Beefheart Doc Salutes the Captain

Me and mine were all saddened last week with the news of the passing of one of the true great originals of American popular music — Captain Beefheart.Captain_Beefheart

The man who was born into this world as Don Van Vliet died on December 17th from complications resulting from his long battle with MS.

Vliet’s music combined an elemental distillation of American Blues with the psychedelic sensibilities of the ’60’s and a fervor for avant garde composition. The result was captivating, invigorating and infuriating at turns – and sometimes all at once. Along with various incarnations of his Magic Band, the Captain cut a path that few have followed, though many –  including Tom Waits – owe large debts to his influence. For the last several decades the Captain hung up his harmonica to concentrate on visual art, becoming a respected abstract painter.

Having sifted through a number of eulogies and tributes, here are some of the best memento mori we could find. Check out the Insomnia page for links to articles and galleries of band photos as well as images of the Captain’s great paintings. Watch this full BBC documentary – The Artist Formerly Known as Captain Beefheart – courtesy of our YouTube Channel.


Joe Nolan was born under a bad sign on June 13th in Detroit, Michigan in the last Metal Year of the Dog. Polymath, provocateur, inter-media artist, his tell-tale signs have turned up in music, visual art, journalism, poetry, fiction, video and film. A double Gemini, his interests range from the pharmacology of phenomenology to fly fishing; from mysticism to mixed martial arts; from chaos science to chaos magick. Joe Nolan's Insomnia blog republishes to some of the most read counter-culture sites on the web and the Coincidence Control Network podcast which he hosts has been downloaded more than half-a-million times.He is recording his fourth CD in Nashville, Tennessee where he lives to the east of the Cumberland river on a little wooded lot dubbed Bohemian Walnut Grove.

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6 Comments on "Beefheart Doc Salutes the Captain"

  1. Markov Cheney | Dec 22, 2010 at 3:39 pm |

    I’m not seeing the video.. went to the youtube channel and not seeing it there either,,

  2. Markov Cheney | Dec 22, 2010 at 11:39 am |

    I’m not seeing the video.. went to the youtube channel and not seeing it there either,,

  3. Joe Nolan | Dec 22, 2010 at 5:46 pm |

    Thanks Majestic! Enjoy the video!

  4. Thanks Majestic! Enjoy the video!

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