CAPTAIN BEEFHEART aka DON VAN VLIET, the American musician and painter, has died aged 69, reports BBC News. He passed away in California from complications of the multiple sclerosis that he suffered from, according to the Michael Werner Gallery in New York. A statement confirming his passing described Val Vliet as "one of the most original recording artists of all time".
Best known by his stage name CAPTAIN BEEFHEART, the 69-year-old will be remembered for his unique blues inspired rock and roll which influenced the likes of Tom Waits, Nick Cave, and The White Stripes. The statement went to describe Val Vliet as "an influential figure in the visual and performing arts" and recognised his paintings as the product of a "truly rare and unique vision". Beefheart was known for his close creative friendship with fellow innovator Frank Zappa but despite being classmates and later appearing regularly on each other's tours, the pair had a tumultuous relationship.
CAPTAIN BEEFHEART, who often made records with his 'Magic Band', made 12 albums in total. The first three of these were perhaps the most acclaimed, 1967's 'Safe As Milk', 1968's 'Strictly Personal', and 'Trout Mask Replica' in 1969. The band became a favourite of cult Dj John Peel, who regularly played their records on his show.