Musician and artist Don Van Vliet

Musician and artist Don Van Vliet, known of course as Captain Beefheart, has passed away aged 69 from complications relating to Multiple Sclerosis.

A teenage contemporary of Frank Zappa, Beefheart began his musical output in the 60s with the Magic Band reaching a peak with the 'Trout Mask Relica' album in 1969.

More recently he was recognised as a talented painter with his works selling for tens of thousands of dollars through New York's Michael Werner Gallery.

The gallery released a statement on his passing saying "Don Van Vliet was a complex and influential figure in the visual and performing arts. He is perhaps best known as the incomparable Captain Beefheart who, together with his Magic Band, rose to prominence in the 1960s with a totally unique style of blues-inspired, experimental rock & roll. This would ultimately secure Van Vliet's place in music history as one of the most original recording artists of his time. After two decades in the spotlight as an avant-garde composer and performer, Van Vliet retired from performing to devote himself wholeheartedly to painting and drawing. Like his music, Van Vliet's lush paintings are the product of a truly rare and unique vision."


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