In 2010 Gary Lucas started presenting a series of symposia celebrating Don’s art and music. Following Don’s death in December 2010 they became an even greater celebration of his life.
These events were advertised as follows:
Gary Lucas will be presenting a Captain Beefheart Symposium where he will will give a lecture and musical demonstration devoted to his mentor and childhood hero Don Van Vliet aka Captain Beefheart.
This will involve Gary showing rare video footage of the man and the band, delve into his complex artistic oeuvre as both a composer — by performing some of his fiendishly difficult solo guitar compositions live — and as a painter by showing slides of his formidable paintings and drawings.
Gary explained his motives in an interview with the SF Weekly:
I began doing these symposiums because it was my firm belief that many more people in the world today should know about this man’s consummate artistry, visionary genius, and profound impact on the world of music, and that sadly he was in danger of falling off the map, particularly to a younger genertation of music fans … [snip] … since Don’s death I have received the full blessings and support of his family to continue to present these symposiums.
The symposium usually takes the following format:
Throughout the evening Don’s paintings and drawings are projected onto a screen at the back of the stage
Special guests: Terry Vliet, Robert Williams, Pamela des Barres, Matt Groening, Stan Ridgway, Kristine McKenna, Bill Moseley, and Weba Garretson.
Special guests: Terry Vliet, Jerry Harrison, Francis McCarthy, Phil Brown, Mark Blake, Marion Vale, Vic Vale and Ralph Carney
Video of Terry Vliet:
Special guests: Genesis P. Orridge, Richard Pena, Hal Willner, Glenn Kenny, Bradford Morrow, Byron Coley, Felice Rosser, and more
Part of the Pop Montreal Festival
Special guests: Mary Margaret O’Hara, Don Levitin, Chris Burns and Chloe Lum
Ode to Captain Beefheart by Jorgen Teller:
Gary plays and talks about Don: