HITS Daily Double

Beefheart obit

CAPTAIN BEEFHEART is no longer with us. The one-of-a-kind musiciand, bandleader, poet and visual artist, whose given name was Don Van Vliet, had suffered from multiple sclerosis for the last 20 years. This statement was released by the San Francisco gallery that represented his work: “It is with great sadness that Michael Werner Gallery announces the death of Don Van Vliet. The artist, who was 69, died 17 December 2010 in California, from complications of multiple sclerosis. Don Van Vliet was a complex and influential figure in the visual and performing arts. He is perhaps best known as the incomparable Captain Beefheart who, together with his Magic Band, rose to prominence in the 1960s with a totally unique style of blues-inspired, experimental rock & roll. This would ultimately secure Van Vliet's place in music history as one of the most original recording artists of his time. After two decades in the spotlight as an avant-garde composer and performer, Van Vliet retired from performing to devote himself wholeheartedly to painting and drawing. Like his music, Van Vliet's lush paintings are the product of a truly rare and unique vision. The Gallery sends its deepest sympathies to Jan Van Vliet, the artist's wife of over 40 years. Don Van Vliet will be sorely missed.” (12/18a)