A THOUSAND WORDS - Alex Waterhouse-Hayward's blog on pictures, plants, politics and whatever else is on his mind.


Don Van Vliet, Harris Tweed & The Magic Band
Saturday, November 10, 2007

Ashtray Heart (From Doc At The Radar Station 1980)

You used me like an ashtray heart
Case of the punks
Right from the start
I feel like a glass shrimp in a pink panty
With a saccharine chaperone
Make invalids out of supermen
Call in a "shrink"
And pick you up in a girdle
You used me like an ashtray heart
Right from the start
Case of the punks
Another day, another way
Somebody's had too much to think
Open up another case of the punks
Each pillow is touted like a rock
The mother / father figure
Somebody's had too much to think
Send your mother home your navel
Case of the punks
New hearts to the dining rooms
Violet heart cake
Dissolve in new cards, boards, throats, underwear
Ashtray heart
You picked me out, brushed me off
Crushed me while I was burning out
Then you picked me out
Like an ashtray heart
Hid behind the curtain
Waited for me to go out
A man on a porcupine fence
Used me for an ashtray heart
Hit me where the lover hangs out
Stood behind the curtain
While they crushed me out
You used me for an ashtray heart
You looked in the window when I went out
You used me like an ashtray heart.

I took these pictures of Captain Beefheart sometime in 1980 at the Hotel Plaza on Burrard the day he appeared with the Magic Band at the Commodore (third photograph). This was one of my earlier collaborations with writer Les Wiseman for his In One Ear column in Vancouver Magazine. Wiseman had told me that if he had to go to a desert island with one record (there were no CDs yet) it would be Beefheart's 1969 Trout Mask Replica . Such was the complexity of this record's music that it would take years to figure it out and one would never tire of it.

In the hotel Wiseman gave Beefheart a pack of Gitanes to smoke. All three of us were wearing Harris Tweed jackets. Beefheart impressed us with his knowledge of how many dyes were involved in their making. We also discussed the horsemanship of rejoneador Don Álvaro Domecq who fought bulls from beautiful white horses. I had seen Don Álvaro in Mexico City and Beefheart wanted to know more.

What remains most in my memory of that day was listening to Beefheart sing the line: Somebody's had too much to think and then he stopped and stared at the young man in the picture.


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The View While Standing In Our Guest Bathroom

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Brian Moore

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Booked To Die - The Perils Of Membership

George Bowering - The Poet In Danger Of Extinction...

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Gabrielle Rose, Claire Bloom & The Big Blush

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