Gary Lucas & Co de Kloet - I Have A Cat - Script

GARY LUCAS & CO DE KLOET - I HAVE A CAT

-I HAVE A CAT- PART ONE

JvV (answering machine): This is van Vliet at 707-677-04…

DvV: Co?

CdK: Don?

DvV: Yeah.

CdK: Hello.

DvV: [laughs]  Who was… Who was that talking?

CdK: I think it was Jan.

DvV: Oh.

CdK: On your machine.

DvV: (mocking) 7-0-7… yeah.  Sounds familiar.

CdK: How are you today?

DvV: Wunderbar.

CdK: Alright.  Shall we just start, or…

DvV: I thought we did, oh – well, tell me… prep me on what you’re going to do.

CdK: I just have a couple of questions first, and then… I have just a small list of things that I would like…

DvV: Good.

CdK: - …that I would like you to give your first reaction on, like, your association with that.

DvV: Yeah.

CdK: Would that be ok?

DvV: Well, I don’t see why not.

CdK: Alright.

DvV: If I don’t like it, I won’t talk.

[laughter]

CdK: Ok, so…

DvV: How you doing?

CdK: I’m fine today.

DvV: How’s your little fox terrier?

CdK: He’s fine.  Barking away.

DvV: I have a cat.

CdK: What’s his name?

DvV: My cat, Garland.

CdK: Garland, I dig your tweed coat?

DvV: Right, that’s what he’s named from.

CdK: Is it ok if I start with my questions about the painting?

DvV: Yeah.

CdK: Ok. Um, you’ve been active now for, for years as a painter, and in the recent past you’ve concentrated mainly on painting.  But how is the climate in the United States now for, for contemporary painters?  Do you find that a comfortable climate?

DvV: I don’t go see them.  I don’t go there.

CdK: Mm hmm.

DvV: I just paint.

CdK: What is to you the difference in your work style – I mean, you’ve - you have a name for yourself both as a composer, a performer, a poet, a painter, a novelist…

DvV: All the same head.  [laughs] The same head does all kinds of things.  Tricky brain, I guess you might call it.

CdK: A tricky brain.

DvV: [laughs]

CdK: And are there any cross-references between the different disciplines that you do?

DvV: Mm… Mainly, uh, sometimes I name the paintings after music that I’ve done.

CdK: Mm hmm.

DvV: Quite different.  Actually I enjoy painting more than music.

CdK: Why?

DvV: More exciting.

CdK: In terms of what, is it more exciting?  That interests me.

DvV: Uh, I get to do exactly what I want.  Not as if I don’t, anyway – but it’s more just, on-the-spot.

CdK: Mm hmm.  Would…

DvV: It’s just interesting.  I don’t have to think about anybody at all.

CdK: …That’s what I was saying.  Would it have something to do – that you have a complete control over the end result without any other human beings interfering in it?

DvV: Yeah.  There’s sure that.

CdK: Because a composer always has to go through the musicians?

DvV: Mm… Yeah, but it’s sometimes difficult to go through somebody when they don’t want to be gone through.  But, [laughs] they will definitely be gone through if I’m doing it.  

CdK: [laughs]

DvV: I’m a stubborn man.

CdK: You go right through them, huh?

DvV: Right through.  [swoosh noise]  But, with painting, I can do what I want right then and there, can see it immediately.

CdK: Today, I listened to the tape of our conversation in 1980, which is almost thirteen years ago, and I asked you then about your development as a composer, and you told me then that you didn’t really believe in any development as a, as a person who wrote music, and my interpretation then was that you were, uh very…

DvV: Lying! [laughs]

CdK: Yeah, but that you were very related to your way of writing, and very clear about that at that time, and… Would you have the same feeling about your work as a painter.

DvV: Uh, definitely.  Yeah, for sure.  I’m still just as stubborn.

CdK: But does that mean that you are, are exploring the depth of a certain style more than trying to move from one style to another?

DvV: Mm, well, recently, I’ve completely changed, but…

CdK: In what way?

