Don Van Vliet was a musician born in US. People knew him as Captain Beefheart, the stage name he adopted. He was a singer-songwriter, poet and artist in general. With his powerful voice and wide-range and the help of his Magic Band, he blended blues, rock, free jazz psychedelia and avant-garde and produced one of the most original bodies of work in the music world. Van Vliet was a true innovator of modern music, with his fluid and daring creativity he was really influential on an array of experimental, New Wave, alternative rock, punk and post-punk musicians, creating a cult following.
When still very young, Van Vliet met with the musician Frank Zappa in California. This musician helped him develop a musical taste that was rather eclectic. They developed a friendship and collaborated in many projects. Then, Van Vliet started adopting the name and image of Captain Beefheart in his on stage performances. In 1964, he joined the Magic Band, which first album: “Safe as Milk”, was a well received by the audience. The band’s album: “Trout Mask Replica,” released in 1969, had the privilege of ranking 58th among the “500 greatest albums of all time” in the 2003 edition of the Rolling Stone magazine.
However, the entire band quit due to strong criticism they received for a more conventional and commercial album released in 1974, together with the abusive behavior they had to endure from Beefheart and the lack of payment of one of their tours. Beefheart managed to recover from this blow and he eventually released three more albums with a new Magic Band. His last works gave him a place among the music figures of the contemporary age and set him as an example of innovation and creativity for the contemporary musical movement.