingly adjusted and re-adjusted the dimmer switch until the lighting in the room matches the twilight outside, and he has also managed to pry open one of those standard office building windows, the kind that no one who works in places like this ever even gets near for fear that if they do try and get some fresh air in, some alarm will ring and a team of security guards will haul them away.

the captain finally sits down, the two of us engage in the ancient beefheartian ritual of cigarette exchanging - don's eyes light up when he sees that i've got a pack of chesterfields and i am ecstatic when a tin of balkan sobranies materializes out of his travel bag - but soon he is up again, moving towards a corner of the room where a cardboard cut-out of shaun cassidy is standing.

don's eyes move up and down as he takes in shaun's toothy grin, the long scarf, the open necked shirt, the tight slacks.

can you imagine? that kid has more money than all of us.... well, so what? he deserves it. you know what i mean?

and with that, he assumes a john l. sullivan stance, bobs and weaves a bit, waits for the opening and lands a lightning quick solid right jab to cassidy's jaw.

i like this place. you know what i mean?


i own some land in california - as if anyone can own land - up north near the oregon border; i think it's a quarter of an acre or a third, i'm not really sure. all i need is a window looking on the ocean.


on the album 'shiny beast (bat chain puller)':

i'm totally happy with this album. i just had a blast, and i mean a blast, doing it. glen kolotkin, the engineer, is just brilliant. this is the first time you can hear my voice the way it really is. glen did stravinsky's last record. i've always used my voice as an instrument but these people never realized that. what a job he did. when i heard 'bat chain puller' it just knocked me down. he got my voice the way it is. you know what i mean?


on magic band member bruce fowler (trombone):

is he too much? slide trombone and two slide guitars is it! you know what i mean?


you know, they've found a use for cockroaches and it's pretty good. what it is, is that they predict earthquakes by their behavior. is that hip? i knew they were worth it. they are beautiful things.


go to the NEXT part: fragments 1980/81

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captain beefheart electricity
as felt by teejo