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Don Van Vliet, also known as Captain Beeheart, has died at the age of 69 after a long struggle with multiple sclerosis.

I’ve always felt that he was at his best when he wasn’t being totally weird (I’ve never been much of a fan of Trout Mask Replica) or being too conventional (the Blue Jeans and Moonbeams period) but was producing a unique warped rhythm and blues.In some way his music reminds of Ornette Coleman’s in that it is at once utterly avant-garde and utterly rooted in the blues.

Here’s a biography, here’s a 1970 interview with the man, and here’s a guide to some of his albums, with accompanying clips.

Now, watch the videos and go and play all his albums. And remember, a carrot is as close as a rabbit gets to a diamond.


Is this the weirdest TV advert ever?

A true original, and one of the greats of late twentieth century unpopular popular music, there will never be anyone like him again. Rest in peace, Don.

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