DvV: In – God, that’s a difficult question.  Let’s see… let me think one second.  Oh, I would say that I’m having better control now with my brushes.  I mean, I’m getting better.

CdK: So it’s a change in – it’s a moving forward in technique.  Could I describe it that way?

DvV: I think that would be a good way of looking at it.

CdK: Do you have, as a painter - somebody who is very visually orientated – do you take a special interest in certain matters?  For instance, nature?

DvV: Yeah, definitely.  Animals help.

CdK: And how do you look upon what’s happening right now in various parts of the world, in that perspective?

DvV: I try not to look at some of these horrible things that are happening.  There’s some horror stories out there.  Does it bother you?

CdK: Yeah, a lot, I mean…

DvV: Me too.

CdK: [laughs] You dedicated the “Shiny Beast” album to the people – to all conservation and wildlife preservation organizations everywhere.  I mean, they’re - the need for them is even more than in the time that you put out that album.

DvV: It’s getting worse.  I don’t think that it’s improving that much.  For instance, they’re burning down the rainforest.  Doesn’t that bother you?

CdK: It keeps going on, day by day.

DvV: As we talk.

CdK: At this very moment.

DvV: Horrible.  Human beings.  It goes way back.  I can think way back to when I wrote “White ants running, yellow ants dreaming, Uhuru, ant-man-bee.” It’s scary to find the things you’re saying acted out in front of your very eyes.  I was right, and that’s one time I’d like to be mistaken.

CdK: Yeah.

DvV: Yes, it’s horrible.

CdK: Since there’s people who are involved in the, in the decision-making side of those things, my next question would be how your views on the political situation in your country is.  How do you look at that subject?

DvV: (laughing) I try not to.  I think it’s absurd.  They don’t know what they’re doin’.  It is like swinging a sponge on the end of a string.

CdK: I would like to talk about your lyrics for a moment.  The very poetical content of the lyrics that you, that you made - also in association with your music.  Did they find their origin in the sound of them?

DvV: Well, usually I would do the music with the words right at the time.

CdK: You mean simultaneously?

DvV: Yeah.  Yes.  That’s a good word, isn’t it?  Simultaneous.  Usually I would do it right at the same time.  Maybe I was a better musician than a poet.  Usually.

CdK: But therefore, maybe, the - the way your poetry sounded always had a very musical tendency to it.

DvV: I think perhaps music has nothing to do with it. [laughs] Now I sound… That’s ridiculous!  [laughs] God, it’s hard.  Hard to talk.  Hard to do music.

CdK: Well, let’s talk about music.  That’d make it a bit easier.  This week when we talked on the phone, you asked me if I ever listened to the radio.

DvV: Yeah.

CdK: Do you?

DvV: No. [laughs]

CdK: Let’s just take one of your albums.  Let’s take “Trout Mask.” I mean, what  would you think, what the response or the reaction would be if that album was now being put out as a new release, the way the music situation is now.  What do you think would happen?

DvV: What do I think they would think?

CdK: Yeah.

DvV: I’m not for sure they can think.

CdK: You’re not for sure they can think at all?

DvV: No. I think most of the stuff they’re doing now is reacting.  A bunch of re-actionaries.

CdK: Second-hand.

DvV: I think… what do you think?

CdK: Well, people try to – like to re-act a lot of periods that are long gone, and that were, in most instances, the originals are better and always will be.

DvV: Yeah.  Hmm.  I wonder what Roland Kirk would think now.

CdK: What do you think he would think?

DvV: [laughs] The last thing that I’ll tell you – that, I - He was playing at the beach, and he asked me, he said “Where can I get something to eat this time of night, Don?” And I said “Well, the only place you can get ribs in Los Angeles at this time of night, Roland, is in… the only place you can get ribs is in the Bible.”  [laughs]…and he laughed.  That’s the last time I saw him.  God, what a loss.

CdK: You often gave people that you worked with, you gave people your own names.  I mean…

DvV: Yeah.

CdK: …Why did you do that?

