Captain Beefheart

Captain Beefheart

The great gig in the sky or wherever has just gotten better. One of the true originals and I for one will be spinning some of his stuff today.

Re: Captain Beefheart

good man the captain lives on!

Re: Captain Beefheart

Yes I read it earlier today. Sad that he’s gone, but fantastic that he made the immense contribution that he did. Mere man as he was.

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Re: Captain Beefheart

Pappy with the Khaki sweatband
Bowed goat potbellied barnyard that only he noticed
The old fart was smart
The old gold cloth madonna
Dancin’ t’ the fiddle ‘n saw
He ran down behind the knoll
‘n slipped on his wooden fishhead
The mouth worked ‘n snapped all the bees
Back t’ the bungalow

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Re: Captain Beefheart

Right on Kevin, plenty of old farts at play on here.

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Ah, the Tommy Potts of Rock & Roll is gone, but at least his passing seems to be bringing his music out of obscurity for a bit.

Rock needs more innovators like that, it’s been dying a slow death of unoriginality for quite a while.

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Actually from what I hear there’s a basically infinite supply of musicians with oodles of originality or innovation or whatever out there, but you never hear about them outside of Facebook. Or so I’m told.

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Re: Captain Beefheart

The Tommy Potts of R&R, I like that. I’m grinning into my pipe right now!

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Ry Cooder made a wise choice.

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Cooder has made many wise choices in his life and by continuing to play and record with such original and eclectic talents his own musical palette is broadening all the time. I take it that’s what you mean.

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Cooder recognized early on tha Van Vliet was extremely abusive, mentally unstable and difficult to work with. Cooder quit the band after Beefheart’s failed attempt at Monterey where he fell off the stage.
Cooder’s choice to refuse being in the band is the wise choice I refer to.
Van Nliet was possibly the, if not one of the most disturbed and abusive band leaders who ever lived. May his troubled soul recieve mercy.
I find it difficult if not impossible to have any respect at all for Don Van Vliet.

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I don’t understand this at all. This music is beyond me.

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It took place during the late 1960’s and 70’s in the Mojave desert, Lancaster, Death Valley, Owens Valley, eastern Sierra Nevada and northern San Gabriel Mountains. Call it art if you want to. I call it fried delusional brain cells making a bunch of racket.
Frank Zappa came from the same area. Some of his stuff actually is worth listening to IMO. He was about the most successful musician from the area. Zappa, by many accounts, was said to be firmly against drugs. Not sure I believe it but I guess I’ll give Zappa the benefit of doubt.
Don Van Vliet, aka Captain Beefheart and Frank Zappa, were teenage friends in Lancaster. They had a fierce rivalry, yet they still toured together at one point. Zappa tried to help his friend but Van Vliet was just way too much of a raging, ego tripping, acid head to work with. Zappa was no small ego himself.
Van Vliet was supported and enabled by his mother for much of his life. His noise was never a commercial success. He ran his band like a cult as he tormented everyone around him. He was psychotic and his noise that some try to call music sounds exactly like the psychotic LSD hallucination that it is. It’s sucks. If you’ve never taken LSD, don’t, because it sucks too.
Van Vliet used similar cult acid brainwashing methods on his musicians as Charles Manson used on the Manson Family. He’d get everybody frying their gourds out on acid and brainwash them into worshiping him like he was god.
The stinking hovel where Beefheart’s Magic Band were drugged, tortured, starved and forced to practice 14 hours a day was visited once by a friend. That friend described the place as absolutely Mansonesque.
Van Vliet knew nothing about music. But he knew about torture and sleep deprivation. He lured musicians with drugs and delusions of fame and fortune into figuring out how to write and play what his hallucinations were supposed to sound like.
Then he claimed that he wrote it all. He even claimed to have taught the players how to play their instruments. He’d sham these guys into recording and touring with him and then pay them nothing for a year or more worth of work. Then, his band would quit on him and then he’d sham in more players to abuse.
Come to your own conclusions.
I’ve come to mine.
Beefhearts noise sucks as much now as it did then and this thread should be deleted because it has nothing to do with Session tunes.
Now, does anyone want to know how I really feel?

Re: Captain Beefheart

You just don’t get the man, boatpiper. Your choice, but the man was a genius. I realise you can’t appreciate why. Your loss. Not his. Not mine. Not ours. His wonderful, ground-breaking and hugely influential music will continue to live in the hearts and minds of those of us who understand what the man and his music was about.

