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Most of this blog is related in some way to the music, books and films produced by Gonzo Multimedia, but the editor has a grasshopper mind and so also writes about all sorts of cultural issues which interest him, and which he hopes will interest you as well.

Friday, 21 November 2014

A beginner’s guide to the weird world of Captain Beefheart

Primer is The A.V. Club’s ongoing series of beginners’ guides to pop culture’s most notable subjects: filmmakers, music styles, literary genres, and whatever else interests us—and hopefully you. This installment: Captain Beefheart.

Captain Beefheart 101

In Mike Barnes’ biography of Don Van Vliet, the man more famously known as Captain Beefheart, he quotes Vliet on his own birth: “I was born with my eyes open—I didn’t WANT to be born—I can remember deep down in my head that I fought against my mother bringing me into the world,” he says about that day in 1941 when Vliet became a real, living person, despite his best in-womb intentions. “I remember when the jerk slapped me on the fanny and I saw the yellow tile and I thought what a hell of a way to wake somebody up.” This anecdote, with its hilarious absurdity and sense of mythmaking, is only part of what makes Captain Beefheart such an intriguing and monumental figure in the history of rock music. After all, persona is only part of the rock god equation. As Captain Beefheart, Vliet found the perfect mask for his creative visions, one that would both adapt to and push the boundaries of genre throughout the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s.
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Don Van Vliet (born Don Glen Vliet; January 15, 1941 – December 17, 2010) was an American musician, singer-songwriter, artist and poet known by the stage name Captain Beefheart. His musical work..


Don Van Vliet (born Don Glen Vliet; January 15, 1941 – December 17, 2010) was an American musician, singer-songwriter, artist and poet known by the stage name Captain Beefheart. His musical work..

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