DvV: I didn’t care about their names.  And they seemed to be related to their mama and papa.  And I don’t think that I would get along with their mama and papa.  So I would get another name.  You mean like “Zoot Horn Rollo?”

CdK: For instance.

DvV: Yeah, was that what you were thinking?

CdK: Yeah.  “The Mascara Snake.”

DvV: [laughs] Yeah. That’s a relatively true name.  He is a snake, and he does wear mascara.  There was no lie to that.

CdK: And where did the “Antennae” from Jimmy Semens come from?

DvV: Just popped in my head.  I thought it would sound better than “Jeff.”  I thought it would be better.  Jeff “and his surname.”  Cotton.  Jeff Cotton.  I thought “Antennae Jimmy Semens” would be better.

CdK: Would it be ok if I gave you now a small list of, of words and ask you to comment on those?  Maybe also in 1 or 2 words?

DvV: I’ll try.

CdK: Ok, I’ll just start with my list.  Of course, my first one will be “soprano saxophone.”

DvV: Let’s see… a real skinny goose.

CdK: “Roland Kirk.”

DvV: One of the best.

CdK: “The desert.”

DvV: Hot and, uh - sandy.

CdK: Do you like the desert?

DvV: Yeah.  Don’t like it as much as I used to.  Right now I’m painting a group of burrs [laughs] called “Goat Heads.” They’ll actually blow out a tire.  They’re that strong.  If you see ‘em...

CdK: No.

DvV: They’re pretty, pretty good.  Pretty good exhibit.

CdK: How about the old paint that you would get from Holland?

DvV: Marvelous.  You mean the “Old Holland?”

CdK: Mm hmm.

DvV: Fantastic.  Some of the best I’ve found.

CdK: Ok.  Next on my list is “Vincent van Gogh,” “van Goh.”

DvV: “van Gogh,” yeah.  Should be put with Albert Einstein.  I think he was one of the best.  Another painter that I really like is Piet Mondriaan.

CdK: Yeah.

DvV: Yeah.  How do you say that?

CdK: Piet Mondriaan.

DvV: Pi-et?

CdK:  Piet.  Like “Pete.”

DvV: Piete?

CdK: Like “Pete.”

DvV: Piet Mondriaan. Fantastic painter.  He did “Broadway Boogie Woogie.” You familiar with that?

CdK: Yeah.

DvV: And you can hear the horns honk!  One of my favorite paintings.

CdK: “Ornette Coleman.”

DvV: Ornette Coleman, hmm.  It’s hard to know.  Do you like him?

CdK: Yes.

DvV: I liked “Dee Dee.”

CdK: “Frank Zappa.”

DvV: He’s the only Frank Zappa I know.

CdK: The relation and friendship between you and him is probably one of the most discussed combinations of persons in the music history.

DvV: [laughs] Why?

CdK: I don’t know why, but it’s something that I see.

DvV: Yeah, then - I guess we fooled ‘em.

CdK: I guess you did.

DvV: Maybe.

CdK: What was your first collaboration with him?

DvV: Years ago, at a place in Cucamonga.  A studio he had.  We just started playing.  What’s your favorite album?

CdK: By who?  By you or by Frank?

DvV: Both of us.  “Hot Rats?”

CdK: It’s a hard question.

DvV: Not “Hot Rats?”

CdK: Well, it’s obviously one of my favorites, but…

DvV: “Bongo Fury?”

CdK: I like that one, yeah.

DvV: Pretty funny.

CdK: It’s a funny album.

DvV: [laughs]

CdK: But I think it’s a hard question on your behalf to ask, because both you and him have put out such a “various” catalogue, so much variation and so much different…

DvV: Yeah.

CdK: …approaches, and so much different styles and… If – let me, let me ask you a similar question; If there was one album from your catalogue that you would advise me to broadcast completely in this program, which one would it be?

DvV: Hmm, it would be “Lick My Decals Off, Baby.”

CdK: Because I think it would be a good idea, in this program, to at least play one album completely.

