Saturday, December 18, 2010
RIP: Captain Beefheart
Though oft recognized as an American genius and found on all-time greatest album lists the world round, Vliet was generally considered something of an idiosyncratic mystery. His music, on albums such as Trout Mask Replica (sidenote: I have always hated that cover art) and Lick my Decals Off, Baby featured challenging, blues-influenced rock and roll music.
Captain Beefheart divided listeners, likely earning more head scratches than critical accolades. I have to admit, while his music never threw me, its sound was never something I went for. Yet, he was a renegade and a visionary, not to mention an influence to numerous artists. Tom Waits, Devo, and Kurt Cobain all counted him as one of the greats, and his passing comes too soon.