It was with great shock and sadness that I learned of the death yesterday morning of Don van Vliet, aka Captain Beefheart, losing his long battle with Multiple Sclerosis at the age of 69.
Never recognized as the genius he really was, or the true original - he was always somewhere in the shadow of figures like Frank Zappa, who was a colleague at one time and responsible for probably his most adventuresome album Trout Mask Replica in 1969. Beefheart didn't achieve the level of success others did. He was, perhaps a bit too weird or too much of an acquired taste for some. Yet the ones he did connect with were faithful and forever indebted to his vision. The impression he has left is indelible.
So today, as way of tribute to one of the truly unique and gifted talents this world has witnessed, I decided to put up a concert from 1974, recorded at the Cowtown Ballroom in Kansas City on April 22, 1972. Here is a rundown of the songs played.
01 Mirror Man
02 Upon the My Oh My
03 Crazy Little Thing
04 Full Moon, Hot Sun
05 Sugar Bowl
06 This Is The Day
07 Keep On Rubbing/It's Mighty Crazy (Lightnin' Slim)
08 Be Your Dog
09 Sweet Georgia Brown
10 Abba Zaba
11 Peaches 1
12 Peaches 2
I know a lot of people have their favorites and their favorite musical period of Captain Beefheart. Maybe if you're being introduced to him for the first time this might persuade you to check out all his other material. There is a small mountain of it - but it's a good mountain and the view is wonderful.
Thank you Captain, for everything.