DvV: Wouldn’t hurt to do “Lick My Decals Off, Baby.”

CdK: Ok.

DvV: Not bad.

CdK: No. And as we speak, in the meantime, I have that very album in my hands.

DvV: You just had that.

CdK: Yeah.

DvV: You didn’t even… oh, you knew that!

CdK: It was on the top of the pile.

DvV: [laughs] How convenient.

CdK: Why would you pick that album?  Would that just be a – Why that particular one in your catalogue, I’m interested in that.

DvV: Telepathy.  Maybe because it was on the top of the pile.

CdK: [laughs]

DvV: Maybe.

CdK: Well, anyway – I think that would be the reason to do it, so we’ll play that one completely.

DvV: Good.

CdK: How is your relation now to – to the music that you have put down, and that you have made?  And also, why did you decide to concentrate on painting and let the music be what it is?

DvV: Well, I thought it was time for me to uh, let it live without my help.  Besides, I like to paint more.

CdK: Mm hmm.

DvV: I always have.

CdK: I’ve seen you sketching onstage.

DvV: Right.  [laughs] I didn’t want to waste any time.

CdK: And, are you still writing words?  Are you completely painting now, or are you also still writing poetry or novels, or…?

DvV: Well, mainly just painting.  But, uh - I have to name the paintings.

CdK: Do you, do you feel a – I mean, you’ve written a lot of music and within your composition you’ve always been very demanding to the performance and very involved in the structure of it…

DvV: Yeah.

CdK: …is there - you said to me earlier, “It all comes from the same head.” Do you see parallels in the way you treat it?  Is the – the fact that you can - from nothing, you can create something – is it the same feeling and the same kind of satisfaction that you get from doing that, in painting, poetry, or music?

DvV: I get more out of painting than music.

CdK: Which, at first – it might be that people think that it is the other way around, because with the music – the, the contact with your audience is far more direct.  …or does it not have something to do with that.

DvV: No, the audience has nothing to do with it – nothing to do with what I did musically.

CdK: Mm hmm.  But as an artist in general, how do you see your relationship toward the audience?

DvV: Pff. [laughs] Very very tedious.  Should probably stay away.  Don’t you think that?

CdK: I don’t know.

DvV: You don’t seem like the sing-along type.

CdK: Uh, I like to listen.

DvV: [laughs] To who?

CdK: Well, basically to people who have something to say.

DvV: Few and far between.

CdK: Are you the sing-along type?

DvV: [laughs] No, oh!

CdK: You sure can sing.

DvV: You know I’m not.

[laughter]

DvV: That’s - that’s good.

[laughter]

DvV: Can you imagine that?

CdK: It depends on what you had to sing along to.

DvV: Perhaps.  The whales.

CdK: Yeah.

DvV: Not really.  They’re too complicated.  Lot of whales up here.

CdK: Are there?

DvV: Oh, yeah.  One time, uh - four Easters ago, there were thirty-six whales in the bay.  Trinidad Bay.  Thirty-six of them!  They must have been feeding on krill.  I don’t know.  Probably.  You know what krill is, don’t you?

CdK: Mm hmm.  Yeah.

DvV: Little shrimp.

CdK: Mm hmm.

DvV: Incredible.

CdK: So you – if you had to sing along, it would be with them.

DvV: Yeah.  But they’re very, very complicated.  I mean, those things can do thirty-six minute compositions without a repeat.  Thirty-six minutes!  It’s amazing.  [makes whale song noise, laughs] Mm, yeah – beautiful.

CdK: I sometimes find it melancholy.

DvV: Yes, I think so.  Is that just human?  Is that us?  Because I do too.

CdK: Yeah.  I some…

DvV: Beautiful blues.

CdK: …That’s right.  It touches some parts that I very rarely have with music.

DvV: Indeed.  I like Howlin’ Wolf.  Chester Burnett.

CdK: You sang a song once on a Howlin’ Wolf background.

DvV: You mean with Frank?

CdK: Yeah.

DvV: It was what, was…?

