Don van Vliet aka Captain Beefheart dead at 69

Don van Vliet, known as Captain Beefheart, has died of complications from multiple sclerosis.

Captain Beefheart was best known for the album Trout Mask Replica. He was not a songwriter, but a composer.

I love that album; compositions from Trout Mask Replica come up from time to time when I play my library on "shuffle" and it surprised me when Lisa actually liked Beefheart's music from the start; of course, my library is diverse and you never know what will play. Presenting his music as an element of a larger tableau gave her the opportunity to hear it properly, I suppose.

The music seems on the surface to be chaotic and haphazard, but every note and intonation is completely intentional and, ultimately, this album is a great work of art.

Back in the 1980's I played the entire (double) album over and over again in my car. My friend Tom gamely accepted it with only occasional comment.

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