Monday, August 31, 2015

Don van Vliet aka Captain Beefheart

In December of 2010,
the man I always thought of
as the Real Captain America
left the building. 

Captain Beefheart
was a nom de plume used
by the closest thing white rock music ever had
to a true shaman.

A man with more gris-gris than Mac Rebennack,
and more poetry than Jim Morrison,
who was more far out than Mercury
or that other Morrison, or Morrisey.

He spent more of his life living in the desert
and painting than he did being a rock star,
which if you go by sales, he never really was.

mutually useful but volatile.

Typically a Beefheart album might do 50 to 60,000 units.

His sales volumes may have been low, but his demographics
were something else.

His audience included Jerzy Kosinski, Igor Stravinsky,
Charles Mingus, Miles Davis, Pharoah Sanders,
Woody Allen, John Lydon, Joe Strummer, Devo,
PJ Harvey, Pere Ubu...

...and 50 to 60,000 others.

Beefheart was a one-namer before Madonna
could cross the street
by herself.

'all roads lead to coca-cola'
Don van Vliet



I look at her and she looks at me
In her eyes I see the sea
I can't see what she sees in a man like me
She says she loves me

Her eyes
Her eyes
Her eyes are a blue million miles

Her eyes are a blue million miles 
Don van Vliet 1972

Fast goes fast
Slow goes slow
Rich are rich and the po' are po'
Everybody's doing the Low Yo Yo Yo Yo
Everybody's doing it
Deep down everybody knows they should
Do the Low Yo Yo Yo Yo

Low Yo Yo Stuff   Don van Vliet 1972

50 to 60,000 is also about the number of US dollars 
you would need to buy a painting or two of his now.

Funny business, art.

You used me like an ashtray heart
Right from the start
Case of the punks
Another day, another way
Somebody's had too much to think
Open up another case of the punks
Each pillow is touted like a rock
The mother / father figure
Somebody's had too much to think
Send your mother home your navel

Ashtray Heart   
Don van Vliet  1980

i told my mother - she showed it to me not too long ago, 

in this baby book in that horrible palmer penmanship
method of writing that she used...on this old yellow
piece of paper it's written out, that if she would stay
on one side of the room and i would stay on the other,
that we would be friends the rest of our life.

Don van Vliet

i met aldous huxley. i sold him a vacuum cleaner.
i said: 'i assure you, sir, this thing sucks!'. he bought everything in my car. i was selling electrolux vacuum cleaners. i quit right after that - probably some time
before 1959.

Don van Vliet

stars are matter
we are matter
but it doesn't matter.

Don van Vliet

January 15, 1941 – December 17, 2010
after a long battle with multiple sclerosis.

Don van Vliet aka Captain Beefheart (2)

Don Van Vliet

the Captain Beefheart Radio Station


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