Tom Waits writes poem for Captain Beefheart

Work features in sleevenotes for new Beefheart box...

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Work features in sleevenotes for new Beefheart box…

Tom Waits has written a poem dedicated to Captain Beefheart.

Don Is Like The Bones In A Watermelon” will feature in the sleeve notes for a new four-disc Beefheart collection, Sun Zoom Spark: 1970 To 1972.

You can read the poem below.

Sun Zoom Spark: 1970 To 1972 is released by Rhino on November 10, and includes the albums Lick My Decals Off, Baby, The Spotlight Kid and Clear Spot, which have been remastered for the first time, as well as an entire disc featuring 14 previously unissued outtakes from that era.

Waits is a long-term fan of Beefheart – aka Don Van Vliet.

Following Van Vliet’s death on December 17, 2010, Waits told the Los Angeles Times: “He was like the scout on a wagon train. He was the one who goes ahead and shows the way. He was a demanding bandleader, a transcendental composer (with emphasis on the dental), up there with Ornette [Coleman], Sun Ra and Miles [Davis]. He drew in the air with a burnt stick. He described the indescribable. He’s an underground stream and a big yellow blimp.

“I will miss talking to him on the phone. We would describe what we saw out of our windows. He was a rememberer. He was the only one who thought to bring matches. He’s the alpha and the omega. The high water mark. He’s gone and he won’t be back.”

Here’s Waits poem in full:

NOW DON IS LIKE THE BONES IN A WATERMELON
OR THE SEEDS IN A FISH AND YOU CAN SEE HIM
THROUGH THE BLUE SMOKE OF A TRAMPS FIRE
IS HE STILL IN 1129 AT THE DAVENPORT HOTEL
IN SILO, MISSOURI? NO…YOU SEE MY FRIEND YOU
WILL NOT FIND HIM THERE. HE CAME FROM THE CLAY
AND HE HAS GONE BACK…LIKE RATS, LIKE RAVENS
ROOKS, AND COAL BLACK ROSES…SHARKS, SHADOWS,
SHOES AND SHEEP. HE IS NOW LIKE THE PLACE ON
THE COUNTER, WORN AWAY FROM YEARS OF MAKING CHANGE.
HE IS NOW A SIREN IN THE NEXT TOWN OVER…ONLY HIS
TAIL IS STICKING OUT OF THE GROUND.
DON, HE WAS A GIANT AND HE WALKED AMONG US ON THIS
EARTH, NOW LONG GONE…
HE HAS GONE BACK INTO THE FROGS CROAKING THROAT…
LISTEN, IN THE DESERT THERE IS A FORK STUCK IN A TREE…
PUT YOUR EAR UP TO IT AND THUMP IT, BOW IT, SWALLOW THE
SOUND AND THEN GROW IT…
DON SEEMS TO BE TELLING US ALL…DO NOT FOLLOW HIM
JUST TAKE WHAT CLUES HE LEFT AND WITH THEM, GO AND BUILD
A STRANGE HOME OF YOUR OWN


The Sun Zoom Spark: 1970 To 1972 box set can be pre-ordered here.

The tracklisting for Sun Zoom Spark: 1970 To 1972 is:

Lick My Decals Off, Baby (October 1970)
1. “Lick My Decals Off, Baby”
2. “Doctor Dark”
3. “I Love You, You Big Dummy”
4. “Peon”
5. “Bellerin’ Plain”
6. “Woe-Is-uh-Me-Bop”
7. “Japan in a Dishpan”
8. “I Wanna Find a Woman That’ll Hold My Big Toe Till I Have To Go”
9. “Petrified Forest”
10. “One Red Rose That I Mean”
11. “The Buggy Boogie Woogie”
12. “The Smithsonian Institute Blues (or the Big Dig)”
13. “Space-Age Couple”
14. “The Clouds Are Full of Wine (not Whiskey or Rye)”
15. “Flash Gordon’s Ape”

The Spotlight Kid (January 1972)
1. “I’m Gonna Booglarize You Baby”
2. “White Jam”
3. “Blabber ‘n Smoke”
4. “When It Blows Its Stacks”
5. “Alice in Blunderland”
6. “The Spotlight Kid”
7. “Click Clack”
8. “Grow Fins”
9. “There Ain’t No Santa Claus on the Evenin’ Stage”
10. “Glider”

Clear Spot (November 1972)
1. “Low Yo Yo Stuff”
2. “Nowadays a Woman’s Gotta Hit a Man”
3. “Too Much Time”
4. “Circumstances”
5. “My Head Is My Only House Unless It Rains”
6. “Sun Zoom Spark”
7. “Clear Spot”
8. “Crazy Little Thing”
9. “Long Neck Bottles”
10. “Her Eyes Are a Blue Million Miles”
11. “Big Eyed Beans from Venus”
12. “Golden Birdies”

Out-takes
1. “Alice in Blunderland” – Alternate Version
2. “Harry Irene”
3. “I Can’t Do This Unless I Can Do This/Seam Crooked Sam”
4. “Pompadour Swamp/Suction Prints”
5. “The Witch Doctor Life” – Instrumental Take
6. “Two Rips in a Haystack/Kiss Me My Love”
7. “Best Batch Yet” – (Track) Version 1
8. “Your Love Brought Me To Life” – Instrumental
9. “Dirty Blue Gene” – Alternate Version 1
10. “Nowadays a Woman’s Gotta Hit a Man” – Early Mix
11. “Kiss Where I Kain’t”
12. “Circumstances” – Alternate Version 2
13. “Little Scratch”
14. “Dirty Blue Gene” – Alternate Version 3


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