Captain Beefheart

Captain Beefheart

Real Name:
Don Glen Vliet
Profile:
Born: 15th January 1941, Glendale, California, USA
Died: 17th December 2010, Arcata, California, USA.
First recorded appearance: "A Low Forceps Delivery", featuring Don Glen Vliet, at Glendale Research Hospital 16:25 hours on 15/01/41.

Captain Beefheart, aka Don Van Vliet; vocalist, harp-player, saxophonist, flautist, songwriter, lyricist, poet & painter. Frontman of The Magic Band and artist with a dozen official albums and more besides. A career path interwoven with Frank Zappa, followed by secluded 'retirement' with his wife in 1982 - when he began painting full-time. He maintained an affinity with wild life throughout his life and was a keen conservationist.

He forged a successful career as a painter, exhibiting in galleries in New York, the UK & Europe, before dying of complications from multiple sclerosis.
Sites:
Aliases:
Variations:

Captain Beefheart Discography

Albums

RS 6420 Captain Beefheart & The Magic Band Captain Beefheart & The Magic Band - Lick My Decals Off, Baby (Album) Straight RS 6420 US 1970 Sell This Version
PRO 447 Captain Beefheart / Ry Cooder Captain Beefheart / Ry Cooder - An Interview With Captain Beefheart / Ry Cooder - Talking About(LP, Promo, Mono) Reprise Records PRO 447 US 1971 Sell This Version
RRC 2050 Captain Beefheart The Spotlight Kid (Album) Reprise Records RRC 2050 South Africa 1972 Sell This Version
K 54007 Captain Beefheart And The Magic Band Captain Beefheart And The Magic Band - Clear Spot (Album) Reprise Records K 54007 UK 1972 Sell This Version
SRM 1-1018 Captain Beefheart And The Magic Band Captain Beefheart And The Magic Band - Bluejeans & Moonbeams (Album) Virgin, Virgin SRM 1-1018 Canada 1974 Sell This Version
SRM-1-709 Captain Beefheart And The Magic Band Captain Beefheart And The Magic Band - Unconditionally Guaranteed (Album) Mercury SRM-1-709 Canada 1974 Sell This Version
DS 2234 Zappa* / Beefheart* / Mothers* Zappa* / Beefheart* / Mothers* - Bongo Fury (Album) Discreet DS 2234 US 1975 Sell This Version
M8 3256 Captain Beefheart And The Magic Band Captain Beefheart And The Magic Band - Shiny Beast (Bat Chain Puller) (Album) Warner Bros. Records M8 3256 US 1978 Sell This Version
202 870 Captain Beefheart And The Magic Band Captain Beefheart And The Magic Band - Doc At The Radar Station (Album) Virgin 202 870 France 1980 Sell This Version
V2237 Captain Beefheart & The Magic Band Captain Beefheart & The Magic Band - Ice Cream For Crow (Album) Epic, Virgin V2237 Australia 1982 Sell This Version
SN-7217 Captain Beefheart Top Secret (Comp, Album) Breakaway SN-7217 US 1982 Sell This Version
OR0146 Captain Beefheart Captain Beefheart At His Best (Album) Object Enterprises OR0146 UK 1988 Sell This Version
RHM2 7741 Captain Beefheart And The Magic Band Captain Beefheart And The Magic Band - I'm Going To Do What I Wanna Do (Live At My Father's Place 1978)(2xCD, Album, Ltd, Num) Rhino Handmade RHM2 7741 US 2000 Sell This Version
BF6003 Captain Beefheart And The Magic Band Captain Beefheart And The Magic Band - Dust Sucker (Album, Comp) Milksafe Productions BF6003 UK 2002 Sell This Version
VIPER CD 011 Captain Beefheart Magnetic Hands - Captain Beefheart And His Magic Bands - Live In The UK 72-80(CD, Album, Liv) Viper (2) VIPER CD 011 UK 2002 Sell This Version
CD 015 Captain Beefheart Railroadism: Captain Beefheart And His Magic Bands Live In The USA 72-81(CD, Album) Viper (2) CD 015 UK 2003 Sell This Version
VIPER LP 022 Captain Beefheart Magneticism: Captain Beefheart And His Magic Bands Live In The UK/USA 72-81(LP, Ltd) Viper (2) VIPER LP 022 UK 2004 Sell This Version
CIS2009 Captain Beefheart The Classic Interviews(CD) Chrome Dreams CIS2009 UK 2004 Sell This Version
MLP12CD Captain Beefheart & The Magic Band Captain Beefheart & The Magic Band - Amsterdam '80(CD, Album) Major League Productions Ltd. MLP12CD UK 2006 Sell This Version
CDVR2238 368577 25 Captain Beefheart & The Magic Band Captain Beefheart & The Magic Band - Live London '74 (Album) EMI, Virgin CDVR2238 368577 25 UK 2006 Sell This Version
‎Viper CD 053 Captain Beefheart Magneticism: Captain Beefheart And His Magic Bands Live In The UK/USA 72-81(CD, RE) Viper (2) ‎Viper CD 053 UK 2009 Sell This Version
VR2012-1 Beefheart* Bat Chain Puller(CD, Album) VAULTernative Records VR2012-1 US 2012 Sell This Version
LETV235LP Captain Beefheart & The Magic Band Captain Beefheart & The Magic Band - Somewhere Over Paris (Album) Let Them Eat Vinyl LETV235LP UK 2015 Sell This Version
LETV234LP Captain Beefheart & The Magic Band Captain Beefheart & The Magic Band - Somewhere Over Detroit (Album) Let Them Eat Vinyl LETV234LP UK 2015 Sell This Version
LETV326LP Frank Zappa, Captain Beefheart Frank Zappa, Captain Beefheart - The Muffin Man Goes To College Vol. 1(2xLP, Album, Blu) Let Them Eat Vinyl LETV326LP UK 2015 Sell This Version

