Don Van Vliet tributes and fond farewells

Anton Corbijn portrait of Don Van Vliet, used with kind permission
Don Van Vliet © Anton Corbijn, used with kind permission.

We were very sorry to learn that Don Van Vliet passed away on Friday 17 December 2010 due to complications arising from multiple sclerosis.

Tributes from friends, Magic Band members and fans have come thick and fast. Here are a few of them on and beyond:

How many “he influenced everyone from x to y” can you find?

Please feel free to post your own tributes in the comments on this blog. We hope to print as many of your comments as possible and present them to Don’s wife Jan (thanks Derek) to give her a sense of the huge amount of respect and affection which we have for her husband and the way that his art and life have touched so many of our lives in such a positive way.

Quite simply, we will never forget him.


  1. There ain't no Santa Claus on the evenin stage
    There ain't no way to pull the curtain
    'N hide from hunger's rage

    Thanks for opening my eyes and ears, Beefheart. You truly were the Captain.

  2. I would like you thank everyone at for doing such a great job in keeping the flame burning for one of the greatest American artists of our lifetime.

  3. It's a sad day to lose your hero of so many years. Especially being born the year he retires from music and never having the opportunity to thank him for helping me through the bad times and being with me during the good. Much love and respect to the Big Man. Sleep well.

  4. Don was a genius of the purest concentrate. Anyone looking for the greatest living artist at the monent will from now on have to look elsewhere.

    Incidentally, the French TV company INA is now offering for purchase the complete 28 minute-version of the Captain Beefheart & The Magic Company performance for Chorus TV in 1980. The AVI is of flawless quality and available for download for mere 2.99 euros. You can't spend your money much better than that. The site is in French, but if I got around that, so can therest of you. Direct your navels to here

  5. Beefheart was my last living hero, will miss his presence in the world, starting my cd marathon to mark his passing…

  6. Thanks for everything Don – We Love ya

  7. It was very sad to know that me hero was gone.
    I was born in December 22, 1984; a Capricorn like him. Besides that, I was born in Argentina, away in time & space. But these thing are trivial for an artist´s influence.
    He was a unique human being & artist.
    I love his music, it give me so much motivation and energy. He was a nature´s force, like the ones in my beloved Patagonia surroundings.

    Jan: my deepest condolences,I don´t know you, but for sure you are a great great being.
    Good bye Captain, see you in another life.

    JM Jones

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