Please take a minute out of your busy schedule today to salute the late Captain Beefheart.
Don’t get me wrong; the man who was Captain Beefheart, Don Van Vliet, is still with us and turns 65 today. But there’s been no Captain since 1982, when Van Vliet decided he’d had enough of the Long Plastic Hallway and gave up the music business to become a painter. Which seems to have worked out well for him; he’s been far more successful in the art world, at least in standard career terms.
But still, we miss the Captain, don’t we? From psychedelic space boogie to avant-garde art-skronk, he stomped a terra all his own. I don’t think he’d mind me sharing with you a song from his out-of-print album Lick My Decals Off, Baby:
I remember the Captain well. I used to party a bit with him and Frank Zappa at the Delta lady Saloon in Lancaster. I’m sure Beefheart remembers those days. Once him and Frank made the owner Eddie hold my Harley and sent me home with someone else for obvious reasons. Him and Frank were great people. Glad his painting worked out for him. I miss those days.