The Story of Captain Beefheart

Source: Far Out.

Van Vliet started out as Captain Beefheart in 1964 but left the music industry in 1982 to focus on a new career as an expressionist painter. At that point, he was rumoured to be living in near poverty and seclusion in a small house in the San Fernando Valley, Los Angeles, and he had only made roughly 25 public appearances between 1964 and 1970. His move into painting was ultimately a more successful and profitable venture than his music had been.

However, this move into visual art ought not to come as too much of a surprise. The truth is that Don Van Vliet was, in fact, a sculpting child prodigy. He began sculpting just aged three with a particular interest in dinosaurs, fish and mammals. It is said that Van Vliet’s parents had to push dinner under his door as he was so obsessed with his creative endeavours.