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Ethical, I get the guy all too well. I grew up surrounded by it, I lived it man and it almost destroyed my life. I was taken into that area around the Mojave desert during that time by my LSD crazed older 1/2 brother when I was 10-12 years old and I was one of the kids that was a victim of what that movement was about. It left me with some of the most terrifying memories of my life. So don’t tell me I don’t get it. I was there man. I saw that kinda BS with my own eyes. Yeah it might give you jollys to listen to on a record, but if you really knew what the BS was about I hope you’d think again.
It’s called a drug addict’s destructive abusive behavior. Any healthy human interaction with a crazed acid head is impossible and those guys had the real potent stuff. His music reflects that. You’ve got genius confused with drug addict psychotic delusions.
The kind of treatment that drug addicts like Van Vliet subject people to is horrendous. If you call eliminating drug addiction and abusive behavior and the things that surround it from ones life a loss that I don’t get, then I’d say you are the one who is a wee bit confused and brainwashed by the cult of Beefheart.

Re: Captain Beefheart

‘I think of all of those people that ride on my bones
That nobody hears
That nobody sees that nobody knows’

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When I was a kid, I witnessed many peoples as well as my older brothers LSD delusions frequently. Those fekkers fed the poison to me too but soon enough, I wised up and refused to be around them anymore. I still struggle with what those frikken acid heads did to me. The most delusional of them always loved and worshipped Beefheart. The more delusional they were, the more they loved him.
My 1/2 brother has most everything Beefheart ever recorded. He frequently brags about seeing the carp carcass before it made it’s way to Van Vliet for the making of the mask. He said it was the biggest carp he’d ever seen in his life. It was caught in the Owens river, or so my brother says.
Believe me, Ethical, it will continue to live in my heart and mind too and it’s not a bunch of memories that are pleasant at all.
It’s all memories I’d love to erase.
All that Beefheart’s noise does for me is remind me of the acid cult horror that made possible. I’ll take that loss gratefully.

Re: Captain Beefheart

Very informative. Dude was a whack job.

‘…Van Vliet implemented his vision by asserting complete artistic and emotional domination of his musicians. At various times one or another of the group members was put "in the barrel," with Van Vliet berating him continually, sometimes for days, until the musician collapsed in tears or in total submission to Van Vliet.[45] Drummer John French described the situation as "cultlike"[46] and a visiting friend said "the environment in that house was positively Manson-esque."[47] […]

…Physical assaults were encouraged at times, along with verbal degradation. Beefheart spoke of studying texts on brainwashing at a public library at about this time, and appeared to be applying brainwashing techniques to his bandmembers: sleep deprivation, food deprivation, constant negative reinforcement, and rewarding bandmembers when they attacked each other or competed with each other…’

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Captain_Beefheart#Trout_Mask_Replica.2C_1969

Re: Captain Beefheart

OK. I wasn’t there. But I did experience plenty of druggie people. Some things would be better if I hadn’t, but then isn’t that always the case? And you acknowledge, boatpiper, that other people have a different view, even now, and even people who also experienced it.

I’m sorry you feel it screwed you up so badly.

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Re: Captain Beefheart

I feel that everything happens for a reason and for some reason I was subjected to that as a kid. It’s the choices we make that decide our future.
Choosing to leave that world behind surely saved my life. As much as I’d love to be rid of it, it still remains a part of what shaped who I am.
I wouldn’t say it screwed me up as much as instead it started the process of teaching me some valuable survival lessons about avoiding those crowds and their substances. It eventually made me wiser for escaping it.
Still, it took some 20 more years of confusion and hell before I managed to break free.
There are many folks whose lives have been destroyed not only by LSD but other drugs as well as psychological and physical abuse, cult behavior, domestic abuse, so on and so forth. All that BS is usually intertwined to some degree.
I have come a long way since then. I’ve have been lucky to find a very joyful and satisfying existance for myself. I’m happily married to the love of my life, we live in what we consider to be paradise, we have 3 great kids.
I’m surrounded by supportive and drug free friends who understand what kind of strength it takes to remove yourself from a destructive enviornment.
I never knew that as a kid. Madness drugs and the psychotic behavior that goes along with it is what surrounded me. Beefheart was a small tidbit and only one of the many things that were part of that hellish segment of my life.
When that’s all you’ve known since childhood, your chances for survival are quite grim.
I’m one of the lucky ones.
I’m grateful to be alive! :-D

Re: Captain Beefheart

Hey, boatpiper! One thing we agree on. And how. :-) Everything happens for a reason and everything that happens to us can be used somehow.

I’ glad you feel lucky. So do I.

:-)

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Well, then I suppose there’s a reason for this dialogue.
I can agree to disagree and share a tune with you sometime, long as it’s Trad.
I don’t play any Beefheart ;-)
That’s about all that I’m willing to put energy into on this so, later man, there’s stuff I gotta go do.