CdK: Pepsi?  “Why doesn’t somebody get him a Pepsi?” I think that had the background of “Smokestack Lightning?”

DvV: Yeah?

CdK: Yeah.

DvV: Kinda silly, huh?

[laughter]

CdK: But still, it’s a nice song.

DvV: Yeah.

CdK: Besides the – “Lick My Decals Off, Baby,” is there an album that you have a special relationship with?  That you would see, like – a thing that you would cherish – that has a special feeling for you?

DvV: The thing that has a thing called “Ink Mathematics.”

CdK: Uh, I - it’s number two on the pile, as a matter of fact.  It’s “Ice Cream for Crow.”

DvV: That’s it.

CdK: Yeah.

DvV: Two on the pile!  You’re kidding.

CdK: “Ink Mathematics.”

DvV: Oh, you’re not!

CdK: No, it’s here.  I’ll let it – here it is! [smacks on LP cover] You hear it? [laughs]

DvV: Yeah.

CdK: “The Past Sure Is Tense.”

DvV: Boy, is that frightening.

CdK: No, it’s comforting.

DvV: “The Past Sure Is Tense?”

CdK: No, that isn’t.  But the fact that it’s number two on the pile is.

DvV: Well, that is!

[laughter]

DvV: Let me say something to Jan real quick?

CdK: Of course.  We’ll take a little break.

DvV: (off mic) Jan?


-I HAVE A CAT- PART TWO

DvV: What were those things you had – 1 and then 2?

CdK: One was “Lick My Decals Off, Baby.”

DvV: (to Jan) “Lick My Decals Off, Baby.”

CdK: And the other one was “Ice Cream For Crow.”

DvV: Then, “Ice Cream For Crow,” that’s just what I was thinking.

JvV: (off mic) You mean your albums?

DvV: Yeah, I do like “Doc At the Radar Station.” Do you?

CdK: What?

DvV: [laughs] “Doc At the Radar Station.”

CdK: “Doc At the Radar Station.”

DvV: Yeah.

CdK: It’s also here.  But then again, it’s a pile.  But it was just so, so amazing that those 2 albums would come up.

DvV: Frightening.

CdK: No, it’s relaxing.

DvV: No, I mean – in a good way.

CdK: Yeah.

DvV: [laughs] Some things are sacred, I guess.  But, I didn’t – I thought it was “Pi-et,” not “Piet.” That’s even hipper, “Piet Mondriaan.”

CdK: Yeah.

DvV: Ooh.  Oh… [laughs] God.

CdK: If we were going – I’m going to ask you for your help now a bit about putting our program about you together.  Of course, one of the albums that you are famous for is “Trout Mask.”

DvV: Yeah.

CdK: How do you feel about that album now?  Because for me, it’s still an album that is – is – that I play on a – well, not on a daily, but at least on a weekly basis.

DvV: Hit parade.  Yeah, I love the album.  I like it.

CdK: Because, that is what I was asking you before, is that – people tend to see albums like that to, to connect them with the period that they were released in, and with all the things that were around them then, but if you place that album in the day and age we live in now…

DvV: [laughs]

CdK: …do you think that it has gained a new role or a new meaning?

DvV: It better have.  I think it would be good if it did.  For them.  Do you like “Wild Life?”

CdK: Yeah.

DvV: Yeah, me too.  I enjoyed doing that horn.

CdK: “Veteran’s Day Poppy.”

DvV: Yeah.  [laughs] It’s frightening.  That’s frightening.  “I cry, but I can’t buy your Veteran’s Day Poppy.  It don’t get me high, it can only make me cry.  Your Veteran’s Day Poppy.” Ooh.

CdK: [laughs]

DvV: What about “Dachau Blues?”

CdK: That’s frightening.

DvV: Boy, it sure is.

CdK: But the thing I have, that – even though it’s a collection of songs, uh – the thing that I have with that album is that I – I cannot pick and choose and play one or two songs from it.  I think it is something that you, that you start and you finish.  You go through it all the way.

