DON'T ARGUE WITH THE CAPTAIN
'BUSINESS IS YOGURT WITH WRENCHES'
van vliet, painter
collection of fragments
1985/89 - THIS is PART 2 1990/95
from usa 29 july 1990 LOS ANGELES TIMES
by kristine mckenna
as well as the
RUN PAINT RUN RUN from england 1 december 1993 MOJO #2
note: this article on don van vliet as a painter and what seems to be an interview is cut and paste work from her reports during the 80's. but previously unused bits - although the 1989 interview 'gravity holding me down' hasn't been found yet - are:
on being a painter:i don't care where i fit into history or whether i'm part of this or that school. i paint for the simple reason that i have to. i feel a sense of relief after i do it.
the most widely held misconception about me is that i'm a mystic. i'm not. i believe in black and white, i believe organically.
part of why i stopped doing music was because it was too hard to control the other people i needed to play the stuff and i'd had enough animal training. when it comes to art i have a real streak of fascism. i want it to be exactly the way i conceive it, and if one line is changed it's like: 'hey, the hell with it, i don't need it'.
(completed cite) on his earlier life as a composer:
most people are so damned stupid they can't even see what artists are doing, and if they're appreciated at all during their lifetime, it's usually for the wrong reasons.
a lot of people don't know this, but i was painting consistently throughout the '60s and '70s, but i never showed my work then (with the exception of the 1972 liverpool, uk exhibition - t.t.) because i didn't feel like it. i'm happy to show it now though, because the art world is providing a better life for me than music did. it helps, not having to deal with fans, and i'm much better off now.
from usa 9 september 1991 THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
by john rogers
is august 1991 telephone interview
as well as the shorter versions
MUSIC'S MAD GENIUS FINDS SOLACE, SUCCESS captain beefheart of old from usa 12 september 1991 SAN MARCOS DAILY RECORD
MUSIC'S MAD GENIUS ENJOYS PAINTING from usa 21 september 1991 STEVENS POINT JOURNAL
FOR MUSIC'S MAD GENIUS THERE'S SOLACE IN PAINTING from usa 22 september 1991 THE ENTERPRISE
MUSIC'S MAD GENIUS FINDS NEW CANVAS from usa 14 november 1991 CHICAGO SUN / TIMES
oh, i've had so much fun since i started just painting because now i don't have to worry about somebody else. i did that music thing for twenty years, and i tell you, i was a damn fool.
(on a rare trip to an exhibit of his paintings in southern california last year he was besieged by captain beefheart fans. he graciously signed autographs for hours, but confided afterward that he hated the experience.)
in my music days i used to even paint on stage. sometimes during a song, i'd be doing a painting or a drawing. i didn't care if the audience liked it or not. i just wanted to paint.
i usually see the sun and the moon roll around the sky three or four times before going to sleep. i finally hit that point (where sleep is a necessity). but i fight it.
on the process of making a painting:
magic johnson - now there's an artist.
on a certain basketball star:
they never quite got it right, did they?
comparing the blues efforts of the 'rolling stones' with one of their inspirations, howlin' wolf:
it's very difficult to discuss in words what you do with a brush. usually you sound like a naive artist, which is not what i am. everything i do is on purpose.
it came from the beef in my heart about people stealing the land and covering it over; from the beef in my heart about the way people treat animals. it's terrible what we do to animals.
on why he called himself 'captain beefheart':
i've only seen about three other people since i've lived here. and i'm not kidding. but then i don't get out much.
on his new home on the coast:
there's a lot of guys who copied me, and i think they're crazy. i think it's a dangerous thing not to be who you are, to try to be somebody else. it doesn't flatter me.
on his influence on other musicians:
from usa 22 may 1995 THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
by john rogers
is early may 1995 telephone interview
as well as other (shorter) versions
HE'D RATHER PAINT A LINE THAN SING IT from usa 25 may 1995 PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS
CAPTAIN BEEFHEART RIDES AGAIN IN ART from usa 28 may 1995 THE SPECTRUM
CAPT. BEEFHEART IS A MEATY PAINTER he says his music waylaid him for 20 years from usa 29 may 1995 THE PALLADIUM-TIMES
GIVES INTO THE BRUSH former '60s' songster now renowned for art from usa 2 june 1995 ALEXANDRIA DAILY TOWN TALK
BEYOND BEEFHEART: VAN VLIET'S ART WINNING ACCLAIM from usa 2 june 1995 THE STAR-DEMOCRAT
CAPTAIN BEEFHEART GAINING ACCLAIM from usa 3 june 1995 STANDARD-SPEAKER
ROCK'S CAPTAIN BEEFHEART GAINS INTERNATIONAL ACCLAIM - FOR PAINTING from usa 3 june 1995 STEVENS POINT JOURNAL
BEEFHEART GAINS ACCLAIM FOR PAINTING from usa 4 june 1995 THE DAILY TIMES
THE ARTFUL REBIRTH OF CAPT. BEEFHEART from usa 4 june 1995 JOURNAL AND COURIER
'60S MUSICAL HERO AND ZAPPA PAL NOW LIVES IN WORLD OF CANVASES from usa 10 june 1995 DAILY HERALD
MUSICAL HERO BEEFHEART GAINS ACCLAIM FOR PAINTING from usa 10 june 1995 ARIZONA DAILY SUN
CAPTAIN BEEFHEART RETURNS WITH NEW TOOL: PAINTING from usa 10 june 1995 PRESS-REPUBLICAN
CAPTAIN BEEFHEART LEFT MUSIC FOR ANOTHER ARTISTIC UNIVERSE from usa 11 june 1995 LINCOLN JOURNAL-STAR
CAPTAIN'S RETURN from usa 18 june 1995 THE HERALD-NEWS
CAPTAIN BEEFHEART CONTENT TO BE PAINTER from usa 9 july 1995 THE REPUBLIC
i had been painting since i was little bitty baby boy anyhow, but i got waylaid along the way. that music thing waylaid me for twenty years.
the people didn't get it. well..., they seldom do. they don't have anything to do with my brush anyway.
on 'another rock musician dabbling in art?':
they're not really an influence on me, though. no one is. i just paint like i paint and that's enough influence.
on admiring painters, like van gogh and willem de kooning:
they were sweet people, but they didn't have a clue. they didn't even know who picasso was.
on the fine arts knowledge of his parents:
and then he had to go and die on me. he died too young - way, way too young.
on the death - in december 1993 - of frank zappa:
i don't think about music anymore. i don't have time to think about it. that would just be keeping me away from the brush. and all i really want to do now, is get as much out as i can through the brush.
i don't think being seen in public like that adds anything. i think it's just being commercial. it's just that i don't like getting out when i could be painting. (thinks.) and when i'm painting, i don't want anybody else around. that's all. (laughs.)
on not been to one of his exhibitions since 1990:
click clack back to the history or return to the power station
captain beefheart electricity
as felt by teejo