Captain Beefheart Dies

One of my major influences passed away on Friday. Captain Beefheart’s album Clear Spot was up there with Frank Zappa’s Joes Garage. I still love My head is my only house unless it rains (watch above) and it is regularly played in my office. It is a love song with a difference. Whereas, Big Eyed Beans from Venus would make the most stalwart, uptight individual dance. Beefheart fused jazz, 60s psychedelia and his own brand of storytelling into a series of great albums that spanned three decades. After which he reinvented himself, adopted his real name of Don Van Vliet and went off into the California wilderness as an artist. I can never underestimate the power that Beefheart held over me in my teenage years, how he introduced me to jazz, non-mainstream rock and more importantly the beauty of a language that contrasts with the subject matter. Most of it was nonsense, most of it was mad, all of it was groundbreaking. He died at the age of 69.

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