DvV: [laughs] Thank you.  Yeah.  It’s amazing they’d allow that.

CdK: Why?

DvV: It would hurt their little ears, they used to think.

CdK: Well, maybe even more now than then.

DvV: Maybe, [laughs] maybe.  Let’s hurt their little ears.

CdK: One of my favorites on that album is “Hobo Chang Ba.”

DvV: I like that myself.  Let’s see, “Strawwood claw, rattlin’ m’jaw.  You can’t call it,” no – “I can’t call it,” No, wait a minute.  “I can’t call it.  Feather times uh feather.  Mornin’ time t’thaw.  Strawwood claw rattlin’ m’jaw.  Hobo chang ba.” Boy, that’s been years since I’ve said that.  God, I’m getting senile.

CdK: [laughs]  But it’s good that all these things are – are still there.

DvV: Helps.  What a – what a wonderful floorplan.

CdK: One of the things that always…

DvV: [laughs]

CdK: …amazed me, or delighted me, or – I don’t really know how to put it, is that…

DvV: Gimme a little more juice.

CdK: …one of the things that I heard about is…

DvV: Can’t hardly hear you.

CdK: Can you, can you hear me now?

DvV: Yeah.

CdK: Alright.  One of the things I always think of when I play that particular album is the story I once heard about the “tree doctor” that you arranged.

DvV: [laughs] Oh, yeah.  Do you know that when I went down to see the exhibit I had in Los Angeles, I went by and saw those trees.  They’re still living.

CdK: Those very same trees you recorded “Trout Mask” near?

DvV: Yeah, they’re fine.  A male and a female Eucalyptus.  They’re still getting bigger.

CdK: Must have done them good to be…

DvV: Yeah.

CdK: …the witness of that.

DvV: I’m glad that I helped out.  They’re still there.

CdK: Yup.  If we are going tonight to – obviously, we will play about - selections from each and every title that you released, each and every album that you released… do you think we should do them all?  Or are there particular albums that you, looking back, think of as something that is not part of you anymore.  Like, obviously, when we talk about “Trout Mask,” or about “Lick My Decals Off, Baby,” those things are so vivid and still – also to, to listeners, are vivid.

DvV: Is there anything that I wouldn’t like you to play?  Is that what you’re asking?

CdK: Yeah.

DvV: Yes.  Anything that had anything to do with the DiMartino brothers.

CdK: Like, uh – “Moonbeams?”

DvV: Yes.  [laughs] Thank you, yes.

CdK: So, basically the two albums, uh – “Blue Jeans and Moonbeams,” and “Unconditionally Guaranteed.”

DvV: Right.  They’re wrong.  They screwed with those.

CdK: I remember you once told me that on the track called – let me think now – “Party of Special Things To Do,” that they took off Winged Eel Fingerling or something.

DvV: He, he was there.

CdK: But didn’t they take that off later?

DvV: Yeah.  They’ve ruined everything.  Horrible fellows.  Crooks.

CdK: Well, then on this program we will, on special request, not play something.

DvV: Get rid of the crooks.

[laughter]

CdK: Let’s have a legal program.

DvV: [laughs]

CdK: Very legal.

DvV: Make it legal.

CdK: Yeah, legal show.

DvV: [laughs] Beautiful.  Yeah, they – they’ve ruined those songs, everything.  They’d lunched everything.

CdK: One of my last question is that the - the surroundings that you now live in, is that part of the inspiration for your work?  What kind of atmosphere, what kind of surroundings do you work and live in?

DvV: Right on the ocean.  Uh, I can look out my window and see a spout if I’m lucky.  They breech out there, the whales.  They’re wonderful.

CdK: We’ve talked about so many things.  Do you think there is something I didn’t bring up, and that I should have?  For now, that is.

DvV: Well, let’s see.  I’m trying to think of, uh – you brought up some pretty good stuff.  You’ve amazed me quite a bit.  [laughs] That’s for sure.  Do you like Phil Larkin?

CdK: Philip Largen?

DvV: Larkin.  The writer.

