Daily Archives: December 17, 2011

A Zappadan Special: It’s Captain Beefheart Day

One year ago today Don Van Vliet, known to the many as Captain Beefheart, a musician (harmonica … referred to as “harp” as in the jazz expression), vocalist and visual artist, died of Multiple Sclerosis at the age of 69.

Beefheart’s ongoing relationship with Zappa, while not always cordial when he and his Magic Band competed with Frank, began before the creation of the Mothers, when they played together around Cucomunga, CA, and in the early Mothers recordings. He was often billed as a lead vocalist with Zappa.

Anyway, you can’t have Zappadan without remembering Van Vliet.

Here’s a piece from Beefheart and his Magic Band:
Ice Cream For Crow

Some details:

Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band; directed by Don Van Vliet (with much uncredited assistance from producer Ken Schreiber), cinematography by Daniel Pearl (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre); Don Van Vliet (vocals, harp), Gary Lucas (guitar), Jeff Tepper (guitar), Rick Snyder (bass), Cliff Martinez (drums); filmed on location in the High Mojave Desert near Lancaster, California; clip rejected by MTV USA as “too weird” upon release, now in the Permanent Film and Video Collection of the Museum of Modern Art, NYC; track taken from the 1982 Virgin album “Ice Cream for Crow”

And just to remember Frank as well, here’s a piece with them both:

Orange Claw Hammer