Captain Beefheart Dead At Age 69 — Experimental rock legend and visual artist, born Don Van Vliet, died from complications from multiple sclerosis on 17 December 2010. Van Vliet leaves behind a wife, Jan. The two were married for more than 40 years.
I recommended Beefheart and his Magic Band to the adult son of my wife’s sister, a young man who is heavily into music both as a listener and as a working muscian and songwriter, but he would have none of it. In fact, he sent me the CD he bought for himself, so now I have two copies of Clear Spot/The Spotlight Kid, a double-album CD which isn’t exactly hardcore Beefheart but which is a good entry point for people who want to ease into the oeuvre. Cool thing is, I’ve played Beefheart enough around the house and in the car that my fourteen-year-old son is a fan. Maybe that’s the trick: repeated exposure. Or maybe it’s just parental influence/approval. No matter. Whatever it is, BEEFHEART LIVES!
“Rock ‘n’ roll is a fixation, that bom, bom, bom, bom, bom, momma heartbeat. I don’t like hypnotics, you see, I’m doing non-hypnotic music to break up the catatonic state. And I think there is one right now.” — Captain Beefheart