Captain Beefheart, RIP


diyAudio Moderator Emeritus
2002-10-24 10:19 pm
I just about wore out my copy of Trout Mask Replica, a brilliant, brilliant album. My dreams that Captain Beefheart would one day return to making the fabulous, jagged, anarchic, and imaginative music that influenced several generations of musicians were ended today. The Captain died of MS at the age of 69.

Listening to Ice Cream for Crow right now and shedding a few tears.


2004-09-13 4:06 am
The Captain died of MS at the age of 69

Sorry to hear that, I knew he had been ill for some time. :(

I just about wore out my copy of Trout Mask Replica, a brilliant, brilliant album.

Agreed: its blend of musical styles, sheer ingenuity and high standard of musicianship were, and remain, breathtaking. As a combined outcome of the genius of Van Vliet and the era in which it was recorded, many of the unique creative juxtapositions it explored will never be revisited.
Willy The Pimp

I can't look at a vacuum cleaner and not think of him.

Like him or not Beefheart was a formative dude in the evolution of our music scene. A lotta folk don't like Zappa much either but can admit that both his political stance on freedom of expression and his role in changing our notion of what constitutes art - much like Warhol - was important.

Tempus Fugit and Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose...

All the best for the holidays folks,


Disabled Account
2007-03-10 1:20 am
For those who didn't, there's always time... ;)

No, not really.
The difference for me is a matter of taste and what we get out of listening to music. My experience is more visceral and less cerebral. I'm not looking to hear a stance or a political or social comment. I really don't care what the artists views are.
Just write something that appeals to me and I may like it.
Miss the Beef

So sorry to hear he is gone. His music has meant a lot to me and I think he took the art in a direction that opened a lot of ears and minds. His interpretation of music was a different type of art, it made you listen to the words and painted a picture in the mind of what he saw, no canvas, just words to colour and shape an idea he was trying to form from thin air. To the ones who never heard his stuff, try it and see, an used mind is such a waste.

Peter C.
This is from AllMusic

Trout Mask Replica is Captain Beefheart's masterpiece, a fascinating, stunningly imaginative work that still sounds like little else in the rock & roll canon. Given total creative control by producer and friend Frank Zappa, Beefheart and his Magic Band rehearsed the material for this 28-song double album for over a year, wedding minimalistic R&B, blues, and garage rock to free jazz and avant-garde experimentalism. Atonal, sometimes singsong melodies; jagged, intricately constructed dual-guitar parts; stuttering, complicated rhythmic interaction -- all of these elements float out seemingly at random, often without completely interlocking, while Beefheart groans his surrealist poetry in a throaty Howlin' Wolf growl. The disjointedness is perhaps partly unintentional -- reportedly, Beefheart's refusal to wear headphones while recording his vocals caused him to sing in time with studio reverberations, not the actual backing tracks -- but by all accounts, the music and arrangements were carefully scripted by the Captain (aided by John "Drumbo" French), which makes the results even more remarkable. As one might expect from music so complex and, to many ears, inaccessible, the influence of Trout Mask Replica was felt more in spirit than in direct copycatting, as a catalyst rather than a literal musical starting point. However, its inspiring reimagining of what was possible in a rock context laid the groundwork for countless future experiments in rock surrealism, especially during the punk/new wave era.

Peter C.