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Captain Beefheart Dies

Few would submit that many musical artists are less uncompromising than Don Vliet was during his life, which ended Friday (12/17) at the age of 69 due to complications from MS.  The man known as Captain Beefheart during his eclectic career in music largely abandoned music in favor of art during the last 25 years of his life.  His live and recorded musical output was challenging enough to make other risk takers seem tame in comparison. Infused with Blues and charged with an energy and attitude that what would later become essential elements of punk rock, the music Captain and his Magic Band made was constantly in-your-face.  As was the case with his friend Frank Zappa, commercial success or widespread recognition were never considerations worth including in the music making process.  The admiration both men earned and the lasting impact both will have are a better measure of success than the record and ticket sales most musicians measure theirs by. 

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