I originally wrote this one year ago today, on the day of the passing of great Don Van Vliet, most well known as Captain Beefheart. It sounds mawkish, but it's legitimate.
I knew Don Van Vliet had been suffering from multiple sclerosis for many years, but this is a complete blow to the soul. I discovered the Captain a year ago, aged 16, now 17, and cannot describe the extent to which his music fulfills and enthralls me today. I eventually “got” Trout Mask Replica, like Matt Groening, and now hold it as one my most beloved musical works. Typical enough to his nature, I listen to the on par Lick My Decals Off, Baby newly acquired and experienced on the day of his passing, sullenly appreciating the man. The influence of his absolutely uncompromising innovation as an artist is unsurpassable. Don Van Vliet was a man who lived with an intrinsic appreciation of nature, grounded with a sense of humour, that reflected society and human nature with an incomparable profundity. His absence is that of something. But his music will help us find it always. “I’m doing a non-hypnotic music to break up the catatonic state… and I think there is one right now.” You’ve left us at a time where that’s true more than ever. Woe-is-uh-Me-Bop.