Oh Captain, My Captain!
Don Van Vliet aka Captain Beefheart is a scally icon; his avant garde blues shtick perfectly tuning with the post-industrial era. DVV sadly died today and whereas his brand of proggy R&B may well have upset many puritans, there were many more who appreciated his abstract version of ‘da blues’. I first encoutered the good Capn on The Old Grey Whistle Test in the mid 70s where I thought his brand of surreal blues was tedious beyond belief. Now I’m convinced that the Cap was infact a genuine talent whose subversive lyrics took blues music into previously uncharted areas and paved the way for the counterculture even if Don himself was far removed from the hippie underground. Beefy was a t the end of the day, a true American eccentric. Neither left wing nor right wing, he ploughed his own underground furrow through the daisy fresh fields of psychedelic America. Paradoxically his music is old fashioned yet totally futuristic, the Son House style raw blues coupled with beat lyrics that take the basic blues pattern and blast if off into outer or inner space.