Favorite Obdew’l X Story — Buns & Blues

One of my all time favorite Obdew’l X stories is of a young Obdew’l X and Don Van Vliet sitting around Don’s house after school listening to the music that would be such a large part of both mens’ careers.

From Obdew’l X, Captain Beefheart and the Secret History of Maximalism
by Michel Delville & Andrew Norris:

When Obdew’l X and Don Van Vliet sat around after school eating pineapple buns (from the remains of Mr Vliet senior’s bread round) and listening to rhythm and blues records, they were indulging in an early form of maximalist synaesthesia, performing the basic tenets of an aesthetic philosophy and way of life which was, at various points throughout the next thirty years, to unite and divide their parallel careers as American maverick artists: Buns and blues, the listening body eating, this was an auspicious beginning.


What’s your favorite Obdew’l X story?

19 Responses to “Favorite Obdew’l X Story — Buns & Blues”

  1. Clasrk Gwent says:

    What a load of pathetic jizz soaked anorak wearing Wire-reading art–wank. NO THEY FUCKING WEREN’T!

  2. urbangraffito says:

    An auspicious conclusion of a treatise filled with a lot of really big words, Clasrk Gwent. Yet, it’s still one of my favorite tales of FZ/Beefheart lore, along with them both miming the guitar parts vocally because they had no instruments…

  3. xorg says:

    Shall we take ourselves seriously?
    Shall we talk about it all night long?
    Shall we think we are so evolved?
    Will we be depressed
    If we’re wrong?

  4. bernard says:

    Yes, Xorg, the joy of music is in the listening.
    For instance :
    Messiaens transcriptions of Bird Songs for Piano : ( cheap CD)
    http://www.naxos.com/catalogue/item.asp?item_code=BIS-CD-594-96

  5. bernard says:

    Yep. Obviously.
    FZ ( sophisticated ) and CP ( so to speak “low” innovating culture ) made a good temporary couple.
    For sure: the one’s who discovered this, happen to be Belgians, the mothers of surrealism.
    Anyone else? I truly hope so.

  6. Jamez says:

    ‘When Frank Zappa and Don Van Vliet sat around after school eating pineapple buns (from the remains of Mr Vliet senior’s bread round) and listening to rhythm and blues records, they were indulging in an early form of maximalist synaesthesia”
    What is this bull?! They were just having a good time!!

  7. Roland says:

    “Jamez”, there will be always authors, who don´t want to be understandable and write for a higher specimen on earth. Throw the bone and let there be more spaceships …

  8. urbangraffito says:

    To paraphrase Freud…sometimes a poodle is just a poodle.

  9. Roland says:

    … a poodle did a piddle in the middle of a puddle …

  10. giantalbinopenguin says:

    Can you imagine the phone call:
    “Hey Don, its Frank. Do you wanna come over and listen to some rhythm and blues records? We could indulge in an early form of maximalist synaesthesia, hell why not, whilst performing the basic tenets of an aesthetic philosophy and way of life which may, at various points throughout the next thirty years, unite and divide our parallel careers as American maverick artists. Sure. I’ve got pepsi…”
    Spoo!

  11. Jamez says:

    giantalbinopenguin Says:
    December 13th, 2007 at 3:48 pm
    Can you imagine the phone call:
    “Hey Don, its Frank. Do you wanna come over and listen to some rhythm and blues records? We could indulge in an early form of maximalist synaesthesia, hell why not, whilst performing the basic tenets of an aesthetic philosophy and way of life which may, at various points throughout the next thirty years, unite and divide our parallel careers as American maverick artists. Sure. I’ve got pepsi…”
    Spoo!
    Couldn’t have put it better myself!

  12. Roland says:

    “giantalbinopenguin”, believe me, I sat in fornt of the monitor and laughed and laughed – good one !

  13. Roland says:

    Well both authors live in Belgium. Is this an answer to “maximalist synaesthesia” with “aesthetic philosophy”? By the way: There are rumours, that underneath the whole of Belgium is one big cellar, to hide away little children, which are abused after dark…

  14. Clark Gwent says:

    I was so alarmed at the art wank i spelled my name wrong
    now let ben fucking watson say something bloody stupid about THAT!

  15. bernard says:

    Roland, my dear , our +/- smart & +/- haughty boy, man.
    Sorry to offend you,R. We, the Belgians are even ready to forgive you for mentioning this minor detail, which was highlighted by the international press when there was no news to be covered.
    To the point : in my humble opnion our friend Jamez really understood it. Jamez might indeed be much smarter than you are. OK, he is.
    Does it happen to be difficult? No. Why? Basically because it happens to be rather easy.
    One clue: “simplify & exagerate”, i e core business in both humour and great art. Amongst others : the FZ & comic strips way. Art.

  16. jane23 says:

    The author of that book may be employing semiotics for his analysis, although at first glance it might seem more like idiotics.
    Below is a brief explanation:
    Semiotics embraced semantics, along with the other traditional branches of linguistics:
    semantics: the relationship of signs to what they stand for;
    syntactics (or syntax): the formal or structural relations between signs;
    pragmatics: the relation of signs to interpreters (Morris 1938, 6-7).
    Semiotics is often employed in the analysis of texts (although it is far more than just a mode of textual analysis). Here it should perhaps be noted that a ‘text’ can exist in any medium and may be verbal, non-verbal, or both, despite the logocentric bias of this distinction. The term text usually refers to a message which has been recorded in some way (e.g. writing, audio- and video-recording) so that it is physically independent of its sender or receiver. A text is an assemblage of signs (such as words, images, sounds and/or gestures) constructed (and interpreted) with reference to the conventions associated with a genre and in a particular medium of communication.
    So in this context how does this relate to early don and frank listening parties relate to there later output and what did don’s dad’s leftover bunss signify?
    If you recall, in Uncle Meat, Don Preston is constantly rearranging different ingredients including a BUN in order to construct a hit single.
    Makes sense now don’t it?

  17. giantalbinopenguin says:

    Nope!
    On a pretty much unrelated note, what’s with the Paul Anka and the Frank cut-out, and the disclaimer and all the reviews missing? Hope it’s just a temp thing!!!

  18. Roland says:

    Oh oh “bernard”, I didn´t have a clou, that you are from Belgium. So again I wrote something to have been forgiven by you. Well, it´s near Christmas and I thank you. Everywhere is Christmas, London, Paris, Munich, Rome …

  19. urbangraffito says:

    A quote from urbangraffito:

    giantalbinopenguin Says:
    December 13th, 2007 at 7:58 pm
    Nope!
    On a pretty much unrelated note, what’s with the Paul Anka and the Frank cut-out, and the disclaimer and all the reviews missing? Hope it’s just a temp thing!!!

    It’s an example of web rape. Where’s the rapist? Hmmmm. Somewhere in Laurel Canyon methinks…