The Captain has left the building… video tribute follows test, er, text.
By Fred Mills
Don Van Vliet, born January 15, 1941, and as Captain Beefheart one of the world’s most influential yet simultaneously under-the-radar musical artists ever, passed away today, December 17, at the age of 69. The reported cause of death being reported in the media is “complications from multiple sclerosis.” It had been widely assumed that he’d been ill for some time, although the notoriously private Van Vliet never commented publicly on the source of his ailment nor, for that matter, whether he was, in fact, sick. He simply kept his matters to himself, preferring to correspond with a close circle of intimates (among them, PJ Harvey).
MSNBC posted a report today that the news of Van Vliet’s passing came from “a representative for the artist,” indicating that NYC’s Michael Werner Gallery announced in a brief statement, “Don Van Vliet will be sorely missed.” the MWG handles Van Vliet’s paintings; since retiring from music in 1982, Beefheart had concentrated on his painting, several of which appeared on the covers of his albums.
We’ll have a full tribute to Van Vliet shortly. Meanwhile, here are some good resources and otherwise interesting accounts of the man, his life and his times.
Jesus. We’re not feeling so fast ‘n’ bulbous tonight. God rest your soul, good Captain.
BLURT’s April Fool’s Beefheart Hoax (done in the spirit of paying tribute, honest)