How Captain Beefheart Changed Rock Music Forever

Source: Far Out Magazine.

Don Van Vliet, or more famously known as ‘Captain Beefheart’, was born today, January 15th, in 1941. Over the span of 18 years making music as Captain Beefheart and with his Magic Band; he fused blues, free jazz, and the avant-garde with prolific effect. His lyrical content would often contain elements of absurdity and had a kind of music of its own which would often mirror the instrumentation of his songs. When Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band’s debut album came out in 1967, Safe as Milk, which was preceded by a cover of Bo Diddley song ‘Diddy Wah Diddy’, it prompted music critics to call Don Van Vliet the “best white blues singer”. In an interview with John Letterman in 1982, Don explained the meaning behind his name: “A beef in my heart against society.”