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swagski

swagski

January 29, 2010
Could it be that Beefheart was the big dummy and Vliet the ventriloquist?...

The name "Don Vliet" first appeared before the record-buying public on “Who Do You Think You're Fooling”. A self-penned B-side to his first official single “Diddy Wah Diddy”, a cover of a Bo Diddley hit, released early in 1966 under his performing persona of "Captain Beefheart", fronting one of the early line-ups of "The Magic Band". This B-side also appeared on the band's second single "Moonchild" in the UK, which had another Don Vliet number "Frying Pan" on the flipside in America. It was not until the release, a year later, of the "Safe As Milk" album and its "Yellow Brick Road" single that Vliet's nom de plume of "Don Van Vliet" would emerge.

By July 1966 the name "Don Vliet" had also featured on the sleeve of a ground-breaking double album, listed on the inner gatefold of ‘Freak Out!’ by ‘The Mothers Of Invention’. A small but significant credit, buried enigmatically among 8 columns of 179 entries, headed “These people have contributed materially in many ways to make our music what it is. Please do not hold it against them”. A credit that stands as an open acknowledgement from Frank Zappa to a mutual creative relationship, representing the ‘stick that poked down’ in two musical paths that began when they met as two disaffected teenagers at Antelope Valley Junior High. Two paths on tracks that would criss-cross throughout their careers in the making of music ‘from the other side of the fence’.

Whilst Zappa managed to carve his own vast and unique genre in the output of ‘alternative rock’ the work of Don Van Vliet often lay dormant in the wings of mainstream popularity, defying classification. His key talent was his voice. His vocal rendering akin to that of Chester Burnett, plumbed from the depths of the delta swamps, vibrantly delivered like the saxophones of Kirk or Coleman - with whom he briefly associated. Whilst his own accompaniment of ‘free-jazz’ saxophone or other reed-instrument playing should not be considered in the same light as such artists, his skilled blues harmonica was fittingly brought to bear in much of his work. In this respect Vliet also pops up in two further nomenclatures on Zappa works, as "Bloodshot Rollin’ Red" and, one assumes, his college-pal nickname of "Donnie Vliet".

Lyrically, Vliet’s work comes from all points of the compass. It ranges from the unashamedly romantic “Her Eyes Are A Blue Million Miles”, used in the film “The Big Lebowski”, to the gritty blues howl of “Hard Workin’ Man” on the Nitsche soundtrack of the film “Blue Collar”. Then there is the other side of the coin, where Vliet plays the wild card. The Jack of uncourtly prose and obliquity. From the angst-ridden “Veteran’s Day Poppy”, “Dachau Blues” or “Ashtray Heart”, to the angularity of “Brickbats” or the acidic dreamscape of “Making Love To A Vampire With A Monkey On My Knee”. If Vliet had a failing it was the fact that he never compromised, much to the chagrin of the many record executives with whom he dealt. He was so often an idiosyncratic and self-centered personality, like a Munchausen character, conducting his own world of dreams and imaginings. A trait which both distanced him from the realities of the music industry and the musicians with whom he worked. He became an artist who was hostage to fortune and circumstance, a dropout fish continually in search of a school in which to swim.

Vliet made his last official album “Ice Cream For Crow” in 1982 and retired from the attractions of the ‘turquoise jewelry’ that was the 'music business'. He headed off into the sunset of the Mohave desert with his wife Jan to take up his love of painting and poetry full-time. An encapsulation of his artistic direction and success in this field can be found in the limited edition of “Riding Some Kind Of Unusual Skull Sleigh”, an art catalogue of prints with a CD of poems in a hand-made box set. This also contains a DVD of a short documentary film by Anton Corbijn. A film that also appeared on general release, entitled “Some YoYo Stuff”.

From the blues-oriented debut album “Safe As Milk”, hailed by 'Rolling Stone' magazine as “One of the forgotten classics of rock and roll“, to the third free-reined and iconic album “Trout Mask Replica” described by the magazine as “...the most astounding and most important work of art ever to appear on a phonograph record”, Vliet took the world of ‘alternative rock music’ and shook it by the throat. For those who had ears, for those who became his hardcore followers, the world was never the same again. Don Van Vliet will continue to be one of the most important of ‘underground rock’ musicians in our time.

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