Saturday, 18 December 2010


I met Don van Vliet just the once, in the gents at Warwick University. I offered him a pull on a joint. Ah, No, sir, people have paid good money to see us tonight and I like to be straight for them. Thirty years later, I still don't know whether he was shitting me or not. He was certainly, albeit on the basis of a brief encounter, one of the gentlest men I have ever met, even though Maestro Ry Cooder insists that Beefheart got the best from him by pointing a gun at his head. He hadn't recorded for a long time, instead painting in, I believe, the Mojave Desert. Last time I saw him he was playing two saxophones at the same time, threatening to sack his drummer and raising the roof. May he have been in Blues Heaven half an hour before the Devil knew he was dead.


Dick the Prick said...

That was awfully good. With songs like that it's highly reasonable to assume that the lad 'lived a life'.

OTish, there was an interview with Lemmy from Motorhead in last week's Observer food monthly and he came over as just a standard working class alcoholic who knew he got lucky and didn't give a fuck; my kinda guy, really. Showbizzness - ah, go fuck yourself.

mongoose said...

We used to listen to Beefheart whilst stoned as rats and, dear me, we got through some stuff in those days. Mad Friday nights in freezing fifteen-quid-a-week shit-holes, Beefheart, Dylan downstairs and the ACDC, Black Sabbath nutter upstairs. White poppy Whatshername lecturing us about the Bomb. Socks simmmering in saucepans in the kitchen. And yet we survived.

the noblest prospect said...

When I get lonesome the wind begin t' moan
When I trip fallin' ditch
Somebody wanna' throw the dirt right down
When I feel like dyin' the sun come out
'n stole m' fear 'n gone
Who's afraid of the spirit with the bluesferbones
Who's afraid of the fallin' ditch
Fallin' ditch ain't gonna get my bones
How's that for the spirit
How's that for the things
Ain't my fault the thing's gone wrong
'n when I'm smilin' my face wrinkles up real warm
'n when um frownin' things just turn t' stone
Fallin' ditch ain't gonna get my bones
'n when I get lonesome the wind begin t' moan
Fallin' ditch ain't gonna get my bones

RIP Captain.

orinocho said...

B sharp, B flat, B fart,

Elby The Berserk said...

Saw the Captain a number of times. Always wonderful.

Jack Savage said...

Came to the Captain late in life compared to most of his fans, despite my having been a Zappa aficionado. His collaboration with Frank on "Bongo Fury"....well...jus' glorious.

His harmonica playing comes straight from the crossroads.....

We shall not look upon his like again.

P.S. His paintings were also rather good. I wanted one,but they were stratospherically expensive even before he died.