Experimental rock pioneer and visual artist Don Van Vliet, otherwise known as Captain Beefheart has passed away age 69 today in California from problems with multiple sclerosis. Despite never crossing into the fast lane of mainstream success, his works are revered as unique and incredibly influential to a broad range of genres, especially 1969’s “Trout Mask Replica” which was ranked 58th on Rolling Stones ‘500 greatest albums of all time’ list.’ With artists such as Tom Waits, Red Hot Chili Peppers and most notably Johnny Rotten praising him as a big influence, it’s hard to deny the impact he had on everything from commercial rock, to punk, to the most obscure of acts. In a statement confirming his death carried by Rolling Stone magazine, the Michael Warner gallery in New York which played host to his paintings addressed him as “a complex and powerful figure in the visual and performing arts.” After spending 20 years in the spotlight with his Magic Band, he turned his attention from music to abstract art in which he gained a lot of respect for his originality and clear vision, his paintings now fetch high prices. Leaving behind a wife of 40 years, he will be sorely missed by family and fans.
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