The man know asdied December 17, 2010 in a Northern California hospital at the age of 69 from complications of multiple sclerosis. The avant garde musician was born Don Van Vliet in Glendale, California.
Naming himself Captain Beefheart, Vliet, along with hisBand, experimented with various rock sounds and even released two albums before hooking up with high school mate . Zappa signed Vliet and even produced the first album “Trout Mask Replica” that became a cultural landmark with its mixture of jazz, blues, psychedelic, rock, and other genres. The album is still considered an “essential art-rock document.” Vliet was an artist who defied being pigeon-holed into any one category; he covered them all with each piece he conceived.
In the early nineteen-eighties Vliet turned his hand from the aural to visual art. More than a musician, Van Vliet was also an artist who had several shows featuring his paintings at the Michael Werner Gallery in New York City. Vliet reportedly has one piece of art work with a $40,000 price tag. A spokesman for the Michael Werner Gallery called Vliet, “one of the most original recording artists of his time.” Vliet painted like he made music, creating a, “product of a truly rare and unique vision.”
Vliet is survived by his wife Janet, to whom he married in 1970.