Captain Beefheart - aka Don Van Vliet - Dies
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Captain Beefheart - aka Don Van Vliet - Dies

Lancaster : CA : USA | Dec 18, 2010 at 3:36 PM PST
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Captain Beefheart

The man know as Captain Beefheart died 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 his Magic Band, experimented with various rock sounds and even released two albums before hooking up with high school mate Frank Zappa. 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.

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Captain Beefheart with "Ice Cream for Crow"
Sherrill Fulghum is based in Niagara Falls, New York, United States of America, and is an Anchor on Allvoices.
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  • Don Van Vliet, aka Captain Beefheart, dead at 69

      AP Online
    Musician and artist Don Van Vliet, who performed a complex brand of experimental rock under the name Captain Beefheart, died Friday. He was 69. The Michael Werner Gallery in New York confirmed Van Vliet's death in California due to...
  • Captain Beefheart saluted as rock pioneer

      United Press International
    Accolades poured in Saturday for Don Van Vliet, the avant-garde rocker known as Captain Beefheart, after his death in Northern California at the age of 69. Van Vliet died Friday of complications from multiple sclerosis while living and working as a...
  • Captain Beefheart, aka Don Van Vliet, Dies

      E! Online
    Van Vliet eventually hooked up with Frank Zappa and launched a singular musical journey that combined the blues, psychedelia, free jazz and something undefinable on releases such as Safe as Milk , Trout Mask Replica , Doc at the Radar Station and...
  • Abstract albums and art imitate life for avant-garde curio

      Sydney Morning Herald
    Story continues below Van Vliet was born Don Vliet (he added the ''Van'' as a young man) in Glendale, California, on January 15, 1941, and showed such a talent for sculpture he was offered a scholarship to Europe...The family moved to Lancaster,...
  • RIP Captain Beefheart

      Disinfo.com
    Cult musician and visual artist Don Van Vliet died Friday after years of suffering from multiple sclerosis. Found on YouTube below is Making Love to a Vampire with a Monkey on my Knee by Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band. [Image: Captain Beefheart...
  • Captain Beefheart: stars pay tribute to a musical maverick

      The Guardian
    John Selby/Rex Features Following the death of Don Van Vliet last week, musicians have united to praise the man better known as Captain Beefheart . Tom Waits, Zola Jesus and Franz Ferdinand's Alex Kapranos are among those to issue tributes. "He drew...

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