Listen to rare recordings of the great Captain Beefheart reciting poetry
“With my voice and my band, I can do anything.”—Captain Beefheart
Don Van Vliet, better known as singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and visual artist Captain Beefheart, is widely credited for having a major influence on the genres of punk, new wave and experimental rock.
Blending an uncompromising mixture of blues, free jazz and rock in his own avant-garde style, Beefheart’s wide vocal range and downright absurd vocals made him the type of musician that Tom Waits, Lou Reed and the Velvet Underground, The Clash and more have all studied and admired through the years of their musical creation.
John Peel once said: “If there has ever been such a thing as a genius in the history of popular music, it’s Beefheart… I heard echoes of his music in some of the records I listened to last week and I’ll hear more echoes in records that I listen to this week.”
Beefheart was described as an “iconic counterculture hero” who, armed with his Magic Band, ripped up the rulebook of music and did things their own way. “A psychedelic shaman who frequently bullied his musicians and sometimes alarmed his fans, Don somehow remained one of rock’s great innocents,” Peel would further say.
While Beefheart’s music would inspire a generation, we’re dipping into the Far Out archives to revisit Don Van Vliet delivering his words through the medium of poetry.
Find a selection of five different poems including ‘Fallin’ Ditch’, ‘Skeleton Makes Good’, ‘The Tired Plain’ and more.