The Captain Passes

Don Van Vliet, January 15, 1941 – December 17, 2010

Malcolm says…

There is no way I have the verbal acuity to express the depth of my feelings about the life, music and passing of Don Van Vliet, “Captian Beefheart”.  Tom Waits’ quote pretty much says it all for me.

It is impossible for me to overstate the influence he has had on me. Simply put; within the context of my life and consciousness there is no Bonzer I have ever shaped that is separate from Beefheart. The sound he created is infused in my genes. As Tom Waits says, “He’s gone and he won’t be back,” but as ‘The Captain’ says in the song Kandy Korn, “be reborn.” Creativity, the joys of observation, and reverence for all living things will be sparked and reborn in all those who truly ‘feel’ his music and words.

Duncan says…

Since 1970 he has been a part of me, completely infused. When we saw him at the Roxy in 74-75 I remember sitting right in front on the stage with Malcolm, Dr. Robert, Charly, and the rest of the Bonzer Gang. Charly brought a pad and pens to draw pictures of the Magic Band. During intermission we handed the Captain a stack of Charly’s drawings. His reply – ‘Thanks you for your presents, and your presence.’

Well, same to you Captain, ‘Thank you for your presents, and your presence.’ He shined like a million suns, now he’s gone. Somebody light a god damn match!

Here are a couple pictures of the famed ‘Beefheart Board,’ a 6’4″ eggy shape with original artwork by Cliff Collinge inspired by the song “Kandy Korn.”

Oxnard Shores, 1975

4 replies on “The Captain Passes

  • M. Redley

    I want to express gratitude to the Captain for the music he left us with. But also add that I never would have thought to pick up *Trout Mask Replica* if it weren’t for the Bonzer program. So thanks also to MC and DC for passing on the Captain’s music to the younger generation of surfers who ride your boards.

  • warmjet

    i echo the previous comment. the capt. and the early eno lp’s are the soundtrack to the visceral bonzer fim i personally have in my head. (and the ending of “Kandy Korn” in particular)
    the bonzer, (and therefore the capt.), are responsible for the rebirth and restructuring of my love for surfing 100%.
    thank you capt., malcolm, duncan, dr. robert and all the believers.

  • B. Bannerman

    I actually came across this website trying to learn what a bonzer surfboard was. I saw your tribute to the great Captain Beefheart and as a fan since I was just 12 years old (1980), I felt obligated to say somethi8ng here. It is always an honor to come across or meet other fans as they seem to be few and far between. Most people have never even heard of him let alone his music which is a shame. Most of those who then go listen (or at least in my experience) come back and say that they thought it was garbage. perhaps we are a select few that knew his greatness while he was still alive as I am sure that a hundred years from now people will be wondering why there was not a statue erected in his honor. I would say the same for Zappa as well because they were both amazingly gifted when it came to music (and in Don’s case art as well). I’ve never met a Beefheart fan I did not like and expect I would truly enjoy meeting you guys. Thanks for making my day.

  • Alan

    “One red bean dropped in the bottom of a tin bowl.”–Thanks for posting Kandy Korn. I sing the refrain everytime I eat em. “Yellow and ooorange!” Truly Magic, –Alan Swartz


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