CdK: I’m not really familiar with his things.  I’m a listener, I’m not really a reader.

DvV: [laughs] Oh.

CdK: Well, you know people like that.

DvV: Yeah, I – I’m sort of like that myself.  But he’s awful good.  I think, perhaps the best poet.  Let’s see, oh – God, that time went by so fast!

CdK: It did.

DvV: I’ll tell you, I thought it was fifteen minutes!

CdK: Yeah.

DvV: I hope they like our program that much.

CdK: I think they will.

DvV: [laughs] You can only hope.  I think that maybe I’m not senile.

CdK: Well, I – I never said that, you did.

DvV: I did.  [laughs] It was me.  (to self:) What am  I saying?  Damn, what was I say, wha..?

CdK: One of the things that amaze - well, it doesn’t really amaze me, but one of the thing that I notice is that recently, so many young musicians, when asked about their influences – it seems that in the, in the recent past, so many people will name you…

DvV: [laughs]

CdK: …but, but even more so than, for instance, ten years ago.

DvV: Yeah.

CdK: Would you consider it a possibility – or does it ever cross your mind that the music as composed by you, and as written down by you could ever be performed by other people?  I mean, some people already did covers of your material…

DvV: Yeah.

CdK: …But then mostly they would pick and choose, like – uh - “My Head Is My Only House Unless It Rains,” or stuff like that, but could you see a young group of young people, um -  perform the “Lick My Decals Off” album, or “Trout Mask?”

DvV: I would like to hope that they would be willing to work that hard.  I wish they’d try it.  It would be funny.

CdK: Let me ask you something.

DvV: What?

CdK: Let me ask you something – Are you familiar with the composer Gavin Brayers?

DvV: No.

CdK: He recently, released a remake of one of his older compositions, called “Jesus’ Blood Never Failed Me Yet,” and it’s a recording of a man, a hobo – who was recorded in the streets with a small tape recorder, and he sang the line, the short traditional song “Jesus’ Blood Never Failed Me Yet,” and he made a loop out of it, and it goes on and on and on for about seventy-five minutes, and he did an arrange…

DvV: Wow.

CdK: I’ll send you a copy of that because it’s pretty amazing.

DvV: Never heard that.

CdK: I think you’ll like it, it’s very amazing, but one of the people who participated in that project was Tom Waits.

DvV: Ooh, ooh, ooh.  Not a friend of mine.

CdK: He is, or he is not?

DvV: Not.  To be perfectly truthful with you.  No, he, uh – he just – he kind of is too slick, if you know what I mean.  What do you think?

CdK: I don’t know him personally.

DvV: [laughs]

CdK: I know that he did an album with a title that - I think, that was – thought up by you, that was made up by you.

DvV: It was, uh –

[Together]: “Swordfishtrombone.”

CdK: That’s right.

DvV: Guess what?  He calls me and he told me that title, and I was in the desert visiting my mother, and he asked me “So what do you think of that?” and I said “Well, I don’t know, should I think of that?”  He said, “Well, I just wondered.” That’s kind of funny, that you got that comparison.  Sounds like “Trout Mask,” right?

CdK: Yeah.  Well, I like the…

DvV: …and…

CdK: …I like the word “Swordfishtrombone” anyway.

DvV: Yeah, but the very idea of him calling me and seeing if that went by me.  Right?

CdK: Mm hmm.

DvV: Without a comment.

CdK: Mm hmm.

DvV: It’s kinda corny.

CdK: Would you say there’s more slick people in the music world than in the painting world?

DvV: I think so.  But it’s quite a toss-up.

[laughter]

DvV: But, uh – this Wait(s) character, uh - he… (off mic) What do you think, Jan?  (on mic) [laughs] She runs out.  She doesn’t like him.

CdK: Let’s forget about him.

DvV: Wh…Who?  [laughs] I think why I got away quick, he had the nerve to think he could sing like me.

CdK: But you go higher and deeper than that.

DvV: Huh, indeed.  I’ll go as high as I need to go, and deep as I need to go to get by him.

