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Terminal Moraine

Captain Beefheart Dies

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I have no doubt that for 99% of people on this forum this topic will mean nothing at all but for me the passing of Don Van Vliet ( aka Captain Beefheart )marks not only the end an era but the passing of a genius.

He had recorded nothing since 1982, having left the music business to concentrate on his painting, but his seminal work of Trout Mask Replica recorded in 1969, a staggering 41 years ago, remains unsurpassed by anything I've heard since.

If you like your music pleasant and uncomplicated, if you like a nice tune and a toe tapping beat, if you're a fan of the X Factor then don't go anywhere near it because you'll run from the room screaming, your brain dribbling from your nose like scrambled egg.

I bought Safe As Milk, Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band's first album, back in 1965 after hearing a few tracks played on the radio by the legendary John Peel. It was a mix of rock and blues, but with an edge, and was followed by the even stranger Strictly Personal which became my favourite album at the time.

Nothing however could have prepared me for Trout Mask Replica in 1969.

It was a weighty double album and I well remember getting home from the record shop, where I'd had it on order for several weeks, trembling with anticipation as I put it on the deck.

To say I was shocked would be an understatement. I just didn't get the jumbled rhythms; I didn't get several different musicians playing in different times; I didn't get the free form sax or the lyrics; I din't get much of it at all. However I persevered and by the third hearing it was beginning to make sense, by the fourth it made a whole lot of sense and by the fifth and sixth it was, and remains to this day, my favourite album by anyone.

The music is perfectly in tune with my own head, the humour is my humour and I have only to hear a brief snatch of one track to feel entirely uplifted.

R.I.P Captain Beefheart, you were the rock upon which my youth was built.

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yes, the last one you mentioned I listened to it once and went yuk so never tried again. Some of his earlier music I thought, as they said in those days, 'quite hip'.

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Truly one of the 'Avant-garde' greats.. If theres an after-life I'm sure Frank Zappa will be happy to see Mr Vliet..

One of my favourite 'Beefheart' tracks Ice-cream for crow..

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A minor correction to my initial post; it was 1967 when I bought Safe as Milk, not 1965. All the years are blurring together these days.

Second favourite album by the Captain is 'Lick My Decals Off, Baby' Not as uncompromising as Trout Mask Replica but with many of the latter's qualities it represents a sort of halfway hours between Trout Mask and his later work.

I've searched the net in vain for this on CD, I have only a vinyl copy and no deck to play it on.

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I Missed this somehow?

thanks TM, CB & his magic band were a bit to old for me but Epic nevertheless,

Pull another chair up alongside the margrave of the marshes upstairs :)

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I Missed this somehow?

Me too,and if it wasn't for NW and TM I'd be none the wiser. It is criminal that the passing of the seminal DVV was not more widely noted. Or maybe it's just me who needs to frequent "the news" more? Sad.

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