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. Booglarize Ya says:

    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. Vinnie Del Basso says:

    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. Pete the Apostle says:

    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. Black Swede says:

    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. Francis says:

    I finally posted my own tribute on my blog

    Nothing much to add in the way of prose but I have reposted the strange Beefheart remix of "Well" that I found.

    Maybe like JXL vs Elvis this could be a future smash hit..unlikely

  6. Anonymous says:

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

  7. Anonymous says:

    Gary Lucas interview on Beefheart's legacy:

    Show is archived on Itunes, Dec. 23.

  8. strawwoodclaw says:

    Thanks for everything Don – We Love ya

  9. Arthur says:

    Interesting obit by composer Peter Gordon, who was a youth friend and visited the Trout House at the time of the Trout rehearsals:

  10. JM Jones says:

    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

  11. Anonymous says:

    Captain Beefheart Symposium : Conducted by Gary Lucas in San Francisco at The Independent 2/11 @ 8:30PM.

    Tickets Here:

    Just got mine : )

  12. londabianca says:

    he brought me into reveries. showed me the life of the mind. a gift to the universe. long live magic bands.

    i posted a tribute:

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