CdK: [laughs] I think…

DvV: He’s rich!

CdK: He’s rich?

DvV: Yeah.  Money.  You knew that, right?

CdK: Well, I gather he is, but – but then again…

DvV: [laughs] Beautiful, yeah.  Do you know Anton Korb…? (note cdk: corbijn!)

CdK: Yes, of course.  I’m looking…

DvV: You’ve seen him?

CdK: I don’t, I don’t get to – I don’t meet him, I don’t know him personally, but of course I’m familiar with his work.  As a matter of fact, I’m looking at one of his pictures right now.

DvV: [laughs] Fancy that.

CdK: Well, the “Ice Cream For Crow” picture is probably one of the fa – most famous pictures ever made.

DvV: He’s good.

CdK: Do you get to speak to him?

DvV: Oh, yeah.  Yeah, I see him… uh (off mic) How long… Jan?  How long has it been since we saw Anton?

JvV: (off mic) A couple years.

DvV: A couple of years.  Two years.

CdK: I’ll send him a copy of the program.

DvV: Oh, would he like that.  He’s a good friend.  Tell him, say to him “Cheesian Phips.”  We were in England once and he was telling about “Cheese and Chips,” and I told him “Cheesian Phips.” He’s funny.  He’s a hell of a photographer.

CdK: I will play, I will play this tape – I think, a lot of times to, to find out what we talked about because right now I’ve just been concentrating on the moment and I really don’t know what’s, what’s on the tape.  But I think it’s a lot.

DvV: Yeah, I hope - hope I sound alright.

CdK: Very clear.

DvV: Good.

CdK: Perfectly, I mean…

DvV: Good. [laughs] We love to talk, I think.  I know I’ve enjoyed it.

CdK: So have I.  I want to thank you very much for this conversation.

DvV: Thank you.

CdK: Yeah.  And, before we’re going to air this, I’ll probably call you up and give you an idea how I’m going to put the four hours together, because right now I’m together with P.H. who will do the show together with me, we just – we just have piles and piles of material and we’re going to have to make some choices here.

DvV: Yeah.

CdK: But maybe we can do four hours and then later in the year, we’ll just do it again.

DvV: [laughs] Yeah.  Well, I sure enjoyed talking to you.

CdK: Ok.  I’ll be in touch very soon about all the material that I promised you, that I will prepare for you.  And please say hello to Jan for me.

DvV: Yes, thank you.  She enjoyed herself the other day.  ‘Course she had to be in the moment.  You know that.  She’s worried about getting things set up.

CdK: And how will your day be today, after we hang up the phone?  Painting?

DvV: Yeah.  I have no choice.  I have so many cities that I have to have paintings in.  A.R. Penck.  You don’t know him, huh?

CdK: No.

DvV: Good painter.

CdK: But, I mean – even this conversation gives me a lot of new ground to cover.  You…

DvV: Yeah.

CdK: …you’ve given a lot of suggestions.

DvV: Good.

CdK: And now you know it’s “Piet,” and not “Pi-et.”

DvV: Dammit, that helps.  Tell me one time how you really say that.

CdK: Piet Mondriaan.

DvV: Piet Mondriaan.

CdK: That’s right.

DvV: Good.

CdK: So, I’ll give you a call in about a week or so to tell you how we have set the things up, and, um…

DvV: Thank you.

CdK: …if there’s anything else, I mean – you know how to reach me by now, because…

DvV: Yeah.

CdK: …you have all my, my numbers and so on and so forth.

DvV: Yeah.

CdK: And if you say hello to Garland, I’ll say hello to the fox.

DvV: [laughs] Definitely.

CdK: Ok.

DvV: They will like that.

CdK: Ok.  Ok, thanks again.

DvV: Thank you.

CdK: On behalf of all of us here, and we will be in touch very soon.

DvV: Tell “all of us here” hello.

CdK: I will.

DvV: Take it easy.

CdK: Ok.  Take care.

DvV: Bye.

CdK: Bye, bye.

DvV: Bye.