Anton Corbijn (b. 1955)
Some YoYo Stuff: An observation of the observations of Don Van Vliet by Anton Corbijn (1993)
Don van Vliet, alias "Captain Beefheart", is one of the most influential, misunderstood, talked about, admired, copied, treasured, loved and quoted musicians and yet he is still an obscure and mysterious artist. His quite abrupt artistic transformation from working with a microphone to a paintbrush in 1982 and his consequent move from the desert to the ocean meant even less direct contact with the outside world than before. Subsequently there is very little information about Don from this time onwards and this short black-and-white film made in 1993 is an unique opportunity to see and hear this unique man. The film is approximately 13 minutes long, directed and photographed in black and white.
One of Van Vliet’s last public appearances was in the 1993 short documentary Some Yo Yo Stuff by filmmaker Anton Corbijn, described as an “observation of his observations”. Around 13 minutes and shot entirely in black and white, with appearances by his mother and David Lynch, the film showed a noticeably weakened and dysarthric Van Vliet at his residence in California, reading poetry, and philosophically discussing his life, environment, music and art. In 2000, he appeared on Gary Lucas’ album Improve the Shining Hour and Moris Tepper’s Moth to Mouth, and spoke on Tepper’s 2004 song “Ricochet Man” from the album Head Off. He is credited for naming Tepper’s 2010 album A Singer Named Shotgun Throat.