Friday, December 17, 2010

Captain, oh my Captain


Don Van Vliet, born Donald Glen Vliet, January 15, 1941 who would go onto be known as the singer, painter, and general Visionary Captain beefheart was declared dead december 17th, 2010.

Beefheart and his "Magic Band" were known for their

unique and bizarre way of tackling

music, going at it with everything they could, Critically acclaimed as Beefheart magnum opus, Trout Mask Replica was released in June 1969 by His good friend and fellow artist Frank Zappa's new Straight Records label. During these recordings Beefheart was said to have spent much time studying texts on brainwashing and hypnosis at the local public library, the knowladge of this has led many to believe that Beefheart, in just one of his many new and out side of the box ways of thinking of music, attempted some of these tactics, such as sleep deprivation, food deprivation, constant negative reinforcement, and rewarding band members when they attacked each other or competed with each other to help int he artistic process. This is just one of many examples of The Beefheart way of making art.

According to Van Vliet, the 28 songs on the album were written in a single 8 1/2 hour session at the piano, an instrument in which he had no skill in playing, in order to help stretch his creative possibility's. after completing the writing of the record, The band rehearsed the songs so thoroughly that the instrumental tracks for 21 of the songs were recorded in a four and a half-hour recording session. Letting the vocals would be recorded over the last 4 days of recording. In 2003, the album was ranked fifty-eighth by Rolling Stone in their list ofThe 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.

Lick My Decals Off, Baby, His next album, recorded in 1970, continued his bizzarre and experimental fashion. it was Van Vliet's most commercially successful in the United Kingdom, spending twenty weeks on the UK Albums Chart and peaking at number 20. The album, as successful as it was has since gone out of print due to legal issues, making it one of the most sought after pieces in musical history. It was ranked second in Uncut magazine's May 2010 list of "The 50 Greatest Lost Albums"
The next two records, The Spotlight Kid (listed as a solo effort) and Clear Spot (listed as "Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band") were both released in 1972, and were both more conventional but remained rooted in experimentalism.
In 1982 Beefheart would record his last album, Ice Cream For Crow.
After finish his official career as a recording artists, Vilet would go onto spend his life working as a painter, retiring with his wife Janet, near Trinidade California. He was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in early 1990's.
He will forever be know as a formative figure in modern music. great artists, from Tom Waits to the Red Hot Chilli Peppers have listed him as a premier source of influence and he will forever hold a special place in music history as one of the most original recording artists of all time,. Not just a blues singer, not just a rock n roll band leader, or a genius lyricist but an artist for the ages. The world of Rock n roll owes you big time Captain, Thank you.

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