Rest in Peace, Captain Beefheart. Don Van Vliet died at 69.

News story here. I have nothing to add except how sorely he will be missed. The world just got a little more boring.

Ah, that’s a shame. A talented artist ( in general ), if occasionally hit or miss.

Who’s going to pull the bat chain now?

R.I.P., Captain.

sob I actually got to see them in college. One of the weirdest concerts I’ve ever seen - a chimp act opened for them.

Need to listen to Trout Mask Replica tonight.

One of my greatest musical heroes. It had been coming for a long time, but I’m still crushed at the news. Goodbye, Don, and thank you.

God, please fuck my mind for good!

Making Love to a Vampire with a Monkey on my Knee.

he and Frank are playing together again

Sorry to hear it. I’ve been a fan for years. Beefheart was not to everyone’s tastes, but once you got him, he was amazing.

God damn it. I had been expecting it to happen for so long I stopped expecting it to happen, if that makes any sense. What a dude.

Nice interviews with Letterman.

BBC documentary.

A little pimp with his hair gassed back–R.I.P.

Revered throughout the bone-knob land. Thanks, Captain, for your beautiful words and crazy crazy music.

DAMN IT! This is not what I wanted for Xmas!

R.I.P. Captain; you will be missed.

What a truly unique mind and talent set. I better go have myself a retrospective right now. See ya, buddy.

Captain Beefheart’s Ten Commandments for Budding Guitarists

  1. Listen to the birds

That’s where all the music comes from. Birds know everything about how it should sound and where that sound should come from. And watch hummingbirds. They fly really fast, but a lot of times they aren’t going anywhere.

  1. Your guitar is not really a guitar

Your guitar is a divining rod. Use it to find spirits in the other world and bring them over. A guitar is also a fishing rod. If you’re good, you’ll land a big one.

  1. Practice in front of a bush

Wait until the moon is out, then go outside, eat a multi-grained bread and play your guitar to a bush. If the bush doesn’t shake, eat another piece of bread.

  1. Walk with the devil

Old Delta blues players referred to guitar amplifiers as the “devil box.” And they were right. You have to be an equal opportunity employer in terms of who you’re brining over from the other side. Electricity attracts devils and demons. Other instruments attract other spirits. An acoustic guitar attracts Casper. A mandolin attracts Wendy. But an electric guitar attracts Beelzebub.

  1. If you’re guilty of thinking, you’re out

If your brain is part of the process, you’re missing it. You should play like a drowning man, struggling to reach shore. If you can trap that feeling, then you have something that is fur bearing.

  1. Never point your guitar at anyone

Your instrument has more clout than lightning. Just hit a big chord then run outside to hear it. But make sure you are not standing in an open field.

  1. Always carry a church key

That’s your key-man clause. Like One String Sam. He’s one. He was a Detroit street musician who played in the fifties on a homemade instrument. His song “I Need a Hundred Dollars” is warm pie. Another key to the church is Hubert Sumlin, Howlin’ Wolf’s guitar player. He just stands there like the Statue of Liberty — making you want to look up her dress the whole time to see how he’s doing it.

  1. Don’t wipe the sweat off your instrument

You need that stink on there. Then you have to get that stink onto your music.

  1. Keep your guitar in a dark place

When you’re not playing your guitar, cover it and keep it in a dark place. If you don’t play your guitar for more than a day, be sure you put a saucer of water in with it.

  1. You gotta have a hood for your engine

Keep that hat on. A hat is a pressure cooker. If you have a roof on your house, the hot air can’t escape. Even a lima bean has to have a piece of wet paper around it to make it grow.

Probably not. Van Vliet stopped working with Zappa long ago. It says a lot about the musical frontiers that Van Vliet explored that he felt Frank Zappa was too conventional.

Have you got a cite for that? Because I always understood that it was mostly a clash of styles in that Zappa was an ultra-disciplined super-technical guitarist, composer and producer, while Van Vliet was a wild, crazy man with little to no musical background (being a visual artist, really) other than a love for old blues.

I mean, I’d love to read a quote from anyone who said that Zappa was “too conventional” (or anything even close to those words).

Actually it’s pretty much what you said. Van Vliet considered Zappa conventional because he knew how to play a guitar. Van Vliet thought performing on instruments you didn’t know how to play was more spontaneous and creative.

Seeing Beefheart in the early 70s was one of the best damn concerts I went to.
Henry Cow opened for him, which I could have done without at the time, but he was phenomenal.

Hope the neighbours didn’t mind the volume when I found out at about midnight last night that he had died and I put some on the turntable and cranked it up!
As it happens, this is what came to hand first!

Story here

Sigh. The rockers are dying of natural causes instead of overdoses.

I feel very, very old.

Rock on Captain.

Merged duplicate threads.