Saturday, 18 December 2010

Bye Bye Captain

I woke up this morning to a landscape covered in a blanket of white and the news that one of my musical heroes had died. Don Van Vliet or Captain Beefheart was a unique  artist and muscian, always confrontational (some say tyrannical) but when you listen to his music you were in the presence of a visionary.

I still remember my first introduction to the Captain, a friend lent me a copy of Clear Spot on vinyl. I remember slipping it out of it's sleeve, placing the needle on the record and then just being dumbstruck by the craft and depth of the songs. The guitar loop of "A Blue Million Miles" was lodged in my head for days, (this wasn't helped by the fact that there was a jump in the vinyl at this point so it just kept seamlessly repeating!) And the lyrical poetry of "Golden Birdies" just wouldn't leave me. Then as it always is when you discover a special artist, author or musician I started tracking down the rest of his back catalogue. Some were gems others diamonds in the rough, but all of them were unmistakeably Captain Beefheart.

So farewell my Captain and thanks for being you.
Feather Times a Feather by Don Van Vliet, 1987

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