Captain Beefheart aka Don Van Vliet, passed away early this morning in California from complications of multiple sclerosis. He was 69. He was definitely an American original that simple cannot be replaced.
While most of Don Van Vliet’s work was considered too off the wall for most listeners, I thought it was gutsy and creative to see a musician push the envelope where not many have gone before!
Early on his music helped me think about playing guitar in different way. Don’s approach to music was very different from what all of the guys around me were playing and listening to while growing up in a small town. When I put an album of his on the record player, my buddies would sit there and say nothing … really. I guess they didn’t know what to think about it. His music didn’t always have a familiar rhythm to it I think.
Don’s drive was blues based music, with a big twist. He never was looking for commercial success, just like his good friend and fellow band mate Frank Zappa. He left the music scene in 1982 and tool up painting.
Go to this link for a fabulous article about the man.
I will have Captain Beefheart and his family in my prayers tonight.
Keep on Jammin’ Don where ever you are!!!