Don Van Vliet a.k.a. Captain Beefheart is a musician (and artist and poet) that I have been fascinated with since junior high. I’ll admit that, for several years, I was more enamored by Captain Beefheart as a man (or Mojave Desert Alien, or Whatever He Is) than I was a fan of his music. However, through the years his non sequitur tunes have slowly worked their wormy way into my brain.
Here are two endlessly entertaining interviews that Don did with David Letterman. Especially amusing is the part where David asks whether it is true that the Captain can break glass with his multi-octave voice. And apparently Beefheart was a part-time protector of Pelican beaks.
It is impossible to imagine Pere Ubu, Frog Eyes, or Old Time Relijun without the influence of Beefheart, and his idiosyncratic Americana has been more subtly woven into the fabric of countless other musical expressionists. Here is the banned advertisement for the “Lick My Decals Off, Baby” album:
And here’s a video for my favorite Beefheart song, “Sure ’nuff ‘n Yes I Do” (Live in Cannes, 1968):
Captain Beefheart – Kiss (Bootleg)