[alert_box type=”info”]Taken from 16th June 1994 Los Angeles Times[/alert_box] An American original through and through, Captain Beefheart (born Don Van Vliet in Lancaster, Calif.) was a profound influence on the cutting edge music of the ’70s and ’80s. Such New Wave artists as Pere Ubu, Devo and Public Image Ltd. owe a sizable debt to the quirky and challenging sounds of this iconoclast. Unfortunately, most of the listening public didn’t, and doesn’t, know Captain Beefheart from Captain Kangaroo. Beefheart albums were hailed by critics but shunned by commercial radio as being simply too weird for popular consumption. Indeed, it says a lot about the ratherRead More →

[alert_box type=”info”]Taken from the Los Angeles Times, 12th January 1995.[/alert_box] More undiluted examples of Captain Beefheart’s singular genius can be heard on his “Trout Mask Replica” and “Lick My Decals Off” albums, but this pair of 1972 albums-packaged together here-are his most innately pleasurable. Had Howlin’ Wolf been raised beside the canals of Mars, he might have sounded like Beefheart (a.k.a. Don Van Vliet), who mutated the blues with Dadaist lyrics, jagged guitar lines and spasmodic rhythms that showed his disdain for what he called the “mama heartbeat” of rock music. Striking many as chaotic hippie noise, his music, for the diligent listener, mirrored natureRead More →

[alert_box type=”info”]From 25th March 1993 Los Angeles Times[/alert_box] Don (Captain Beefheart) Van Vliet was among the most challenging and idiosyncratic of artists to come down the pike in the ’60s. Drawing his influences from the blues, free jazz and the avant-garde, he made music and poetry that was at once freakish and tradition-bound, nonsensical and intellectual, recalcitrant and disciplined-contradictions that kept his work consistently compelling from his early days right through his still-lamented retirement from recording in the ’80s. “Trout Mask Replica,” his fourth album, is perhaps his most celebrated. The two-record set was produced by Frank Zappa, his childhood chum and musical benefactor. OftenRead More →

[alert_box type=”info”]Taken from 29th July 1990 Los Angeles Times. Later appeared in an edited form in December 1993 Mojo Magazine under the title ‘Run Paint Run Run'[/alert_box] Once known as avant-garde musician Captain Beefheart, Don Van Vliet has quickly won the art world’s attention as a painter The art world tends to regard popular entertainers with a peculiar mix of infatuation and disdain. Though artists, musicians and movie people amiably rub elbows on the cocktail-party circuit, artists bare their teeth when actors or any of that ilk seek legitimacy as practicing visual artists. Maybe it’s jealousy or territorialism, or maybe they figure the commitment requiredRead More →